The Blog of Young America

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Improv Everywhere: Food Court Musical

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A kindly homosexual tries to teach Jesse to dance in one ill-fated night

Improv Everywhere (previously on TSOYA), if you don't already know, are an organization of fun-loving people whose goal is to "cause scenes." I'd call their works pranks, but their goal is not to dupe people, but rather to create moments of wonder and amazement in ordinary places. They call them Missions.

IE is based in New York City, where founder (and committed MaxFunster) Charlie Todd is based. Last year, they were taping a pilot and shot a few missions here in LA. Charlie was kind enough to invite me to participate, and one of the missions he created out here has finally been posted on the IE website: The Food Court Musical. Essentially, a group of ten or fifteen people, seated in various spots in a mall food court, stood up and played parts in a complicated musical number called "Can I Get A Napkin Please?"

I can't say enough about how enjoyable the whole process was, from soup to nuts. Everyone involved was super-awesome, from Charlie to the IE regulars to the UCB folks to the random people who came in from craigslist. The song is wonderful, and I realized about halfway through that the star was also Jordan, Jesse Go!'s cheap video game reviewer.

The mall chosen to be the site of the mission is in south LA -- you might know it as the place Chris Rock interviewed people coming out of a Magic Johnson theater one time for the Oscars. We actually performed the song a few times during the course of a day, and the reactions on the patrons ranged from, "white people are crazy! I find that amusing." to "white people are crazy! I find that confounding." The editors chose to highlight the former, but watch for a lot of the latter on the edges of the frame.

Fortunately for you, my brief solo (as "Man in Suit") was cut, as was all of my (extensive) dancing, but I think the finished product is a lot of fun, and you can still spot me reacting to a thrown broom and in the closing tableau. Check it out for yourself below.

"Lost"

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A MaxFunster named Thomas di Napoli sent me this funny, charming short film he made. It concerns a bitter breakup and a missing sixth disc of a box set of "Lost." Be aware that there are no "Lost" jokes in the film, or if there were, I didn't get them, because I've never seen Lost.

Ask your local public radio station to carry The Sound of Young America

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Hey... I'm posting this to ask you to do me a favor.

Here's the deal: you probably noticed that in July of last year, The Sound of Young America started being distributed by Public Radio International. PRI are a bunch of really cool, nice folks in Minneapolis who are committed to what's next in public radio. They're the folks who decided to pick up This American Life after NPR turned down Ira Glass twice, for example.

Anyway, it was a really gutsy move for them to pick up a show produced by a 26-year-old in his apartment. Most people in public radio still think this is pretyt much insane.

I would love it if you would help me show all the doubters that they're 1000% wrong.

If you think the public radio station where you live is ready to be more awesome, please drop them a line. Write them a letter, send them an email or make a phone call. Tell them that you love public radio, and you love The Sound of Young America.

Lots of stations are looking for younger programming, but a lot of stations are also worried about alienating older listeners as well. Tell them that despite its name, The Sound of Young America is awesome for everyone. Tell them why you love it. Send them a link to a favorite podcast. Tell them that you're ready for something new.

Almost every public radio station's website has a contact page. If you can't find contact information for your favorite station, email me at jesse@maximumfun.org and I'll give you direct information. I've created a thread on the message board at maximumfun.org where lots of people are talking about their experiences doing this, and they're almost all positive. When you write, share! Public radio survives on listener donations, so they're all about listening to their audience. Tell them what you want!

This is fucking hilarious.

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Probably the only thing funnier than this video of John Legend and Stephen Colbert dueting on the song "The Girl is Mine," is the original video, with Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney on that fucking hayride.

Edit: a bigger Paul McCartney/MJ duet fan than I has pointed out that the hayride was in the video for the OTHER hit MJ/PM duet, Say Say Say.

Get DOWN, Poot!

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Who knew that Poot could dance?

(Special note: this will mean nothing to non Wire fans, and for that I apologize.)

Podcast: TSOYA: Patton Oswalt

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Show: 
Bullseye

Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt makes his record-setting twelve-kwajillionth visit to The Sound of Young America. He's now a movie star -- voicing the rat Remy in the new Pixar Animation film Ratatouille. He's also got a brand new comedy CD, called "Werewolves and Lollipops," out on the Sub Pop label. It's always a pleasure to talk to one of the masters of comedy.

Please share your thoughts on this program on our forum!

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Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally

You might also enjoy these past programs:
Patton Oswalt on KZSC's "The Collector's Item," talking about his favorite songs
"The Symphony" with Patton Oswalt and Masta Ace
Another old interview with Patton Oswalt (MP3)

Elsewhere:
Patton in the AV Club
Patton in Modest Proposal Magazine
Patton on Death Valley Driver.com

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The Roots f. Dice Raw & Peedi Crakk - Get Busy

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I feel like it's been six months since I've seen a hip-hop video *not* directed by Rik Cordero. He must be charging $20 apiece, two for $35.

Also: am I mistaken in thinking that ?uest is getting his Milton on?

Anyway, Kamal is killing it with that keyboard line, and Peedi and Thought kill it on the mike. Half Mandrill half Mandala? That's ill, BT. Also: Dice Raw gets line of the song award for "I'm kinda like W.E.B. Dubois... meets Heavy D and the Boys."

Richard Feynman Needs His Orange Juice

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Can there be any doubt that this man is the greatest sciencist of the 20th century?!

Can there be any doubt that this man has got to have his orange juice?

A THOUSAND TIMES NO!

via metafilter

Podcast: Tony Millionaire, creator of Maakies and The Drinky Crow Show

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Show: 
Bullseye

Tony Millionaire is the creator of the comic strip Maakies, which runs in alternative newspapers around the country. The strip has also birthed two television adaptations: a series of shorts that ran on Saturday Night Live in the 1990s, and now a new longer-form series which premiers later this year on Cartoon Network [adult swim]. The strips are known for their combination of distinctive and often complex line art and typically profane humor. The newest collection of Maakies strips is "The Maakies with the Wrinkled Knees."

Discuss this episode on the forum!
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If you enjoyed this show, try these ones:
New York Stories with Cartoonist Roz Chast
Tim & Eric
Joke Warfare with Terry Jones and Dino Stamatopolous

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