Pete Holmes is a very funny comedian and he is being rewarded for that fact as he will have a show on TBS right after the Conan O’Brien show. The show will launch in the Fall of this year. The new show will be produced by Conan O’Brien’s Conaco production company. It will follow Conan’s schedule with shows airing Mondays through Thursdays. If you can’t wait until the Fall, well Holmes has an outstanding podcast called “You Made It Weird” on the Nerdist Podcast Network.
Pete has studied and performed at Chicago’s Improv Olympic and Playground theaters, as well as Boston’s Improv Asylum Theater and New York City’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.
He is also known for his voice of the e*trade baby. One of my personal favorites from him is his Batman parodies on the website CollegeHumor. Pete was named one of Variety’s Top Ten Comics to Watch in 2011. If that is not enough Pete also draws cartoons for “The New Yorker”, and has written for shows such as NBC’s “Outsourced” and FOX’s “I Hate My Teenage Daughter.”
Last month he released his DVD “Nice Try, The Devil.” In his first hour-long special on Comedy Central, Pete does a phenomenal job as he displays his signature brand of comedy. His skits on Pierce and Juan, Good Time McDonald’s, Atlanta, Dropped a Dog, and Gay for Gosling are superb.
Me and my boys from the Masters of None Podcast show had the pleasure to talk to Pete. We talked about his new show, drinking wine on stage, and why his show is perfect to follow after Conan. He even helped us out with our show topic on the worst fictional dads of all time. To listen to the show click here.
David Rodriguez had a life-long dream to become a director. Growing up he had a passion for the film industry. He is the youngest of four siblings and was born in the New York City. After ten years of living what he called the “suburban grown-up life” he wanted to make a change.
So in 2003 David went to make his dream a reality. In 2004 he was able to direct his first film called “Push.” Now with a few films under his belt, David is back with a new movie. This summer he will be promoting his latest project, “Last I Heard.” The film stars Paul Sorvino, Michael Rapaport, Renee Props, Paul Ben-Victor, Stephen Bauer and Chazz Palminteri.
David was kind enough to answer some of my questions I had on his latest film and who was his inspiration to become a director.
Art Eddy: You have a new feature film out that you wrote and produced called “Last I Heard.” Tell me a bit about the film.
David Rodriguez: Although “Last I Heard” is a small slice of life from a Queens, NY neighborhood, it also acts as a bit of social commentary addressing the ‘old school’ person’s mentality and how they would deal with a progressive society. The film touches on a few different issues but at its core, it’s about an old Italian gangster ‘Mr. Joe,’ played by Paul Sorvino, who’s trying to live the same life he lived after serving 20 plus years in federal prison. All along, he’s dealing with one blow after another, ultimately reverting back to who he really is and doing so at the ultimate price.
AE: In the film there are great actors like Paul Sorvino, Michael Rapaport, Renee Props, Paul Ben-Victor, Stephen Bauer and Chazz Palminteri. Tell me about working with a cast like this?
DR: What can I say, it was truly amazing. I’d find myself smiling from time to time, taking it all in. I had actors on set that were in some of the greatest films ever, “Goodfellas,” “A Bronx Tale,” “Scarface,” “Cop Land,” “Get Shorty,” and “True Romance.”
Their stories were amazing and the collective experience with this cast was something most directors dream of. I’m pretty firm on set and they all knew what I wanted, however, because we all knew each other so well, we created a very nurturing environment that allowed us to grow on set and everyone brought their ‘A-game.’ It was because of my actors that we made it look so effortless.
AE: You will be going to film festivals to showcase your film this summer. Do you enjoy these fests when you are promoting your film or is there pressure in hopes the audience will dig the film?
DR: Well, the first stop is the Seattle International Film Festival where we’re world premiering in competition. It’s a huge top tier fest so we’re excited to be a part of it. We’re also excited that we’re premiering and screening during the closing weekend.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous and excited, but ultimately we have to trust the work we do and I feel really good about this film. It was a blessed project as Sorvino said once. Everyone really showed up, cast and crew alike. I hope people dig it, but that’s all out of my hands now. I feel good.
AE: You also co-wrote and directed the acclaimed feature film, “American Bully.” Tell me about the process of shooting that film?
DR: “American Bully” was a challenge on so many levels. We shot in Louisiana with producers who really were never on the same page as my cinematographer John Barr, the actors and myself. I didn’t know what the budget was when we started or how it was being spent. The weather was uncooperative in Louisiana at the time.
Ultimately, we were forced to make the best film we could in spite of all the challenges we had and I guess we pulled it off. It was a lesson for me throughout the process that every single person up and down the line needs to be on the same page in order to have success. That all said, I’m incredibly proud of that film and it’s very near and dear to my heart.
AE: What made you get into the career of producing and directing films?
DR: I’ve wanted to be in show business since I was 6 or 7 years old. At the time, my family lived in the Bronx and my oldest sister Janet would take me to all the big summer films at a theater on Fordham Road. I saw “Jaws,” “Rocky,” and “Star Wars” and it was a transformative part of my life, but growing up in a blue collar family wasn’t necessarily conducive to a creative mind. I got lost in those films, but it wasn’t until much later in life that I decided to go for it and attempt to direct. A few bad bouts with the 9 to 5 suburban life forced me to do what I always dreamed of doing. It was the scariest and best decision I ever made.
AE: Did any directors inspire you as you were looking to get into the entertainment industry?
DR: Fortunately, at the time that I decided to direct for food, one of the cable channels had a program where once a week or so they would feature a new director and that director would tell their story of how they got into directing and all that they learned throughout their careers. The show featured Ridley and Tony Scott, Michael Mann, Cameron Crowe, and Martin Scorsese and so on. It was like having an ‘A-list’ faculty of directors in my own personal film school. That said, if I had to pick one director whose body of work is most inspiring, I couldn’t. There are two, Martin Scorsese and Steven Soderbergh.
AE: Your focus is of course on “Last I Heard,” but do you have any other projects that you are thinking about starting?
DR: Of course! I wrote a New York based cable TV pilot recently that I’d love to direct and see happen as a series. I also have my eye on a few smaller projects at the studio level that I’d love to pitch, and I have some of my own scripts that I’d like to see happen. I really don’t know what’s going to happen as a result of “Last I Heard,” but I’m being patient and open to all opportunities.
AE: Who would you love to work with in your next project?
DR: As I’m sure you know, the climate of the business is ever evolving, so I’d like to work with actors that will help me get whatever I do next green-lit and financed. That said, if it was all over tomorrow, I’d be happy knowing that I worked with the most amazing cast ever in “Last I Heard” and they set the bar pretty high. It’ll be tough to top that experience.
The original hit series “Ice Road Truckers” on the History Channel returns Sunday, June 9 at 10PM ET/PT This season, old rivalries hit an all-time high as two different companies with legendary truckers go head-to-head and try to put each other out of business. Also, after a year on hiatus, the queen of the road, Lisa Kelly, returns and chooses a side.
Throughout the season, the rivalry between the companies reaches to a boiling point as every load delivered means money out of the other team’s pocket. No assignment is off limits, no road is too dangerous and no ice crossing is too thin in this battle for winter roads supremacy.
Lisa Kelly sat down with me this week to talk about her return, broken wrists, and what she did last year when she took a break from the show.
Art Eddy: So the new season starts this month. You are back. Fans of the show are psyched that you are back. Are you excited to be back on the show?
Lisa Kelly: I am so excited to be back on the show. I had fun doing it. (Laughs)
AE: What did you do while you were away from the show?
LK: Oh it is a big, big secret. (Laughs) No, not really. Just working and living life like normal people do sometimes.
AE: So do you consider yourself not normal when you are doing the show?
LK: Sometimes it gets pretty not normal. It is pretty crazy.
AE: Did you get a lot of mail or tweets from fans wanting you to come back on the show?
AE: The show is very interesting, but you guys are just doing your job. Some of the stuff you guys have to do is amazing. Does it feel weird to you that people are so involved with what you do for a living?
LK: I am just amazed that people are interested in it. You say what we do is amazing and I think it is amazing that you guys think it is amazing.
AE: What can fans of the show expect from you and the rest of the gang on the show?
LK: I am not entirely sure because it is a whole new ball game. Everything has changed this year. I am not in Alaska. I am in Canada now. I am not working for Carlile. I am working for a different company. Just for the show. I took time off of Carlile for show. I am back at Carlile now. I am literally in my truck right now.
Other than that I don’t know. There is a new show runner. It is a whole new thing. I had a lot of fun. I didn’t throw caution to the wind I would say, but I would say because I wasn’t working for Carlile I didn’t have to be so focused on safety and not getting fired. I had fun with it. I don’t know how that will come off, but I had a lot of fun with it.
AE: During this season I heard you broke your wrist. How did that happen and has that affected your driving?
LK: I didn’t break my wrist on the show. I broke it racing motocross last summer in June or July. I was racing and over jumped a jump and impact fractured it. I don’t know what happened. All I know is that I am doing okay. It took forever to heal. When I tried to shift at international 13 speed it just aggravated it to where I didn’t know at first what to do.
So I trained my camera guy on how to shift for me. So I would tell him what gear I had to shift into. I was like okay this aint going to last long. Then I am like oh I got duct tape. So I started duct taping it. The whole show it was wrapped up. It was really bothering me. It just won’t get better. I can tell I am getting old. I don’t heal.
AE: In what ways has the show changed your life?
LK: It has just changed it period. It changed it from top to bottom. It has taken over. It’s become my life. I can’t talk to anybody without mentioning the show or some interview because that is my life. I’m not bragging. It is just you want me to talk that’s all I got.
AE: You and Hugh Rowland have a bit of a rivalry. Will we see more of this transpire on the show this season?
LK: I didn’t know that we had something going on until I saw the preview. So I guess we have something. I don’t know. I just do my job and whatever happens, happens. Things did happen. I didn’t see it as a big deal of anything more than I would normally handle somebody that’s difficult.
To listen to the entire interview to find out what other bones Lisa has broken click here!
Last night, our good friends at AXE Hair sent us out to Westwood for the premiere of The Internship, a new comedy with a familiar funny formula – lots of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. The Wedding Crashers duo reunites under less raunchy circumstances this time (the film is rated PG-13 after all), but the results are the same. These two guys can carry a film.
But they almost don’t have to. The story is solid. The dialogue is witty. The supporting characters shine. And the overall positive sentiment that wraps itself around the entire film is infectious and welcome. It’s like a warm blanket that may be a bit worn, but it’s familiar, comfortable and effective. There’s a lot of feel good in this film.
Vaughn and Wilson play two down on their luck sales guys who find themselves out of work and looking for their next big career opportunity. After discovering that Google was voted the best place to work in America, the two buddies set their sights on a competitive internship program that pits them against some of the brightest young minds in the country. The prize is a full-time position with the search engine giant.
The film can feel like a two-hour infomercial for Google at times, but the heavy-handed product/corporate philosophy placement is tolerable. Google’s playfully progressive Mountain View headquarters serves as the backdrop for a story that takes some time to unfold, but stays well-paced and punchy throughout.
The Internship is sweet to the point of sappy, but never saccharine. It all plays out like some throwback 80s flick, with solid one-liners, lots of life lessons, a killer montage and plenty of Flashdance references.
This is a job well done by Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy and the script is way funnier than the previous Vince Vaughn and Jared Stern effort, The Watch. If you accept the light ride, embrace the teaching moments, get over the product placement and just sit back and enjoy the laughs, this is two hours well spent.
The Internship hits theaters on June 7.
They didn’t choose the easy path. Here we have one the most anticipated albums in recent history, produced by the futuristic godfathers of Electronic Dance Music. Without warning, Daft Punk has snapped the rubber band of social trends back onto the giant beats and cold shrieks of the Dubstep generation. Their 4th studio album, “Random Access Memories” offers a smooth rebuke to the jarring and the intense. The album is a slow burn, assembled with love by the French duo and an assortment of live musicians and musical legends. Aside from the instant summer anthem “Get Lucky” one does not simply listen to single tracks off of this album. This collection has been thoughtfully produced to be ingested from beginning to end. Each track benefits by the context of the ones that precede and follow it.
Is it the artist’s responsibility to make their art quick and easy to digest? This responsibility has certainly been mandated upon popular music. The monetization of art and media demands increasingly easier and easier singles and snippets for the masses. Micro transactions and commercial sampling rights rule the day. Popular musicians must wait for the captive audiences of a concert to express more than their most popular riff. It is their last stand against shuffle and our collective short attention span.
Daft Punk’s creators, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, are no longer bound by such creative restrictions. They’re rich, they’re almost 40, they’re largely anonymous. They spent a ludicrous amount of their own money on “Random Access Memories” and they don’t seem to care if you like it very much. Very few of the tracks are radio friendly. Some of them, like “Lose Yourself to Dance” (featuring Pharrel Williams) just never seem to get going, a song with no real beginning or end, just a rolling chorus over and over again. But when you listen to it fade into the schmaltzy, over the top broadway inspired anthem “Touch” (featuring Paul Williams) it starts to make sense. “Touch” by the way, thanks to Paul Williams’ wildly expressive voice, is one of the more transporting songs on an album that easily carries you away. The transition from “Touch” to “Get Lucky” takes you from the bright lights of Broadway to the smoky corners of a 70’s dance hall effortlessly and begins the best parts of the track list.
This attack on contemporary music began in the studio. Rather than sample many of the beats and tracks that construct each song, musicians, many of them the actual session musicians from the original recordings, were brought in to record the selections live. Legends like Giorgio Moroder, Nile Rodgers and Pharrel Williams team up with full orchestras to recreate a time when entire arrangements were not available at the touch of a button. It produces a sound that remains distinctly analog despite the near omnipresent Daft Punk vocoder.
It’s an impressive result if listened to in full. The third track “Giorgio by Moroder” begins with a spoken word interview with the man whose early use of the synthesizer helped shape the transition of music through the disco era. His stories lay the foundation for the rest of the music on the album. They warn you with his words that they will be going backwards and looking forward, that their aim is to make the music they want without fear of judgement. There is a richness and inspiration to this album that really starts to gain steam in it’s second half. In headphones you can truly hear the care and effort that went into each moment of every song. The high end stereo systems that came into fashion in the 70’s would benefit greatly from the mixing and engineering behind this effort. The sound is very cinematic, it’s themes carry you forward and tell you a story of music and what they think it can be. In the final track, “Contact” a sample from Astronaut Eugene Cernan aboard Apollo 17 implores us to look further, “There’s something out there”, his crackling voice tells us. The imagery of space implies the future, yet fittingly it is described to us by an astronaut of the past. Their message is clear.
In this time of Taylor Swift, Skrillex and Justin Bieber, I can’t help but enjoy the idea of an open minded teenager pressing play on track one of “Random Access Memories”. I imagine this future musician at their computer with headphones on, allowing them to hear each nuance and fluctuation of beat, pitch and tone. I picture this child without a deep musical context, just discovering what music shapes them and feeling as though Daft Punk has produced something breathtaking and new. It’s the same space I reflect back to before I began to realize how much of the rap and popular music I grew up with were really just sampling the power of the beats that came before them. In “Random Access Memories” Daft Punk takes a personal stand against the machines that they so effectively helped to bring to prominence. They strike back against the beats of tomorrow and stake their claim in music as something more than just DJ’s or producers. At this level, when directing musicians with sheet music and created beats, are they not elevated to composers? This collection of songs will live on past it’s time at the top of the charts. Much like “Homework” inspired a generation of DJ’s and musicians, “Random Access Memories” will tell it’s own story by the music and themes it inspires others to create.
Rick Dale is the owner of Rick’s Restorations in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now he has a show on the History Channel called “American Restoration.” Rick and his crew take rusty, beat-up items and restore them to their original glory. Whether it’s a giant gas pump from the 1940s or a Hopalong Cassidy bicycle from the 1950s, every restoration is a high-stakes business project where worthless rust is transformed into a valuable collectible. However, these restorations aren’t easy. Every project presents unique challenges for Rick and his team, who develop inventive processes to finish each job flawlessly and on time.
May 28th on the History Channel starts a whole new season and the first episode features music legend Billy Joel. Dale needs to help Billy restore a rare BSA 850 motorcycle for the pop superstar. The singer has a passion for classic bikes and loves to make new models look old. After trying out an old Steinway spinet in Rick’s “boneyard,” the crate is opened. Inside is a 1967 BSA Royal Star or rather, a bunch of parts including a cracked engine that happens to be irreplaceable. Rick and his crew try to get the bike to look like new.
I was able to talk to Rick about the new season on the History Channel and how he got started in the restoration business.
Art Eddy: On May 28th the new season of “American Restoration” starts up. In this episode you have Billy Joel on your show. He was looking to have a motorcycle restored. When Billy came to your store did you get a little star struck?
Rick Dale: I don’t get star struck, but I was definitely nervous. It is Billy Joel for God sakes. I would watch him when I was a kid. It is pretty incredible to see him roll in and send me that bike to get restored. It was pretty cool.
AE: Billy Joel said, “I’ve seen Rick’s work and he does a great job. He does it the old fashioned way, he does it by hand. It’s also done with care.” When you hear a compliment like that does it make all your hard work that much more rewarding?
RD: Yea it does. I restore a lot of stuff for people and a lot memories. So to have a person of that caliber who actually builds bikes to come in to say that he has actually seen my work was a gigantic one. So that means Billy Joel is actually a fan or someone that likes what we do with the originality stuff. It really made me feel good that he allowed me to start this. The pressure was there while we were doing it I can tell you that right now.
AE: This can be for any project, but especially when you are doing work for a celebrity. Do you ever get overwhelmed with a restoration project?
RD: Yea I do. Someone sent me in this 35 foot slide that was from a park. It came in a million pieces. I think I can handle almost anything, but when that intimidation comes in it really shows up on screen. I was really freaking out. They will say cut and I will say ‘Oh my God, are you kidding me?’
I think they test me. I think they find the biggest pile of junk. It goes all the way back to Rick Harrison. He would find the biggest pile of junk he possibly could and bring it in just to test me. I am up for the challenge. That is what sort of made my business and my life a little more creative. It allows me to really, really get into something and go deep.
RD: Jason’s project is coming up. It is a sign out of his grandfather’s garage. This is one of those projects that I almost didn’t do. I didn’t want to say no to him. Him and his dad came in and brought in this old sign. The sign is literally paper thin and the paper is full of rust. Finally after doing a bunch of different things figured out how I could finish the sign. It is not totally done so we are not out of the woods yet.
It is just one of those things where people see the show and think I can do anything. I am up to the challenge, but man some days I am definitely tested. I have thrown stuff, freaked out, and ran home. I have done it all.
AE: What can viewers expect from this season?
RD: Toward the end of the season we are going to be doing some high end projects. We are doing something for the Dodgers. We are doing this big hot dog cart. It was a design back from the Sixties. I get to go and meet Tommy Lasorda, which means more pressure. (Laughs)
We are doing a lot of motorcycles. We are doing this Ducati that they only made a hundred of them and so how do I find the parts for it? There is a lot of fun and really, really cool projects coming up.
RD: Back in the day in the Eighties I actually was in construction. It really got bad here in Nevada. I had an old Coke machine in the back of my house. Somebody said to me that I could take that down to the Rose Bowl and people overseas buy them. I needed to make my house payment.
So what I decided to do was paint it all up. I needed to make enough money for the house payment and not just the electric bill. We cleaned it up and took it down there. A Japanese man bought and told me that he needed more of these.
That same day people were coming up to me since they literally saw that one machine and said to me if I wanted to buy other things. So it turned into a business. I thought I will just buy it from this guy and go home and restore them and then I will sell them. The business just took off.
To listen to the entire interview click here.
Jennie Finch is no stranger to the Women’s College World Series. During her time at the University of Arizona she help the team win the College World Series. Jennie made such an impact at Arizona that she had her number retired by the university.
Finch is still active in softball today with her camps during the year. The three-time All American Player is working with Capital One for the Capital One Cup. This program helps with awarding a combined $400,000 in student-athlete scholarships. The winners will be selected in July at the ESPYs. Jennie is in her second year as an Advisory Board member for the Cup.
I had the pleasure to chat with Jennie about her great career at Arizona, the Olympics, and even her time on “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Art Eddy: The Women’s College World Series is starting at the end of the month. Who are some of the favorites for this year’s World Series?
Jennie Finch: Oklahoma has been ranked number one all year. They came in second last year so I think they have a drive to bring home the trophy. Oregon won the PAC-12 for the first time this year. They are making a run for it. Honestly it is anyone’s game. Nine SEC teams are in. There are eight PAC-12 schools in it. Nebraska, Texas, Michigan and a lot of other schools are in the running. The great thing about sports is the chemistry. If you have the right team anything can happen.
AE: Are there any underdog teams we should look out for?
JF: Last year we saw Hofstra and USF make it to the playoffs. LSU came out of nowhere. I think that there is always that possibility and chance for any team. There a lot of teams in the middle that could make a push and have a great weekend to go further into the playoffs.
AE: You played in the College World Series with Arizona. Talk to me about your memories during the World Series.
JF: There is nothing better to make it to the College World Series. All of the extra reps in the weight room, all of the early morning practices, and all the hard work spent the entire year makes it worth it. It was a blast to be able to play in that game. It is an honor to play for your university. It is a magical time. I have so many fond memories of being there and competing with my teammates.
AE: What was your reaction when you found out the University of Arizona was going to retire your number?
JF: I was completely honored. I was honored to wear Arizona across my chest. I am extremely blessed to have my education completely paid for and take part in the great tradition of Wildcat softball. To have my jersey number retired was the ultimate compliment. I am thankful for the many women who played before me and paved the way to create a great tradition at Arizona.
AE: You are working with Capital One to promote the Capital One Cup to help provide scholarship money to the winning universities. Tell me about your work with this promotion.
JF: I am excited to be on the athlete advisory board for the Capital One Cup as the spring season championships begin to play out. One reason is that one of the sports is softball. There are many schools that are close in the standings for the Capital One Cup. This program honors the best Division I program that has the most cumulative wins in on the field performance across 39 total men and women’s sports. The winning school gets over $400,000 in total scholarships for student athletes. Not only is it fun for the school, but for the fans to see how their school is doing.
AE: Right now who is in the lead for the men and women’s brackets?
JF: Stanford is in the lead for the women’s, but Penn State and Oregon are just a couple points behind. In the men’s bracket Indiana and Michigan are tied for first with Louisville and Alabama right behind them. As the spring season comes to an end it will be close to see who wins it all. For softball the school gets awarded 60 points and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
JF: It is one thing to play for your university. It is another to play for your country. It is special in so many ways. To be surrounded by the best of the best was incredible. There were players that I looked up to and now I am playing with them. It was amazing to travel the world and play the game you love. Winning the gold back in 2004 was the highlight for me.
AE: Do you think baseball and softball will be back in the Olympics?
JF: I hope so. We will find out in the next couple of months. I am on the athlete advisory board to help grow the campaign and make sure we do everything to get the sport out there worldwide. There are over 140 countries that play softball and now that we are teaming up with baseball hopefully we can get these sports back into the Olympics.
AE: You were on “Celebrity Apprentice” a few years back. What was it like to be on that show and what did you learn from that experience?
JF: It was definitely a challenge. It was about raising money for a good cause. I was playing for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. It was a great experience. I learned that I don’t belong in the hustle and bustle of New York City. (Laughs) I made a lot of great relationships being on that show. I think you learn from every experience and I felt that I learned a great deal being part of that show. I enjoyed my time there. It was harsh at times. People were competing and there were tough times. Overall I have to say that it was good time.
AE: Tell me about your softball camp and how you started that up?
JF: Right after college this how some softball players are able to make money. I loved being on the feild playing and teaching softball. I didn’t like the fact that a camp had my name on it and I didn’t know the logistics of what was going on. I wanted to make sure I was involved in a camp that did things right. I got a few of players that I know together to start up a camp.
I had the vision of creating my own camp to make sure I was teaching the campers what I wanted. Plus I picked other players that were good on the field and off so we could be great role models for these girls to look up to. I hope to inspire others and encourage them to go after their dreams.
Jim Gaffigan is best known for his hysterical stand-up routine. His material on Hot Pockets and McDonalds are fan favorites. Jim has been in films, television shows, and on Broadway. Now he can add being an author to his resume. Gaffigan’s book “Dad Is Fat” came out earlier this month. Click here to purchase his book.
In his book he explores fatherhood, his relationship with his wife and kids, and being on tour. The book is a great read and very funny. I was able to chat with Jim about where the title of the book came from and how fatherhood has changed him.
Art Eddy: “Dad is Fat” is the title of you new book and is it true that one of your kids came up with the title?
Jim Gaffigan: Yea that is true. When my seven year old was first learning to write that was his first complete sentence, dad is fat. On the book cover it is actually his hand writing. It was a moment where he wasn’t punching me in the stomach. So it was all good.
AE: When people see the title of the book they might think that you are trying to lose weight, but it is just your story about fatherhood. What inspired you to write the book?
JG: I wanted to do a book about just being a dad and how I am an improbable parent of five. I am certainly not an expert. So I wanted it to be white and vague. We were looking at different titles. I thought it was kind of funny and captured the chaos of my life and it shows the absence of authority I have in the process of parenthood.
AE: I like that fact you didn’t use a ghost writer for your book. Was that very important to you?
JG: To be clear I did it with my wife. It was interesting because I had an offer to do a book a couple years ago. I knew I didn’t want to have a ghost writer. I am glad that I waited because often with books or even comedy books there is this motivation of wanting to get a lump sum of money, getting on the New York Times best seller list, or just to say that they did a book. I am grateful that I did not get caught up in that.
AE: I have two daughters and people are always asking if my wife and I are going to have more kids. Some people say it gets easier after two. I don’t get the math on that. You and your wife have five kids. So tell me does it get easier?
JG: Well I think the biggest adjustment was two kids. At least for me. There is an asterisk next to that because I am a guy who travels a lot doing stand-up comedy. I get this forced one or two break every week.
I think it is very fascinating how everyone is really curious about how everyone else is going to procreate. It is baffling! You would never ask someone when they are getting their hair cut. People are consumed with curiosity if a couple is married or dating for longer than six months people suddenly need to know whether they are going to have a baby.
It is rude really. I don’t care, but I just think it is funny. I know that we have had way beyond the normal amount of children. People are like are you going to have any more children. I am like why do you care? Are you going to pay for their college? How is that any of your business? This myth of overpopulation that comes from 18th century England that no want to admit is just B.S. Why does anyone else care? It is like don’t worry I am taking care of this. People don’t ask why someone owns two cars.
AE: As a father what would you say are some of the most challenging aspects about being a parent?
JG: I think it is an ongoing thing of checking in. It is overwhelming the fact that you are in charge of another human being develop. For me it is a constant battle of keeping a balance between work and parenting. I think that we have found a good balance with me doing stand-up. I am lucky enough to do theaters and I can travel with my kids on the tour bus.
Even writing this book it took me away from parenting responsibilities that I think are pretty important. There are important things and it is not about going to birthday parties. It is about being there when they go to the doctor and listening to a good dose of the guilt. I think it is going beyond ordering pizza and going to dance recitals. I want to be involved in a certain level.
It was interesting writing the book. In the end I remember thinking if no one buys the book at least if my kids eventually ever read it they would say he was thinking a lot about parenting. He was not perfect, but he tried.
JG: Well when I started about 20 years ago I would see comedians talk about their wife and kids. I remember sitting in the audience going that is great I can’t even get a date. I don’t know what you are talking about. I made it a point never really going beyond in an hour show maybe talking about being a parent or my kids for more than five minutes.
I would almost censor myself. I can’t be the kids or parents comedian because there are going to be 20 year olds in my audience or there are going to people without kids in my audience. I always life for my stand-up to appeal to everyone. I intentionally did censor it. I think with Twitter I had an outlet to pump out some of these parenting observations and it would be fine.
To listen to the entire interview click here!
It was a wild night at Insomniac’s Awakening at the Exchange LA featuring the Egyptian super duo Aly & Fila. A packed house danced the night away to the uplifting trance music that has made Aly & Fila international stars in recent years. Aly & Fila ranked #19 on the DJ Mags Top 100 in 2012.
The performance at Exchange provided Southern Californians with a second chance to experience some fun times. Aly & Fila rocked the house at Sutra in Orange County a few weeks back. In between, they squeezed in amazing shows in Nicaragua and Colombia.
We had the good fortune to catch up with Fadi Wassef Naguib (aka Fila) for a quick interview in the lobby bar at The Hotel Standard in Downtown LA before the event at Exchange Friday night. From the get go, it was clear that Fadi is a cool dude.
The interview covered a variety of topics from the impending release of their new album Quiet Storm to the current state of the EDM scene in his native Egypt. Fadi was gracious and forthright, sharing his insight on every question we had.
After the interview concluded, it was time to head to the Exchange. Spanning 25,000 square feet with four floors and located about a mile from Staples Center, the historic building is stocked with six full-service bars, excellent sound system and friendly staff.
If you haven’t been there yet, the crowd is usually upbeat and looking to party. The dance floor was packed and the capacity crowd was clearly enjoying what Aly & Fila brought to the table. We had an amazing view of the dance floor from the balcony area up top and the place was rocking all night.
Aly & Fila’s new album will be available soon. The first single released on Quiet Storm is “Running Out of Time” with Chris Jones. Aly & Fila have done several successful collaborations in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
Footage from the Sutra show and the complete interview with Fila coming soon…
Another great video from the folks at Bad Lip Reading just got released. This time these guys poke fun at the AMC hit show “The Walking Dead.” It even got the approval from Norman Reedus who plays Daryl Dixon on the show.