Podcast: The Guy Who Drew the Liver Spots

Drew Friedman & Brisket on The Virtual Memories Show

Virtual Memories – season 3 episode 21 –
The Guy Who Drew the Liver Spots

“I don’t like drawing young people, attractive people. I used to get assigned drawings of the cast of ‘Friends’ for Entertainment Weekly, and it was painful. I would finish a drawing of Jennifer Aniston, and to reward myself, I’d draw Shecky Greene.”

It’s the Vermeer of the Borscht Belt! Drew Friedman, the great painter, cartoonist, chronicler of modern fame (and infamy), and Howard Stern’s favorite artist, invited me out to 2nd Ave. Deli in NYC one Saturday morning to record a conversation about art, leaving New York, show biz, R. Crumb, Joe Franklin, Tor Johnson, the Friars Club, Howard Stern, Abe Vigoda, the gallery show commemorating his books on Old Jewish Comedians, and his upcoming book of portraits on comic-book legends (as in ‘artists, writers and publishers’). We also talk about how Harry Einstein died during a roast for Lucy and Desi, trade Gilbert Gottfried stories, discuss the state of the illustration market, explore why he used stippling effects and why he stopped, and more. This one’s a lot of fun. Go listen!

“There’s a theory about why there were so many Jewish comedians: the smile behind the pain, the haunted smile. I don’t buy into it. I think they’re all just a bunch of hams. They like to be up there, telling jokes, being funny, and meeting women.”

by Jay Ruttenberg Photo of Drew Friedman and Jerry Lewis courtesy of Jay Ruttenberg

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes! Related conversations:

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About our Guest

Drew Friedman is an award-winning illustrator, cartoonist and painter. His work has appeared in Raw, Weirdo, SPY, National Lampoon, Snarf, The New York Times, MAD, The New Yorker, BLAB!, The New York Observer, The Wall Street Journal, HONK!, Rolling Stone, Field & Stream, TIME, The Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, and more. His comics and illustrations have been collected in several volumes, the latest, Too Soon?, published by Fantagraphics in 2010. His collection of portraits, Drew Friedman’s Sideshow Freaks, was published by Blast books in 2011. He has published three collections of paintings of Old Jewish Comedians (1, 2 and 3), but none of Old Episcopal Comedians. He also raises champion beagles with his wife, K. Bidus. You can find his full bio and buy his art at his fine art prints site and you really should read his blog.

Credits: This episode’s music is Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals by Raymond Scott. The conversation was recorded at the 2nd Ave. Deli in Manhattan on a Zoom H4n recorder. The intro and outro were recorded in my home office on a Blue Yeti USB microphone. File-splitting is done on a Mac Mini using Audacity. All editing and processing was done in Garage Band. Photo by a waiter at 2nd Ave. Deli.

Podcast: Hassling The Hoff

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 15
Scott Hoffman – Hassling The Hoff

“When people talk about the death of books, they couldn’t be more wrong. Physical books may exist the way vinyl records do, for collectors or fanatics, but people read more today than they have at any time in history.”

It’s time for a new episode of The Virtual Memories Show!

“I think that the New York publishing industry has missed a large section of readership. For a long time, they always thought ‘those people’ didn’t read books.”

Our latest episode features a conversation with Scott Hoffman, co-founder of Folio Literary Management, about his transition from Washington, DC lobbyist to New York literary agent, the fate of the mid-list author, why zombies are hot, his agency’s e-publishing initiatives, the importance of globalization and developing markets for authors, the likelihood that the Random House / Penguin merger will go through, the diminishing relevance of publishing’s gatekeepers, the explosion of the YA market, and why he now reps much more non-fiction than novels.

“You get stabbed in the back just as often in publishing as in Washington, DC, but in publishing it’s with a cocktail toothpick.”

We also talk about the most important books in Scott’s past, and how some of his adolescent faves did or didn’t hold up.

Enjoy the conversation!

Scott Hoffman on The Virtual Memories ShowPhoto by Amy Roth.

About Our Guest

Scott Hoffman co-founded Folio Literary Management in 2006. Scott has served as Vice-chairman of the board of SEARAC (the only nationwide advocacy agency for Southeast Asian-Americans), a board member of Fill Their Shelves, Inc., a charitable foundation that provides books to children in sub-Saharan Africa, and a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Young Associates Steering Committee. Before entering the world of publishing, he was one of the founding partners of Janus-Merritt Strategies, a Washington, DC strategic consulting firm. He holds an MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, and a BA from the College of William and Mary.

The Virtual Memories Show is on iTunes! If you’d like to subscribe, visit our iTunes page!

If you’d like to check out past episodes, you can find us on iTunes or visit the Podcast page for all our back episodes, as well as e-mail signup and tip jar! And why don’t you friend the Virtual Memories Show at our Facebook page? It’d make my mom happy.

Credits: This episode’s music is the end credits for 28 Days Later by John Murphy. The conversation was recorded in Mr. Hoffman’s home in New York City on a pair of Blue Encore 100 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4N recorder, and I recorded the rest on a Blue Yeti mic into Audacity. All editing and processing was done in Garage Band.

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