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Writers' Bloc Podcast

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J.R. Havlan, 17-year veteran writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, picks the complicated and jittery brains of the writers who help create The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, 30 Rock, Letterman, SNL, The Office, and more. Writers’ Bloc Podcast will let you in on how blank pages become your favorite television comedies. You love the sausage, now hear how it gets made.


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Recent Episodes

Episode 51: Hasan Minhaj
Hasan Minhaj is a comedian, actor, correspondent for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and now the star of "Homecoming King", a one-man show he wrote that's running at The Cherry Lane Theater in New York City thru November 15, 2015, and hopefully even longer than that. Oh! And he was also in a Pizza Hut commercial! I mean, this guy is killin' it. In this episode, Hasan and I talk about "Homecoming King" - where the idea came from, how he turned it into a one-man show, and the people who helped him put it together. I know it's a one-man show and all, but you still don't do this kind of thing without a lot of help. Hasan speaks very openly - as he does in the show - about racism and human judgment, two things he's been battling his entire life. And we talk a lot about one of the main themes of the show, "Log Kya Kahenge", which is Urdu for "What will people think?" It's a hell of a question. This is a good one, BlocHeads. Don't put it off... put it on!
Bonus Episode: "Over The Edge" w/Mike Sacks
"Over The Edge" is a 1979 movie about teenagers who rebel against the monotony of their planned suburban community and the adults who force them to live there. It's not the most famous movie you'll ever see. It's also not the best movie you'll ever see. But it got 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is pretty damn good, it was Curt Cobain's favorite movie, and it stars a 14-year-old newcomer named Matt Dillon who, as we all know, went on to have sex with Neve Campbell and Denise Richards in a pool. Not a bad career progression. Anyway, it happens to be a big favorite of WBP, episode 50 guest, Mike Sacks, so Mike and I decided to get together one more time to tell you all why we like it so much. Hint: is has a lot to do with the fact that we both grew up in the 70's and at least one of us lived a very similar life to the characters in the movie. Also, it's a surprisingly solid movie. Enjoy.
Episode 50: Mike Sacks
Mike Sacks might know as much about comedy writing as almost anybody. Why? Because he's interviewed dozens of the best comedy writers on television for his books, "And Here's the Kicker" and "Poking a Dead Frog". But wait! There's more! Mike also co-wrote the hilarious "Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk" with several other writers including Bob's Burgers writer and producer, and Writers' Bloc alum, Scott Jacobson (episode 20). Mike has also written for literally piles of publications including The Washington Post, The New Yorker, GQ, Men's Health - the list goes on. Currently, Mike is a writer and editor for Vanity Fair who enjoys laughing and taking long walks on the beach. He didn't actually tell me that. I just assumed it. Mike and I talk about the importance of having many and varied influences, and he shares a few tricks he's learned to help him become a better writer himself. We also talk briefly about Mike's fascination with the 1979 cult hit "Over the Edge", a fascination I now share. But more on that later. Much more. For now, thank you for joining my conversation with Mike Sacks.
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Podcast Details
Nov 15th, 2012
Latest Episode
Nov 4th, 2015
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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