As some Put This On readers may know, I’m a public radio host by trade. This week, on my show Bullseye with Jesse Thorn, I got to talk to one of my all-time heroes: Mel Brooks. It was an absolutely amazing experience, and I hope you’ll take the time to give it a listen. If you enjoy the show, subscribe to it free in iTunes.
So sad to hear the news that one of the great American singers, George Jones, has passed away. I wrote this piece for my NPR show, Bullseye, a week or two ago. It’s about one of his greatest tunes, “The Grand Tour.”
Jesse in San Francisco at SF Sketchfest
As many of you know, Put This On is my side gig - in my day-to-day life, I’m a public radio host and comedy podcaster. I’ll be bringing that side of my work to San Francisco next weekend for SF Sketchfest, and I hope all you Bay Area PTO readers will stop by, if only to see me dress in a bailiff outfit based on that of Bull from Night Court.
Friday night, I’ll be at the Marines Memorial Theater for Judge John Hodgman. John, who you may know from The Daily Show, Bored To Death, Community or the Mac v. PC ads will be live-judging disputants from around the Bay Area. We’ve got some great cases lined up, and it’s always a lot of fun. We’ll also be joined by our friend John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats. Tickets are available here.
On Saturday afternoon, I’ll be at the Punchline, hosting a live recording of my public radio show Bullseye. I’ll be interviewing Roman Mars, the creator of the brilliant design show 99% Invisible, and Boots Riley of The Coup, who’ll also be performing a few songs. Peter Hartlaub of the Chronicle will provide some San Francisco-themed film recommendations, and Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program) and Erin Foley (Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central, etc) will be doing standup. I will also be speaking on the important subject of The Luniz hit record “I Got Five On It (Bay Ballas Remix)”. Get your tickets for that show here.
This week’s episode of my public radio show, Bullseye, is a great place to start if you’ve never heard the show. Bullseye is all about culture that’s worth your time, and this episode is a doozie.
It features two great interviews.
First I talk with Benedict Cumberbatch, who stars as Sherlock Holmes in the brilliant show Sherlock. He talks about how being abducted in Africa changed his life, among other things. In addition to Sherlock, Cumberbatch will be the voice of Smaug the dragon in the next Hobbit film, and the baddie in the upcoming Star Trek movie.
Then I talk with the documentarian Errol Morris, who describes why he thinks it’s OK that when all is said and done, people may forget about his amazing documentaries (like The Thin Blue Line, The Fog of War and Cheap, Fast & Out Of Control), but remember his equally amazing Miller High Life commercials.
Plus Jason Kottke recommends some of his favorite things on the internet ever, and Craig Finn of The Hold Steady tells us how The Replacements showed him what rock music could be. And I recommend the simple, loving joy of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready.”
Here’s the best of the first year of my comedy game show International Waters. Every month, a team of comics from the US takes on a team of comics from the UK in a pop culture quiz. But mostly they just make off-color jokes. I host the show from my luxury recording yacht. It’s a blast.
I hope all you Bay Area PTO readers will stop into Wingtip on Wednesday. We’ll have a couple hundred handmade pocket squares for sale at crazy prices, plus Wingtip will be kicking off their annual sale. Should be a lot of fun, and a great place to spend that Christmas check from grandma. And it’s just a couple blocks from Montgomery BART, in the shade of the Transamerica Pyramid. No guarantee that 80s Willie Brown will be there, but we’d love it if he showed.
I hope some New Yorkers will stop by on Thursday. You’ll learn something, and I’ve also “curated” some cool vintage menswear stuff for the shop.
I’ll be presenting my talk “Make Your Thing” on Thursday as part of Etsy’s pop-up holiday shop in New York City. It’s about making independent media in the internet age, for fun and profit.
The show’s at 6PM, and is at 131 Greene Street between Houston and Prince. Come by, listen, ask questions, buy something vintage or handmade. The talk is free!
And if you’re around during the day, my friend Kevin Allison from Risk! will be doing a storytelling workshop from 2:30-4:00 and my pal Dallas Penn from Internets Celebrities will be doing a workshop on his own special brand of DIY (like making Big Macs from stuff on the 99 cent menu) from 5:15-6:00. It will be fun, I promise.
Always dress well when stuffing an entire fluffernutter sandwich into your mouth on stage for comic effect.
On the podcast Necessary & Sufficient, host Evan Forman sends his guests an envelope containing two index cards, each with a single word. They then open the envelope live on the air. When I appeared on episode 100 of the show, the words were “fashion” and “style.” A discussion followed.