15 Minutes: a podcast about fame, with Jamie Berger
Episode 11 - Daniel Oppenheimer
I met Dan Oppenheimer soon after I moved to this here Pioneer Valley in 2005. We ended up writing a blog together, Masculinity and Its Discontents (M.A.I.D.) for several years while I was in grad school and he was the arts writer and anonymous advice-giver, as Dear Dexter, for our region’s alternative weekly, the Valley Advocate. This year, his long awaited and much longer toiled-over book, Exit Right: The People Who Left the Left and Reshaped the American Century was published by Simon and Schuster to the kind of fanfare authors of such books dream of, with reviews and features everywhere from the Atlantic to the New Republic, the New Yorker, Time Magazine and the New York Times Book Review. Exit Right explores the lives and careers of six major 20th Century figures - Whittaker Chambers, James Burnham, Ronald Reagan, Norman Podhoretz, David Horowitz, and Christopher Hitchens - who moved from the political right to the political left, often quite suddenly. It’s a really fascinating read, which I mention especially because you might want to go check it out, seeing as Dan and I talked about jealousy and fame and ambition and podcasting and filmmaking and Morris Dickstein and a bunch of other stuff, but hardly at all about the book. We talked on the phone for the first time in a long time, in June. If you're digging what we're laying down please pass it on, and please please please rate and even review us on itTunes. Thanks! 15 Minutes is also on Twitter and Instagram at @15minsjamieb. Also, as mentioned, you can find my essay "Peep Show," which Dan mentioned (warning adult content blah blah blah, here: http://jamiebergerwords.com/peep-show/ "See" you next time!
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.