Thu 24 Aug
By way of recording for posterity, I thought I’d note that last night I attended “Revenge of the Bookeaters” at the beautiful Beacon Theater, located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “Bookeaters” is the revue of literary and musical entertainments brought together by the over-achieving Dave Eggers to raise money for the good works being done by his 826 Valencia organization, which is dedicated to tutoring children in the art of writing. Last night’s show was the kick-off performance for a series that will travel to Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Ann Arbor, Michigan before it’s all over.
I᾿d been invited by a friend, so I didn’t realize the bill was so impressive until I got to the theater: John Stewart and Ben Karlin from “The Daily Show,” musician Sufjan Stevens, author and NPR personality Sarah Vowell, musician John Roderick, and the legendary David Byrne as the headlining musical act. Wow.
What really made it for me was the fact that the entire evening was hosted by the author and comedian John Hodgman, who’s currently famous for appearing in a series of cheeky advertisements for Apple Computer. But he’s more than just the most appealing embodiment of the Windows platform to ever appear on the small screen; he’s also responsible for the hilarious tome of total world knowledge, “The Areas of My Expertise,” which I wrote about briefly in April. This guy is super-talented, a rising star, I think, not just for his winningly formal dorkiness, but also in his inventive, skewed approach to matters of authority. I enjoy comedy in all forms, but Hodgman is that rare comedian that really inspires me to apply sideways logic to the things I do from day to day. It was worth it to see him alone.