What Jon Stewart Taught Me About Legacy

Watching Jon Stewart’s final episode of “The Daily Show”, I was struck by something truly wonderful.

It wasn’t the comedy of the episode, though it was as hilarious and irreverent as ever. It wasn’t the inspirational message from Stewart on seeing through the, ahem, bull”crap” of the world. It wasn’t even the powerful final “Moment of Zen” from Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band.

What got to me the most about Jon Stewart’s farewell was seeing the community Stewart built return to say thanks. 

 

The extended opening segment of the show saw nearly every “Daily Show” correspondent over the past 16 years return in a touching tribute. While “Saturday Night Live” is often hailed as the greatest breeding ground for comedians on televsion, the seemingly never-ending cavalcade of stars “The Daily Show” has certainly given it a run for its money over the past decade. Continue reading

2 Dirty Little Secrets About Performers

IMG_4141A few weeks ago I had the chance to step back on a theatrical stage for the first time in a year. I was just playing a minuscule background role, but it was a special performance for a couple of reasons.

For one thing I got be on stage with my wife. It was also my very first – and probably very last – time performing in an opera.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to sing. My only real role in the show was to throw a punch at a guy who was trying to steal my girlfriend away (a punch I never could get the timing right on).

As I sat in the background of the show waiting for my moment to come around, I noticed a few things about my fellow performers.

Now, if you’ve ever performed on stage before as an actor or musician,  you probably already know these secrets. But if you’ve only sat in the audience, I’m going to pull back the curtain and let you in on some juicy behind-the-scenes dirt.

I’m not doing this just to stir up gossip. Instead I think these are 2 secret tricks about performers that can help you be more successful on any stage in life: Continue reading

The Indefatigable Hope Of Parks And Recreation

IMG_0010There are a lot of wonderful things Parks And Recreation championed over its 7 season run. Breakfast food. Miniature horses. Pretty much every item on Ron Swanson’s Pyramid Of Greatness.

But the greatest thing of all Parks And Recreation championed was hope.

Leslie Knope is arguably the most hopeful character in the history of television.

Of course she never had it easy. Nearly every open forum the Parks Department held to talk about their hopeful ideas devolved into hilarious madness, corrupted by the cynical and selfish desires of the townspeople: Continue reading

The Wednesday War

It’s Wednesday.

The week is half over.

It’s also July 3, 2013.

It’s the 184th day of 2013; the year is half over.

What have you done this week? What have you done this year?

What will you do in the second half?

Whatever you’re doing, don’t give up. Wednesdays can be the longest day of the week. But press on. You’re halfway there. Keep fighting.

Follow the lead of Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar.

UFC, Newsday

Continue reading

The Office and The Quest For A Happy Ending

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Not every story gets a happy ending.

After 8 years and nearly 200 episodes, I’m worried “The Office” will become one of those stories.

After dismissing the show when it first premiered as yet another soulless remake of a British series, I fell in love with the Dunder Mifflin drones through DVD  marathons of the first 3 seasons.

My friends and I watched and rewatched Jim’s slow and subtle courtship of Pam, Michael’s tasteless jokes, and Dwight’s beet-loving eccentricities over beach trips and long afternoons when we should have been studying instead.

Now with the finale airing tonight on at 8 PM on NBC, “The Office” comes to the end of its story. For diehard fans, this comes with disappointment and with relief. Continue reading