The Blog of Young America

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The Comedy of the Schlub


Sharon Waxman, a former TSOYA guest and a reporter with a great talent for finding the angle, has an interesting piece on the Judd Apatow ouvre in the Times today.

The question she introduces to the debate is an important one, and she quotes Mike White (the man behind such wonderful films as "School of Rock" and "The Good Girl"):

“To me, I definitely stand in the corner of wanting to give voice to the bullied, and not the bully. Here’s where comedy is catharsis for people who are picked on,” he said.

“There’s a strain in ‘Knocked Up’ where you sort of feel like something’s changed a little bit,” he continued. “My sense of it is that because those guys are idiosyncratic-looking, their perception is that they’re still the underdogs. But there is something about the spirit of the thing, that comes under the guise of comedy, where — it’s weird. At some point it starts feeling like comedy of the bullies, rather than the bullied.”

Apatow writes to Waxman:

“I think there is a nerd’s fantasy involved in many of these films. We all wish that somebody would take the time to get to know us, and love us, warts and all.”

He added: “I always wanted to be given a shot. And the sick part is this: No matter how many shots I get, I never completely lose the feeling of inadequacy that makes me wish I would get a chance to prove myself.”

The line between nerd-schlub and bully-schlub is a fine one. I think a great illustration might be the films of Adam Sandler, where while the protagonist is often a weird outsider type, and invariably a man-child, there's little attention paid to the real feelings that are so central to "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." Often in Sandler's films, acting like an emotionally stunted jerk is almost the reason for his triumph.

I haven't yet seen "Knocked Up," and I'm very excited to, but this will give me something to consider between now and then.

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse GO! Ep. 22: Florida Gators & Hawaiian Penguins

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In this week's Jordan Jesse GO!, we discuss vacations and more.

Jesse and Jordan are in a Scottish forest. They discuss the fact that Jesse forgot Jordan's birthday (and cannot name the birthdays of close family members). They also discuss the Fry Daddy.
Great Story
Jordan discusses the meanest he's ever been to someone at work.
Jordan Sings
Jordan performs "Hot Cross Buns."

Vacation Spots

We follow up on last week's discussion of vacation spots. Disneyworld, Disneyland, and Papaya King are discussed. Jordan talks about his upcoming working vacation in Hawaii, where he will meet a real penguin.
Pledge Break
May first through fifteenth is the MaxFun Drive. Donate.
Drinking Game

Listeners call in with some JJGo drinking game rules. We resolve to create an official game here on the forum.


A caller calls in -- he has just graduated college after 12 years.


* Donate to support
* What's a time you were mean to someone? What was a job or relationship that brought out the worst in you?
* What does one do when on vacation by oneself (besides masturbating in your hotel room)?
* Do you have questions for Rutger Hauer? What should we do with Rutger?


"Tied to a Million Things" by The Pale Pacific from Urgency


* Review the show on iTunes.
* Do you have a dispute Judge John Hodgman can solve on a future broadcast? Email it to us! Put Judge John in the subject line.
* Have personal questions for Jesse and Jordan? Call 206-984-4FUN and tell us what they are!
* Would you like to play Would You Rather with us on a future episode? Email us or give us a call at 206-984-4FUN.

Call 206-984-4FUN to share your thoughts on these ACTION ITEMS.

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Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records

The Sound of Young America and Jordan Jesse GO! are supported in part by Project Breakout!

Pledge Drive Update



Our first-ever pledge drive is going really fantastically well. We're giving away a bunch of prizes, including t-shirts, hobo illustrations, a copy of SkyMaul and a copy of The Areas of My Expertise, and a DVD box set of Get Smart. We're also getting lots of listeners stepping up and becoming supporters of And, of course, they'll all get Maximum Fun Packs in the mail, with their own Maximum Fun Club cards and more.

So far we've had (by my count) 34 new pledges -- most of which are monthly commitments. I want to thank the following folks for supporting the show thus far:
Sarah Z, Kyle H, Margaret H, David B, Craig S, Edward M, Mike D, Jeff M, Ayesha M, Marylee R, Reena R, David S, Guan Y, Tim A, Mark M, Scott S, Justin Z, Tom S, Brian S, Adam L, Nicholas L, Adam K, Chris F, Elias G, Matt A, Maryam M, Kristen S, Neal S, Elisabeth C, Zack S, Carol M, David L, Mason P, Daniel S, William R, Keren K, Rachel L, Charles F, Alex T, Ben W, Derek H, Joseph C, Aaron M & Linus B.

Not yet a donor? You still have time. I'm absolutely committed to keeping this drive to two weeks, but there's still a full week left.

If you haven't yet given, what's holding you back? Just haven't pulled the trigger yet?

Donate now.

This American Life TV show renewed


I think it was good and has room for improvement, and I'm betting it will just get better. Six more episodes.

Podcast: The College Years: Cartoons 4/18/02


The College Years is a look deep into the vaults of The Sound of Young America. Take a journey with us every week as we post a new program or two from our salad days.

In this week's second show, Gene, Jesse and Jordan discuss cartoons with animator Liz Holtzman and talk about how horrible TSOYA's listeners were at contests with Spike Decker of Spike & Mike's Film Festival.

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Kasper Hauser profile in The Coming


Megan Berru wrote a wonderful profile of Kasper Hauser in The Coming this week.

John Reichmuth — who wore sunglasses for the duration of the morning, distinguishing him from his twin brother, James — suggested I turn to fellow groupmates Dan Klein or Rob Baedeker if dealing with the four of them got overwhelming.

“We promise if we ever tell you something that’s not true,” says Dan, sensing my difficulty in assessing John’s dry sarcasm, “someone will say ‘that’s not true.’”

“That’s not true,” John quips, and the table laughs.


Off to wrassle some gators!


I'm going to Florida to tape the grand finale of the Project Breakout comedy contest. Looking forward to hanging out with Biz Ellis and Anne Beatts and all the great Breakout folks and contestants.

Don't worry, you'll get a new TSOYA in your podcasts feeds Thursday afternoon, though it won't show up here on the blog until this weekend or so.

In the meantime, remember -- it's pledge drive time! Donate!

Dr. Katz Live in LA

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At the Comedy Central Stage...

14 & 15 Monday and Tuesday


Jonathan Katz, Tom Snyder, H. Jon Benjamin and Laura Silverman plus special guests stars

Calling all Dr. Katz fans...he's back, and the office is open, but for better or worse, some things never change. Ben still hits on Laura to no avail, Laura still can't be bothered-by anything, and they both still manipulate Dr. Katz with ease as he treats some of his favorite patients from seasons past in this live re-enactment of the hit ground-breaking animated Comedy Central series.

Limited Seating
All Shows Are Free
Call for reservations
(323) 960-5519
All shows begin at
8:00PM (unless otherwise indicated)



I can die a happy man!

(to those who've asked, it's just my pic, I didn't write it or anything)

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