Speaking of my pals at Radiolab...
Jad and Robert asked if I could visit their show to talk about one of my favorite comedy sketches of all time, Kurt & Kristen's "Kristen Schaal is a Horse."
It's in the intro to their newest episode, "Loops." If you're one of the 5% of podcast listeners who isn't already subscribed to Radiolab, I've embedded it below. Above, by the way, is the original video I saw of the sketch.
(Kristen, by the way, is also a past Sound of Young America guest.
Jensen Karp of The Hype Men was kind enough to invite me on his new Kevin Smith-affiliated podcast Get Up On This to talk about Jay-Z and Kanye West's new album Watch the Throne. It's a solid ninety minutes of rap nerdery, and features not just Jensen and me, but also 88 Keys (who produced a track on the record) and hip-hop legend slash past TSOYA guest Bun B of UGK. I had a lot of fun getting in deep on a very interesting record, and I hope you'll give the show a listen.
Jordan and I are the guests on today's Adam Carolla Show. You can check out the show here. We had a blast as usual. It's a pleasure to share a set of mics with a guy as hilarious as Carolla is.
We talked on the show about childbirth, about Adam's conviction that movie stars should not have to prostrate themselves before children and geeks, and more.
If you want to hear Adam on The Sound, you can check that out here.
(By the way - there's been some controversy around Carolla that cropped up since we recorded this. I didn't hear the show in question, but I've heard many Carolla shows. He says plenty of stuff I don't agree with, and sometimes things that genuinely bother me, but I think he's a decent guy and not hateful. Saying stupid and outrageous stuff sometimes is his job as a talk radio guy and comedy guy. I think he's really smart, funny and interesting, and in my personal experience, a nice, considerate man. So that's my position on that.)
For all of my life and most of his, my father has struggled with a condition called post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. It was precipitated by a combination of childhood trauma and military service. It has changed the way he relates to everyone, including my family.
Over the past twenty years or so, my dad's engaged his PTSD and gotten much better. He certainly still has plenty of problems, but a combination of lifestyle changes, work with refugees from the bombing he was part of, medication, talk and cognitive-behavioral therapy have made a huge impact in his life, and in the lives of the rest of my family.
A few weeks ago, my friend Paul Gilmartin came by our studio to talk with us about PTSD and how it's affected my dad's life as a sufferer and mine as a family member. You can hear the resultant episode of Paul's show The Mental Illness Happy Hour here.
I hope we can have some effect for sufferers and their families, first and foremost. If you may need help, get it. This is especially true for veterans - the VA can be a nightmare, I know from personal experience, but getting help is worth it. It can give you a fuller, richer life.
My maternal grandfather had PTSD (they called it "shell shock" then), and he was never able to get help. It helped break up his marriage and destroy his relationship with his kids. It doesn't have to go like that. My brothers and I have a wonderful relationship with our dad, and that's in large part thanks to the hard work he's done engaging and addressing this condition.
Secondarily, I hope we can make a little bit realer the consequences of war. PTSD isn't just common among soldiers and sailors. It also affects war's civilian victims. War changes your brain, whether you're a soldier or just a regular person caught up in a traumatic situation. For every soldier or civilian who loses a leg to a bomb, many are traumatized mentally in ways that will scar them for life. This is the cost of war that is not talked about, but must be.
Now, I will say this... this all sounds very heavy, but humor, at least in my family, is one of the most important coping mechanisms. It's true for me, it's true for my dad, and it's true for my Stepmother, the funniest person in my family, who grew up in the troubles of Northern Ireland. Paul is a hilarious guy, and I remember getting in some good laughs among the serious business talks. Do give the show a listen.
Looking good, Simon. Looking good.
(Simon Pegg, by the way, will be on The Sound of Young America in July - and if you want your own awesome shirt, visit The MaxFunStore!.)
I've had some fun doing some friends' and colleague's shows lately, and talking up our new WTF project, so I thought I'd share some of what we've done.
Jordan and I were guests on the Ann Arbor Library's podcast, and talked about where JJGo comes from, and about how new media has changed our careers and those of the people around us.
I visited with past Sound guest Oliver Wang on his new podcast, and we talked about the history of The Sound, and about music that doing the show has introduced to me.
Our pal Matt Belknap from Never Not Funny visited The Wolf Den podcast, which is about the business of podcasting, and Marc Maron dropped in to chat about WTF on public radio. Jeff Ulrich, the show's host, described me as a poet, a player and a pimp, iirc, so I feel obliged to link that up.
So, we're all caught up! Enjoy.
A tip of the cap to the kind people at Fast Company magazine, who have included me on their list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. I think I disappointed them when I filled out their creativity survey and said that I don’t really think of myself as creative or a businessperson… but they did like that I said when I’m blocked creatively I go to the thrift store. Anyway, I’m proud to be among genuinely great people like Conan O’Brien, Oprah Winfrey and Tina Fey. Oh, and my personal hero, Mr. Ryan Seacrest from Television, USA.
If you want to check out the little piece about me in print, it’s on page 121 of the June issue of Fast Company, which should be hitting newsstands now. Conan’s on the cover (I couldn’t make the photo shoot, so they had to go to their backup plan.)
(Special thanks to Esra Roise, who created the above illustration, and really captured my sparkling eyes and 1 1/2 chins.)