We've all felt it before, that cringe when you witness something awkward that you have absolutely no control over. Let's admit it, though, we don't ever actually look away. We might cover our mouth and contort our face when watching the king of awkward bosses Michael Scott up the awkward ante, but without the Michael-isms, The Office just wouldn't be the same campy success that it was. Today's Word of Mouth delves into those cringe-tastic moments to reveal why it is now the pervasive comedy style.
Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.
- Phillip Maciak is assistant professor of film studies At Louisiana State University, and he writes the “Dear Television” column for the Los Angeles Review of Books. He explains how cringe humor became the norm.
- Stand-up comics are known for turning their personal lives into laughs. Sometimes, it’s an aspect of their identity – race, religion, marital status – or in the case of one improv artist and aspiring comedian, his vision. Jessica Gould has more.
- Charlie Veitch is a video blogger, self-styled anarchist, and a once vocal member of the 9/11 truther movement – those who believe that the US government blew up the World Trade Center in 2001. Charlie was a respected voice among truthers – with thousands of followers. Not anymore. Alex Miller is head of Vice UK. He recently wrote about Charlie’s transformation from 9/11 theorist to conspiracy outcast, and he joins us now from London to tell us more about what happened.
- The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon is Willie Perdomo’s third book of poems. He teaches at Phillips-Exeter Academy, and will be reading at Water Street Books tonight.
Poetry Out Loud
- Because April is National Poetry Month, we decided to bring a taste of the event directly to you. The next poem in our series comes from Hannah Gould.