Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Mitch has some in-the-trenches reports as he spends his week doing the Harvard Law Review writing competition. Slate has an ongoing diary this week written by a writer at Late Night With Conan O'Brien. It's really quite funny. Surprised me. That's the two things I've read today that I've liked. Oh, and here's a crappy article in the New York Times that makes people with weblogs sound like morons. Why is writing this stuff worse than playing spider solitaire or whatever crap people do to fill up their time? At least doing this makes me think, makes me write, gives me a bit of an audience, and provides an outlet for stuff. Stupid article. Or maybe I'm just stupid for thinking this isn't a waste of energy. But I like having the audience. And I've made some friends doing this. And it doesn't keep me from doing anything I'd be doing anyway. And it gives me motivation and a reason to write. And who knows who's reading. It gets my words out there. Is this a bad thing? Why do I care what this article says?

Anyway.... Tonight I went to see some stand-up comedy, for no particular reason. Well, sort of. There's this comedian who I saw on Comedy Central doing something a few months ago, Mike Birbiglia (the link is to his web site), and he just came off as extraordinarily likable. His material was funny, nothing amazing but solid funny stuff -- but just as a human being, he seemed like a really nice person. Most stand-up comics don't. The bad ones come off like bad stand-up comics, and just do bits and you don't get a sense of their personalities other than they're not very good stand-up comics but probably don't realize it. Or some have great material, like George Carlin, and come off as smart, gifted, talented, funny, all good stuff. But I don't know that George Carlin comes off as a particularly lovely human being. I think he'd be thrillingly interesting to talk to -- but I have no idea whether he helps old ladies cross the street. But, anyway, Mike Birbiglia came off as this earnest, decent, pleasant human being, self-deprecating, not taking himself too seriously, just a really genuine nice person. And maybe it's all an act. But I checked out his web site, listened to the clips... all solid... and then was reading New York magazine this morning (which I've been reading since Adam Moss, former editor of the New York Times magazine, moved over to New York -- and it's turned into what the New York Times magazine was, in a lot of ways -- something that's pretty much guaranteed each week to have some stuff I'm really interested in reading. Which the New York Times magazine doesn't since Adam Moss left, so I have no choice but to believe that Adam Moss, whoever he is, is the reason, and he and I like similar kinds of subjects. Which is cool, I guess. He has a fan. I mean, I subscribed to New York entirely because he became the editor. He should read my weblog. Anyway. New York has comedian listings, and I saw that Mike Birbiglia was at a comedy club in NY tonight, and so I convinced a friend to go check it out with me (actually didn't take much convincing, which was good, because I'm not very good at convincing people to do stuff they don't want to do -- I cave in too easily). And, again, he came off as a really nice person. And he was funny, not like rolling on the floor hysterical, but funny, consistently. It was a small audience and a pretty bad audience, since it was relatively early in the evening, and the other comics who preceded him were pretty dreadful, especially the MC, but they're always dreadful. Birbiglia has this innocence about him, that you want to root for him. It's weird. I can totally see a sitcom being built around him. He'd either be a junior high school teacher or a young marketing executive. Single but dating. Always bad dates. Which make good "B" stories in the episodes. Jason Bateman could do guest spots as his older brother. He lives in the basement of his parents' house, with his parents played by Edie McClurg and John O'Hurley, who own a travel agency. But he wants to get a place with his best friend from college, who he's always hanging out with, played by Rider Strong, and the girl he has a crush on but who's always dating the wrong guys, played by Kirsten Dunst. See, I've got the pilot already written in my head. Mike Birbiglia: I want to help write your sitcom. This is my plea for the fates of the world to intervene. Please. Intervene. Anyway, check out his website, check out his shows tomorrow night and Sunday. I don't why I'm pimping him on here -- I don't know him, I've never met him, and maybe he's not actually a nice person but it's all an act. But he seems really nice. And he does jokes about panda bears. And what's not to love about panda bears?