By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
It wouldn’t be a good morning show if we didn’t focus on those who have lost the most in the economic crisis: those who have the most. Many are suffering as they find themselves going from “super rich” to “marginally wealthy.”
We have a heterosexual-rights activist coming on to tell her heart-wrenching story. Our consumption advocate will show us some fun new health-care gadgets for the uninsured, and we’ll also have up-to-the-minute news, and of course a few celebrity cameos! The Wake Up World [slogan] is, “Half the content, twice the time.” You will get a little information on a lot of topics, delivered with marginal accuracy.
What are your goals for Wake Up World?
Simple. To find a home somewhere on your television dial! To make it as easy as possible for buyers, we have created two versions of the show they can choose from. Version 1 is the live multicamera straight-up morning-show satire, à la The Daily Show or Colbert, which we will be performing at the Steve Allen Theater. Version 2 is a single-camera pilot we shot, which is the morning show with the addition of behind-the-scenes inner workings of how all these awful segments actually get on the air. Buyers can look at both versions and decide Yes! on one of them.
Who would be your dream guests on Wake Up World?
It would be great to have Prince to play in our “Outback Back Alley concert series,” or to have Mario Batali prepare a quick-and-simple spotted-owl pâté.
You co-created The Daily Show — Do you watch it?
Of course. I watch it, I go see tapings, I love those guys.
What do you like to do when you’re in L.A.?
Eat at In-N-Out, see a show at McCabe’s, visit all the dogs of my friends, and take a few yoga classes with Seane Corn.
Craig Kilborn told Esquire about you, “If I wanted her to blow me, she would.” I always thought he was an asshole. Comment?
Nope. I only talk about guys who want me to blow them.
Proustian interview section, à la Vanity Fair: When and where are you happiest?
In my kitchen cooking for people I love, or just hanging out with my family in Minnesota.
What are your three main rules to live by?
I never let anyone else define me. I am trying to make the world a better place than the one I entered. I surround myself with love: my friends, my family, my co-workers, my animals.
What event from your childhood most affected your life?
There isn’t one single event, but protesting the Catholic Church at age 12 because girls couldn’t be altar boys is pretty high up there.
From one Elizabeth to another; Why two z’s?
Kinda boring. Lived with a bunch of Lizzes in college, a couple had last names that began with W. So in order to get phone messages, one was Liz, one Liz W, and I was Lizz. I just kept it.
Anything else you’d like to say to L.A. Weekly readers?
Come and see the show. It’s only 10 bucks and the catharsis you will get from the humor we provide about the craptastic world we live in and the craptastic media that distorts it all is worth every penny. I promise. Swear on my dog’s balls.
Wake Up World at the Steve Allen Theater, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Tues.-Wed., March 17-18, 8 p.m.; $10. (323) 666-4268.
THURSDAY, MARCH 19
AN ADVENTUROUS PLACE AWAITS
Vanessa Place is just a wee bit more ambitious than most local writers/dreamers/soothsayers. Her first novel, Dies: A Sentence (2005, Les Figues Press), used the curiously arty musings of two soldier-amputees on the night before a big battle as the launching point for a dizzyingly nonstop series of rambling digressions and shaggy-dog stories, each one pebbled with densely poetic imagery — and all of it confided breathlessly in one long, unbroken sentence. In lesser hands, this would have been a mere gimmick, but Place masterfully wove her references to Yugoslavian history, bread pudding, boot fetishes, God, lust, “sarcophagi and sarsaparilla . . . and genuine cowboys with mirrored eyes” into a cumulatively engrossing, if not exactly linear, novel/sentence.
(How was she able to do this? With a lot of commas, and by letting her narrator hog the conversation.) Place is up to even grander schemes in her new novel, La Medusa (University of Alabama Press), in which the titular heroine is played by a seemingly sentient version of Los Angeles while the perceptions of disparate characters (husband-and-wife truckers, a pushcart vendor, a young girl — even a corpse!) are portrayed through dramatic Faulkneresque/Joycean shifts of tone and style. She’s anything but a minimalist, and there are some distracting bits of cutesy, lazy-minded wordplay scattered into her generally free-flowing streams of consciousness, but on the whole La Medusa is an impressively inventive achievement.
The writer-lawyer’s prose is not for the impatient or faint-hearted, but more intellectually adventurous folks would do well to heed her advice in Dies and “give us your ear, that darling shell, that wax cup into which I’ve poured my consolation.”
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