I never listen to TAL because it’s broadcast locally when I’m otherwise busy (Friday at 7 PM, Saturday at 11 AM). Courtesy of the podcast I’m now theoretically able to listen to it, but I rarely have the time. (Yes, I know I can burn them to CDs and listen to them in the car.) I won’t watch TAL because I don’t have a Showtime subscription, though I expect that if it gets released on DVD I’ll watch it then.
I caught the TAL live show at The Paramount last night, part of their promotional tour for the TV show. It was a combination of live readings and previews of the TV show with director’s commentary. David Rakoff, Alexa Junge, Dan Savage, the Mates of State, Chris Wilcha, and of course, Ira Glass. I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more, OK I didn’t cry.
From the previews, the TV show looks great. It has a visual richness that matches the aural richness of the radio show.
The highlight of the live show was Ira Glass gleefully describing when TAL became a pop culture reference on The O.C.: "Isn’t that that hipster know-it-all show about how fascinating ordinary people are?"
One thing that bugged me was when Ira Glass and Chris Wilcha were describing how they wanted to come up with an original way to have Ira appear on screen, and they chose to put him at a traditional TV host desk in the middle of the landscape where they were filming. Original only if you never saw John Cleese do it on Monty Python’s Flying Circus nearly forty years ago.
Dan Savage also took the opportunity to bash the proposed plans for the Alaskan Way Viaduct without proposing a better solution of his own. Thanks, Dan.