September 21, 2008

Alexie on comedy and politics

Q&A with writer, poet, and comic Sherman AlexieYou do comedy sometimes. Who are your favorite comics?

From the past, Bob Newhart, Nichols and May, Richard Pryor, George Carlin. Today ..... there's a foul-mouthed comic I love named Lisa Lampanelli. I like Ellen DeGeneres as a TV talk show host, but I really liked the wonderful absurdity of.the early Ellen DeGeneres.

Who is your favorite poet?

Emily Dickinson. Why? Oh, God, her crazy relationship with God. In her personal life she was really odd. Really, really odd. To the rest of the world, she was very reclusive, though she was close to her family. She was probably the first confessional poet, the first poet to deal exclusively with her own emotional view of the world.

Who is the audience for your books?

Eighty percent college-educated white women. Whether you're talking John Updike, Jonathan Franzen, Toni Morrison ..... or me, it's 80 percent college-educated white women.

What do you think of Campaign 2008?

I think, by and large, (Barack) Obama, after being a really remarkable and interesting figure, has become what he always was, a middle-of-the-road liberal Democrat. His choice of Joe Biden just confirms that. And he's a social conservative. But.I'll happily vote for him.

What do you think of mixing religion and politics, whether it's George Bush or Barack Obama or anyone else?

It's wrong because every religion operates on the premise that it has a superior worldview and that every other religion doesn't ..... it's in the basic belief that everybody else is going to hell. I have a president who thinks that a large segment of his population is going to hell. I want people to govern in the here and now, not in some afterlife. The truth is, no one knows what's going to happen after we die.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see All About Sherman Alexie.


gaZelbe said...

and regarding indians and comedy, if you haven't checked out Charlie Hill and Don Burnstick, you gotta.

there is also some great clips from both of them on YouTube.

Charlie Hill is going to be performing at our anti-columbus day event here in SF on Oct. 13. I can't wait!


Rob said...

I don't know Don Burnstick, but I do know Charlie Hill. I've seen and met him at such venues as NIGA, the FAITA awards, and the Pechanga Casino. I even interviewed him for an article once.

I don't if he'd remember me if we met again. I suspect he'd remember my face but not my name.