Is Paul McCartney the funniest Beatle? I was surprised how much I thought he was in your piece “The Origin of ‘Blackbird'” (which features the line: “John, save the day and yowl us all one of your patented free-form political diatribes to obliterate the memory of my gummy treacle!”).
I think Lennon was funny, but maybe Ringo was the funniest. He certainly took himself the least seriously of the Beatles, but George Harrison helped Monty Python make their movies, so he had a great sense of humor. They were all pretty darn funny.
What piece in this collection speaks to your soul? Which one would you show to a passerby as an example of genius?
Not much speaks to my soul. That’s for another book, another day. I would show a passerby the poem about ice cream [“Meaningful Poem”].
Megan Amram wrote the delightful introduction, and her upcoming comedy book, Science… For Her! is insane. There is a joke, and ten pages later she is still messing with the joke. A Load of Hooey is very different, more like a variety of delicious comic bonbons. Why did you choose this in/out joke approach?
This book is a compilation, as such it I thought it could handle different voices. These pieces were collected over a few years, some I wrote for magazines and some just for laughs.
Megan is fantastic! So damn funny. I also had Tony Millionaire do the excellent drawings of the kid looking for his Gameboy… and I’m a fan of his work, too.
As this book is from “The Odenkirk Memorial Library,” which seems to be your own McSweeney’s imprint, it had me thinking about a memorial to Bob Odenkirk. What would you like written in a tribute to yourself and all the comedy you’ve brought into the world? You’ve done quite a bit.
He probably should have done less.
Will there be future books from The Odenkirk Memorial Library? How is it “memorial” when you are alive?
A good question. My death will make it official! Don’t worry, that will happen… I’m fairly sure. Yes, I hope there will be other books. We’ll see.
Will Better Call Saul be as David Lynch-y as that Junior Brown video? What can you tell us about it?
I don’t know what the show will look like, or what its vibe will be. I’ve been shooting it for a few months now and I tend to be in it, so I’m not able to “watch” what is being shot. Whatever it is, however it works, will be a surprise to me as well as you.
I can tell you we’ve got amazing writers pushing themselves deep into a character, and fantastic actors who are responding to the excellence of the writing and bringing it big time. I think it will be a unique show, not really comparable to much else, and I think it will take a little time for critics and audiences to put it into perspective.