15 Minutes: a podcast about fame, with Jamie Berger
Episode 26 - Neal Pollack
Mystery writer, journalist, satirist Neal Pollack and Jamie talk about everything from Hollywood to Gawker, with a little weed, Jeopardy, Hipsters and McSweeneys in between. Neal Pollack has written ten bestselling books of fiction and nonfiction that have been published in multiple languages around the world. A 1992 graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School Of Journalism, Pollack spent seven years as a staff writer at the Chicago Reader. In 2000, he published his first book, The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature, as the inaugural volume in Dave Eggers’ McSweeneys book imprint, and started satirically calling himself The Greatest Living American Writer. Believing his own press, Pollack quit his job and embarked on a successful freelance career. His articles, satire, and commentary have appeared in The New York Times, GQ, Esquire, The New Republic, The Nation, and pretty much every other American publication except for The New Yorker. Pollack has since been a columnist for Vanity Fair, The New York Press, Parents.com, and other publications which no longer exist. Among other projects, he’s written a bestselling detective series set in the L.A. yoga scene. He currently writes a car column called “The Unenthusiast” for Time, Inc.’s The Drive, continues to write as The Greatest Living American Writer at Salon, and works as the Texas Correspondent for The Cannabist, an online marijuana newspaper. Pollack is also the host, with his 14-year-old son Elijah, of Extra Credit, a “Channel” (aka a podcast) on Audible.com, where Pollack tries to teach Elijah dubious lessons that he won’t get in school. He has been a guest on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, and was featured on an early episode of This American Life. Pollack recorded a disastrous but entertaining album, Never Mind The Pollacks, with his band, The Neal Pollack Invasion, which was recently re-released on vinyl by Chicken Ranch Records. The Neal Pollack Invasion played South By Southwest many times, and Pollack has performed his spoken-word act at cultural festivals around the world, playing on bills with David Byrne, They Might Be Giants, John Doe, and many others. Pollack loves cheese, marijuana, Boston Terriers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, classic cinema and you. As Ever please find and rate and review us on iTunes and wherever else you listen to podcasts. We're also on twitter and instagram @15minsjamieb Coming soon, 15 Minutes 2nd conversation with WFMU's Hearty white, and then fiction writer George Saunders! See you there! Thanks for listening.
Eugene Mirman (re-edit/reboot) - Episode 75
Back in 2016, aka a zillion horror-movie lifetimes ago, my friend Eugene and I had a late-night conversation about fame, comedy, having a newborn baby boy, and much much more. I re-edited it to put it back out here on the occasion of the streaming release of the wonderful documentary "It Started as a Joke," which follows the decade long run of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival along with the parallel story of Eugene and his wife Katie's battle with her cancer. That may sound like a rough juxtaposition, but it's extremely well done. You'll laugh, you'll cry - see it, it's not like you don't have any free time right now.http://prettygoodfriends.com/it-started-as-a-jokeBest to all in these strange, tough times.-j
Beth Lisick (reboot) - Episode 74
Re-edit reboot of my 2017 two-episode conversation with Beth Lisick on the occasion of the publication of her great new and first novel, "Edie on the Green Screen." Congratulations, Beth!The episode starts with a serious #metoo conversation before moving on to lighter topics. So if you're needing light in these heavy times, after the intro, jump ahead about a half an hour.Best to you all, I wish you the best lives you can possibly live right now!-jamie
Michael Ian Black - re-edit/reboot of episodes 50 & 51
Back in 2017, I spoke to actor/writer/comedian Michael Ian Black for this show. At the time, I broke our conversation up into two episodes, each preceded by a long rant by me about the political and social injustices of the day. Well, it's the end of the year, and I'm exhausted by injustice, and decided to re-edit the conversation into a single, more entertaining whole. I think you'll enjoy it. We talk about fame of course, and about our mothers, about toe fungus, his feud with Marc Maron, the list goes on. Listening back, I found this, on how what's better than being a lead, the famous one, on a TV series, is being somewhere around 5-7 on the call list:"“If I knew that I would have an acting job for the next five years on a network show, where I didn’t even really have to think, it was just showing up, doing some scenes, having a free lunch and collecting a fat paycheck, I would like to do that for the next five years with the full knowledge that at the end of the five years I’d have enough money in the bank to write a novel, devote myself to the podcast, five years of being number 5-7 on the call sheet. There’s a sweet spot there that’s just ideal. I don’t want to be in every scene, I don’t want to solve the crime.”***I wish us all better times, and a free and fair election, in 2020.-Jamie B.