Who has time to read the Bhagavad Gita these days, am I right? Nobody! So after you towel off and flip the DairyFairy on, snuggle into your Perspex easy chair and listen to this excellent episode with party-animal/visual artist, Will Storie. Will is a great guest, so never mind the detractor plaque and oh no, here comes the ratcloud.
George Washington: Patient, supportive, grounded, and a true leader on stage. Knows the right time to be aggressive, knows the right time to step away from the scene.
Theodore Roosevelt: Charismatic. Can tend to go broad. Plays aggressively, but just short of steam-rolling so it works. Speaks…
I’m jealous of this idea. Two (update, three) thoughts:
1) travesty that FDR doesn’t make this list, but hopefully he’ll get his shot at the invite auditions later this year.
2) Worst Presidential improviser is definitely, definitely Andrew Jackson. Hates every idea that isn’t his own, and his own ideas are terrible. Needs to be the high status guy in every scene. Kills his scene partner at the drop of a hat.
update, third thought:
3) GWB making the team over Lincoln is the sort of thing that Lincoln would take gracefully, but all his practice group teammates are incredulous and pissed off. Harry Truman would probably write a scathing anonymous blog post about it.
AMERICA'S BLACK PRESIDENTS: A Comprehensive Review
RUFUS JONES (1937-1941)
Our youngest President at 7 years old, elected on a wave of musical, toe-tapping enthusiasm, and also rampant anti-communism (as evidenced in his slogan, “Put out the Reds, Put in the Blacks”). Pros: In the face of Senate allegations that he don’t do nothin, little Rufus Jones proved his mettle with a thoroughly charming tap dance. Cons: Gave his Mom co-President status, which is cute, but highly unconstitutional. Took the locks off chicken coops and removed fences around the watermelon patches, a flagrant infringement of property rights. Generally validated exceptionally destructive and hokey black stereotypes, which not even relentless song and dance could assuage, and may have, in fact, accentuated.
MAYS GILLIAM (2005-2009)
In one whirlwind campaign, Gilliam rose to President from his humble perch as an Alderman from the part of DC where “you can get shot while you’re getting shot.” Pros: His inspirational message, “If America was a woman, then America would be a big tittied woman, and everybody loves a big tittied woman.” Earned a place on Mt. Rushmore, complete with a 30-foot wide diamond earring. Cons: His election inspired a massive exodus of terrified white people from the suburbs, literally running from their homes, screaming. His behavior, such as initiating a hip hop dance party during a campaign event, was considered ‘unconventional’ by the pundit class, but is that his problem or ours, really, when you think about it?
TOM BECK (1997-1998)
Pros: Guided America through the world-threatening Wolf-Biederman comet crisis. Authorized the “Messiah” project to send Americans into space and launch nuclear weapons at the comet. Cons: Messiah only split Wolf-Biederman into two separate comets, and missiles fired to divert the comets had no effect. No warm, gravelly speech can overcome the facts- Beck presided over the loss of millions of American lives, and every effort he made to actually beat the disaster, other than prayers and rhetorical flourishes of confidence, fell short. Adding insult to injury, Beck was impeached, and another President, with a different team of crack astronauts, successfully handled a virtually identical meteor threat just two months later. DAVID PALMER (2002-2006)
David Palmer protected America in an exceptionally convoluted, turbulent era. Pros: Foiled a nuclear bomb threat, a toxic virus threat, and a loose nuke threat. Placed a singular, almost obsessive faith in the judgments and abilities of CTU super agent Jack Bauer, the toughest dude on the planet. Stared down the wimps, jerks, naysayers and troublemakers in Washington, again and again. Cons: Arrested and tortured the head of the NSA; detained journalists; constantly withheld information from the public, citing risk of “panic”; health care plan failed due to sex-related blackmail; his ex-wife Sherry indirectly murdered a man and was later shot by that man’s wife, ruining Palmer’s reelection prospects. The President went on to pitch for All State Insurance.
BILL CLINTON (1993-2001)
According to Toni Morrison, Clinton was “our first black president,” which is incorrect- he was our third black president. Pros: Peace and prosperity. Cons: Personal moral failures, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Overall, he set a good example that allowed for the early 21st-century flowering of Black presidencies.
WARREN G. HARDING (1921-1923)
An African American by the “one drop” rule, Harding played poker at the White House, fathered an illegitimate daughter, and ignored an epidemic of government corruption. Pros: Nice guy. Cons: His gambling, philandering and laziness reinforced hateful stereotypes and set back the presidential ambitions of African-Americans for generations.
BARACK OBAMA (2009-present)
An inspirational figure, as millions of Americans celebrated the historic election of America’s Most Recent Black President. Pros: Health care reform, successful auto bailout, and the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Cons: Yet to lead a rousing dance number on the Senate floor, and why doesn’t he ever give Jack Bauer a call?
This Can't Be It - Episode 21 "The Grave of Derek Pureheart"
Always a treat to talk with Sean O’Reilly and Keith Kingbay- I’d rate this a pretty good conversation, successful podcast. Some personal history/silliness at the beginning, some of my UCB history at the end, talking about ambitions and idols in the early-mid, and lots of comedy theory and improv theory etc. in the later-mid.
If you only want to sample, I’d really like you to listen to minutes 36-45, there are some useful thoughts there about hateful or failure-based comedy, and how it grows from the same principle as silly comedy and truthful comedy, too.
also, at 1:25 you get the story and specifics of a huge audition I dodged because the script was, to this day, the worst thing I’ve ever read. Pretty fun and horrifying, I’d say.
and check out minute 49 for, in Sean’s words, “the best definition of irony I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Episode 21! Keith and Sean talk to their friend/ mentor Will Storie and about comedy, life, improv, history, silliness, an amazing definition of irony, Plato/ Socrates, and most everything else. Also, Sean feels better about life and makes a personal appeal