Jun 16, 2017
Greg Proops talks about the last abortion clinic in Mississippi and why we all need to give to Planned Parenthood. Plus the author of "Last Man Standing: Mort Sahl and the Birth of Modern Comedy" James Curtis, Journalist Emil Guillermo, and Comic Scott Rogowsky.
Greg Proops' Proopcast is called "The Smartest Man in The World." This week's episode is a stunner. Greg travels to Jackson, Mississippi to shine the light on how difficult it is to get an abortion in Republican held states. The name of his episode is "The Last Clinic in Mississippi" and it is a monumental work of journalism.
Annie Lederman has appeared on Girl Code, This is Not Happening, Chelsea Lately and @Midnight.
James Curtis is the author of "W.C. Fields: A Biography", which was awarded the Special Jury Prize by the Theatre Library Association and named one of the Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times. He is also the author of "William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come," "Spencer Tracy: A Biography," "James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters," and "Between Flops," an acclaimed biography of writer-director Preston Sturges. His new book "Last Man Standing: Mort Sahl and the Birth of Modern Comedy." Here's how it's described by the author:
"On December 22, 1953, Mort Sahl took the stage at San Francisco’s hungry i and changed comedy forever. Before him, standup was about everything but hard news and politics. In his wake, a new generation of smart comics emerged―Shelley Berman, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Lenny Bruce, Bob Newhart, Dick Gregory, Woody Allen, and the Smothers Brothers, among others. He opened up jazz-inflected satire to a loose network of clubs, cut the first modern comedy album, and appeared on the cover of Time surrounded by caricatures of some of his frequent targets such as Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Adlai Stevenson, and John F. Kennedy. Through the extraordinary details of Sahl’s life, author James Curtis deftly illustrates why Sahl was dubbed by Steve Allen as “the only real political philosopher we have in modern comedy.”
Sahl came on the scene the same year Eisenhower and Nixon entered the White House, the year Playboy first hit the nation’s newsstands. Clad in an open collar and pullover sweater, he adopted the persona of a graduate student ruminating on current events. “It was like nothing I’d ever seen,” said Woody Allen, “and I’ve never seen anything like it after.” Sahl was billed, variously, as the Nation’s Conscience, America’s Only Working Philosopher, and, most tellingly, the Next President of the United States. Yet he was also a satirist so savage the editors of Time once dubbed him “Will Rogers with fangs.”
Here, for the first time, is the whole story of Mort Sahl, America’s iconoclastic father of modern standup comedy. Written with Sahl’s full cooperation and the participation of many of his friends and contemporaries, it delves deeply into the influences that shaped him, the heady times in which he soared, and the depths to which he fell during the turbulent sixties when he took on the Warren Commission and nearly paid for it with his career."
Emil Guillermo is an American print and broadcast journalist, commentator and humorist. His column, "Emil Amok", appeared for more than 14 years in AsianWeek—at one time, the most widely read and largest circulating Asian American newsweekly in the U.S. The column has now migrated to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund site blog.
From 1989-1991, he was host of NPR's "All Things Considered." He was the first Asian American male, and first Filipino American, to host a regularly scheduled national news broadcast. He has also worked as a television reporter in San Francisco, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. He has hosted his own radio talk show in Washington D.C., San Francisco and Sacramento. His writing and commentary has been widely published in newspapers around the country, and has earned him national and regional journalism awards. In 2015, Guillermo received the Asian American Journalists Association's Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for Civil Rights & Social Justice, in recognition of excellence in coverage of Asian American Pacific Islander civil rights and social justice issues. Guillermo is the author of Amok: Essays from an Asian American Perspective—a compilation of essays originally published in Asian Week—that won an American Book Award in 2000. Born in San Francisco, Guillermo is an alumnus of Harvard University, where he studied history and film, and was a member of the Harvard Lampoon. He delivered the Ivy Oration as class humorist in 1977.
Scott Rogowsky is the host of Running Late.
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