I'm opening up the floor to suggestions once again.
Here are some guidelines...
The guest cannot be ironic
The guest should be doing interviews for some reason -- either they're not hard to get hold of, or they have a book out, or they're on tour, or whatever. This time stuff is much better when it's a month or six weeks in the future, for logistical reasons.
I always double-welcome ideas for awesome women guests, because I try to fight against the show's sausage-party tendencies.
They should be awesome.
Also, bonus question: should I book the Gorrillaz? Like, the cartoon group? Not sure what to think of this possibility that has crossed my path.
Oh man, we got some great stories in response to our challenge -- tell us your most Larry David-esque true tale, and win a copy of "Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Book."
Mine would be a combination of two experiences, each happening at the same local restaurant, in the same bathroom.
It was tough to choose two winners, but here they are. Feel free to add further stories in the comments.
"This particular restaurant employs (if that's the correct word) attendants who stand conspicuously in the bathroom, offering a selection of colognes and sundries to folks like me who are simply looking for a place to pee. The most manipulative part is that they remove the paper towels so the guy has to hand you one, provided you actually wash your hands, and you end up drying your hands directly over his tip bowl. Now, I'm all for giving gratuities, but not to a guy who steals the paper towels and then offers me one!
The first time there, knowing the guy was standing only a few feet away and waiting for me to finish, I succumbed to what my mom refers to as "shy bladder syndrome" (I call it "stage fright") and just couldn't produce. I returned to my table, bladder bursting, and told my wife I'd be right back. She looked at me quizzically as I walked out of the restaurant and across the street to find a less daunting restroom.
A few months later, we returned to the restaurant. Remembering the previous situation, I hatched a plan.
I went to the bathroom and was relieved (pun intended) that the same attendant chose to wait outside this time. Of course he returned in time to hand me a paper towel but, when he did, I pulled a cloth table napkin from my back pocket, smiled brightly and said, "Thanks, I got it covered!" and dried my hands.
Since I do believe in gratuities and I know he needs to make a living, I dropped a couple of dollars in his tip bowl. My terms, my tip."
An anonymous listener writes:
Shortly after I was hired a bunch of little meetings scattered throughout the day were set up. They turned out, as meetings tend to, dragging on for hours. I soon realized that I was going to need to call a series of meetings, but I wanted to distinguish them from regular meetings by being short and staying on track.
I work in a cube farm and the cubicles are sectioned off in pods. I decided that I should call them powwows. It was a brilliant idea, powwows in the pod. It just just rolled off the tongue. I went around and started asking everyone if they could make it to the powwow.
Then, it happened. I asked the colleague with American-Indian heritage if she could make it to the powwow. There was an awkward pause while I realized that the term powwow was the wrong term. I tried to back peddle for 10 minutes, but that made matters worse. The backpedaling made it look like I intentionally went out of my way to be mean. I got the evil eye of evil eyes.
Later on that very day, I used the phrase "I didn't mean to steal your thunder" and got the same stink eye intensified by 10X. I had never thought of "stealing your thunder" as an American-Indian saying, but apparently it is. When I think about it makes total sense, but it never occurred to me. I so thought I was going to get fired for some discrimination issue. Luckily, HR never called.
Now I call them meetings just like everybody else."
Salon's audiofile, home of rave reviews of TSOYA, is doing a national song contest called Song Search, with selections chosen by a murderer's row of music bloggers.
Amnest International gathers UK's comedy stars (including The Might Boosh, Peter Cook, Dylan Moran, Eddie Izzard) for their "Secret Policeman's Ball" podcast.
This American Life: Stories of Hope & Fear Preview
NPR talks to James Spooner, the nice guy behind AfroPunk: The Rock & Roll Nigger Experience. But did they interview him while wearing only their underwear in a public place? Me and Jordan did.
Then one of this country's funniest men, the great Jack McBrayer.
Then some of the metalest metallers around, Mastodon.
Four months is a long time to wait, but at least we know it's a'comin'. Shout Factory! will be distributing Zach Galifianakis' live DVD, and they always do a great job with these things. Here's the non-standup details:
Interspersed throughout the DVD is a remarkably emotional, hilarious interview between Zach’s “twin brother” Seth and Brian Unger (NPR’s “Day To Day” satirical reporter, “The Daily Show”), shedding light on how Zach came to be where he is today. There is also a glimpse into Zach’s bizarre personal life as the camera’s follow him off-stage. Bonus features include deleted scenes and extra behind the scenes footage from the show, and more.
And bonus features:
"The Awkward Slapping Bit, Zach Shaves & Outtakes from Brian Unger’s Interview With Seth Galifianakis"
I think this the funniest book of the year, and one of the funniest of the decade. It is brilliant satire. Many great people, like George Saunders, Patton Oswalt, John Hodgman, Fred Willard, David Foster Wallace and Dave Barry agree with me.
So I am offering a money-back guarantee: if you buy this book, and you do not think it is fucking hilarious, mail it to me, and I will refund your purchase price. This money will come out of my own personal pocket.
This is an amazing gift for the comedy fan on your list, even if that comedy fan is you. It is dark, delightful, silly, surprising... just buy it now.
AND TO TOP IT ALL OFF...
If you buy the book today, release day, add a comment to this post.
One random person who buys the book will receive a copy of "SCTV: THE BEST OF THE EARLY YEARS" on DVD... a three-DVD set that retails for many more dollars than SkyMaul (which is only about ten bucks).
It's that easy, folks! GO!