The Daily Beast – Celebrities galore

The Daily Beast logoI recently started doing interviews with various entertainment luminaries at The Daily Beast.

Here is a collection of my posts.

Amy Poehler: The Very Funny Interview – Amy Poehler jokes around and talks about Parks and Recreation. (4/9/09)

Denis Leary to the Rescue – Denis Leary (along with co-creator Peter Tolan) talk about the upcoming season of Rescue Me, and Leary talks about his autism controversy and the continuing comparisons to Bill Hicks. (4/7/09)

Josh Schwartz on Life After Gossip Girl – The prolific producer talks about his new web series, Gossip Girl spoilers, working on Chuck, and teenage angst. (3/23/09)

Bryan Cranston: Daddy Runs a Meth Lab – The Emmy winner talks about Breaking Bad, directing himself, and being the original re-gifter. (3/8/09)

What Holly Hunter Owes Tony Soprano – The Oscar-winning actress talks about Saving Grace, and how cable changed her career. (2/27/09)

What’s Eating Kevin Bacon? – the actor talks about his HBO movie Taking Chance, about getting past his Footloose image early on, and about finally putting Bernie Madoff to rest. (2/19/09)

Will TV Slay Joss Whedon? – The geek auteur talks about Dollhouse: the rewrites and reshoots, the Friday night slot, how he’s confident that this isn’t another Firefly, and if Dr. Horrible will get a sequel. (1/28/09)

TV Squad Fun

TV Squad logoIf you folks didn’t already know, I’m the Editor-in-Chief of the AOL-owned blog TV Squad. It’s been a heck of a lot of fun, and it’s given me a lot of chances to talk to the best and brightest in the world of TV… and spewing my opinions all over the place.

Here are my posts.

Most recent interviews:

Amy Ryan (6/9/09)

Doug Benson (4/20/09) (get it?)

Bobby Cannavale and Sarah Paulson (joint interview fun!) (3/30/09)

Megan Mullally (3/25/09)

Dylan Baker (3/13/09)

My favorite interviews:

Bob Newhart (12/4/08)

Eddie Izzard (11/2/08)

The guys from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (9/18/08)

Carter Bays of How I Met Your Mother (9/10/08)

Larry Willmore of The Daily Show (8/5/08)

Keith Olbermann (8/4/08)

Drew Carey (7/20/08)

Bill Lawrence of Scrubs (Warning: This one’s an epic… 3 pages! But it’s all great.) (5/22/08)

Penn Jillette (5/12/08)

Barry Williams (Greg Brady to you and me) (3/28/08)

Lewis Black (3/19/08)

Food & Travel

Where No-Frills Fast Food (The Real Thing) Was Born
The New York Times, 04-27-2007

Quick Bite: Tales of Klondike Planning Lunch
The New York Times, 12-18-2005

Quick Bite: The Glory of a Greasy Spoon
The New York Times, 10-09-2005

Quick Bite: Eat What You Are
The New York Times, 08-21-2005

Quick Bite: What, No Gravy?
The New York Times, 06-12-2005

Filling Up For Free At Costco
The Black Table, 04-07-2005

Catch 23 – Story about Shaun Mehtani, young NJ restaurateur (PDF)
North Jersey Media Group, Spring 2007

Quick Bite: You’re New to These Parts, We’d Reckon
The New York Times, 05-28-2006

Quick Bite: The Complete, Edible Guide to Italian Deli Meats
The New York Times, 04-30-2006

Quick Bite: Indulge Your Inner Hog
The New York Times, 04-09-2006

Quick Bite: Bolognese and Baloney Find Common Ground
The New York Times, 03-12-2006

Where Mutz Is King
New Jersey Monthly, September 2006

Other Profiles

In Person: Just a Guy Named Mike – Profile of PBS chef Michael Colameco
The New York Times, 05-14-2006

Photographic Memory
– profile of National Geographic photographer Michael Yamashita (PDF)
North Jersey Media Group, Fall 2006

Freedom & Expression – Profile of illustrator and Cuban emigree Edel Rodriguez (PDF)
North Jersey Media Group, Spring 2007

Hall & Oates
– Former NY Giants center Bart Oates talks about his career and the NJ Hall of Fame (PDF)
North Jersey Media Group, Holiday 2006

Older Essays

Back Stories: My cubiclemate broke my heart. (PDF)
Jane, November 2006

An Encyclopedic Grasp of Hanukkah
The Washington Post, 12-26-2005

The Blue Plate, Special – Essay about my ancient blue NJ license plates
The New York Times, 02-08-2004

Good Food, Good Times, and Bad Fat – Essay about Italian hot dogs and good times
The New York Times, 04-24-2005

The Mall You Call Home
The New York Times, 08-28-2005

Guide-ing Light – Essay about the decline of the old TV Guide
mediabistro, 09-12-2005

Huffington Post Blog – I write every so often for HuffPo. Here are my entries.
Huffington Post, periodic

PCs Killed the Mix Tape Star
Salon, 01-22-2004

Want to Stop your Job from Being Outsourced? Join a Union.
Salon, 11-06-2003

A new blog is a-comin’…

Folks, I know that I haven’t updated this blog in a long time… in fact, my next dentists’ appointment is coming up, and I know I haven’t updated here since the last one. Anyway, I’ve been busy: got a battlefield promotion to Editor of TV Squad, and am looking into some other revenue streams (including voice over work), so an unpaid blog (especially with such a lax editor… heh) is pretty low on my priority list.

What does all this mean? That Brain Blurps is going to change: my thinking is that the entire site will become more blog-like, which will make it easier for me to update. Since I don’t want to maintain two blogs that get no audience, I’ll likely just merge this entire thing into one big blog. Look for it either late in December or early next year.

In the meantime, you can read my TV Squad interview with Eddie Izzard, where he talks about supporting Dennis Kucinich and a possible movie conclusion for The Riches.

Here’s why I don’t like going to the dentist…

Why is it that, after spending twenty minutes poking at your gums, shooting pain up and down your body, making you bleed, and making you wish you never got out of bed in the morning, the dental hygienist then decides it’s a good idea to lecture you on how you need to brush and floss better?

For frick’s sake, you’d think that the bleeding and the pain would send enough of a message…

Like the Energizer Bunny, only fatter

Ever had one of those days where you buzz around and your mind goes a mile a minute, as if you just spiked your dark roast with some Red Bull? I’ve been feeling that way for almost a week. I think it’s because I’m actually getting some sleep. I’ve been sleeping while hooked up to one of these machines (in fact, the very model I linked to) for the past month and, boy, do I feel like I’m shot out of a cannon most days. The only problem is, I’m now waking up at 6 in the morning because the quality of my sleep is so good. I guess I should start jogging or something…

Anyway, for those who were curious, here is my TV Squad interview with Barry Williams (he played Greg Brady, remember).

Here’s a fun feature I did on TV Squad last week: Five Biggest Cheers mysteries. Ken Levine, one of the main writers from the show, responds — very funnily, if that’s a word — on his own blog.

Of course, now that the writers are back to work, I’m back doing reviews of How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs and The Riches. You can find those under my TV Squad posts at this link.

If you were ever curious about what my fellow Squadders looked like, wonder no longer: here is a collage of our motley crew. Click on each picture for a profile.

Finally, I’m dipping my little toe back into the tech game after almost a two-year hiatus, with two articles on the Inc. Technology website:
When to fix your server yourself or call in support.
When to download a security fix.

Some new stuff for your viewing pleasure

I know… I haven’t blogged for a while.

Oh, well. I’m a person who really doesn’t feel like he should be a slave to his blog. I think it might be that I don’t have enough interesting things to say to post that often. But mostly it’s because I need to make money and the damned skinflints that run this place don’t pay me at all.

Speaking of work, here are some new clips for you to peruse:

Just out: A story I did for New Jersey Monthly on Cash Cab host Ben Bailey.

Also just out: An interview with comedian Lewis Black that I did for TV Squad.

Also also just out: I wrote two blurbs in the Feb/Mar. issue of Amtrak’s magazine, Arrive. My stories on March Madness and the musical of “Cry-Baby” are on pages 16 and 18, respectively.

From about a week ago: A TV Squad interview I did with the guys from MTV’s Human Giant.

From last month: An essay for New Jersey Monthly about the near future of my town, good ol’ Morristown, NJ.

I think that’s it. More goodness to come, including an interview I did with Barry Williams (yes, *the* Greg Brady), which should be posted on TV Squad next week.

OK, everyone get back to work!

The writers’ strike is over. Most of my favorite shows will be back next month (except for Pushing Daisies, which has been renewed but won’t be back until fall). And the late night talk show hosts actually have good jokes to tell rather than their scattershot attempts to come up with jokes on their own (or, in Jay Leno’s case, attempts to make it look like he came up with the jokes on his own). By the way: Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien, you navigated well without your writers. Jon Stewart? Well, as you used to say all the time… “not so much.”

Now I wonder what this means for TV writers — and those who want to be TV writers — in the long term. Will there be less opportunities for young up-and-comers to get in the business, because networks are going to go with more reality TV, or will things eventually get back to pre-strike levels? Will the internet be best way to start your TV writing career? It’s all going to be interesting to watch, and some of it is going to be for very personal reasons…

An Interview with Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling

Jackie MartlingFor the new year, I decided to start a new feature called “Dead Article Theater.” This is where I’ll put essays and articles that never saw the light of day. These could be essays or ideas that were shopped around forever and ever and given the thumbs down at every turn. Alternately, they could be assigned articles that, for some reason, got killed and I was unable to place it elsewhere, either because of indifference or laziness.

This first article is in the latter category. In April 2007, I pitched Radar Online the idea of doing an interview with Jackie Martling, formerly of the Howard Stern Show. They agreed. I could have easily done the interview over the phone, but when Jackie offered to take me to the Friars Club, I couldn’t turn it down. So I traveled into the city, met Jackie at his midtown Manhattan apartment (he lives in the same building as Colin Quinn, whom I saw on the way in) and did the interview, then went to the Friars Club for lunch.

(Photo: Oglio Records)
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