Episode 160: "God"
March 28, 2014
Origin of the episode title
Penn Jillette from Penn and Teller's safe word.
This week's show features a talk with the hilarious and inimitable TIFFANY HADDISH. Listen as Tiffany talks about the video she made for Planned Parenthood, how Charles Fleischer changed her life, what plums will eventually be branded as, and what she will say to Arsenio Hall when she wins her Oscar.
Plus: why House of Cards's metaphors are like wearing wrenches for earrings, "sexy librarian" needlepoint patterns and their uncanniness, a story about going to The Magic Castle for the first time, and why Jewish people bring up cemeteries far too quickly whenever the subject of tattoos emerges. Also RIP Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Coldplay. They are happier in the ground.
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Transcription by Amy'
Hello hello. Hi everybody. It's your old pal Julie, Julie Klausner that is. Hey everyone it is me back for another episode of HWYW. This is the last podcast I will record before I take my own life, just kidding! Haha, pranked you. This is the last podcast/monologue I am going to record in this apartment. I am going back to New York on Monday. I have been in Los Angeles for the last few months living in a subletted apartment in a building that Katherine McPhee lives in. I guess one of her dogs died. I am sorry for her loss.
I am going back to New York soon. I am kind of sad to be going back to New York in a way because I have been out here for the last week not working and it is great. No one ever tells you the best way to live in LA is to have no job. Then you look around you and think clearly that has to be the way to do it because everybody is going to lunch and there's traffic at 1 o'clock. Hey everyone, LA traffic, am I wrong?
Living in LA is great when you don't work. Then it is bad when you don't work I guess, right everyone? Ugh, when did pondering the difference between a New York and LA podcast? I guess when I came to LA. Anyway, I am coming home to New York on Monday. I am looking forward to seeing Jimmy Jazz my cat. Jimmy Jazz has been living with Auntie Renate for the past few months. Recently this month Hot Lips has been staying with Jimmy Jazz. SO Jimmy Jazz has had the company of Auntie Renate who has turned him into a fancy lad. How do I know this because Auntie Renate sent me a text last week that said Jimmy is singing along to Yo-Yo Ma? I said, excuse me? Send me a video.
She videos him and sure enough there was Yo-Yo Ma, that she told me it was Yo-Yo Ma was good to know because I wouldn't have excelled on guess that tune, it was classical music. If you are freaking out about that assessment of Yo-Yo Ma's music I congratulate you for knowing the difference. Look it is still rock and roll to me said one Billiam Joel.
Renate videotaped this scene in which music was playing and Jimmy Jazz was meowling along as though he were an opera singer. I didn't know what to say. I was bushwhacked, no. Hornswaggled? No. What's that British thing? Gobsmacked. Right! Fine. Good. Phat. This is what happens when people would send their kids off to study with a fancy relative for a few months. At the end of it they'd be like, "You better speak French." I don't know if that ever happened to people that weren't immigrants. I picture that happening because I have seen Gigi which is a gross movie.
Gigi is about Leslie Caron growing up and her Aunt's friend realizes it and gets horny. And he sings a song about in the end. The song is called Gigi. He is running around through the streets of Paris realizing that the little girl he has essentially babysat has breasts and a vagina ripe for pumping. It is almost reminiscent of Maria from West Side Story except it is about how vaginas change you know?
Jimmy Jazz is now an opera singair. Ryan Hotlips Houlihan is watching Jimmy this week therefore Jimmy has very strong opinions about Drag Race. I actually think this season is a revelation. I was just overwhelmed by Snatch Game this week. As far as television is concerned, RuPaul’s' Drag Race is at the top of its game. The Real Housewives of New York is absolutely fabulous. It's three episodes and there have already been three insane fights. It's nice to see the girls again and also Nathan Englander was in the last episode. That's incredible. Bravo to Bravo for fitting Nathan Englander into a party scene at Carol Radziwil’s apartment, which I have been in. We sat on the floor and talked about the Kennedys. She wrote that book by the way. She wrote every fucking word. Jimmy the Opera singair.
I didn't want to go any further without congratulating Kevin Smith for getting a new late night talk show. Last week I expressed concern that it had been nearly a fortnight since a white straight male person was given a talk show. Thankfully, luckily that streak has been broken by one hockey-jersey McGoatee Jorts as I know him. Congratulations Kevin Smith if there is anything people need more of is you on camera.
I keep a list of things to talk about during the week that I can refer to. It is shorthand, just a list for me so that when I do talk to you once a week, as I am doing now; I can look at my jottings. There’s one thing on here that just says how quickly Jewish people bring up cemeteries when you talk about tattoos. I have this as a knee-jerk reaction to anyone suggesting that I get a tattoo, or asking me about tattoos, or the subject of tattoos. It comes up because as you know I hang out with Kat Von D since I have been out here. We just have a lot in common. It occurred to me that in the same way you cannot say David Crosby without me making a joke about a turkey baster because he got Melissa Etheridge's wife pregnant, remember?
Remember when Melissa Etheridge and her wife Julie got together and said, "Come on were both intelligent grown women. Let's put our heads together and figure out who we know whose sperm would be appropriate for the family we want to start." They both said at the same time, "David Crosby." If you say David Crosby I will make a turkey baster joke, that's just a fact. Whether or both they used a turkey baster, I don't care. It's like a tic.
Similarly when the subject of tattoos comes up, I and I believe other Jews, will very quickly say they can't get a tattoo because then they can't be buried in a Jewish cemetery, as though that's a life incentive. If you think of that in any other point, the idea of being buried in a Jewish cemetery doesn't seem like a goal that is a day to day goal. It's not like you think fondly of your future and that involves being buried in a Jewish cemetery. Also the subject of tattoos needn't be a life or death conversation and yet by invoking the process of burying our dead it becomes one. I am not going to judge it but it makes the medicine go down, no, it doesn't it's quite the opposite.
I am saying Jewish people very quickly bring up cemeteries when you ask if you have any tattoos. That's something I have on my list that I am checking off because I talked about it.
I just came from the Magic Castle. I went to the Magic Castle tonight for the first time in my life. I hope you are aware of the magic castle. I am ticking off stuff on my to-do list in Los Angeles before I go back to New York on Monday. That means I am fitting a lot into this last week because when I was working all I did was work and sleep. I am a lot happier now that I am loafing. That is something that is new. Being able to relax is something I consistently is something I chase whereas being able to have fun is something that comes after that. That is another thing I am working on. That and not beating myself up or at least being conscious of when I am doing it, blaming myself, or making things worse. Guilt sometimes helps. I treat guilt the way some people treat sugar, in moderation.
I have always wanted to go to the Magic Castle. If you don’t know what the Magic Castle is I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know where to begin. Just google it, Neil Patrick Harris, it’s the Magic Castle. I went tonight. Michael Penn and Aimee Mann took me because Michael is a member. It was a unique evening.
I got a silhouette portrait done. Aimee insisted. Have you ever gotten one at Disneyland? Have you ever been to Disneyland? How many of you were neglected as children by not being taken to Disneyland? Do you know when somebody is a silhouette artist and they look at you and cut out a shape that is supposed to resemble you? You say, “Ooh, Ahh.” Then you give them $15. That happened tonight but the silhouette that he ended up cutting out and giving me a portrait of is basically a hate crime. It essentially a German propaganda cartoon. I look like I have a beak. I don’t have a beak. Look, I don’t have ‘the Mindy’ as David Rakoff used to call the standard upturned button kind of nose job that girls would come in and say, “Give me the Mindy.” Or doctors would assume that they said that and they would break their noses and start from scratch. I don’t have the Mindy. The point is that he made me look like it was a hate crime. That is my point.
Abracadabra. I was not prepared for the amount of drunken girls at the Magic Castle. It’s a social club. There are so many bars and a couple of restaurants, and then a theater for the stage show. There is a parlor for the up close parlor show. There’s a guys walking around doing tricks. There’s a bartender who I am certain was a ghost. He was very old and had crazy eyes. He kept talking about how he had messed up. When I Magicians talk about messing up if they are good they pretended to mess up so that they really dazzle you. That didn’t happen. He said, “Oops. Let me try again. I messed up.” There were a couple of jokes that were rough-even magician rough. He had an urn that was a pot. He said, “This is called the P-O-T trick. Or it used to be because pot didn’t used to be legal in California. Now I call it the POT trick.” What?
The drunken girls at the Magic Castle are sort of bachelorette-partyish. The dress code is that men must look like gentleman and ladies like ladies. You can’t go in with jeans or shorts or sneakers. Apparently friend of the show and loved one, Jamie Denbo whom I send compassion and bleeding heart, love, love, love, love this week, her dog passed away. Jamie Denbo went to the Magic Castle one time and she was not wearing a skirt. They said to her, “You have to wear a skirt. Would you like to borrow a skirt from our closet?” In the same way when a man goes to a restaurant that is jacket and tie only you can have a jacket from a closet? You can smell the mold from the kitchen. Jamie Denbo got a loaner skirt from the Magic Castle. This is why Janie Denbo is more brave than anyone I know who hasn’t been in an actual war. Jamie Denbo wore the loaner skirt. She wore the loaner skirt in order to get in and have her dinner. I asked her after going Ugh! More times than was kind what material it was made out of. She told me crushed velvet. Ugh! God just inject my blood with the Ebola virus with a dirty needle. Are you sure you don't want me to roll around on this mattress that someone left on the street with a couple of odd brownish rust stains? Crushed velvet loaner skirts, of all the things! Jamie Denbo you are my favorite dirty bitch. Twelve gay men just killed themselves listening to this, "I thought I was your favorite dirty bitch." Well, step it up.
The drunk girls were watching a parlor show that Amy, Michael, and I stepped into. This rather charming British gentleman was doing card tricks. When I say charming British gentleman I know you're wondering would you fuck him. Eh? His clothes were embarrassing. I will leave it at that. He looked like a handsome John Lithgow with clothes, I meant hair. This British guy was doing a very classy card trick and these drunk girls, dressed like hookairs, some people are in evening gowns, some people are in mini-dresses that show boobs and legs. Some are in corporate casual. There were all sorts of things for the eyes to see. There were a group of 3 people wearing all vintage clothes and I was certain they were ghosts. I was positive that those people had died 45 years ago. These girls are dress- alike whores and are loudly responding to the magicians patter. It wasn't agonizing like the P-O-T guy. It was whimsical. Every time he would do a trick well and it was remarkable, instead of clapping one girl would say, "Stop. Stop. Stop it." That was a lot of fun.
That was originally Teller's thing but Penn said, "Just be quiet. It will be better." No one could even hear you say stop. That's the story behind how Penn and Teller settled on a safe word. That safe word is god. If Penn or Teller ever says god during sex, stop what you are doing to them.
I walked around Atwater Village last weekend. Here's what I liked in Atwater Village. There's a nice bakery. I do not recommend the hand pie. They have a cherry pie shaped like a heart that is small. It's not worth it. The crust has sugar in it. I hate a piecrust with sugar. Here's what I recommend getting at the Atwater Village Bakery, they have a corn muffin that they inject the middle with strawberry jam. That's what you get in the morning. It's fantastic. That's a sure bet. There is also a fabulous book store, a cool records store and a couple of boutiques. I was walking around thinking this neighborhood is great! It's adorable. This is fantastic. I don't even care that it is supposed to be close to gang violence, this is a really cute neighborhood. I wished I had lived in a neighborhood…It's been three months for god sakes, what is this Brewster's Millions? Am I giving a videotaped will? When I first saw Brewster's Millions I remember thinking it was super cool that the man who died said in his videotaped ill to his family, "Greetings from the grave." If I ever do that that’s what I am going to say too. Hold me to that Jewish cemetery.
I feel like you can judge the gentrification on a block based on how many, how do I put this, how many stores there are that further the notion of upper middle-class highly educated people crafting or going back to some sort of skill. I don't mean ironically. I mean something that teaches people how to do things that their parents and families had known how to do for generations. By that I mean there were a bunch of DIY sewing shops. There are sewing classes. There are fabrics you can buy. There's a place that will embroider things for you. I actually have no snark. This is not me shitting on Etsy right now. Is it quirk? Sure it is quirk, but all quirk is not the same. You can't say this Zoë Deschanel ukulele cupcake stuff everywhere is the same as They Might Be Giants. You can't. It is different. It is just different. How? I don't know. It just is.
I went into a seeing shop. They were very nice. There was a sewing class going on in the back. I browsed a little bit. I found there were a couple of embroidery stitching patterns, predawn so that you could embroider them. They had a couple of themes. This is where it gets a little Portlandiaish; they had kooky space cadets, fruits and flowers, retro shapes and squiggles. Then they had one pattern for this indie-embroidery that comes in this cool envelope that is very well-packed they had one theme which was the sexy librarian embroidery stitching pattern. The precision of the target marketing, of the aim that it took towards the girl with cat-eye glasses who is in grad school for library technician stuff and is browsing on her weekend with her ice coffee in one hand and her small muttly dog in the other who finds this stitching pattern think to herself, how did they know? How did they know that this is perfect for me?
I guess what I am saying is that there are a lot of girls like that. There are a lot of millenials going to graduate school for library science. I guess that is my point. I wouldn't be surprised if 75% of you were millenials going to school for library science. Yes, I am talking to my listeners. There's no fourth wall!
I actually would be surprised. If you are listening and are going to school for library science there is no need to email me and tell me that. If you want to you are more than welcome but please have another point besides that.
I am going to talk about House of Cards now and I would appreciate if you fast forwarded if that is something that is upsetting to you. I am not going to mention any spoilers from the show that are plot related. I am only going to say the following thing; I am about 6 or 7 episodes into the second season of the House of Cards. Robin Wright's collarbone, there's a hole in her neck because she is very sinewy and elegantly emaciated. She has a concave hole around wear her collarbones meet. That hole has not been used yet to store M & Ms but I have a feeling it is coming up in the next episode. The last episode I saw after which I thought I am going to put this show on hold for a minute, was so silly that I can't believe it. Apparently Freddy is a black proprietor of this broken down out of the way ramshackle rib place where Kevin Spacey's character goes and has ribs and talks t the camera and employs metaphors that are like wearing wrenches for earrings. Is this weighing me down? Yes it is. Your earlobes are bleeding. Freddy is the proprietor of Freddy's BBQ joint and he is a great actor but also such stereotype of a magical black man and his role as servicing the despicable white person.
So Freddy was a minor character. The last episode of House of Cards that I saw involved a subplot where there was an article about Freddy and his rib place. Because of that his rib place got really popular. Then somebody came to him with the opportunity to open a chain of them. When they proposed the interior design of Freddy's BBQ chain franchise, Freddy was offended that the tiles on the floor looked rubbishy. Rubbishy is a word right? That would be a good name for a dog.
The ties looked like they were intentionally tarnished. Freddy asks, "Are you trying to say my joint is a garbage place…?" I don't remember what the dialog was; it was probably something a little more ham-handed. Then he went back to this place and a little kid opens the door. You find out it was his grandkid, and he says, "I'm doing this for the money." What the fuck is going on? What? What? We haven't heard from the deep web in 3-4 episodes. The murder thing, China…I have no goddamn idea what is happening with China.
Robin Wright has her far-fetched rape cheating scandal. Not that the rape is farfetched. Anyone can be raped. We know this. There is no shame in it. If you are raped don't feel like you did anything wrong. You didn't. The show is bonkers. House of Cards is bonkers. Do you know what it should be called instead of House of Cards? House of Fucking Crazy Shit. That Freddy BBQ place thing is, I swear to god that is out of Mr. Belvedere. I liked the first season. I watched the first season in a weekend. You can go back and listen to an interview where I flirt with Beau Willamin, listen to that rub one out. I don't know why I am so pissed off about this. Freddy--ugh…
Nothing can go unmined or unravaged; you can't have a detail that just exists as a subtle detail. You have to go back and dig up the roots of this fragile little crocus that is growing. Stab its roots with something pointy and heavy until it is a dead crocus. By the way, crocus is a beautiful flower and a silly name. Why don't people name their kid crocus? If anyone in Atwater Village is listening, don't get any ideas.
Billy on the Street is back. If you are not watching it I guess you don't like the funniest show on television. I did write for Billy on the Street. I do write for Billy on the Street. Everything that is wonderful about Billy on the Street belongs to Billy or is Billy. I generally don't remember what I write for Billy, because I generate a lot of it. But the Ask a squirter bit was mine. I am very proud of it. I am very proud that Ask a squirter got on television because there was a point in which Billy would continually ask myself , Jake Fogelnest and other writing staff for, they are not called lifelines because that was hosted by Regis before he died in that boat crash with Joy Behar, Chris Martin, and Gwyneth Coldplay, rest in peace. Those two are happier in the ground. The lifelines on Billy on the Street, I don't know if they even have a name, the point is that Billy kept asking for more and I just kept saying Ask a squirter. That Billy went around asking woman if they were squirters and that it got on TV is just…if tomorrow I am struck dead by lightening, god forbid, kenahora, poo poo poo, knock on wood, I will have made a mark on society. That's nice.
The Lady Gaga video is insane and wonderful. It has already gone through the internet news cycle. We all chewed, we ate our pop tart too quickly. Gobble, gobble, gobble. Then it was gone. What else is there of food? I am still hungry. Well that's what happened with white flour. Stop it.
I don't really watch late night talk shows though I certainly complain a lot about them on this show. I do sort of wish that there would be an additional season of Larry Sanders just to deal with the internet friendly sort of viral stunts that Jimmy Fallon does. I really wish that we could see Larry trying to do an impression of Tom Petty singing Let it Go to that missing Malaysian plane or something on a xylophone riding a tricycle with Alec Baldwin.
By the way, when Alec Baldwin wrote his suicide note which New York Magazine published, which was questionable taste to publish a celebrity suicide note. Alec Baldwin wrote this article saying I am going to take my own life. Everyone in New York said, "Ok." A couple of us said "Prove it. Do it in front of us and cut lengthwise this time you pussy." We haven't seen a lot of him since. Every once in a while his ghost haunts Ronan Farrow's studio. It's not the same. It's not the same. What else? Suzanne Sommers tweeted Kathy Lee and Hoda that she was just wrapping up another round of hot sex which is distressing. Do you know why it is distressing? It is distressing because if it is a joke it is distressing and if it is not a joke it is distressing.
I want to introduce the one and only guest...