Paperclip patent. via This Isn’t Happiness
I don’t think anyone sets out to change the world, and I think if you have that delusion going into journalism you’re going to end up disappointed. All you can do is write what you feel, stick to your conscience, stick to your guns, and sometimes it’s not always popular, but the readers do respond, I will say that.
Hiaasen’s latest book, Bad Monkey, is now in paperback
"Everybody said, ‘Oh you must’ve been on drugs when you made those movies.’ No! We weren’t on drugs when we made them. I was on on drugs when I thought them up and I was on drugs when we showed them, but I was never on drugs when we made them, because it was too hard.”
Waters’ new book is called Carsick. It chronicles his hitchhiking journey across the country.
Photo by Richard Burbridge, 2008
It has been a slow week of reruns, so this happened.
"Wine, or maybe not? is a playful, minimalist wine bottle design project that will bring a smile to your face. Inspired by the style of famous Dutch painter Pieter Mondrian, the collaborative project was developed by Russian artist Constantin Bolimond and Dmitry Patsukevich in 1987, the same year The Simpsons first aired on The Tracey Ullman Show. And, the contents of the bottle have remained a mystery ever since.”
We’re concluding our Emmys series with another one of this year’s nominees, Jon Hamm. He actually had two nominations this year—for outstanding lead actor in a dramatic series for his performance as Don Draper on AMC’s Mad Men, and for his work as a producer on the series. He’s received a total 13 nominations during his career, but has yet to win.
Hamm spoke to Fresh Air in 2010. In the interview he talks about how the loss of his parents influenced his choice to pursue acting:
"Had both my parents been around, I probably would have done something completely different with my life. I think all performers come from a place of self-doubt and pain. Ray Romano said once, very accurately and hilariously, that if his dad had spent more time with him he would have been an accountant instead of a comedian. I think that anybody who wants to get on stage or tell jokes or sing songs has some sort of, at a fundamental level, desire to be paid attention to, and I’m no different. But my mother instilled in me an incredible desire to learn and an incredible curiosity about the world and an incredible joy in achieving things. And she also put me in creative-writing classes and acting classes when I was a little kid and encouraged me to do stuff. So that’s probably the biggest influence in what got me here."
Edie Falco, star of Nurse Jackie, was nominated this year for outstanding actress in a comedy series. She won for Nurse Jackie in 2010 and three times for her role as Carmela Soprano on The Sopranos. She joined us this spring to talk about addiction, parenting, and her big break.
Here’s Falco on her Sopranos audition:
"I went in, and I just did exactly what this character should be in my mind, from my estimation — also knowing that there was no way I’d get cast because I was not the stereotypical Italian-American-looking actress, and I knew who was. There’s something very powerful about going in to just do it for the heck of it.
You know, there’s a huge lesson in there. The pain in life is contingent upon one’s expectations for the most part. … So I was calm and relaxed. … I think I got a call that day or the next day. … It was a monstrous sum of money for me at the time, and all I thought was, “I cannot believe I can pay off my student loans with one check.” … I broke out in a sweat at the size of that relief.”
The “So Did the Fat Lady” episode of Louie — which generated a lot of buzz — just earned Louis C.K an Emmy for outstanding writing in a comedy series.
Louie, who is also overweight, rejects Vanessa (Sarah Baker) when she asks him out because of her appearance. Vanessa then schools Louie about what it’s like “to be the fat girl,” and society’s double standards about weight.
Here’s what Louis C.K. said about that scene in our recent interview:
"I’ve been several weights in my life and I know what it feels like to feel like you’re on the outside looking in [on] the real party in life… In school you’re confronted with kids saying stuff to you. I was heavy for parts of my school life, or awkward… At least in high school kids make fun of you. After high school, you’re just alone. There’s just no people. You just get left alone. I know what it feels like to feel that way. I’m certainly not as heavy as some people but I’ve been heavy and I went bald at like 24, so I’ve always thought about it."
Originally Jesse Pinkman was supposed to be killed off Breaking Bad during the show’s first season. Aaron Paul says he didn’t learn that until series creator Vince Gilligan called him over one day during lunch.
"He goes, ‘Originally Jesse was supposed to die at the end of this season,’ … and instantly my heart dropped and slowed down a bit," Paul says. "And he said, ‘We don’t think we’re going to do that anymore.’ "
Gilligan told Paul that he loved the chemistry between Walt and Jesse.
"He decided to change the whole dynamic of their relationship and really the whole dynamic of the show," says Paul. "But the entire second season, the entire third season, I thought that Jesse could be a goner at any moment because there’s many things that this character could screw up on, and he could definitely meet his deathbed at any moment."
Other cast members, including Bryan Cranston, would joke around on set with Paul about his character’s potential demise.
"Bryan would come up and give me a hug and say, ‘I’m not going to say anything but it was such a pleasure working with you. It’s been an amazing past year-and-a-half, and you have a huge career ahead of you,’ " he says. "They would always joke around about it. They’ve kind of slowed down about it, but who knows — this kid could die at any second."
Sarah Silverman says that most comics’ sense of humor comes from self-loathing. For her, that wasn’t really the case:
"I think my comedy came more from humiliation… I was a chronic bed-wetter. I had this deep, dark secret. If I had to go to sleepover parties I would just pinch myself awake all night.
The…thing that made me feel the most Jewish, because we weren’t religious in any way, was that I was so friggin’ hairy compared to these Carol Reed, L.L. Bean blonde Aryans that I lived with. So there was that. You want to be funny before anyone is funny on your behalf.”
Silverman just won an Emmy for best writing for a variety special, her HBO special, We Are Miracles.
If you want to frame Elvin Bishop’s music in a contemporary context, you could fairly say that he was a precursor to today’s so-called “bro-country music,” in which young male country singers churn out song after song about getting in their trucks to go party with pretty gals. But few of those young whippersnappers also feature the stuff that makes Elvin Bishop such a continuing gas—the raspy chuckle in his singing, and the sharp sting of his guitar. He invites you to contradict the title of this album and insist that he CAN do wrong right—just right.
— Ken Tucker, reviewing Elvin Bishop's album Can't Even Do Wrong Right
Last night Breaking Bad won its second consecutive prize for outstanding drama series. Its star, Bryan Cranston, won his fifth Emmy. Fresh Air spoke to Cranston while he was on Broadway playing President Johnson in All the Way. In the interview, he tells Terry about his short-lived stand-up career:
"I did it for about nine months in 1981, I believe it was. I did it solely for the purpose of overcoming fear, because I looked at that and I said to myself, "Oh, my God, that’s got to be the scariest thing to do." There’s a microphone and a light on you, and that’s it. It’s all you, and so I wanted to do that. I got into the idea of going from club to club. I was never paid for it, nor should I have been, because I never rose above the level of mediocrity. But it was a great, great experience, very humbling. My respect and admiration for those who do it for a living, like Jerry [Seinfeld], was just enormous."
Photo: Andreas Laszlo Konwrath via Variety