Episode 176: "False Chunk"
July 18, 2014
Origin of the episode title
A little ball of just-ice cream in a pint of Ben & Jerry's Half-Baked that is impersonating a chunk of brownie or candy bar.
Comedy writer and delightful human SCOTT KING joins us this week. Enjoy our discussion of the disadvantages of gay men who grew up without watching DYNASTY on prime time, his serial comedy live show in NYC back in the day starring-ahem-Juliana Margulies, and why everybody should do a goddamn dreamboard.
Also- how to change your ice game! A cookie dough revelation! How much "Weird" Al is too much "Weird" Al? And all hail a chimpanzee named Julie, for fashion reasons.
- Julie the Chimp is added to the Critter Hall of Fame because she invented fashion for her chimp group. 
- Julie will judge anyone for drinking Pimm's. Eat a candle.
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Hello, hello. It’s Julie Klausner back for another episode of HWYW.
It’s mid-July. I have half a song. I don’t know the verses or the chorus but basically it’s about Jimmy Jazz. You sing it to him and it goes (sings) Someone dipped your face in milk, Someone dipped you face in milk, Someone dipped your face in milk…Then the end which I have figured out the melody goes, Or was it cream? That’s a little insight into my process. My week was filled with more variety than last. Last week I spent Monday-Friday in my apartment writing. I wrote a script. I’m happy that I wrote a script in a week. I did nothing else…I didn’t do anything else I was proud of; I’ll put it that way. It’s tough to beat yourself up over not managing to exercise or eat well, see people or sort of balance a social life with a stay at home sort of work life. I managed to do it. I managed to make myself feel bad. I will say I did come to a….a certain point you have to give in. Not to the bully just to the louder of the voices. Let me just put it this way. I went through 5 pints of…Ben and Jerry’s makes terrible ice cream with wonderful chunks of candy and cookies inside of them. The ice cream around it is sort of a suspension, like a vase that holds flowers really and then they just put in baked goods and snack foods and candy. You think oh this is good! It is. But the ice cream around the things I s just useless. It’s not even yogurt, it’s ice milk. They have a flavor called half-baked. It’s either frozen yogurt or whatever it is just makes me feel better about buying it.
Last week, I mentioned it was me and my brain on the computer. I needed to, I go through phases where I am biting my nails or not biting my nails, right now I am not biting my nails. They look fine. They look cute. So I needed some sort of compulsive behavior to give myself. The internet wasn’t doing it for me. Usually I take breaks. I don’t know if it is because of the summer but going to check on sites wasn’t giving me the morphine that hitting the button usually does. So I started digging through these pints of Half Baked and I didn’t eat the ice cream. At first I did then thought that this is a fucking waste of my time. Then I found myself digging for chunk of little cookie dough morsels and little not even cubes, but shreds of brownies. I think I remember reading on one of the chocolate fudge brownie pints that these brownies were baked by mentally ill adults. Wonderful. Do you know what? They are passing the savings along to me. The extra ingredient is fudge, frankly.
So after the first pint I didn’t know how I felt. I wanted to do it again. The next day I did the same thing. Only I didn’t bother with ice cream. I just dug for the chunks. I mixed the ice cream around to make sure I wasn’t missing any chunks. Sometimes there’re false chunks. There’s a little ball but it is just of ‘ice cream,’ I’m going to be completely honest with you I wasn’t averse to spitting those out. It came a time when I was on my fourth or fifth pint, around Thursday or Friday whenever it was. I hadn’t washed my hair. I was wearing some equivalent of a house dress that was sheer because it’s from American Apparel and is one size which means it’s huge but it’s see through so I couldn’t answer the door when I got delivery which was constantly, so I would just put a towel around me.
The point is my creative juices were flowing but not a lot of others except for the ice cream juice. The point is that I learned by the third or fourth pint I ordered, there’s a place that delivers groceries to me and it has ruined my life as far as ever seeking any kind of balance or being outside of the apartment, but by the fourth of fifth pint I learned that whenever I was done with the chunk digging just to run the remainder under a warm faucet. Around that point I thought to myself, I’m just going to get a tube of cookie dough because, a few different reasons. I am going to accept that this is the week I wrote a script and ate cookie dough, let’s just call it was it was. But also it’s wasteful. It’s expensive. It’s wasteful. What are we doing ladies? Not ladies, privileged Ben and privileged Jerry. I don’t know what I am doing. I’m a little tired.
Anyway I got a tube of cookie dough. I would have a couple of bite of it. I would have a couple bites of cookie dough and then I’d bake a couple of lumps of cookie dough. I’d have some cookies, those are proper food. Good job Julie, ugh! That’s over.
This week was different. This week I left the house. I saw people. I did things. I moved my body which was terrifying and I learned a few things. One thing I learned that I’d like to share with you, my friend Jodi pointed this out to me, there is a chimpanzee named Julie. I would very much appreciate it if anyone who has access to the Howwasyourwiki.com page can please add Julie the chimp to the Critter Hall of Fame immediately. Julie is a chimpanzee; she’s no longer with us. She was in a group of other chimps and one day Julie started putting grass in her ears. Just a single strand in each ear, they were kind of long sort of like a dangling earring. Sooner or later all of the chimps in her group started putting grass in their ears. Jodi mentioned that there was one mail chimp that didn’t like doing it so that he would only put short blades of grass in is ears, “I don’t like this but I guess this is what we do.” Then they examined other neighboring groups or tribes of chimps and they were not doing it.
After Julie passed away her sons still maintain the tradition of putting grass in their ears? What is this important? Because fashion, because style, because trends. None of those words were mentioned in these articles. It was all about monkey see monkey do. Let’s just call this what we are dealing with here. There’s a female chimpanzee named Julie who invented earrings and all of the other chimps around her were like Julie knows what she’s doing. I have got to start dressing like her otherwise they are not going to let me into the cool tree. I would like you all to add Julie the chimp to the Critter Hall of Fame because she is worthy.
Another thing I did last week that I actually wrote down to talk about even though I didn’t expect to spend so much time telling you about my cookie dough related crutch/shame…it doesn’t matter. I didn’t kill anybody. It’s fine. If you spend enough time alone with your brain sometimes beating up yourself up gets boring so you start doing things for yourself the way that magazines tell you ‘leave your lover a note in his lunch’ or hid a little note in his pants saying ‘I can’t wait for you to do this to me later!’ What? Why would you ever do that? And yet you spend enough time alone you become your own partner. All I mean to say is I realized one afternoon that there were five kinds of ice tea in m refrigerator that I had made very early in the morning and had gone back to sleep and had completely forgot that I had made. It was a pleasant surprise. Oh, ok. Which one is this herbal or peppermint? It’s interesting. I even had an old Mason jar that I had filled with Bengal Tiger ice tea. None of this is interesting; I’m just saying it really happened. Then midway through the week my ice-game completely changed. I have two regular trays of ice and two artisanal trays, the trays are soft and they make perfect cubes because my ex- was a sort of a fancy lad when it came to his alcoholism. He liked to have his drinks with…honestly, it sounds like I’m judging him but that’s the furthest thing, I don’t want to say that I would do, because I would certainly judge him but not on his scotch consumption, or gin, or Pims.
Do you know what? I will judge anyone who drinks Pims. Pims is gross. Eat a candle. Drink Potpourri.
Here’s what I figured out with my ice. First of all my kitchen faucet runs hot which is good for the Half Baked chunk digging but it is not so good when you come home from a hot day and you just want a cold glass of tap water. New York City tap water everybody Bloomberg’s finest. I know it’s DeBlasio New York but that doesn’t mean that waiters have to switch right over, maybe they should. I figured out that if you take a bowl and you put it in your goddamn freezer and you empty out trays into the bowl consistently and keep refilling the trays sooner or later you will have a bowl of ice that you can keep reaching into and grab a few cubes drop it into a glass, have yourself an ice tea or ice water and then as a treat for yourself you fill the tray again. This revolutionized my life this is a whole new strata.
There’s a new CVS by my apartment. I had mixed feelings about it before it opened. They had been building it for a while. It’s really big. Although the space itself—the density of it is very odd. I’d say maybe 25% to ½% of it is just empty space between a freezer and a cash register. After you get past that unnecessarily wide berth there are aisles after aisles of preservative, basically snacks that keep. Basically anything you can keep in your car and is bad for you. On top of that there is whatever you’d have at a regular CVS except I didn’t know how I’d feel about it until I went in. I did go in last weekend. The bad news is it’s haunted. There’s only one corner that’s haunted. It’s just a little odd patch, almost like the little pantry of the store. If you go into the CVS you’ll know what I mean. They will probably arrange this little area a lot so that will be the area that has more snacks. Or that will be the first aid area. Or that will be the lady products or the greeting cards. Right now it’s paper plates and plastic bags but not in bulk. I was looking for a pitcher because I want to make more ice tea. No pitcher but when I stepped into that little cubby haunted pantry area I felt like there were ghosts.
It’s not a great place. I’m not nuts about it, and yet it exists. So we grapple.
A lot of Weird Al right? He’s around. He’s somebody who really committed to a thing that he liked to do. There is a kind of person who says, “No. No. No. I am going to wear my hair like this.” He’s completely committed; I’m not saying it’s bad or good. Penn Jillette kind of reminds me of that guy. Because there’s no way anyone says, “DO you know what you’re doing with your hair? I love it.” He’s got that defiance in his committed performing style and also, “You may not think it’s funny but I sure as hell do and I’m going to put 110% behind it until you are so goddamned charmed by at least my effort and ability that whether or not you like it is going to be so far down the list. Generationally Weird Al is very very potent right now. People my age grew up with him. I wonder how vulnerable millenials are to Weird Al. People my age and older have nostalgia. Then there’s the LA Alternative comedy scene which seamlessly embraced him. Back in 1802 when the Largo settlers pitched their tent over on not Wilshire, I think Wilcox….How boring. Anyway, Weird Al is very in with the alternative LA comedians. I say good for everybody, and I also say weird. Not Weird Al weird but different weird. You remember oh right we all still live in the 90s in a certain way, at least LA. I’m sorry LA, I don’t mean to rain on you parade. You guys are a little behind the east coast. To some extent you’re still in the 1990s. That means even if you don’t know you are really excited about something being ironic. It’s endearing. I’m not saying you should be ground up and turned into People Sausage or anything, just know there’s a certain element of what you do that isn’t very different for going around wearing a silly T-shirt with eh Care Bears on it or carrying a lunchbox that says Starsky and Hutch. It’s interesting. This was generation X. Sigh, Weird Al.
I love the one he did with Patton, the one with the illuminati at the end. I couldn’t sleep the other night and I got into there’s so much coverage on Weird Al’s eight days of Hanukkah videos. So I thought I’ll watch all of these videos. Why not? They are embedded. I’m awake. I’ve got nothing else to do except for worrying about how I’m not sleeping. I’ll click on White and Nerdy. Wow! His commitment to his physicality…he’s always going to make that face with his eyes. He’s always going to turn his head down a little bit. He’s always going to arch his eyebrows and do what he likes to do. The same way that he will probably diffuse his hair and not brush it through or give it a little texture.
It’s not even worth fighting about or even worth discussing. Maybe it is worth discussing because I’m discussing it. His commitment as a performer is impressive, however, it is off-putting visually in a lot of ways, and it’s assaultive. I also have to mention that with all of the videos he put out this week featuring our friends of the west, representatives of the great team of the LA comedy Riots, when he put Jack Black in that one video—holy shit! Guys, here’s the thing about Jack Black. He’s a real performer. He’s somebody who gets on stage in front of a camera, whatever it is and you’re not warming up anymore. Jack Black means it that he can do the same dumb lip-syncing as everybody else and walk towards the camera. I think he’s a fun performer to watch. He’s the real deal, that’s all. He’s only the real deal. I’m glad he’s back. I’m glad he was gone long enough for me to miss him.
Don’t discuss what’s going on in the Gaza strip on twitter. You shouldn’t do anything on Facebook. The only reason I am on Facebook is Schadenfreude and ancient compulsion, and attachment to photos of people I know because there are more of them on Facebook than Instagram as of now. What is goin on in the Middle East right now should not be reduced to 140 characters. As I mentioned before don’t assume that your friends are on your side with this stuff because it is really really tricky. That’s all I have to say about that.
Elaine Stritch is dead. Here’s the thing, Elaine Stritch was a legend and an icon and there will be no one else like her ever. I worked with her, oddly enough on the Big Gay Sketch Show which was the show our guest this week, Scott King, hired me to write on. She was such a terror it was like having a wild animal roaming free in the office hallways. It’s almost like we needed a lion for the sketch, ok the lion is here—where’s its handler? She was so mean. She would yell at everybody. She would make no sense. She was senile but it was your fault. Then she’d get in front of the audience and all was forgiven because she was Elaine Stritch. However, I barely even worked with her, I hadn’t written a sketch she wa sin, I was just an observer and grateful to be a part of it, but I overhear d speaker phone conversation where she was so loud you could hear her down the hall and she was quite a character. She was a monster and a lizard person. She was one of the most talented and unique human performers that will ever have fucked Marlon Brando. She’s a fascinating gal. I’m glad that Broadway dimmed its light tonight as though Broadway had any choice in the matter.
I’m going to introduce our guest…