Episode 146: "The Opposite of Rock & Roll"

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December 20, 2013


Liz Wollman

Origin of the episode title[edit]

Barbara Streisand. Julie has a lot of complicated feelings about her.



  • Julie has an idea for a middling Holiday song, some new ideas about suicide, how lame it is to brag about stuff you don't know, what a bummer it is that Hugh Hefner outlived Al Goldstein, how fucked up FUNNY GIRL is. and why I am seriously done with HOMELAND this time for real.
  • It turns out that a documentary about a crack house is disturbing! Reasons to Hate New York! Possums and their useless pouches! And some Beyonce stuff.


  • This week's show features professor LIZ WOLLMAN, author of the book Hard Times: The Adult Musical in 1970s New York City. Dr. Wollman will entreat us to a discussion about all of the sexy, dirty, nudie musicals created in this great city in response to Oh, Calcutta alone. Learn about the shows LET MY PEOPLE COME, THE FAGGOT and GAY COMPANY.


  • Amy Adams is added to the Redhead Hall of Fame
  • Jimmy Jazz is not mentioned in the opening monologue.

Download the Episode[edit]

Episode Link

Monologue Transcript[edit]

Hello everybody. It’s beginning to look a lot like Kishkas is going to be the name of one of the dishes I am going to serve in my Christmas Themed Kosher Dairy Restaurant. It’s a great idea and you love it. This will be the last time I speak to you before Christmas. This is not a suicide note; I need to make this clear. If I ever record a suicide note as a podcast I deserved to die. It’s no secret that this is the time of year where people who are already prone to depression, let’s be fair, just take that leap. They just (sound) I made the gesture of dragging my index finger across my throat as if I was going to slice it horizontally. Is that a good way to kill yourself, the ol’ horizontal knickknack? They don’t want you to do it horizontally with the arms. Remember that scene in House of Cars where Kevin Spacey stopped raping boys in time to deliver the line to the guy in the tub, a tip, the aspirin will thin your blood, don’t be an amateur, you’re going to want to slice vertically. I know. Any teenage girl cutter will tell you that.

Happy Holidays. It’s Julie Klausner back for another episode of HWYW.

We all know that we’re at the time of year when a wreath may as well be a noose. That’s part of the whole thing. To tell you the truth I don’t really care. I am not fighting Christmas, nor am I celebrating Christmas, I’m acknowledging Christmas. If I were going to write a Christmas song it would be called ‘I have no problem with Christmas’ or ‘Christmas is fine.’ There would also be a Christmas adjacent song a sort of baby it’s cold outside ditty about how I only read one novel a year during the week when there’s nothing to be found on social networking. That’s a little crazy right? Why aren’t people tweeting more when they are home with their families? I guess they are on FaceBook.

Remember when that Diane in 7A story made the rounds? It was so popular. It was Thanksgiving weekend and people were so desperate to read anything to break up the time between family and watching movies? I have done insane things around Christmas having to do with being around a computer and looking for a connection. Can a computer bring you to that kind of connection? Sure. Absolutely, all matter of devices. Are we at the point now where we can stop selling, how do I put this, iPod compatible sex toys? Wasn’t there a point in which every gift guide, I hate to blow your mind, it’s really just advertising in a magazine. There was a period of time before Kandi, from Real Housewives of Atlanta lunched Kandi Koated Knights, I remember there was a gift guide for her- She Bop, iMasturbate it was Mac compatible. You as he died Steve Jobs said, “Please make sure women can masturbate by iPod.” He withered away in his turtleneck like the shrunken head individual from Beetlejuice. Don’t you remember there was a vibrator that attached to your iPhone and sort of vibrated in accordance to the beat of whatever you were listening to which sounds horrible and not just because I listen to a lot of Tull. It sounds inconsistent. More than anything else it just sounds pretentious, and it doesn’t get the job done.

Dirty Jobs, what channel is Dirty Jobs on? It’s on the Job Channel everybody. I will say that my favorite show with the word Jobs in the title is Dogs with Jobs. Have you ever seen that show? It’s about dogs with jobs. Dog who work on farms, basically what dogs were bred to do before people made shows about them. Dogs who rescue people who fall into icy water. What else do dogs do? They hunt. Dogs with Jobs.

I am very tired. I had a long week. I have been working on this end of the year show, a special that will be airing on NBC I think on the 27th maybe the 26th. I don’t know. One of those is Boxing Day. Willie Geist hosts it and I love him. Oh! What a charming human man. I love him. I love him. I love Willie Geist. He’s the best. Anyway I have been working on this show for the past month or so. We taped it tonight. I had two Christmas cookies and a Diet Coke for Dinner, blahhhhh.

I am very grateful. I have never actually seen It’s a Wonderful Life by the way, I hate to be a shock jock but that Merry Christmas movie house thing, I just know it from references. The other thing is I’m totally fine with that, I get it. I don’t bask in my ignorance of something as a general rule unless it has to do with me telling people proudly that I have never seen Star Wars. I’m pretty self-satisfied about that little fact about moi. It’s not about Star Wars at all, it’s about my brand. In general there is a kind of person that is very proud to tell people how much they don’t know about something. They expect to be rewarded as much for such. There’s a woman who I hate-follow on twitter and she’s harmless. She’s just a square. She’s a woman I used to work with at an office job and she had cake at the end of every meal. That’s actually the best part about her. She went on J Date every day looking for a lawyer or a doctor. She got a divorce from him. She and I follow each other on twitter and I tweeted something about how New York Magazine puts out Reasons to Love New York around the same time as suicide season when it get scold. It’s not a coincidence.

Anyway the Reasons to Love New York issue to me was a joke because I thought these are reasons I hate New York and I tweeted as much (as such) I tweeted, ‘Maybe I am getting old (a self-deprecating in) but Reasons to Love New York this year are reasons to hate New York’ and I gave examples. There was one item--Performers on the Q Train. That’s the worst. I feel sorry for people and you can’t listen to the Britney Jean album which is very good. Fuck you; I don’t need to justify it. That song Perfume is a great song. I listen to cool music too! I listen to the Stooges. They said the Q Train performers were a reason to love New York. Wrong! They said Citibikes. Please! Then there was an item—Brooklyn Baby DJ School, I swear to god I’m not making that up, Brooklyn Baby DJ School, Brooklyn Baby DJ School Brooklyn DJ Baby School—it’s a real thing. I tweeted that. This woman wrote back to me, well she put a period in front of my name because she wanted everyone to see what she was going to say. In regards to my first tweet about how I feel old these thing make me not like New York, she said, “Tell me about it, and when ½ of those things are thing you haven’t even heard of” Guys never do that. I didn’t say I didn’t know what they were. Had I heard of Brooklyn Baby DJ School? Of course I hadn’t because I refuse to believe it’s real. But to go around bragging that you are ignorant of things and are expecting people to say ‘Right?’ is really depressing. That said, I have never seen It’s Wonderful Life because I don’t believe it is. I think it’s fine. I think there are highs and lows because with every peak there’s a valley.

I spent last weekend completely…well I watched ever video that I could from every women I read about who had auditioned for SNL. I know SNL is looking for a woman of color and not because of criticism but because they desperately want one and have wanted one for so many years that they could barely contain themselves. Every year it comes down to well I can’t choose them all so I guess I’ll choose none. SNL is dying to have a woman of color. They love black female comedians over there in no way is being a black female comedian one of the hardest, if not the hardest thing, anyway. I’m not going to belabor my point that everyone who auditioned for SNL is someone I am working toward hiring in my life. That photo of all the women in LA holding their hands and bowing their heads in prayer after they all went one after another to audition this hypothetical single spot like Miss America only sacrificing into the maw of this institution…whatever, it just made me sad. These women are all incredible. I don’t know them all but I watched all of their videos. I watched all of their videos and I want to let you know that there is a woman named Simone Shephard who makes Vines and they are fantastic. I don’t know from Vine. I don’t have a Vine. I haven’t even heard of half these things. She’s great. Look her up on YouTube. All of the gay men listening are saying, “I’ve known her. I’m a gay man” She’s a black funny woman. Then we all rub pubis’s?

I should mention I couldn’t sleep so in the middle of the night I ended up down a rabbit hole of Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, Natasha Rothwell that led to Liza Dye who is awesome in standup. She had something from her stand up clip about this movie called Crack House and she said it’s on YouTube, no offense Liza but I hit pause on you and hit Crack House on YouTube, it was five in the morning and the sun was coming up. I started watching a documentary called Crack House and it was really disturbing. It turns out that in Chicago where they planted cameras inside of a crack house they found some pretty disturbing footage of women being beaten; I stopped watching after that, is that bad? Should I have watched the whole thing? I go the gist. It was upsetting. I was actually proud of myself that I was upset. At the time I thought Crack House cool, another documentary for me to watch about an atrocity. I’ll probably be into from an ironic distance. I’ve seen Chicken Hawk many times which you should never type into YouTube. That’s the 45 minute one about pedophiles.

Crack House is upsetting. There was a scene where some guy got his feet smushed, no thanks, maybe it was his hands. All of the Chicago accents, all of the cops sound like Dan Aykroyd in Blues Brothers—Jake or Elwood, I always forget. Here’s what I remember about the Blues Brothers, the amount of cars at the end are ridiculous and Aretha Franklin is perfect. I’ve seen it, I’ve seen it, I’ve seen it! Can I quote it? Not really. Getting the band back together.

Al Goldstein is dead. Al Goldstein is dead and he has the best obituary of all time (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/20/nyregion/al-goldstein-pioneering-pornographer-dies-at-77.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 )

because he had a colorful life. The fact that he is dead and Hugh Hefner is not only still alive but that something was announced on Deadline Today about the director of Wedding Crashers making a movie about Hef’s life or some garbage. I hate that stuff. I’m on Deadline right now. Susan Sarandon leaving ICM, you don’t say! I hate Hugh Hefner. I hate everything about him. Nick developing kids crime procedure with Gary Marshall and Aaron Kaplan. What? I think it is really a bummer that AL Goldstein is dead because he was my favorite pornographer. They are all dirt bags but that was the whole thing with Al Goldstein, he never gussied up. He never tried to present himself as a smooth operator the way Hef does, even though basically all Hef does is give yeast infection to women via baby oil and prove that Viagra was easier to develop or had a higher priority than any kind of breast cancer medication.

Jeremy Piven as Mr. Selfridge! What is this? What a douchebag, douche. Are we going to leave that word behind in 2013-Douche? Along with Selfie? Forget it, I’m not looking this up anymore.

This is the New York Times obituary, Al Goldstein a Publisher who took the Romance out of Sex Dies at 77. The manifesto in Screw’s debut issue in 1968 was succinct. “We promise never to ink out a pubic hair or chalk out an organ,” it read. “We will apologize for nothing. We will uncover the entire world of sex. We will be the Consumer Reports of sex.” Midnight Blue.

I love it when the New York Times has to write about Screw Magazine, it doesn’t happen very frequently. There are a couple of paragraphs about what obscenity means. Not fun. So this is the third to last paragraph after it has been established that he was a greeter at the Second Avenue Deli, and His long decline found him bouncing from his in-laws’ floor in Queens to Veterans Affairs hospitals to a cramped apartment on Staten Island paid for by his friend, the magician Penn Jillette, to the Brooklyn nursing home where he spent most of his final years.

That is a really sad paragraph yet it is amazing. Rest in Peace Al Goldstein of all pornographers you are my least un-favorite. Before I go any further I want to mention that Regis is on twitter. He’s @Regis. I also want to mention that speaking of great broadcasters this week was the last episode of the Best Show on WFMU. Tom Scharpling had an incredible final episode. It was pitch perfect in every way. It is really exciting to have this transition in motion, to watch that as a fan and as a friend. I also want to say this is just Letterman leaving NBC for CBS. This is just the first scene of the Late Show. Scharpling is the moral Letterman, period, the end, next. And more because he’s never over it. God bless him.

Shia LaBeouf is in trouble for plagiarizing Daniel Clowes who wrote Ghost World and other things. Shia LaBeouf if you remember played Mutt in Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Cross that off the list.

Homeland is dead to me. I have said this all season, I mean it, I am about to give away a spoiler for the last episode of this season so if you don’t want to hear the Homeland ending fast the fuck forward friend. Ready? They hung Brody in a public hanging and we had to watch as he slowly died and his face was puffy, and red, and in agony. He hung. It was horrible. He was in as much agony as we the audience was and were. There was a scene while he was hanging he and Claire Danes made eye contact. What the fuck is this? You’ve Got Mail? Are you really making eye contact like (sings) Some Enchanted Evening—what the fuck are you doing? This show is bats! It’s bats. That happened right away, but pretty early and then they were trying to tie up the story about who was going to take care of the baby. What if Mandy Patinkin retired and like reading the paper every morning with Orange Juice and Baguettes and all that shit? Do you know what Homeland can fucking suck my dirty tits. If you guys think it’s cute, you guys meaning homeland people, if you think it is cute to make someone watch a man hang—I know that it happens, I know that!—but to make eye contact with Claire Danes in a romantic way while you are slowly dying is not anything anyone wants to see. I‘m done!

I saw Funny Girl last weekend. I had seen it when I was a little kid. I may have actually gotten only halfway through. My parent’s rented for me because I loved musicals. On Saturday night they’d go out and I’d watch Singing in the Rain or An American in Paris, something else Guys and Dolls. I remember my parents brought home Funny Girl one time. I thought eh? No. My mom’s a huge Barbra Streisand fan. I have very complicated feelings about Barbra Streisand as you know. I find her to be the opposite of Rock and Roll. That’s ok. It’s hard to find punk when you grow up in Flatbush. I have no idea, what am I even saying? I saw funny girl last week and it pissed me off. I want to preface this by saying Barbara Streisand in that movie looks stunningly beautiful. Her hair, makeup and everything, she’s flawless. The idea that she’s unconventionally beautiful-fuck you she’s perfect. The profile—forget about it. Her voice is like butter. I have never contradicted anybody her head voice goes right into her chest voice. Or vice versa. She goes up and you think did she even switch registers? It’s insane. Her voice is insane. She probably is insane. She lives in that mansion in Malibu. She seems very lonely.

Funny Girl really blew my mind a little bit. I knew the Don’t Rain on my Parade Song and assumed it was sort of an empowering rousing anthem sung by a young woman who is about to take life by its lapel then shake it around and kick it in its groin and then strap it onto her back and drag the body for a couple of miles before it came to and then I don’t know reverse cowboyed it until everybody was done. It turns out that Fanny Brice, really Barbra Streisand, were we really supposed to believe she played someone who existed in history? Are you kidding? The whole idea that she’s funny, she’s never been funny. I’m not saying she’s not talented but I don’t think Barbra Streisand has ever been intentionally funny. Prove me wrong. As she got older she was more and more in on the joke. Let me rephrase that. What counts as funny in a musical in the 60s is very depressing. I guess what counts as funny at any point in the 60s…

I am very tired. I wish Willie Geist were here for reasons I cannot express without being vulgar.

What I did not realize about Funny Girl is that Barbra Streisand sings Don’t Rain on My parade while in the midst of making the decision to not take role that would have been incredible for her career so that she could travel to New York to be with this putz who ended up being a gambler that had no money or responsibility. She has his kids and then in the end she sings a song about how alone she is. I didn’t realize that sing was sung out of a bad decision by an ambitious woman who up until hat point wants to be a Ziegfeld girl, on your terms, you’re a star. You know it. So now what? Nicky Arnstein, Sadie Married Lady, what the hell guys? Funny Girl created the Ramones. Funny Girl made sure punk bands existed. Omar Sharif, 1968. You’d never know it. You’d never know the summer of love was behind us. She gives up a role to chase Nicky Arnstein who she had anyway. She could have met up with him after she finished her job. The point is ladies if you are going to make that decision don’t sing an empowering song when you do. Later when someone finds out it is not an empowering song, just deal with that disappointment I say. To who? I don’t know. Who wrote Funny Girl? Julie Stein, no way José. He wrote Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow. Oh man.

Funny Girl is the opposite of Cabaret. It is the opposite of Cabaret you heard me. Cabaret ends with Sally Bowles deciding to get the fuck on stage, smile, and kill it even though the Nazis are there. Everyone is going to die. The only chance she has to marry the love of her life has completely evaporated because she gave it up in order to sing in a sleazy club lousy with Nazis. Was that the right choice? Frankly yes. She got an abortion. She told the love of her life Michael York, you know what buddy I can’t be a housewife in rural England. I’d rather…well you know. She’s not Jewish is she? It didn’t matter. A degenerate is a degenerate is a degenerate.

Was Hitler smart? I get the sense that Hitler wasn’t the … I’m not talking Britney Spears kind of dumb. By the way Britney Jean is a great album. I like Britney Spears even though I really do think she is like a dog standing on its hind legs, making a full circle so it gets a treat, but you also put a Macarena outfit and a funny skirt, and ‘He’s Dancing!’ He’s not dancing. He’s not dancing. It’s the self-awareness the separates us from the beasts. Was Hitler smart? It’s like when someone asks, “Is Madonna smart?” Then the lamest person at the party says, “Well she certainly knows how to market herself.” Does, she? Does she? Thanks. I went to a party last weekend in which people insisted on telling me the like world music. If that doesn’t encourage you to send me money via PayPal I do not know what does. I’ll take your sympathy dollars. The worst is, and I have participated in this, is when you find somebody who is really excited about music and they want to talk about music with you but you haven’t established that you have the same tastes so it really is just a conversation about how great music is, so then someone wildly throws out conversational chum. “I like Jabbjabba.” “I don’t know world music” “What about Richard Thompson?” “Yeah,sure.” “I also like Schmiel Rickenbocker.” “I don’t know her.” “She’s another singer songwriter.” “Oh.” It goes nowhere. You have no place to go.

Katy Perry and John Mayer are starring in videos together which is the most tone-deaf way to end this year. I swear to god these people have no idea how little anyone wants to see them be in love on camera. Frankly they are both symmetrical that’s it. They are not beautiful. Why can’t there be more beauty? I guess it wouldn’t be unique, I answered my own question. I could look at Liza Minnelli in Cabaret until all of the cows go home for Christmas.

I have another idea for a song for Christmas, Are you going to be in Town? When are you Back? You’re Here, I’m Here! We should do Something. I have Nothing against Christmas. Such a good idea for a song, if only there was a Julie Stein in my life.

Katy Perry and John Mayer don’t know how plain they are. Meanwhile the family guy brought back that dead dog. It’s vulgar and mediocre. It shouldn’t be disappointing when you think of its precedent yet it is. It is because you know that we’re capable of greatness even though the era is what it is we still have the internet so we can find other things that are wonderful. I’m talking about the Peaks. It was a huge year for pop music. Then Beyonce came along. I’d already recorded my monologue and then an hour later she decided to release this video album. Of course I bought it. I’m an American it seemed mandatory to buy it. It’s like voting for Obama. What are you an asshole? Of course you’re going to buy Beyonce’s album. I realized I don’t really like Beyonce’s music. I like her single. Is that shitty? I don’t care. Maybe I’ll listen to it a bunch and like it but that’s never happened before. I have heard her other albums. I think she’s beautiful. I think is an incredible performer and I think she is a video artist in the way that Madonna is a video artist. I could look at her for days, her videos are incredible. She’s a beautiful dancer, and she did not have that baby.

The only time Beyonce ever looked different is when she was in that count down video. She was pregnant then, supposedly. I think she just ate carbs for two weeks and they put that globe in her leotard. That was the only time I saw her look a little softer. Otherwise she looks exactly the same way she did before she had a baby. I’m telling you, you can’t look the same, the same. Having babies does things to your face. It just does. Look at fucking Britney Spears; she kills herself trying to get down to the same weight she was before she had her babies. I am sure she’s at that weight. She’ll never look the same in the face, that’s good. That’s a good thing. You want to grown up. There’s beauty in a geometric, instead of a pizza pie I’m a little girl. Christina Ricci needs to…there’s got to be some middle ground. Women have children and they don’t look the same. Beyonce does. Beyonce looks exactly the same. The whole notion that she’s in the illuminati, that she wasn’t really pregnant, that she had a surrogate, all I am saying is that she released an album in the middle of the night and there were 18 videos done with millions of different creative teams attached and nobody knew about it? I’m just saying she’s good at keeping secrets. Please don’t attack me for not liking the album. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t.

I want to talk about possums before I get to the guest. I googled marsupial because, I don’t know why. Who knows why? A marsupial is an animal with a pouch-- kangaroos, and it turns out so are possums. I found this fact ridiculous. What do possums need a pouch for? They are so ugly. I’m not even a ferret, but I would put a ferret in a Baby Bjorn and put a little beret on it. Looks, he’s kind of cute as opposed to even looking at a possum. What do they use their pouch for? No one is going to invite a possum anyway that they would need to pack a pouch. Do you know what I mean? At no point is a possum saying, “Let me put my pouch together.” Do you know what they carry in that pouch? Possum babies, isn’t that disgusting? That’s the worst thing I have ever heard, Ugh!

I know I said that was the last thing I was going to talk about but I want to also mention that I saw American Hustle. I don’t understand what the fuss is about Jennifer Lawrence. I saw her body on the poster, she looked fantastic. I don’t need a girl crush. I don’t need to pretend that she’s my friend. I don’t need it. I can like artists for their work do you know what I mean? Did anybody in 1972 go to Cabaret and say I wish Liza was my BFF and I could have brunch with her. No they didn’t. They were too busy being shocked and stunned and amazed by how talented and iconic she was and looked, and that movie being great. It was great. They weren’t like “Oh my god! Do you know who my dream best friend is? Faye Dunaway, Lauren Hutton and I need to get cupcakes, or FroYo. Do you know who my dream bestie is? Deborah Winger.” That wasn’t a thing people said. Those were better times. They just were. It’s not because women didn’t like each other as much. We’ve always liked each other. Whenever we are being pitted against each other look at the patriarchy. You’re never fighting against your own cause.

I think the whole Rashida Jones and I go shopping for hoodies, then we get pizza and we watch Love Actually...

One of the ongoing fights I had with my ex which I remember around this time of year, always meaning this is the first time is that he loved Love Actually and I threw it in the garbage. He has held it against me. Do I remember throwing it in the garbage? Kind of. It was on a pile of loose DVDs and I threw it away, I guess. I did. I just did. It is a terrible movie. You can get it. If you want to watch Love Actually you can watch Love Actually. You don’t need it on DVD. He found the DVD box and asked where’s the DVD? I don’t know. You threw it away. Uh-huh. I totally did. That movie stinks. People talk about it but it’s a terrible movie.

I want to mention that in American Hustle—Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Schmorence, Amy Adams is the amazing. Please Jennifer who? Amy Adams is so gorgeous in this movie that I put her in the Red Head Hall of Fame. That’s true. That’s true.

We are going to start the show. We have one guest. One guest is all we need.