Boxer Day

September 13th, 2005

We've made a lot of fairly random decisions in the run-up to getting our show on the air. For instance, at some point someone asked, "What kind of snack should we offer our guests?" and I instantly replied, "Rice Krispy Treats!" Now, I imagine that on another production, this suggestion might have been followed by a certain amount of back-and-forth discussion. Somebody might have raised the question of whether Rice Krispy Treats might make our guests' hands sticky and perhaps even lock their jaws together. But here at The JK Show we reject such bureaucratic temporizing. We follow our gut. Plus, all of us really like Rice Krispy Treats. And so it was done.

Strangely, however, none of our guests so far have actually eaten any of the Rice Krispy Treats -- which is especially odd, as the Treats are stacked very aesthetically in a nice bowl right in front of the guest couch. Finally, by the third taping -- my interview with Senator Barbara Boxer, which will run tonight at 7:30 -- I decided not to be so passive on this issue. Impulsively, I reached over and picked up the bowl, tilting it toward her so she could get an up-close look at the enticing Treats it contained. "Senator," I asked, "would you like a Rice Krispy Treat?"

Now, you may be thinking that -- given this rare opportunity to talk with one of the most influential politicians in the nation -- I might have had other, more important things to ask her about. But you have to understand the context: We had been chatting about Sen. Boxer's first novel, a soon-to-be published thriller titled A Time to Run. This book features steamy love scenes and back-stabbing political skullduggery. Clearly, the woman who wrote it has experienced a great deal of passion in her life, and is no stranger to following the whims of impluse. In short, Sen. Boxer would seem like the perfect person to offer a Rice Krispy Treat.

Sadly, though she was a joy to interview, I must report that Sen. Boxer -- politely but firmly -- declined the Treat. She did, however, happily sign the back of the set (a tradition we're establishing with our guests and crew) -- and her enthusiasm for fiction-writing was delightful and infectious. We were all sad to see her go -- though quite possibly there were one or two things happening in the world that did require her attention. ...

Also in tonight's show, by the way, is the first "Wandering Josh" segment -- featuring my on-campus visit with UC-Berkeley professor Lucy Jacobs, a charming and brilliant expert on (among other beings) squirrels. Yes, squirrels! They're amazing! (Trust me.)

Entry Filed under: tv episodes

14 Comments

  • 1. Bob Collins  |  September 13th, 2005 at 7:48 pm

    Thank you…..I enjoyed the sincerety , humor and content of both of your shows. Good luck with your endeavor…..

  • 2. Nany Waters  |  September 13th, 2005 at 7:52 pm

    Hey Josh I don’t know if you remember me but I am Annie Smart’s daughter (she did the set for the show) just saying hi and the family watched the show tonight!
    ~Nancy

  • 3. International Geezer of Mystery  |  September 13th, 2005 at 7:56 pm

    More Squirrels!

    Face it Josh, you’re weird. It’s a strength, so go with it. Stay off the beaten path. No more celebreties, please.

    – g

  • 4. Julie  |  September 13th, 2005 at 7:58 pm

    Did I miss it, or did your editors decide not to show the Rice Krispy refusal incident? (I wouldn’t eat ‘em myself, but only because I’m vegetarian and marshmallows contain gelatin…)

    LOVED the squirrel segment!! Brought back fond memories of the years I worked at UC Berkeley and was regularly accosted by the hungry critters…

  • 5. Steve Rhodes  |  September 13th, 2005 at 10:11 pm

    If you ever have me on the show, I promise to eat a rice krispy treat (ok, a few – I even took a rice krispy treat breakfast bar to work this morning).

  • 6. Maura Lace  |  September 13th, 2005 at 11:47 pm

    Missed Monday’s show but tuned in tonight and enjoyed the Boxer interview and the squirrel segment. And yes, the concept of a monologuist interviewer is kind of oxymoronic, but if anyone can pull it off, you can. Watch the hand gestures, though. They work to your advantage on stage, but they’re distracting and fatiguing in video close-up, especially since your hands go in and out of frame so much. On TV, when it comes to movement, less is more.

  • 7. Josh Kornbluth  |  September 14th, 2005 at 8:22 am

    Maura, thanks for the helpful feedback — I have quite a lot to learn about being on camera, and it’s very cool for me to learn which of my habits work and don’t work in this medium.

    Steve, your kind offer has been duly noted.

    Julie: yes, the portion of the episode where I offered Sen. Boxer a Treat was edited out — but we all hope it will be available in the director’s cut.

    I.G.: Our goal is to have a really eclectic mix of guests — please keep watching and tell me if we’re doing a good job of that.

    Nancy, of course I remember you! Didn’t you ask me to try to do a good job of interviewing Sen. Boxer? (I tried my best!) And didn’t your mom do an amazing job designing the set??? It’s so cool!

    And Bob, thank you for your very kind words. …

    It’s so gratifying to me that you folks are watching, and are taking the time to write us with your comments!

  • 8. Admin Worm  |  September 14th, 2005 at 10:50 am

    Rice Krispy Treats are not condusive to conversation, breaking the ice, or televising. It’s sort of like choosing a restaurant on a first date. Never go somewhere that requires eating with your hands. Never eat anything that historically sticks in your teeth. No onions, no garlic, for Christ’s sake nothing spicy in case a romantic stroll turns into a frantic search for a porta-potty.

    Senator Boxer was correct in turning down the treat. It would be difficult to discuss geopolitical matters with a cloud of puffed rice emanating from her mouth.

    But they sure are yummy!

  • 9. Nancy Waters  |  September 14th, 2005 at 6:31 pm

    Yes I did. I helped serve food at this one ladies dinner party and she was there. She really is a nice lady, so is Rita. I met Rita when I saw the show she was in at the berkeley rep with my dad. I don’t think I know the next person you are interviewing. Love the show!
    ~Nancy

  • 10. Heather Cummings  |  September 18th, 2005 at 3:30 am

    See, I knew there was a reason that they gave you a tv show. And the offering to your guests of rice crispy treats proves it! I have been a huge fan since Haiku Tunnel, and I am so excited about your new show.

    You are the ROCK!
    :(

  • 11. Teresa  |  September 18th, 2005 at 11:55 am

    I tuned in because I LOVED the Haiku tunnel scene where the bed was brought to life: Very funny stuff that I ponder often around the 5:30 AM hour! Barbara Boxer = not so funny stuff. Maybe with dueling mugs full of rice crispy treats the interview would have been entertaining but….blah. The squirrels were amusing, joyfully non-political (squirrels are known for their balance…) and very cute. More squirrels please. :)

  • 12. Josh Kornbluth  |  September 19th, 2005 at 2:10 pm

    Heather: Thanks for your kind words!

    Teresa: Glad you liked the undulating bed in Haiku Tunnel! As for my interviewing technique: I’ll try to get better! And as for squirrels: I’m not sure when we’ll next feature those lovable quadrupeds, but I am planning to meet with a rabbit-rescuer this week — so we’re keeping on the rodent tip!

  • 13. Tim  |  September 26th, 2005 at 8:45 pm

    Someday, you know, waaay in the future, when they demand that the back of the set get repainted… take some pictures.

    I still anguish over the loss of the autographs in the dressing room at Life on the Water Theatre at Fort Mason.

  • 14. Josh Kornbluth  |  September 29th, 2005 at 2:34 pm

    Life on the Water was so cool! Bummer about those autographs. …


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