4.27.15: The Art Of The Late Night Monologue, The Sabermetrics Revolution, & Why Men Fight

Apr 27, 2015

The late night talk show monologue is one of few times TV audiences can still share a good laugh. On today’s show, we’ll talk to a seasoned comedy writer about the one time of day when power, rather than partisanship, is the punch line.

Then we’ll speak with an English professor who ditched his tweed jacket and elbow patches and joined a mixed martial arts gym to find out why men love to fight.

Plus, sabermetrics spawned a revolution in how baseball teams were built and inspired a blockbuster movie starring Brad Pitt, but does empirical analysis of baseball statistics still work today?

Listen to the full show:

The Art of Writing Monologue Jokes
Credit indiebound.org

Jon Macks reflects on the craft and power of late night jokes in his new book Monologue: What Makes America Laugh Before Bed. Jon spent 22 years writing for the Tonight Show With Jay Leno, he’s also written for the Emmys, the Oscars, the Tonys, as well as some notable politicians.

Forbidden Words

There are a number of words you will never hear me say on the radio – and even if by chance one of my guests let one slip, a bleep is all you’d get.  And yet history has seen some powerful slurs and epithets adopted by the very people they were once used to repress.  In this piece, producer Caitlin Esch of the program “Philosophy Talk”, explores why some taboo words are appropriated, while others remain forbidden.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.

The Sabermetrics Revolution

Benjamin Baumer, worked for the New York Mets for eight years and is now Professor of Statistics at Smith College. He’s co-author of the book, The Sabermetrics Revolution. He joined us to talk about the book last baseball season

Why Men Fight
Credit indiebound.org

In his new book, The Professor In The Cage: Why Men Fight And Why We Like To Watch, Jonathan Gottschall traces our cultural love of violence and ritualistic combat by stepping inside the ring for himself.

StoryCorps Historias: Seniesa and Joe Estrada

In 2010, boxing coach and former gang member Joe Estrada spoke with another up and coming female fighter – his then 17-year old daughter and amateur boxing champ, Seniesa. In this conversation recorded for StoryCorps, the two talked about how Seniesa got her start in the ring when she was just eight years old. 

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.