Podcast: Put-Ons

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Bullseye

This week's Sound of Young America returns to familiar territory -- pranks and put-ons. We visit with a couple of old friends of the show who are geniuses of the field.

Our first guest is Matt Walsh. Matt's probably best known for being a founder of the Upright Citizens' Brigade. He was also a correspondent on The Daily Show, and has been seen in films like "Old School." His new series on Comedy Central, Dog Bites Man, is a hybrid of many genres. It follows a fictitious Spokane TV news team through real-life America. They interview real people while playing out a fictional storyline. They've gone to the Southern Republican convention and to a KKK picnic. The show was created by Dan Mazer, the co-creator of Da Ali G Show.

We also talk with Charlie Todd, the creator of a group called Improv Everywhere. Charlie's group stages massive street pranks in New York City, but they eschew pranks with victims. Instead, they focus on creating amazing experiences for ordinary people, and then dissapear -- without revealing their identity.

Also, we hear a street prank from Coyle & Sharpe, a remarkable pair of put-on artists who hosted a local AM radio show in San Francisco in the mid 1960s. Mal Sharpe was a comedian and radio man; James Coyle was a professional con artist. Together, they created some of the most amazing street pranks in history. We hear "Maniacs in a Living Hell" from their amazing CD "Coyle & Sharpe: Audio Visionaries." (Buy It)

Also: as part of our continuing partnership with Sketchfest NYC, we hear a brief sketch from Portland-based sketch group The Third Floor.

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Comments

Matt Walsh is awesome! It was

Matt Walsh is awesome! It was funny that he was recognized a few times, because of his role in the super-famous "Old School" movie. I was in Portland, OR, when they came through and talked to the School of Journalism at PSU.
One piece of their advice to students was something like "If you're doing a story on gas prices, you gotta interview a guy with a turban"

Oooh, I can't wait to listen. Ever since I heard about Improv Everywhere last time on your podcast, I have become a huge fan. I love reading and hearing about their pranks! Woo-hoo!

Glad to hear, Tank. Let me know what you think!

Awesome. Can't wait to listen, my brother's girlfriend is friends with Charlie Todd.

Great show.When I first heard of Improv Everywhere over a year ago I was not fan. As an improvisor with Second City I thought this was going to give improv a bad name (people dressed up as bees and walruses meeting in a field for some weird battle). After listening to this interview though, Charlie really blew me away and spoke about what I love about improv...it's to have fun. If that means not wearing pants on the subway or just thinking a taxi driver saved a relationship, it works for me.

Good interview with Charlie Todd. I imagine that's a tough one, as you want to explain to everyone what the hell his group is all about while at the same time keep it from being a description of his greatest hits. Good balance.

As an improvisor with Second

As an improvisor with Second City I thought this was going to give improv a bad name (people dressed up as bees and walruses meeting in a field for some weird battle). After listening to this interview though, Charlie really blew me away and spoke about what I love about improv...it's to have fun.