Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Funniest Writer Working Today Appears on Letterman

In case you missed it, writer George Saunders was a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman last week. In the the above clip, Saunders tells about a childhood experience at Wrigley Field involving a Bears game and not enough tickets, and life working as a "de-knuckler" in a meat processing plant in his late 20's. Quite entertaining. For those not familiar with Saunders' work, he writes hilarious short stories that also happen to be literary and brilliantly written. He won a MacArthur grant last year, also known as the "genius grant" for his, well, genius. In short, he's a great writer who deserves to be a regular on Letterman and a perpetual presence on the bestseller lists.

One other funny thing: before Dave talked to one of the brightest, funniest people contributing to American culture, namely Saunders, he spoke to one of the dimmest, least charming people "contributing" to American culture, namely Jessica Alba. I'm not just being an effete culture snob here. While I was waiting for George to show up, I watched her appearance. I was open to liking her.

But after a period of Alba being vapid and slow on the uptake, Dave showed a really awful-looking clip from her forthcoming Dane Cook vehicle, "Good Luck Chuck". After the clip was finished, Alba spent about 2 minutes trying to convince Dave that a stunt performed in the clip was done by her, when it was obvious to everyone, including Dave, that this "stunt" was actually a split-second effects shot and that she was lying. At first I thought maybe she was trying to be funny, saying not only that she'd done the "stunt" but that she'd done it multiple times, but when I realized she was genuinely trying to pass off a transparent and baldfaced lie as the truth on the filmgoing public, I had to turn the channel in embarrassment.

Anyway. George Saunders. Click, watch, and enjoy.

10 comments:

Peter F. Fedak, III said...

Thanks a lot CRANE!!!

you HAD to name the next Indy didn't ya!!???

harwell said...

Wow, nice find Crane. How in the world did Saunders get booked on Letterman? How did any writer for that matter? Aside from the fact that the conversation was pretty obviously planned ahead of time (no?), it was an entertaining story.

It reminds me also, that you should check out Stuart Dybek sometime. Another good short story writer from Chicago.

blankfist said...

Why do you want to kill them, Crane?

David said...

OK Crane, you have finally influenced my literary interest. Based on that interview I have gone and purchased my first Saunders novel. This was not easy since most of his novels have no synopsis.

I was very tempted to get The Short Term Reign of Phil. But, after finding the only other description on one of his books, I swayed by the idea of Pastoralia.

So, I shall begin my readings tonight.

harwell said...

Pastoralia's great, David. Plus, it's short stories not a novel so you can pick it up, read a story, then put it down again until you're ready to move on to the next. Probably why there wasn't much of a synopsis, actually.

Definitely read "Sea Oak" in that collection. One of my faves.

Anonymous said...

Nah, books are for gays.

JudgeHolden said...

Gay or not, books are super! Whooo!

Awesome, David. "Pastoralia" is the Saunders book I've read and it's great. And Shawn's right: "Sea Oak" is hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Vote Republican!

Anonymous said...

dead blog.

Peter said...

ive watched that clip everyday for the last week. man it just gets funnier and funnier