Satire and Activism, with Harry Shearer!
In this two-part episode, we hear from some of the funniest, sharpest social critics on the comedy scene today. Listen and laugh with Brian Janosch, Negin Farsad, Paul Krassner and Harry Shearer!
You know Harry Shearer as Derek Smalls, bass guitarist for Spinal Tap. You know him for the many characters he voices on The Simpsons. You know his many movies, including several with Christopher Guest, like A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration. You may also know he does a weekly radio program, Le Show, heard on public radio stations nationwide (and available as a podcast via iTunes, stitcher, or from WWNO radio). His satirical music is often featured on Le Show: Waterboarding USA is also found on his 2007 album Songs Pointed and Pointless, and the online video was nominated for a Webby Best Music Video award. His “Dewey Gordon” song Least Untruthful Answer is from the June 16, 2013 Le Show. His award winning documentary on the flooding of New Orleans, The Big Uneasy, was featured at many film festivals. In 1998, he was granted the Upton Sinclair Award from the Liberty Hill Foundation. You can follow him on twitter @theharryshearer.
Paul Krassner founded The Realist in 1958 and published, edited, and wrote for the magazine on and off for more than 40 years. All editions of The Realist, which included interviews with and writings from numerous notables including Norman Mailer, Groucho Marx, Michael Moore and many others, can be found at The Realist Archives Project. He edited Lenny Bruce’s autobiography, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People, and based the name of his own autobiography, Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut, on a line from his FBI file. He co-founded the Yippies with Abbie Hoffman, took LSD with Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey, and testified at the Chicago 8 conspiracy trial. He continues to write occasional columns for AlterNet, The Huffington Post and other outlets; his writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, Mother Jones, the Nation, the Los Angeles Times, High Times and many other publications. In May 2004, he received an ACLU Uppie (Upton Sinclair) Award for dedication to freedom of expression. In December, 2010, the writers’ organization PEN honored him with their Lifetime Achievement Award. You can order copies of his books, get links to recent articles, and order the poster-sized, digitally-colored edition of the Disneyland Memorial Orgy on his website.
Negin Farsad is the co-writer, co-director, and co-star of The Muslims Are Coming, a hilarious look at a group of Muslim comedians who travel the country performing standup and confronting Islamaphobia. She was named one of the 50 Funniest Women by the Huffington Post, and was named a 2013 TED Fellow – her TEDTalk focuses on her work in Social Justice Comedy (see her recent article on the influence of social justice comedy, “Dirtbag Comedians Will Inherit the Earth”). Prior to The Muslims Are Coming she produced and directed the documentary Nerdcore Rising, and has also produced, wrote and/or directed Comedy Central’s The Watch List, MTV’s Detox, and the PBS animated series 1001 Nights. She earned a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts and Government from Cornell University and two Masters degrees in public policy from Columbia University (she’s really smart!). Follow her on twitter @NeginFarsad.
Brian Janosch is a writer-at-large at The Onion, and a co-founder of Cultivated Wit. He is relatively confident he’s the only person in America who has worked for Field and Stream, Parenting, Maxim then The Onion consecutively. At The Onion, he spent four years as deputy managing editor coordinating the writers room, including leading production of The Onion Book of Known Knowledge. The website Fuck You Congress is now hoping it will not need updating soon; Comedy Hack Day, on the other hand, is expecting to hold several 2014 events. And Rush Limbaugh still doesn’t even want to be alive anymore. Follow Brian on twitter @bjanosch and @CultivatedWit.
Music from the show includes Christmas With the Devil and Just Begin Again by Spinal Tap, Pro Choice by Julie Goldman, Psychedelic Relic by Roy Zimmerman, Draft Dodger Rag by Phil Ochs, Social Media Protest Song by John Glass and James Elliott, and Mother of Pearl by Nellie McKay.Brian Janosch, Harry Shearer, Le Show, Negin Farsad, Paul Krassner, podcast, The Muslims Are Coming, The Onion, The Realist