For the May 2017 issue of Wired, I spoke with such comedy landlords as Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Between Two Ferns’ Zach Galifianakis for an oral history about the first ten years of Funny or Die. You can read the extended online version here. Apologize in advance for the “Fernin’ Sensation” pun.
Oh, hey, here’s some cool news: I’m writing another book! It’s called Losing All Hope Was Freedom: How 1999 Blew Up the Movies, and it will dig into an anxious period that was full of social, technological, and pop-cultural tumult—all of which was reflected on the big screen, in what turned out to be one of the greatest movie years of all time: The Matrix, Election, Fight Club, Being John Malkovich, The Limey, Boys Don’t Cry, The Blair Witch Project, and so on. I’ll be writing about all of those films, plus a lot of the smaller-scale pleasures of that year (Cruel Intentions! The Best Man! DEEP BLUE SEA!)
Anyhoo, it will be out in 2019, courtesy of Simon & Schuster. And it’s due in, like, two weeks, so I’ll likely be off this site for a while. But I’m very excited about this, and hope to deliver a book with a lot of insight, humor, and verve (not to mention some Verve).
If it seems like it’s been ages since I updated this blog, it’s because…well, it’s because it has, indeed, been ages since I updated this blog. But look: I’m lazy. And I have two kids, as well as a gazillion excuses that will only get progressively lamer as I reel them off. In my defense, I did take a nearly two-year-long break to work at Yahoo, an experience I can accurately and legally describe as [REDACTED], and which took me off the grid for a long spell.
Happily, I recently rejoined Wired, where I’m now working as a senior writer for both the magazine and Wired.com. You can read the recent cover story I wrote on Silicon Valley here. Or you can check these various goofy things I’ve been doing for the website. Sorry for the absence!
For the latest issue of Wired, I profiled Bran Ferren, the inventor and designer who’s spent the last few years building the most souped-up all-terrain vehicle imaginable–all to impress a girl.
I have a new e-book out today: High-Status Characters: How the Upright Citizens Brigade Stormed A City, Started A Scene, And Changed Comedy Forever. It costs $1.99, and all you need to start reading it on your smartphone or tablet is the Nook app, which is free, and ridiculously easy to use.
High-Status Characters started out a few years ago, as a New York magazine oral history. This new version is more than eight times longer than the original, and features interviews with nearly 80 of the UCB’s friends, fans, and performers, including Amy Poehler, Conan O’Brien, Ed Helms, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, and Nick Kroll. I think it’s a must-read for comedy fans, but then again, I’m kind of biased.
For the latest issue of Wired, I profile Shane Carruth, the creator of 2004’s baffling time-travel drama Primer. Nearly a decade since that film made him one of sci-fi’s biggest hopes, he’s finally back with a new film, the equally ambitious Upstream Color. You can read it all here.
My latest piece for Wired is a profile of Ian Rogers, a digital-music pioneer whose career had a pretty amazing start: In the early ’90s, when Rogers was just a Midwestern college student (not to mention a newly minted dad), he started a website for the Beastie Boys. Soon afterward, he was plucked out of Indiana and thrown onto the road with the Beasties–the first step in a decades-long D.I.Y. journey through the worlds of music and tech. You can read it all here.
I recently spent some time in Pittsburgh with the musician Tom Fec, a.k.a. Tobacco, a.k.a. the leader of Pittsburgh’s mysterious pop-misfits Black Moth Super Rainbow. You can read about Fec in this piece for Tumblr Storyboard, and once you’re finished, I highly recommend you check out the group’s new record, Cobra Juicy. It’s one of my favorites of the year.