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Interview: Broke-Ass Stuart

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Within the first week I lived in San Francisco the second edition of Broke-Ass Stuart's Guide to Living Cheaply in San Francisco was shoved into my hands. For the first few months I took settling in it was my urban bible. I discovered great independent bookstores, free BBQ and, most importantly, cheap and good Mexican food. Now Broke-Ass Stuart's popular 'zine get a new life a book published by Falls Media. Now anyone coming to San Francisco, either moving here or as a tourist, can get their hands on one of the sharpest guides to discovering the best (and least wallet-damaging) parts of the city. Broke-Ass Stuart's book release party will happen at the Rickshaw Stop on Thursday, November 15th.

Ian Brill: Somewhere in between The Golden Gate Bridge and Gay Pride, one of the things San Francisco is best known for is the high cost of living. People have to stretch a dollar to pay rent. Was that the inspiration for the originally guide to living cheaply?

Broke-Ass Stuart: Yeah, that was totally one of the reasons. I was working at a candy store in North Beach, when I first came up with the idea and as you can imagine I wasn't really making too much money. I also knew that most of my friends were in the same shitty financial situation as myself, so it just made sense to write something for all of us that any broke person could use. But the idea really happened when a guy from my neighborhood growing up came into the candy store with his fiancé. I hadn't seen him for years and after chatting for awhile his fiancé gave me her card and told me to holler at them if I was in San Diego. I looked at her card and it said that she was a travel writer, and at that point I said to myself, "Shit, I wanna be a travel writer" and I decided to be one.

IB: I remember walking down Valencia St. and all the used bookstores seemed to have the original guide. A few even had displays for it. How did your promote yourself once your work hit the streets?

BB: Honestly, the zine practically promoted itself. There was a lot of word of mouth and I guess people would tell their friends about it and it would just get passed along that way. I met some girls from Ireland who had been given the zine by a friend who had spent the summer in SF. They were pretty excited to meet me; they thought I was way cooler than I really am. As for the stores, I would just go into them and be like "Hey. I do this really cool zine. Do you wanna carry it?" and then once they carried it I'd go back to them and talk them into putting it on display. I'd be like "You know Dog-Eared Books sells out of these every other week because it is on display at the counter. Maybe you could put it on display too." And a lot of times they would do it. Really though, I think a lot of the success has simply come from being nice to people. It's amazing how often people forget that if you are sweet and genuine with other humans, most of the time they will be sweet and genuine with you. It also helps that I have dimples :)

IB: What did you change for the new Falls Media version of the book?

BB: One of the greatest things about the guys at Falls Media is that I didn't have to compromise any of my style of shit-talking for them. In fact they encouraged it. That's one of the benefits of going with an independent publisher. Really the only thing I had to change was that I had to talk a little less shit on stores like Barnes & Noble and Borders because, well, the are gonna sell a lot of my book. So we just changed a few references so that I talked shit on other big box stores like Best Buy. As far as I'm concerned all those companies are the same anyway. They just run the little guy out of town.

Otherwise the guys at Falls Media have really enabled the guide to grow into a full book. Tons more info, tons more photos, and even some maps by the lovely and amazing Angie Hathaway. This thing is unbelievably cool. Is it ok to say that about my own shit? Oh well, it's true.

IB: This a question that will mean a lot to Jordan Jesse Go listeners: Ashkon will be playing your book release party. Do you expect a lot of hottubbin' during that late night?

BB: That's right! Ash was on their show huh? He's great isn't he? I'm a big fan of his music and he's a good friend of mine. I'm going to make a special request that he plays the song just to get all the ladies in the mood....ha ha ha. I don't know if there's gonna be any hottubbin' for me that night, I'll have to check with my girlfriend. Considering that she and I are staying somewhere without a hottub, maybe there will be some bathtubbin' on the late night. But probably not. Most likely I'll just pass out.

Broke-Ass Stuart can be found at his own website where you can read excerpts of the original 'zine. The book release party will happen Thursday Nov. 15th at the Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St. in, where else?, San Francisco.

Jay-Z on Charlie Rose


Philly Boy Roy & Patton Oswalt in Philadelphia


"Philly Boy Roy" Ziegler
, regular caller to The Best Show on WFMU, visits Patton Oswalt and the Comedians of Comedy at their Philadelphia tour stop. Luckily, Henry from Chunklet Magazine was running his video camera to capture this historic moment.

Podcast: JJGo Ep. 43: Jesse and Ira


Here's a mini-episode of JJGo. When Jesse interviewed Ira Glass for The Sound of Young America, Ira turned the tables on Jesse and asked questions about JJGo. We'll be back with a proper episode next week.


* 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 Office Staff on Strike


Podcast: TSOYA Classic: Way Into You.


We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Classics.

On this week's show Way Into You we're joined by comedian and author Greg Behrendt. We’re also got “The Fun Bunch”, Scott Aukerman and BJ Porter.

Greg Behrendt is a standup comedian and best-selling author of “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “It’s Called a Break Up Because It’s Broken”. He also acted as consultant for two episodes of the hit tv show “Sex and the City”.

Also on the show are Scott Aukerman and BJ Porter, otherwise known as comedy duo “The Fun Bunch”. These guys have written for “Mr. Show” and run the hugely successful alternative comedy showcase Comedy Death-Ray in the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in LA.

Please share your thoughts on the show in the comments section!

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Kasper Hauser in NYC: "An event of magnitude."


Our very good friends The Kasper Hauser Comedy Group are bringing their brilliant, off-kilter eye to New York City tonight and tommorow night. Kasper Hauser coming to NYC is a big enough deal for Time Out New York to have declared it "an event of magnitude."

Tonight (Thursday), they're performing their show SkyMaul. See SkyMaul CEO Jerry Ponda detail the decline of the SkyMaul company, and meet the mis-matched characters who are hoping to bring it back to the top. Features original sketches specific to the show, plus material drawn from SkyMaul the book. The show's at 10 at Ars Nova.

Tommorow (Friday), they're co-headlining The Longest Sketch Show Ever at the UCB in NY. The show starts at 10 and runs for 24 straight hours. It's part of the New York Comedy Festival. They'll be performing lots of classic Kasper Hauser sketches in a show that's completely different from SkyMaul.

Be there or be square!

Podcast: Coyle & Sharpe Ep. 23: Fish People


In the early 1960s, James P. Coyle and Mal Sharpe roamed the streets of San Francisco, microphone in hand, roping strangers into bizarre schemes and surreal stunts. Today, their humor is a cultural touchstone for artists as varied as Henry Rollins and The Upright Citizens Brigade.

These recordings are from the Sharpe family archive, which is tended by Mal's daughter, Jennifer Sharpe. You can learn more about Coyle & Sharpe on their website or on MySpace. Their recent box set is These 2 Men Are Imposters.

This week, Coyle and Sharpe question whether or not the "fish people" of California should be allowed to live as they do.

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Stand Up for Diversity!


Once a year, NBC holds a standup comedy contest for comics who aren't white. It's called "Stand up for Diversity." The cool part about this contest is that the winner actually gets a holding deal at NBC -- which if I'm not mistaken is what you get for winning Last Comic Standing, too. A year or two ago, our buddy Brent Weinbach (half-filipino, half-jew) won the contest, and while he didn't get a guest show on Joey, he did make some money and contacts out of it.

The big show is tonight in New York, and it's hosted by the very funny Jordan Carlos. So if you're not already going to see Kasper Hauser, see deets below.

Stand Up New York
236 W. 78th st just east of Broadway
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