Posts filed under “Humor”

Howard Stern: The Birthday Bash

What kind of crazy f____d up world do we live in where Howard Stern gets a better tribute than the Beatles?

One in which Adam Levine does a spot-on rendition of “Purple Rain” and establishes his rock and roll bona fides overnight.

I was planning on hearing this on the replay, but my flight was canceled by snow and I find myself…unable to stop listening.

What a crazy world we live in. Wherein Howard hypes this low-rent celebration of his sixtieth birthday and the straight media completely ignores it and more celebrities turn out and reveal themselves than at the Golden Globes, the “gold standard” for celebrity looseness.

But it’s not surprising, when Howard specializes in extracting nuggets from others we’re dying to know but are way too creeped out or afraid to ask. Like were your parents virgins when they married?

That was one of the questions Mr. Stern put to his parents twenty years ago, it was featured in the replay of bashes past on his second channel, Howard 101.

By putting it all out there himself, Howard has license to ask you…

How much money you make.

How frequently you have sex.

Whether you’re going to invite him to your wedding.

That’s what Howard asked Katie Couric. Who showed up with not only Whoopi Goldberg, but Barbara Walters. Along with Mariann from Brooklyn and so much of the rest of the Wack Pack.

But not Eric the Midget/Actor.

Don’t know who he is?

That’s just the point. In the Stern world, Eric is a star, with more airtime than a movie star. We know Eric and his peculiarities intimately, whereas the celebrities the mainstream media promotes are airbrushed to the point where when TMZ reveals the tiniest blemish, everybody goes OOH!

But we’re all imperfect, we all have blemishes, we all fart. Otherwise, why would we click the linkbait of stars without their makeup?

Jewel sang her rendition of Howard’s adolescent composition, “Silver Nickels and Golden Dimes.”

And Train may have covered “I Feel The Earth Move” at the Carole King/Musicares tribute, but here the band performed what we really wanted to hear, its spot-on take of Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On.”

And unlike the Grammys, Bon Jovi sang his big hit, the soundtrack to “Deadliest Catch,” “Wanted Dead Or Alive.”

John Mayer didn’t utilize the occasion to promote a single, but covered Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone.”

Although hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman made an appearance, and revealed why he made up with Jay Leno.

And at this late date, hours into the bash, a Google news search of “Howard Stern” reveals nothing other than the appearance of Chris Christie.

But not tomorrow. Tomorrow this will be a big story. When the herd media decides to go on it, since they’re interested in whatever stars do.

But not Howard Stern. Because they don’t want to consider him a star.

Because he’s not beautiful.

He’s not a great singer or actor.

He’s just like them.

And that’s why it’s Howard Stern’s time. You stay in the game long enough and your moment arrives.

In the cacophonous world we inhabit you only rise to the top and sustain if you’re constantly in the public eye, doing new things. And Howard’s creating twelve hours of new material every week, at an insanely high level, since he’s honed his craft for forty years.

Yes, while music focuses on the barely pubescent, when it lauds Miley Cyrus, with songs written by old men, the truth is it’s a long way to the top if you truly want to rock and roll.

And listening to the free stream on my computer it’s reminiscent of nothing so much as a 1970′s FM simulcast. Real, but at a distance.

I didn’t think I needed to be there.

But I was wrong.

Packed with celebrities, John Fogerty is singing “Bad Moon Rising” right now, the show is fast-paced, but loose. There’s none of the airiness or phoniness of network TV.

But that’s not hard to believe, because Howard Stern is the biggest star in America.

And you either know it or you don’t.

He’s America’s Number One Interviewer. A bigger star than Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’ Brien and David Letterman.

Because he’s got the audience.

But you don’t see the Sirius mindshare/listeners in the Nielsen reports.

But that does not mean it’s not real.

What do they say, you judge a star’s wattage by the fanaticism of its audience?

Just read the tweets.

This is bigger than the anniversary of the Beatles’ appearance on Ed Sullivan. Because this ain’t history, this ain’t calcified, Howard Stern’s Birthday Bash is life itself.

 

 

 

 

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Category: Humor, Weekend

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Tina Fey

Source: Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee If that doesnt load, try clicking this below

Category: Humor, Weekend

Follow Up: Daily Show Blowback

Last night’s Daily Show appearance (described here: How I Ended Up On The Daily Show) generated a surprising amount of interest. As much as I would like to claim responsibility for the buzz — my calm demeanor and rational approach as the cause — in reality, the person on the other side of the argument, Peter…Read More

Category: Humor, Media, Television, Wages & Income

TDS: Wage Against the Machine

Below is my Daily Show debut.

The segment was pretty good. As noted last night, we shot for 2 hours, and lots of great stuff was left on the cutting room floor. The discussion on higher paying retailers such as Costco and Trader Joes versus Walmart was actually interesting, and Samantha was really funny in that section. I guess if I wanted more screen time, I should have spoken about retarded people deserving to earn less than minimum wage (watch the video to understand).

Samantha Bee explores the devastating economic effects of raising the minimum wage to the poverty level.

(04:59) January 28, 2014

Category: Humor, Media, Television, Video, Wages & Income

How I Ended Up On The Daily Show

Tonight, after the opening segment but before Louis CK comes on, I am deeply involved in the middle segment of The Daily Show. How this came about is an interesting story — one that is strange enough to be worth sharing. [Update: Here]

I am either brave or foolish publishing this before the show airs, but I don’t think I made too big an arse of myself. Regardless, it would not be the first time I did so on Television in my professional career.

This episode came about thanks to a post I did for Bloomberg View on the minimum wage. I was at a hotel in Hartford, waiting to give pension fund investors my Romancing Alpha schtick. I had 90 minutes to kill, so I banged out this commentary titled How McDonald’s and Wal-Mart Became Welfare Queens. The story of the McResource hotline had already broken, and I wanted to address it from a perspective of a corporate subsidy from taxpayers. (The follow up are here and here) [Update: This interview was on December 18th, long before tonight's SOTU address, which hit on many of the same issues]

I don’t use a publicist, so you can imagine my pleasant surprise when an email came in from the Daily Show producers asking me questions about the minimum wage and corporate subsidy column. We chatted a few times, the idea got kicked around by the writers and producers . . . and then the call came. “Hey, can we shoot you next week?” My response: Sure. (Why didn’t I get a haircut?)

This wasn’t the first time I had been tagged by them — When Alan Greenspan retired from the Fed, they reached out (I put them in touch with Kudlow & Cramer instead). And it looked as if Bailout Nation might have landed me in the guest chair, but that never quite materialized. So this was quite a lot of fun, and felt like a long time coming.

As the photos below show, they arrived in our midtown office with tons of equipment. It took over 90 minutes for them to set up.

Shortly afterwards, Samantha Bee showed up. She is a combination of hilarious and delightful. We settle into the chairs, and she begins to fire questions at me. For this 4 minute segment, we shot for two hours.  The hardest part was not cracking up. Her facial expressions and cacophony of shrieks, whines and laughs are infectious. I ruined a few takes breaking up laughing.

A few interesting things I learned about The Daily Show over the course of our shooting — first, they don’t want to tell you who is on the other side of the argument. I had suggested to them that Peter Schiff was a perfect guy for this, as he had been haranguing Wal-Mart shoppers in the parking lot (See this and this).  The next night at dinner with a group of media folks and strategists they confirmed that it was indeed Schiff on the other side of the debate (he apparently told them). Fun!

Second, it appears that TDS has some smart lawyers who’ve thought this thing through. All of the answers were recorded following each question in one continuous segment. When I screwed up or ruined a shot, they had to go back to ask the question again, with the response immediately following in the same shot.

In other words, they don’t cut up your answers or pull them out of context. Question, Answer, Question, Answer. I assume this keeps litigation from angry remote guests to a minimum.

Over the course of two hours, its pretty easy to say something stupid — especially when one of the funniest people on earth is two feet away making faces and saying very funny things. I hope I didn’t embarass myself. We”ll find out at 11:06pm or so.

Anyway, here are some of the snaps I grabbed with the phone. The last one is a spoiler so its after the jump . . .

 

They brought a ton of equipment, which raised eyebrows on our floor
TDS equiptment hall 2

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Setting up in my office, Camera 1
TDS office set up 1

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Setting up in my office, Camera 2
TDS office set up 2

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Lights, Cameras, Electrical, Booms
TDS office set up 3

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Samantha Bee was delightful
TDS Samantha Bee

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She worked the entire time, tweaking & rewriting lines. She is quite the Pro
TDS Shes a pro

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SPOILER

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Category: Humor, Television, Wages & Income

The Money Oscars at Davos

Mountain Few
A group of the world’s wealthiest people gather in an secluded mountain enclave to discuss concerns over income inequality. (02:08)

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Mountain Few – The Money Oscars at Davos
Jason Jones scores an all-access pass to some of the most horrific chronicling of human misery seen in decades, and Sam Bee parties in Davos. (03:08)

Category: Humor, Television, Video

New Population of the US in Units of Canadas

Source: Stephen’s Lighthouse

Category: Digital Media, Humor, Research

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jay Leno

Source: Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

Category: Humor, Weekend

Bad British Sports Commentary

These are hilarious:   Bad British NFL Commentary   Bad British Baseball Commentary   Bad British Basketball Commentary

Category: Humor, Sports, Weekend

Moral Hazard: Slumdogs vs. Millionaires

Some argue that income inequality isn’t systemic enough:

Slumdogs vs. Millionaires

(04:14)

Why some media lauds the end of unemployment insurance fraud, which is totally different from Wall Street fraud.

Slumdogs vs. Millionaires – Moral Hazard

(04:59)

January 9, 2014

Category: Humor, Video, Wages & Income