Saturday, August 30, 2008


Hiya, folks.

Shoot the Messenger heads out West this week for three shows:

Sep 2, 2008 - Sep 4, 2008
@ 7:00pm each night

The Parkway Theater
4814 Chicago Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN


Also, Lizz Winstead and I will be broadcasting live on Lowell's WCAP 980 AM every day during the convention. 9:30am and 4:30pm (EST). Tune in or listen live online at

That is all. For now.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

primary thoughts

Yeah. I'd say I'm pretty proud to be a Democrat.

Especially tonight.

*But, uh, whoever put together the music programming for the convention...

Yeah. Not so much.

Hey Jews, don't make it bad...

So. This story:

Good for the Jews? Or bad for the Jews?

Paul McCartney gig revives Israeli Beatles tale

08/27/2008 1:00 PM, AP

An upcoming concert by Paul McCartney has revived memories of the 1960s, when an Israeli official supposedly called off a Beatles concert for fear it would corrupt the nation's youth.

The episode is often fondly quoted as a relic of a long-lost Israel where the public's innocence needed protecting.

Trouble is, the story might not be true: With Israelis in a tizzy about McCartney's arrival, the official's son is taking the opportunity to try to clear his father's name, calling the tale a "Zionist urban legend."

So pervasive is the story of the concert's cancellation 43 years ago that this year Israel's ambassador in London wrote a letter expressing regret over the matter to surviving members of the band. He told them the country would like to make it up to them: come play during this year's celebrations marking Israel's 60th anniversary.

"Israel missed a chance to learn from the most influential musicians of the decade, and the Beatles missed an opportunity to reach out to one of the most passionate audiences in the world," Ambassador Ron Prosor wrote.

On Wednesday, McCartney confirmed the Sept. 25 concert in Tel Aviv, which had been rumored for days.

In a news release, McCartney acknowledged the brouhaha, saying he is finally coming "43 years after being banned by the Israeli government." He promised to give Israelis "the night they have been waiting decades for."

Even before McCartney announced the show, tickets went on sale at prices ranging from $140 to $430.

The Israeli official blamed for canceling the 1965 concert was Yaakov Sarid, a stern-faced man in horn-rimmed glasses who was the Education Ministry's director.

He is remembered today — to the extent that he is remembered at all — mainly for his alleged role in denying Israeli youth their chance to faint and scream at the Fab Four. Also implicated is David Ben-Gurion, Israel's founding father and prime minister at the time.

Sarid, who died in 1976, was the father of Yossi Sarid, for years an outspoken member of Israel's parliament and currently a newspaper columnist.

The younger Sarid, now 67, claims his father had nothing to do with the decision. He wrote a column — only partially tongue in cheek — for the daily Haaretz this week to call the story "a Zionist urban legend." He has tried to make the point in the past, he said, but the story has become too firmly ensconced to budge.

The real story, Sarid said, involved a more mundane feud between two Israeli concert promoters.

The competition was so bitter that when one of them, Yaakov Uri, was about to bring the Beatles to the Jewish state, the other, Giora Godik, used his official connections to torpedo the government approval his rival needed to get the foreign currency to pay for the gig. Sarid said his father was not involved.

This version of events is supported by Israel's pre-eminent pop music critic and historian, Yoav Kutner, who recounted the details in Haaretz on Monday. "It never happened that way," Kutner said of the oft-told story.

Sarid said his father had never heard of the Beatles — his artistic tastes leaned more toward European Jewish liturgical music — and that Ben-Gurion probably hadn't either.

The false version of events only emerged after his father's death, or "after my father was unable to listen to the Beatles," in Sarid's words.

Sarid said the story was first written in a journalist's anthology about Israeli history and gained traction because of Sarid's own political career. Sarid the son was one of the most liberal members of parliament and an outspoken critic of government censorship, which gave the story the necessary ironic punch.

The story has lived on because — accurate or not — it accurately reflected the times. The 1960s was the heyday of Israel's socialist ideology, which sanctified sacrifice and scorned materialism and Western frivolities. Officially, earnest Hebrew paeans to the beauty of the Land of Israel and to the military were in. "Love Me Do" was out.

Though Sarid wants the record set straight and his father's name cleared, he also finds the story amusing and realizes it has taken on a life of its own.

"It's a nice story, in this case much nicer than the truth," he said.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I think we've all had one of these mornings...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

STM Newsbreak

From JULY 28th.

Start at the 2:00 mark. The guy doing the McCain "voice in the head" sounds awfully familiar....

Things that made ME happy in DC last week...

  • Tagging along with some friends for the DC ComedyFest and ending up as part of the festival, hosting what turned out to be two fantastic shows.

  • Getting to host TWO sold-out shows for the hilarious Lizz Winstead, featuring the very funny and talented Sean Crespo. Don't mean to brag, but she co-created the Daily Show. Okay. Maybe I meant to brag a little.

  • The Arlington Drafthouse is AWESOME. If you are in the Arlington, VA/DC area: GO THERE.
  • Partying and performing with many awesome comics. And even the not-so-awesome ones. You know who you are.
  • Drinking wine with some FOLKS WHO HELP RUN THE MEDIA (note: surprisingly, NOT the Jews...)
  • Getting into a political argument with Greta Van Susteren's husband. Seriously.
  • Realizing that the while our GPS almost killed us that one time ("Turn right here...down this one way road...into oncoming traffic..."), we would have been absolutely lost without it.
  • Side bar: when you have the GPS set to British, it calls Dr (Drive) "Doctor" and St (Street) "Saint." Also, DC has letter streets (A, B, C, D...etc.). So, if it were E, N, S, or W, the GPS would refer to it as "East" or "North" or "South" or West." So, we would get directions like: "Turn right on Vermont Doctor Northwest, then turn left on East Saint." That's a hell of a glitch. Of course, Dr. East Saint Northwest would make an awesome Bond villain, yes? "Doctor Northwest, I presume. What have you done with the girl, South Saint Southwest?"
  • The FDR Memorial. Gorgeous. Inspiring. Dare I say...monumental? I dare.
  • Meeting Scipio in person, finding out that he really DOES know what's best for DC Comics, AND getting to see Big Monkey Comics in real FULL COLOR life! Next time...we will definitely make dinner plans ahead of time. If you're in DC and you find yourself walking up 14th, near S St., and you see a sign that reads BIG MONKEY COMICS, go in and say hi! And buy Showcase trades! Online, even! Give them money.

Friday, August 08, 2008

in Washington D.C. tonight?

Because that's where I will be. I'm doing a last-minute-scheduled set as part of the DC Comedy Festival, hence the short notice.

I'll be doing a 10 minute guest set on the Lizz Winstead Show.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 8, 2008, 7:30PM, Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse, $22