John Fugelsang is an actor and stand-up comic to whom Al Gore’s network, Current TV, has given an hour slot. The title of the show is "So That Happened." I caught the premiere last evening (Friday, October 5) at 6.
Fugelsang is the guy who elicited the "Etch-a-Sketch"® comment from the Romney campaign aide last spring. His Wikipedia entry has a run-down of his life, educational background (NYU film school), and work. I had been watching him the last couple of months on YouTube®. The guy is intelligent, witty, sarcastic, and funny as hell.
He interviewed campaign people about Wednesday’s "debate" and had a wrap-up about born-agains trooping to Israel to try to convert Jews.
His guest for the premiere was Ed Asner. I could relate to part of the interview, in which Fugelsang asked Asner about the effect of Asner’s political views on Asner’s career. Fugelsang said that when he started doing stand-up, he wanted to do politically and socially relevant bits, along the lines of George Carlin and Lenny Bruce. He said the managers all told him to stick with the safe stuff: sex, and the differences between men and women. I remember a try-out I had for a place in Chicago. The emcee had me audition in the bar/restaurant’s kitchen, under fluorescent lights as I ducked trays carried by wait staff and bussers. When I was done, she said my material was nice, but was over the heads of the establishment’s audience. I pointed out her audience consisted of lawyers, stock brokers, and other professionals. She shrugged. Two weeks later we went back to watch, for some reason. In her opening, she used three of my bits. I approached her afterward and smiled. "I thought my material was over this audience’s head? You just stole my material." She smiled and said, "Welcome to the business, sweetie." She scheduled me for two weeks later, but the place dropped its comic "stage" before I could perform.
If you get a chance, watch this show. Like I said, the guy is intelligent and funny. "So That Happened" can be seen on AT & T U-verse channel 189, DirecTV 358, Comcast 107, Dish Network 215, and Verizon FIO S 192.