Most people know Judah Friedlander for being a standup comedian and actor. You may have seen him on 30 Rock, or in films like The Wrestler, American Splendor or Wet Hot American Summer. But Friedlander is a bit of a renaissance man who not only makes his own hats but has authored two books including How to Beat Up Anybody: An Instructional and Inspirational Karate Book by the World Champion (2010) and If The Raindrops United, a book of illustrations and cartoons which hit the shelves October 20th. While If The Raindrops United, is undoubtedly hilarious, it’s also, in many ways, a work of political protest, in which Friedlander uses humor and graphic art to deal with serious issues such as gentrification, alienation, and the excesses of capitalism.
Friedlander came on The Katie Halper Show, my weekly radio show on WBAI, to talk to me and my co-host Gabe Pacheco about his new book and politics. Here are his thoughts on some important topics:
The Democratic Debates
“I thought it got off to a bad start with Cheryl crow singing the National Anthem. First of all it was a horrible rendition. But I thought it was such a weird, desperate attempt to make us look like we’re not anti-american. What was that all about?… It seemed like a very staged thing.”
“I just liked how Bernie Sanders pronounced the word blunder like ‘blunda.’ That’s actually kind of a double blunder since you mispronounced blunder.”
“[Sanders] was talking about how in rural areas gun laws should be different from urban areas. And he’s right. I talk about gun issues in my standup and I perform all over the place. First of all the gun stuff in this country is actually horrendous. But, yes the dynamic of guns in a rural area is completely different from the dynamic in an urban area. But you know, how you deal with it is a whole other issue.”
The Presidential Election and the two party system
I’m very progressive so…I haven’t decided who I’m going to vote for or what party. The last election I think I voted green party. I mean the person didn’t have a chance. But I think the country really has to get out of this two party system.
“I moved to New York in 1987. My dad’s actually from Brooklyn… we would come up when I was a kid and the city was just so impressive and diverse. And for years I hadn’t lived in Manhattan. I lived way out in queens. A mile past the last stop on the subway in a non-gentrified neighborhood where families had been living for generations. Middle Village, Queens. But when I moved back to Manhattan… the classism in Manhattan and I would say half of Brooklyn at this point was just staggering.
When people say New York they’re usually talking about Manhattan. And when you’re in Manhattan it’s such a weird city because almost everyone is wealthy or ultra wealthy. And that means it’s mostly white… New York has always had wealthy and ultra wealthy but it was never the majority. And when you have a city where the teachers, policemen, firemen, subway workers, mail delivery people, when all the service workers and the blue collar people, when all of them are working in the city but none of them can actually afford to live in the city, that’s not a healthy dynamic at all. New York is a much less diverse place than it used to be. There’s even a mini-10 page comic book called “gentrification man” in the book and gentrification man is the first super hero for the corporations.”
His Favorite Band
Make sure you listen to the entire interview with Friedlander. Listen for some hilarious parts including:
- Judah’s realization that it’s his turn to talk.
- Judah’s fearlessness towards the FBI
- Judah’s Columbus Day standup.
- Judah’s concern for the well-being of the people who hate posters.
- 10-year-old Judah’s political drawings.
- Judah’s effortless and mellifluous listing of the entire cast of Red Dawn.
- Judah’s sleeping in the corner of the studio on every episode without our even knowing.
You can catch The Katie Halper Show on WBAI at 99.5FM or online at WBAI every Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm. Or you can subscribe to the Katie Halper Show podcast on Itunes (and please rate and review us) or Soundcloud. And make sure to listen on October 28th when we talk to Ta-Nehisi Coates!
Chelsea Handler comes to Joe Biden’s defense during Real Time appearance with Bill Maher
Comedian Chelsey Handler defended former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday, during an appearance on HBO's "Real Time" with Bill Maher.
"I have to know what you think of Joe Biden and that whole thing," Maher said.
"I think Joe Biden is just a grandfather, you know what I mean? And he's old," Handler replied.
"I don't like comparing -- I don't like these stories of these women coming out and talking about a man smelling their hair or kissing the back of their head," she continued.
"I think it diminishes people who have actually experienced bullsh*t," Hander said.
Whether a sitting president can be indicted should be reexamined: former federal prosecutor
Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner has reached a point that he thinks the policy of not indicting a sitting president should be readjusted for modern times.
In a PoliticsNation panel discussion, focused on Rep. Jerry Nadler's (D-NY) suggestion that he would be requesting documents from at least 60 people connected to President Donald Trump as part of broadening the investigation into possible crimes committed while running for office or while president.
"He has got legal exposure on so many fronts," said Kirschner. "Whether it is his fake charitable organization, his continuing criminal enterprise of the Trump Organization, whether it is an inauguration run amok, it looks like, taking illegal, foreign donations and doling out or promising goodness knows what to those people who donated. And it's his presidency."
‘Only a wimp does this’: Ex-Pentagon chief of staff rips Trump’s ‘weak’ and cowardly dismissal of Tillerson
A former top official at the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency explained how President Donald Trump displayed weakness to the world by the manner in which former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired.
"The more waves the president makes, the more we wonder if at least in part he's hoping to take back the news cycle from, for example, his sex scandal involving porn star Stormy Daniels," MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace noted. "I don't know what you call it when the lawyer for the porn star sounds more reasonable than the President of the United States."