If you showed up at the Bell House in Brooklyn last night for the live taping of writer and comedienne Julie Klausner’s How Was Your Week? podcast expecting Teddy Leo, cat photos, the JCPenney Facebook page, drunk Maya Angelou, the most hated man on Billy Eichner’s iPod (aka, Chubby Checker), a taped bit starring Jackée, and a spirited discussion of who should be cast in the all-black remake of Steel Magnolias, you are a very hip, prescient person who knows a lot about podcasts. What you might not have expected were the following:
Let’s pause and examine that last bit. An audience member wearing a WTF Pod t-shirt was plucked from the crowd after correctly naming three inductees into Klausner’s Redhead Hall of Fame. She was then magically turned into Miranda July, just because she made a movie narrated by a cat. Klausner hosted as the ghost of Elaine Kaufman. Naturally, the roasters were as follows: the disgusting director of the Human Centipede movies (Armisen), a filthy Vincent Gallo, a sloshed Lorraine Bracco (Jessica Chaffin), a starving Neil LaBute (John Gemberling) and Chubby Checker (Eichner).
Each took their shots, made their jokes, and after it was all over (the audience hyper-ventilating with laughter and stepping on the empty cans of Pork Slap that had been dropped to free hands for clapping) the entire roast crew was joined on stage by Paul F. Tompkins and they sang a stirring rendition of folk-rock mega-hit “Cat’s in the Cradle.” Because Klausner likes cats, see?
And that was that. It was insane, quite literally and quite wonderfully. And it was fantastic to see all of the little monsters of How Was Your Week? IRL. Klausner promises that the live show will be chopped up and shared piecemeal on future podcasts, and I, for one, will be tuning in just to see if I can hear myself laughing.
* An actual portion of Maya Angelou’s Wikipedia page brought to life by Julie Klausner on her podcast “How Was Your Week”: “Beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou has used the same “writing ritual” for many years. She wakes at five in the morning and checks into a hotel room, where the staff has been instructed to remove any pictures from the walls. She writes on legal pads while lying on the bed, with only a bottle of sherry, a deck of cards to play solitaire, Roget’s Thesaurus, and the Bible, and leaves by the early afternoon. She averages 10–12 pages of material a day, which she edits down to three or four pages in the evening.”