You write the lead


I can’t pick the bigger contrast for today: Today is the anniversary of both the launch of MTV and the national launch of The Rush Limbaugh Show. It is also the birthday of both pioneering rapper Chuck D. and rapper-we’d-all-like-to-forget Coolio. Pick which one of the two you think is the funnier, then let’s play the Friday Five.

1. Of television programs that aired before you were born, what’s your favorite?
If I were born a couple of years later then I might have to consider Soap for this question. I’m also going to disqualify Fawlty Towers because while the first season was created before I was born, the second season came after I was born. With those caveats, I would say it’s a toss-up between Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. Monty Python was pioneering and more absurdist, but Laugh-In was more political and, well, I had a crush on Laugh-In-era Goldie Hawn when I was younger. I don’t think I could pick a favourite between the two.

2. What person of historical significance was from your neighborhood or city?
I come from the home of Jamie Farr and Katie Holmes, which isn’t exactly a source of pride for me. There are some other famous and important people from Toledo, though, and I think that for this question I’ll go with Gloria Steinem.

3. What’s a story that’s often been told about someone in your family in the years before you came along?
After Dad left Michigan State, he and Mom and Heather moved to Atlanta for a couple of years. For some reason, Dad’s employer sent him to a mobile home convention, where he got interviewed by this newspaper reporter and said some really nasty things about the kind of people he felt lived in mobile homes. When the story got printed the next day, Dad was so reviled by the other people at the convention that he basically had to leave town in the middle of night. I think that’s what caused him to be so worried when I developed my ability to speak very controversial opinions very loudly in my teens.

4. Which of previous generations’ dumb mistakes (in deed or thought) baffles you the most?
Slavery. What, what else was I supposed to answer?

5. What aspect of life in the good old days would you love to see a return to?
If I can call the nineties the "good old days," then I’d like to get back to the cynicism and the good music. I don’t think that can be called "the good old days" by most people, though, so I have to say that my best answer to this question would be considered TMI, so I’ll leave it to your imagination.

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