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Mark Duplass, Actor and Filmmaker (FX's The League, Cyrus, The Puffy Chair): Interview on The Sound of Young America

Mark Duplass

Mark Duplass is an actor and filmmaker. He stars in the F/X comedy The League, and with his brother Jay has made several films including Baghead and The Puffy Chair (in which Mark also starred). Their new film, Cyrus, stars John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Catherine Keener and Marisa Tomei, and premiers at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The League's season finale airs Thursday, December 10th on F/X, and the full series can be viewed on Hulu.

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 118: Animal Cruelty with Marc Maron

Marc Maron

Comedian Marc Maron joins Jordan & Jesse on today's episode, touching upon the subject of pets, garage sales and losing one's marbles.

Podcast: Coyle & Sharpe Episode 76: The Elevator experiment


Welcome to season two of Coyle & Sharpe: The Imposters! In the early 1960s, James P. Coyle and Mal Sharpe roamed the streets of San Francisco, microphone in hand, roping strangers into bizarre schemes and surreal stunts. These original recordings are from the Sharpe family archive, which is tended by Mal's daughter, Jennifer Sharpe. You can learn more about Coyle & Sharpe on their website or on MySpace. Their recent box set is These 2 Men Are Imposters.

On this episode: Coyle & Sharpe perform a curious experiment on an unwilling subject.



I stayed up late a couple months ago to watch Pee-Wee on Leno, and it was weird and bad. I was worried that it was Pee-Wee's fault (against my better judgement).

But then I watched Pee-Wee on Conan, and it was GREAT! I LOVE PEE WEE SO EFFING MUCH YOU GUYS.


Brent Weinbach on Seven Second Delay


Our pal Weinbach hooks up with our pals at Seven Second Delay for much delight.

John Ortved, author of The Simpsons: The Text Of Young America


John Ortved is a Toronto born, New York based writer. His work has appeared in New York, Interview, Vice, The New York Observer and Vanity Fair, where he was the youngest published feature writer in the magazine’s history. Ortved is also the author of The Simpsons, an unauthorized and uncensored behind-the-scene’s look into America’s favorite family. Anyone who’s ever been a Simpsons fan will find the book a funny, controversial, and fascinating read, especially if you loved the early (read: best) years. Ortved managed to speak to more than a few key players in the show’s history, including Conan O’Brien and Hank Azaria, despite strong efforts by James L. Brooks to keep everyone involved in the show quiet.

Chris Bowman: There are so many twists and turns in The Simpsons that were difficult if not impossible to anticipate. Who knew there was so much drama behind America's most loved family? Sometimes the characters behind the scenes fall into an unfavorable light. How did you get the ball rolling on an unauthorized, uncensored biography?

John Ortved: The book developed from a piece I did for Vanity Fair; I pitched the idea of an oral history of The Simpsons back in 2006, when I was a 26-year old editorial associate there. I've always loved the oral history format - one of the most memorable pieces of Journalism for me is an oral history of The Beastie Boys that I read when I was a 17 (ironically, I forget in which magazine, though I'm fairly certain it was SPIN...maybe Q....I smoked a lot of weed as a teenager); I also love George Plimpton's Edie, American Girl and Legs McNeil's Please Kill me - and I thought including all those very singular voices that were involved in The Simpsons (Conan O'Brien, James L. Brooks, Rupert Murdoch) would be the best way to tell that story. Additionally, I was a pretty young journalist and VF regularly features some fairly seasoned writers - I thought that if it was an oral history, there was a better chance of them letting me write it. Still, I got super lucky; it was only through the kindness of a couple editors that I got the assignment.

The Simpsons people wavered on cooperating for a couple months, and then, once I started working on the piece, and it got back to James L. Brooks that I was asking questions about Sam Simon (The Simpsons "other" creator, who was exiled from the show after Season 4), they pulled their cooperation completely. After the piece came out, and I started expanding it into a book, Brooks actually sent a letter to everyone who works or had worked on the show, telling them not to speak to me. I have the letter (obviously not everyone obeyed - his own people thought it was incredibly douchey). I also have some letters from their lawyers. Additionally, I have some letters that kids sent to Santa Claus - but I stole those from a mailbag. Kids are idiots.

For further insight from John Ortved click Read More.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: The Tobolowsky Files


Stephen Tobolowsky leads an eventful life. He's narrowly escaped being crushed by a bull. He's been forced to read manuscripts at Graceland at 3:00 in the morning. He was almost killed in Hartford, Connecticut — twice. He was nominated as one of the hundred coolest people in L.A. by Buzz magazine. He's palliated his epididymitis with a groin-situated soda can. He's been disillusioned by Davy Crockett. He's played in a rock band with Stevie Ray Vaughan's brother. He's broken his neck in five places. He was held up at gunpoint at a supermarket. He's been a regular at a gay breakfast joint. One of his birthday parties is a movie. He remembers his dad punching a bus. And, oh yeah, he's acted a bit as well.

Tobolowsky, you see, is a well-known "character actor," which is Hollywood code for "at least halfway intelligent." You might know him as Commissioner Hugo Jarry from Deadwood, as Bob Bishop from Heroes, as the dad from Josh and S.A.M. or as any number of other oh-yeah-that-was-him! roles. (To say nothing of his salutable efforts as a writer on David Byrne's True Stories.) When /Filmcast host Dave Chen Gchatted to your Podthinker about his new, Tobolowsky-starring podcast, though, two words came to mind before all others: Ned Ryerson.

Ned Ryerson, as all reading this will have immediately recalled, is the garrulous yokel who repeatedly approaches Phil Connors, the chronologically imprisoned weatherman (played with equal unforgettability by Bill Murray) in Harold Ramis' Groundhog Day. Ryerson is Connors' former classmate, a current insurance salesman and oh so irritating until our hero discovers the transcendence to be found in turning selflessly outward toward humanity, yadda yadda yadda.

Your Podthinker suspects that Tobolowsky has stories to tell about crafting the character of Ned Ryerson. If so, he's got the perfect forum to air them in The Tobolowsky Files, [iTunes] [XML], the podcast where Dave Chen is joined by none other than Tobolowsky himself for gripping personal stories about life, love and the entertainment industry.

Recounting interesting times from his childhood, adolescence, adulthood and character actorhood, Tobolowsky demonstrates that his intelligence far exceeds the halfway mark, but it's his storytelling ability that blasts way past even the three-quarters mark like it ain't no thing. While we've already discussed that a lot has happened to the guy in his time — and he's already regaled us with details of several of the colorful experiences listed in the first paragraph of this review — he somehow delivers his everyday, slice-of-life memories as flowing, suspenseful narratives you'd rather not pause. Is it magic? Maybe it's just an actor thing, though your Podthinker prefers to regard it as some branch of the black arts. Either way, the listening experience is tantamount to a master class in the telling of stories.

Simplicity of format is another part of the key to The Tobolowsky Files' appeal. Each episode, Tobolowsky links up with Chen on what sounds like Skype — though the Tobolowsky-transmitted audio bears surprisingly few of that application's signature distortions — and launches right into a set of his prepared recollections. What to call this? Serial interview? Not exactly. Serial monologue? Sort of. Autobiography? In a way. Just plain storytelling? Well, yes, but...

Really, only one description suits it: raw, unadulterated Tobolowsky. Aspiring podcasters looking to found their own venture in the same genre have stiff competition indeed.

Vital stats:
Format: raw, unadulterated Tobolowsky
Duration: ~1h
Running since: October 2009
Frequency: weekly
Archive available on iTunes: all

[Got a podcast to suggest for Podthoughts coverage or any other sort of question and/or comment for Podthinker Colin Marshall? colinjmarshall at gmail. Or just GChat it to him — that seems effective.]

Donald Glover on All Things Considered

| 1 comment

Don will be on TSOYA next week. Great guy.

Talking about 30 Rock, NBC and GE.

The Duplass Brothers - This Is John


I'm prepping for an interview with the very talented Mark Duplass, who in addition to making films like The Puffy Chair with his brother Jay is in the ensemble cast of the FX series The League, which also features our pals Paul Scheer and Nick Kroll. Mark said this short, which he shot with his brother after a disastrous attempt at a feature film, was the first thing they ever did that they actually liked. I like it, too.

UPDATED: I'm sorry to say the video of "This Is John" is no longer available online.

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