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Dick Cavett


Don't miss this wonderful appreciation of Dick Cavett in Slate today. The interviewing heroes I grew up with are certainly David Letterman and Terry Gross, but Cavett is the model for what I aspire, one day far away, to maybe be. He was a moderately succesful comic who created a new kind of talk show. Clive James writes in the Slate piece:

The talk-show format depends on a comic monologue at the top of the show, perhaps a few sketches, and then the star interviews. Cavett's format dissolved the humor into the interviews, and much of his wit was unscripted. The idea that one man could be both playful and serious was never deemed to be quite natural on American television, and Cavett was regarded as something of a freak even at the time. Eventually he paid the penalty for being sui generis in a medium that likes its categories to be clearly marked.

I've been watching a lot of the DVD box sets of Cavett that Shout! Factory has been putting out, and they're a wonderful lesson on interviewing. Cavett is fantastically funny without ever imposing on his guests, and he actually seems interested in ideas. The tone can sometimes verge on pretense, but that's sort of a hazard of aiming high, I think.

Here's a wonderful clip of Cavett interviewing Woody Allen in 1971. After watching a clip from "Take the Money and Run," Cavett asks about an alley seen in the film. Woody mentions it was behind the hungry i in San Francisco, and Cavett is excited to have recognized it from his performing days.

"I thought so! I know that alley. I used to go there after my act, when I was appearing at the hungry i. I would go there, and meet the audience, and we would both be sick, occaisionally."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Recipe for a good day.


Sun outside + light housework + Staple Singers on the stereo = a great Saturday

The Sound of Young America is coming to SEATTLE!


The Sound of Young America premiers on Puget Sound Public Radio's KXOT 91.7 FM Sunday, February 25th at noon!

The show will have a four-week trial run in the timeslot, and further airings will depend on your support. If you or someone you know lives in Seattle, please support the show by listening, telling friends, and above all letting the station know how you feel about the show!

Puget Sound Public Radio are, much to their credit, working hard to create a distinct personality for KXOT, rather than simply airing the same-old-same-old NPR shows you can already hear on KUOW. Taking a flier on The Sound of Young America is part of that effort.

I'm so grateful to KXOT for this opportunity, which hopefully will qualify as a Big Break for The Sound!!

Here's a press release -- if you yourself are a member of the press, or you know press in Sea-Tac, please share!

The Fuggedabuddies!


Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Jon Glaser and Jon Benjamin as The Fugettabudies!

High Five Contest: An Ongoing Delight


If you're just waking up from a coma, like that one Mel Gibson movie, the High Five Contest is pretty much the greatest contest ever. We are giving away lots of great stuff, and all you have to do is take pictures of you high fiving people. There are lots of bonus points to be earned -- high five a child or animal, high-five in front of a monument or tourist attraction, etc.

Marc Maron is sick.


I don't know if I am a sucker, or a wuss, or both. I do know that I am sick. Not mentally sick though that is arguable. I mean I've got a cold or what they call a cold these days which is an illness that starts like a cold and then becomes sort of flu like in the head and body and then turns into a deep bronchial nightmare that reveals our inner greenness that might or might not turn into pneumonia and then turns back into a cold again and trails off with a little flu-ishness and in the worst case just turns into cancer and kills you.


Love that guy.

Human Giant - Illusionators


Human Giant's show on MTV is fast approaching.

The Sound of Young America Classics


I'm proud to announce a new addition to the Sound of Young America lineup: TSOYA Classics. Fifty-five interviews and programs from our archive -- post College Years, pre Podcasting era. After two years of people asking me to put the RealAudio archive into MP3 format, I finally have. You can find the shows for download here on the web, or here in iTunes. If you prefer to use another feed reader, the feed is

You can hear, among others: Patton Oswalt, Eugene Mirman, Greg Proops, Davy Rothbart, Todd Barry, Ted Alexandro, They Might Be Giants, Dick Dale, Neal Pollack, Sarah Silverman & more. If you do use iTunes, remember that iTunes will only automatically download the most recent program, unless you tell it otherwise.

One question for you: iTunes only keeps the most recent 100 or so podcasts in its feed. Shall I add the older podcasts, which have fallen off the list, to the new TSOYA Classics feed?

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