Jun 25, 2014
Some of my favorite Mr. Media guests over the past eight years have been the standup comedians. Robert Schimmel. Lisa Lampanelli. Ralphie May. Eddie Griffin. Judy Tenuta. Marc Maron.
MIKE SACKS podcast excerpt: "Mel Brooks was incredibly nice. On, but not obnoxiously. Just a sweet guy. And obviously brilliant. It was a real treat getting to talk to him."
I love having them as guests because they are smart, funny and always faster on the word play than I could ever be. But I’m wondering if I missed the boat by not focusing on comedy writers.
That’s what Mike Sacks has done and done well. He just published his second collection of interviews with comedy writers, Poking A Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers. It’s a sequel of sorts to his last book, And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Humor Writers About Their Craft.
MIKE SACKS podcast excerpt: "Comedy has just exploded since the first book (And Here's the Kicker) in 2009. There are now a ton of websites that devote themselves to comedy -- not just producing funny material, but studying comedy -- comedy journalism. There is tremendous interest in this sort of thing."
In the first book, Sacks had a lineup I thought would be hard to top, including Buck Henry, Stephen Merchant, Harold Ramis, Merrill Markoe, Bob Odenkirk, Marshall Brickman, David Sedaris, Robert Smigel and Larry Wilmore. Who’s Wilmore? He’s just the guy who will replace Stephen Colbert as the person following “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in 2015, that’s who.
But this time around, Sacks at least matched the first group, landing interviews with Mel Brooks, Marc Maron, Terry Jones of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” Bob Elliott (of Bob & Ray), filmmaker Adam McKay, SNL’s Bill Hader, Patton Oswalt and bunch of people you never heard of who made The Onion what it is today.
Oh, and the second book has the better title.
This is Sacks’ second appearance on Mr. Media. If he doesn’t make it back a third time, you’ll know it’s because I’ve stolen his idea and neatly disposed of any evidence of his demise. And on that creepy note…