Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 88

Listened to a fascinating "This American Life" yesterday (part of my walking regimen: walk a few miles, and listen to TAL).  The subject was tenacity; people who don't give up, who refuse to give up, even when all available evidence suggests that they really really should.  The most interesting story was about a guy in Orange County who thought, when Conan O Brien left NBC, that he might try and be his replacement.  To get the job, he decided to start his own talk show.  In his house.  (His bedroom, actually).  Which he did.  It ran for more than two years, and involved a house band, writers to do monologues, guests, a sidekick, and, eventually, an audience numbering as high as 70 or 80 people.  (They eventually moved from his bedroom to a Veteran's Hall).  He quit his job, depsite not having much savings, and dedicated all his time and energy to the talk show.  In the process, he almost wrecked his marriage, went heavily into debt, and, as you might guess, did not end up replacing Conan.  Insane insane stuff.  (The show by the way was called The Duke Finemaster show, and apparently exists on YouTube).

Watched Fassbinder's "The Marriage Of Maria Braun" yesterday as well.  A bit too random in structure for me--biographical obviously, but still--but still worth the time.  Fassbinder is a director I know very little about.

How the Mavericks managed to win that game yesterday I don't know.  All I know is that it made me excited enough that I was actually shouting inside our house, at ten in the evening.  I'm not even that big a basketball fan.  It was just a great game.  And it at least gave us all in the good part of America hope that the Heat might have a chance to lose.  And suffer for their sins.


JMW said...

That's a crazy, great story about "Duke Finemaster." (Is that his real name?!) I'm going to have check out some clips on Youtube.

ANCIANT said...

It's the Duke SOMETHING show, and his last name is long and odd and starts with an F. I think "Finemaster" is right. I'm sure you could find it without that much trouble if you looked into this American Life and/or You Tube.

They played some of his monologues from his show on This American Life. The very last one, where everything is falling apart around him, is incredible. He's trying to be funny but he's plainly having a nervous breakdown. It's horrifying but also really compelling. As is his whole story.

He still does a podcast apparently.

Let me know if you find him on YouTube. I'd be interested to see the show.