After spending his teenage years sneaking on to movie studio lots and befriending talented, offbeat folks like Marty Feldman and Andy Kaufman, Alan Spencer became one of the youngest-ever members of the Writers Guild at age 15. The first show he created, Sledge Hammer!, made him the youngest ever-creator of a network TV series at the time at 26, and the program earned a great deal of critical acclaim and inspired a devoted cult following after its criminally short, two-season run. Frustrated with how hard it is to get a show on the air, Alan Spencer then began working as a Hollywood script doctor, fixing other people's movies and [...]
A week before the Ravens lost to the Patriots, Artie Lange, Howard Stern sidekick turned sports radio host, wasn’t convinced the Pats could even conquer the Denver Broncos.
“The line is 13 and a half, but I don’t know,” he said, considering the odds as the 49ers upset the Saints on the television between us. “Maybe it’s a sucker’s bet, but, I don’t know, that’s tempting. 13 and a half. I think they got a great chance of covering. And Tebow, possibly being Jesus, I think there's a real chance they can win.”
So it’s a good thing Artie Lange doesn’t gamble anymore. No easy task for the reformed [...]
Last week Wisconsin legislators voted to eliminate collective bargaining for public employees, including teachers. I spoke with one 20-something Wisconsin teacher about the new public service landscape and what it now means to be a teacher. Given how Governor Walker's uninvited use of teacher Megan Sampson's story made her a chit to be exploited in the public debate, Kathryn has asked her last name not be used. The answers are unedited.
The Awl: What do you teach?
Kathryn: High School English.
The Awl: How long have you been teaching?
Kathryn: 6 years. The Awl: How does the loss of union rights make you feel [...]
The Awl: Dan Shanoff! Not long ago, after some scheming, you left a job and started your own company and its first publication, Quickish, which is sports-oriented, and in beta, and provides immediate, quickly done news and views and updates. You plan to expand beyond sports in the future. Dan, why did you do this?
Dan: I have wanted to create my own company since I had my first job, where I was employee No. 1 for a couple of MBA drop-outs that got some seed funding from AOL to start a content site to keep AOL subscribers enthusiastic and engaged to be paying by the hour [...]
Subports is a retail mechanism disguised as fun. They provides vendors with a text "shortcode"—you know, like the way they vote on reality TV shows—that customers who have enrolled their credit cards can use to purchase products via text message. But instead of rolling out in support of big box retail, Subports chose to work with artists, designers and record stores, and build stores (both virtual and pop-up) as sales points. We spoke to Subports honcho Will Robison.
Q. Are there some retail experiments you have in mind but can't yet pull off?
A. I have a list of ideas the size of my leg. We have played [...]