I’m still feeling so joyful over our favorite PAC-man’s birthday antics. I think it’s the most brilliant combination of comic shenanigans and political exploits that I’ve ever witnessed; agitprop in action. When I think of what Stephen’s accomplished this year–the rally, the congressional testimony, this scintillating new adventure–I’m simply blown away. He’s audacious, fearless, and the most unique satirist of our time. Stephen, I send you profound thanks for sacrificing your special day for the greater good of society and comedy. May you enjoy many years of celebrating, many years of performing, and many years of happiness with your family. Know that you are very loved and admired by a nation’s worth of people.
And now to next week’s guests…
Monday, 5/16: Alison Klayman
Freelance documentarian and journalist Alison Klayman has produced films and radio pieces for PBS’s Frontline and NPR’s All Things Considered, among other media outlets. She lived in China for several years, and her first feature documentary, Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry, is set to be released this year. Ai WeiWei, an activist, artist, architect, filmmaker, and critic, has long been a thorn in the Chinese government’s side; this past April, authorities arrested him, and his whereabouts remain unknown. Institutions and governments worldwide (including playwright and former Czech president Vaclav Havel, who knows something about getting into trouble with communist apparatchiks) have petitioned and pled for his release to no avail. The Wall Street Journal has writtten about the film, and Klayman recently answered questions about her missing subject on Huffington Post. For those who would like to help in the campaign to free Ai WeiWei, go to her page on Kickstarter, where she is raising money.
Here is her official website, which contains articles on her work, links to Twitter, and contact information.
Tu 5/17: Amy Kremer
Tea, anyone? No, thank you, I really prefer coffee and must refuse. Amy Kremer is riding first class on the “Tea Party Express.” (Stop it, please, I want to get off.) Take a look at the site of this self-labeled “Southern belle” who had never before been interested in politics, but found this ultra-conservative movement to her taste. She is now Director of Grassroots and Coalitions for the Tea Party Express’s PAC…and, oh, maybe Stephen will get a little advice from her on running his own SuperPAC. Kremer has, of course, appeared on Fox News as well as on other less partisan networks. Here she is on The View, introduced by Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Her presentation is actually kind of interesting, because she admits that overspending started with President Bush, firmly disavows an interest in the social issues that (abortion, for example) that obsess conservatives, and says her position doesn’t have to do with Obama or race. Her only focus, she claims, are fiscal issues. I don’t know that I fully believe what she says, but watch this just to hear Ms. Hasselbeck put her foot in her mouth and say something else in place of “tea partiers.” Something with a less family-friendly meaning, if you get my drift.
Wednesday, 5/18: Austan Goolsbee
Welcome back, friend of the show Austan Goolsbee! The chief economist for President Obama’s Economic Recovery Board was last on the Report in October 2010 to discuss the Bush tax cuts—but he finished the show playing tic tac toe with Stephen in the sign-off. Prior to that, he was on TCR in June 2009—but was only an economic advisor at the time. Now THAT is the Colbert bump! Another bump: two months after this appearance he went on The Daily Show, and returned there in October 2010 and February 2011. Our two favorite comic pundits are keeping him so busy, I don’t know when he’ll have time to fix the economy!
When not working for Obama and visiting TV shows, Goolsbee is the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He is currently on leave from that position.
Thursday, 5/19: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Swish—nothing but net! One of the greatest basketball players of all time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also wrote the book behind the new documentary film On the Shoulders of Giants: The Story of the Greatest Basketball Team You Have Never Heard Of. Produced and directed by Deborah Morales, but partially written by Abdul-Jabbar and narrated by him and Jamie Foxx, it tells the tale of the New York Rens (for Renaissance), pioneers of the game from Harlem, New York. They faced racism, but persisted, finally getting to play a white team in a time of segregation. You can see the trailer at Abdul-Jabbar’s official website. This same film caused Stephen first to wag a finger at him—and then apologize in HipHopKetball II: The ReJazzebration Remix ’06.
Born Lew Alcindor, Abdul-Jabbar played with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers, winning six NBA championships and a record six regular season MVP Awards. Here’s a highlight video of some of his great plays. Upon retirement, he went on to coach, write, and act—most notably as co-pilot Roger Murdock in the hit comedy Airplane! In The Game of Death, he fought the late, great kung fu star Bruce Lee.
Well, that’s it for this week. I’m signing off, getting ready to do the New York AIDS Walk tomorrow morning. Let me know who you’re most looking forward to this week. Take care, everyone!