Episode 162: "Praying to Fonts"

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April 11, 2014


Brian Stack

Origin of the episode title[edit]

In Orthodox Judaism, women and men sit separately so that no one is distracted from praying to God. In Wes Anderson movies, there are no women so that no one is distracted from praying to fonts.


Hello kids! This week we have the the nicest man in comedy, BRIAN STACK. Julie chats with Brian about writing for Conan for 17 years, the dark side of crooners, and the Chicago-produced series, EARLY ADDITION, on which he played a zookeeper.

This episode also marks the triumphant return of Hidey (in song)! Plus, some Wes Anderson rumination and just a skootch of Gaysplaining. RIP Mickey Rooney! You would've hated this episode!


Download the Episode[edit]

Episode Link

Monologue Transcript[edit]

Transcription by Amy

	Oh my god the mic is on. This is humiliating for me, Hidey. 
Hidey how did you get in here?
	I was hiding. I was hiding this whole time.
Hidey, you don't need to hide. (singing) Make yourself known to the world young Hidey. Show your face to the people who love you.
	No I can't.
Yes you can't
	No I can't. 
Yes, you can.
	Yes, I can.
That's it Hidey now you are part of the world.

Oh thanks you, please hold your applause. Oh you are standing up, wow! Thank you. Thank you so much. That was a selection from Hidey the musical. My name is Julie Klausner welcome back for another episode of HWYW. We will not be accepting donations to fund the production of Hidey the musical. We are going to force the AV Cub to pay for it.

I know that you are not supposed to read certain things on the internet, like comments. I stopped reading comments but I still read criticisms if they come from an informed and well-meaning place. I don't think actors should read criticisms, unless they should. I don't know. That's like saying cats should not drink water past 3pm. I am not a cat. I don't know what's going on in that brain. It is like a pendulum with a couple of cotton balls in a jar? I think writers should read reviews. They should read what people have to say. Therefore I read Podmass (or Podmiss) it can be helpful and it can be hurtful.

There was a review of an episode a few weeks back that was opened by my character Hidey. You can update my character list on how was your wiki.com. There is a character I do H-I-D-E-Y, the AV Club called her grating. That hurt Hide's feelings. She tried to kill herself twice. Hidey if you are going to drink drain cleaner go for it. She mixed some Ajax into a glass o warm water. I don't know if she was trying to take her cues from Metamucil. Whatever it was it didn't work. The second time she tried to hang herself with a celibate robe as the great, he's not young anymore, Young MC. Is he dead or is he fat? Either one, please let me know whether Young MC is either dead or fat.

Hi everybody, it is Julie Klausner welcome back for another episode of HWYW. I already did that but I did it again because no one is telling me otherwise. No one is the boss of me. I am excited to be back in New York City talking to you right now. I feel like a new woman. I am excited Mickey Rooney is dead. Honestly you can call me a ghoul for saying that, but I would be lying to you, which I am not in the habit of doing if I were to tell you that the night I heard Mickey Rooney died I felt a little safer in this world. I felt it was a better world once he was gone. I am just saying that because I hated him as a performer. I never enjoyed anything he did. When he worked with Judy I felt like he should get away from her.

When he was a young boy I didn't care for him. When he was in Pete's Dragon I didn't care for him. When he was turning up every once in a while with his gigantic troll…looked like a sour pickle… I am not making fun of him. He had warts on his face, but it is beyond that. He was bloated; he looked like one of those pickled tomatoes. I didn't care for him. I liked him in Eagleheart. I didn't like when I would hear anecdotes about him being a jerk. I especially didn't care about him when he dressed up like other ethnicities and made fun of them. It is harder to explain on twitter when you tweet, "I am really happy Mickey Rooney is dead." People call you mean. I have no idea where they are getting that from. Twitter is so crazy. There are so many crazy people with their crazy ideas right? You are being mean. It is harder to explain in 140 characters, which are more characters than Mickey Rooney could play. He wasn't versatile everybody. In 1976, Mickey Rooney appeared in That's Entertainment II, he was an old man. He was walking around on the MGM lot and he said right to the camera, there was film in the camera, he said, "Yesteryear was a special time, let's watch a clip of me in blackface." Then they showed a clip of him in blackface. He could not have been more proud. See that? That was fun. I don't think he said exactly what I said, but he was a smirking no good… there was something about him.

Julie, Mickey Rooney was a legend. So was Doctor Mengele. I am very excited Mickey Rooney is dead. I am excited that Passover is around the corner. Everyone's favorite holiday is Passover right? Jewish girls and boys love not being able to eat Easter candy if they grow up in a conservative home where Cadbury Crème Eggs only exist in your sweet Toshiba television. I think the fish in the Cadbury commercial is going to get the part this year. Is there a fish? There's a chick, a cat, and a dog. Is there a monkey? Poor Charla Nash, the one who had a little problem. Oh Travis, Travis the chimp. It is basically a ballad, ballad of the Neanderthal. Oh, now I am depressed. Travis the chimp, there's no worse story of the 21st century. How many years were we into the 21st century before Travis the face ripping chimp came around? Not very long.

What did we have? We had 9/11. We had Bridgegate. We had that thing on CNN where Will I Am used an iPad or something, and then we had the poor woman in Connecticut. What she had to endure. What Travis had to endure. The whole thing is just a tragedy. I don't even know why I have been talking about it for this long.

I am excited about Joe's Pub Shows coming up. We are doing a HWYW Live on June 21st at the Bell House.

I had a culturally enlightening weekend. I saw a play, Heathers, The Musical, which was very very good.

I saw the Wes Anderson movie which was beautifully centered. All of the shots are very centered. There weren't a lot of women in it which was wonderful. Very nicely done. Wes Anderson is the orthodox Jewish person of moviemakers in how Orthodox men and women pray in separate parts of the temple. There is a divider between them. They do that so that the women don't distract the men when they are praying to god. I feel like Wes Anderson is praying to fonts in his films. If there were women there they might distract the artist or the audience. Instead it's a young boy of color. In no way is Wes Anderson attracted to teenage boys from India or Pakistan.

The other thing I wanted to mention about the Wes Anderson movie, which I enjoyed, is that he knows his pace. The movies don't over stay their welcome. They move along at a fast enough clip that you don't know whether or not it is good or bad. You sort of enjoy it and then it is over. There is something Wes Anderson has a problem with, that's pets. He killed a couple of dogs. Wasn't there a dog that died in the Royal Tenenbaums, a beagle? The dog in Moonrise Kingdom, a beautiful dog is impaled by an arrow. It's horrible. He's not saying anything with it, I don't think except for maybe for humor or small scale tragedy. Sometimes it's just a joke. There's a joke in The Grand Budapest Hotel where a character throws a cat out of the window and that is supposed to be funny and to show the character's sadism. What did cats and dogs ever do to him? What is his relationship with Tilda Swinton? What do Wes Anderson and Tilda Swinton do when they make eye contact? Does their skin become white melted candle wax when their eyes meet?

Here's the thing about Wes Anderson, I would fuck Wes Anderson. I would love to fuck Wes Anderson. I think he is good looking. Is that a source of shame? No. I am not into feeling ashamed of anything lately. I didn't rob a bank. I talked about beating yourself up a few weeks ago and how it leads to absolutely nothing. It is not the opposite of discipline but it is not a helpful tool for productivity. Neither is shame or blame or guilt. Some people harness guilt to get themselves to do things. For me it is just a way to make not exercising make me feel like Aileen Wuornos but less pretty. I am not doing it anymore. Anyway, I would fuck the shit out of Wes Anderson.

I found out that Mickey Rooney...I don't have anything personal against Mickey Rooney; I just don't care for him as an entertainer. Ann Miller, incredibly talented and delightful dropped dead, and Mickey Rooney persevered. Judy Garland died in 1969, caused or at least contributed to the Stonewall Riots, I am gaysplaining if there are people who don't know she died the same week of the Stonewall Riots and that he death was something gay men were already upset about. The cops coming in to harass gay people at a bar, that's it! Judy is dead and now this? It was a hot summer, August in NYC. We should all be lucky to be agitated b something besides the humidity. In case you didn't know that now you know that. Maybe I should have a gay-splaining feature of the podcast where we say things as smile as Carrie Fischer father was Eddie Fischer and her mother was Debbie Reynolds and Postcards from the Edge was based on their relationship. Meryl Streep plays young Carrie Fischer and Shirley MacLaine plays Debbie Reynolds. That's something that everybody I know knows. Maybe you don't. Let me know if you think thesis helpful. I am aware that wasn't a great example of gay-splaining, but maybe it'd be a refresher course, back to basics kind of thing of rate meat of us. To go back to the cannon, like when dads watch all of the Godfather movies on a Friday night.

So I went to the Wes Anderson movie, I saw a play and I then read a book. That is amazing. I have been in New York for a week and a half, and I feel like I am a goddamn walking New Yorker magazine. I feel like I am Eustace Tilley. I read a book by Adele Waldman and I loved it. I read a novel. I watched RuPaul’s Drag Race. I am rooting for Darianne Lake because she reminds me of my late cat Smiley Muffin. She's exactly like Smiley Muffin. Darianne Lake is totally Smiley Muffin down to her giant tits. I learned that there is a Ricky Jay documentary on Netflix. Ricky Jay deserves a better documentary. He's an interesting fellow. Ricky Jay is an obese fellow--of now I am straight-splaining, I am Paul Thomas Anderson-splaining. Ricky Jay is an interesting man to some extent. In the 70s he had nice long hair. It was a terrible documentary. I also watched the Batman movie they made; I don't know if it was during the series or after the series. It was Burt Ward and Adam West obviously in the lead roles and then a menagerie of villains; they all collaborated in this one, in a submarine. It was Catwoman, the Jokair, Cesar Romero he still had his mustache on for the movie, he didn't even shave it for the movie, the Penguin, Vincent Price as Mr. Egghead wasn't there, the Riddler a couple of other nuisance people. Lee Meriweather was in the movie, which I cannot …what was Sally Field not available? I can't stand when they have a plain woman play Catwoman, no disrespect to Lee Meriwether, I don't understand why they cast her because she is boring.

Here are Catwomen in order: 1) Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt is in her own sphere. I cannot even put Eartha Kitt as number 1. Eartha Kitt is her own list. List of Eartha Kitt as Catwoman: 1) Eartha Kitt, the end. Julie Newmar was a great Catwoman, I enjoyed what Michelle Pfeiffer did. Who saw the Halle Berry movie? Wasn't there a thing this week going around on Buzzfeed, how many of these bad movies have you seen? It may as well have been my Netflix queue. God I should catch up on all of this garbage. Ricky Jay deserves a better documentary- Covered.

Jake Fogelnest has ruined my life. Have you seen the Forbidden Zone directed by Richard Elfman who is never, never, never going to be in the Redhead Hall of Fame? It is an upsetting movie and I am not in favor of it. I watched it in my early 30s. I was aware of it during college which is when I should have seen it originally. It is in the same echelon of Eraserhead, though it is not as good as Eraserhead. It is very upsetting. It features music by The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. Don't ask. Susan Tyrrell is in it but you can see her in Crybaby. Herve Villechaize is in it but I never even got to the part with Herve Villechaize. At a certain point in the movie I thought life is too short. I can't watch these idiots make this noise. Black and white cartoons really scared me as a little kid whenever the King of Cartoons on PeeWee showed up I found a reason to make myself a second breakfast. It is very 80's 40's in that way in that it takes its cues from that upsetting freakish black and white world. Danny Elfman plays the devil. It is horrible. It is a horrible movie. I am glad it exists, but I am also glad I am not watching it right now or really ever.

Jake Fogelnest let me know that there is an IndieGoGo campaign…By the way I just learned about IndieGoGo and you should support our friend Rachel Lichtman's documentary called Boyce and Hart the Guys who Wrote 'Em. Those are good people and her documentary is on IndieGoGo and you can give her $10 because she should put this movie out because it is a great movie. Do you know what is not a great movie or what appears to be a terrible movie? Forbidden Zone 2.

Jake Fogelnest brought Forbidden Zone 2 to my attention. Richard goddamn Elfman who is a Scientologist landlord of Steve Agee who lives in the same apartment complex as Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Junior lived back in the day. I have been to Steve Agee's apartment. At least seventeen people were murdered in that place; the ghosts are as thick as the Los Angeles smog. They want money for a sequel for Forbidden Zone 2. You can google that but I strongly recommend you don't. It will take you to the video that Richard Elfman made where he is looking right into the camera explaining what he wants to do with his time and your money. Then he is dressed up as a clown. There's a good looking blonde woman who has pasties on her nipples and horns and they gave her a pig nose. The whole thing is everything wrong with the counterculture. I don't want to say I hate it most, but I really hate it. There are so many different counter cultures and this one is a real stinker. I watched the whole thing today. I didn't watch the whole thing. There was a whole part in the middle where the previewed some of the music over some conceptual sketches and I thought I'd skip that. Did I just talk about Forbidden Zone for 5 minutes? Oops.

The other thing I want to mention about the Batman movie that I watched before I move on from that, which I already did, I love it when Catwoman holds actual cats. That is really funny to me. Catwoman is really sexy so by association cats are sexy. Cats can be sexy. They are slinky, they love showing you their assholes when you are petting them. I repeat, every time a cat does that to me I say, "I am not interested in your butt." It is cute but it is also upsetting when you think about the events that led to other events. But cats are also stupid and goofy and they make me laugh because they look very serious and they have brains that are like jars with a pendulum and cotton balls jangling around in it. Therefore in this movie, Lee Meriwether is holding aback long-hair cat. It is the sexiest of cats, it is exotic, and it is black, therefore sexy. She is holding the cat and talking to the Joker. They are plotting to kill Batman. At one point the cat looks directly into the camera. It is so funny. It is the opposite of sexy. There's no mystique. It's not sultry. I wanted to mention that whenever actual cats interact with Catwoman it is really funny.

Jimmy Jazz is holding me hostage. I came home from LA recently. I was reunited with my cat Jimmy Jazz. He has been acting pretty normal except in the morning the holds me hostage to his whims. He bullies me into feeding him by yelling at me a lot louder than he has in the past. I am wondering if anyone has experience with their cats developing that behavior after they have been away for a while. I wasn't sure if he was angry I was gone or if he is happy I am home, but all I know if that he wake me up at dawn by yelling at me with really really loud meows like there is an urgency to my waking up and feeding him. He gets angry. I will go to the bathroom and he'll yell through the door. Cat people if you have advice about dealing with that behavior please let me know because my cat is holding me hostage.

He is also so mushy and I am so happy to be back with him.

Finally, there's no finally. There is no finality in this flat circle of time. We got great emails. I can't thank you enough for rising to the occasion with tips for Hotlips this week….Tips… Last week I had spoken about the Manson Tour I went on and how great it was. I learned that the tour guide, my pal Scott, well he's not my pal, but I do want to had whim on the show at some point. Scott is the former partner of Graham Norton, as in So Graham Norton. This was brought to my attention by Mike Leno… this is an email Mike sent me. He writes: How happy that I am that you went on the Helter Skelter Tour and how much I enjoyed your description. The 'documentary' is on Netflix called "Six Degrees of Helter Skelter"

Watched it, Thank you. done and done

Fun fact about Scott, he used to be Graham Norton's partner and he links to Scott's bio. Just before my liberation from Grave Line. I know this from the tour. Scott moved to LA and he worked for Grave Line which tour company that shows people where dead stars used to live. He didn't like it there. I fell in love and moved to the UK to be with my partner at the time, Graham Norton (Comedy Central’s “The Graham Norton Effect,” and “So Graham Norton”.) Because of my immigration status, I was unable to leave for about a year and a half after Princess Diana died. It drove me nuts not being able to travel the short distance to Paris to see the tunnel.

I think that is a beautiful story and am so glad the he shared it with us.

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