Monday, October 9, 2017

Pheaturing Alysia Hush

Hey there, good morning, everyone, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. It's Columbus Day. Let's celebrate Columbus by walking into someone's house and telling them we live there now. Let's celebrate the only illegal immigrant that Republicans respect. If you're going to celebrate a genocidal maniac, I hope it's at least slightly ruined by it being on a Monday. Ha. It's October so you know it's also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Let's take a month to worry more about the health of your breasts than about their size. Now let's see what's going on, shall we?
Vice President Pence flew to Indianapolis yesterday to attend a Colts game. When a few players sat and kneeled during the national anthem, he promptly left.

President Trump also weighed in, confirming the fact that he asked the VP to leave the game (and, in true Trump fashion, taking credit for the idea.) The walkout is highly suspected to be a predetermined stunt. CNN reports that pool reporters were told "there may be an early departure from the game" and asked to remain outside the football stadium. Flying to and from Indiana with a full cadre of secret service agents, staff, and reporters perhaps isn't the wisest way to be spending taxpayer dollars. Remember when Pence got booed out of "Hamilton"? This is almost as good. As frustrating as this latest stunt is, let's all look at the silver lining: maybe the Administration is so distracted by football that they'll forget to engage in a nuclear war. We can dream!
Everyone loves a power couple. And the past couple years have been huge for both Gal Gadot and Kate McKinnon respectively. Between McKinnon's ongoing hilarity on "SNL" and her success in Ghostbusters, and Gadot's flex of super powers in the new Wonder Woman movie, the two women are bastions of power. Sooo, when the two smooched during a skit on last night's "SNL," people 100% exploded with jealousy, love, admiration, and every other feeling you can imagine. The skit itself showed McKinnon and Aidy Bryant shipwrecking on the island of Themyscira in hopes of finding out whether the Amazonian women are in fact gay. Or at least, bi-curious. I have to show you a oil of this kiss...

We are all more blessed individuals because of this moment.
Have you cried yet today?! Would you like to cry?! If you answered yes to the latter, then read on, because this is likely to draw a tear even from the most stoic among us. In lieu of last Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas, which left 58 dead and nearly 500 injured, the latest episode of "SNL" opened on a sober note. Rather than kicking off the show with banter or gimmicks, the cold open started with Jason Aldean's sincere message to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. "This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history. Like everyone, I'm struggling to understand what happened that night and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal. So many people are hurting, there are children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends that are all part of our family. So I want to say to them, we hurt for you and we hurt with you. You can be sure that we're going to walk through these tough times together, every step of the way. Because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit is unbreakable." The national tragedy hits extra close to home for Aldean, who was performing on stage at the Route 91 Harvest festival when the gunman started shooting from the Mandalay Bay Casino. After delivering his opening statement, Aldean and his band performed an emotional cover of the late Tom Petty's anthem "I Won't Back Down." The performance was simple and beautiful. Somehow, the dedication to the Las Vegas victims and the mourning of Tom Petty's death naturally tied into each other. It's difficult for late night comedy to straddle the balance between acknowledging national tragedy and pushing through with entertainment. So, it's striking when it's tastefully and sincerely achieved. You really should watch the full performance. That is, only if you want to cry. Following the shooting Aldean canceled three California concerts in order to take time to grieve. His tour will resume on October 12th in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
On Saturday night, a group of 40-50 white supremacists returned to Charlottesville, Virginia, led by Neo-Nazi organizer Richard Spencer, who helped plan the first gathering at the Robert E. Lee statue. This reemergence comes less than two months after thousands of white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville back in August for a Unite the Right rally. During the summertime rally, the large gathering of Neo-Nazis spent hours chanting white power slogans and inciting violence against counter protesters. That ugly day in August took the life of 32-year-old Heather Heyer after a white nationalist crashed a car into anti-racist protesters. Needless to say, the return to Charlottesville is a profoundly depraved move. 168Spencer posted a video of the gathering on Twitter (which I won't link here because he doesn't deserve more clicks), and dubbed the gathering "Charlottesville 3.0" despite the middling turnout. During the brief gathering Saturday, Spencer and his followers continued the ugly spirit of Unite The Right by carrying tiki torches and chanting "You will not replace us." At one point, Spencer gave a speech to his followers that criticized the Charlottesville community, claiming they lacked true community. According to his speech, his "Identitarian" (Neo-Nazi) gang is the only true community. Once word spread of the white supremacist gathering, cop cars arrived to guard the area and a small assemblage of students gathered in counter protest. According to Charlottesville police, the white supremacist gathering dissipated after roughly ten minutes, at which point the group piled into a van and drove away. This gathering seemed to be centered around Spencer's speech, and the repeating of a few chants. Before leaving the park Spencer and his followers loudly threatened "we'll be back," and made it clear that Charlottesville, and any conscience bearing American, shouldn't sit back and relax if they want these outbursts of hatred to stop. This re-emergence serves as a dark and sobering reminder that these racists won't disappear on their own. We have to stay louder than them.
A middle school teacher in Georgia is in hot water after asking her sixth grade students to "imagine it's 1965" and create a "colorful" mascot for the Nazi party. This is the REAL LIVE homework assignment given to students in a social studies class at Shiloh Middle School, in Gwinnett County, Georgia, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.

Whoever completed this assignment deserves an A+ for artistic skills and following directions. The teacher, however, deserves an F for assigning this horrifyingly tone-deaf nightmare. Sort of difficult to imagine that someone thought this out, printed it, took it to the xerox machine and made COPIES. All without realizing how incredibly disturbing it is. Fortunately parents spoke up. Jamie Brown, parent of an 11-year-old boy in the class, complained after finding the assignment "inappropriate" and "demeaning." "I don’t understand it, really to be honest, that we’re actually creating a mascot for an individual that murdered thousands of people," she told Fox 5. “I guess I’m the voice for the voiceless, for the kids that can’t question the authority of the teacher, can’t question the legitimacy of the assignment that’s given out." Brown added, "I can only imagine the pain of other students the pain of other students that are of Jewish descent that you would be forced to draw something that is absolutely demeaning to not only you but an entire race of people and this nation for fear of getting and for a failing grade." The Gwinnett County School District released a statement to Fox 5 Atlanta saying that while they do teach about Nazism (fair!), they did not approve the assignment, and are "addressing" the issue with the teacher who assigned it. The statement said, "This assignment is not a part of the approved materials provided by our Social Studies department and is not appropriate. The school is addressing the use of this assignment with the teacher." Hard to imagine this teacher keeping their job after this. But if they do, it could sure make things awkward at future parent teacher conferences. The teacher would say, "Your son acts up in class and refuses to complete any of the assignments." And the parent would reply, "Umm, maybe that's because you once asked him to draw A MASCOT FOR THE NAZIS." Haha.
Ever step on a LEGO? It hurts, right? I think this is what happens when you're not home or sleeping...

I knew it! Ever run into a celebrity out in the world and what you wearing just seems like a coincidence? It happened to this guy...

Haha. You know, if I had a TARDIS and could travel back in time I'd probably end up here...

At the beach in Europe with Anne Frank. Ugh. So, sometimes I like to look for stock photos to use them for different things. It's fun to do as you never know what you'll find. This is a real stock photo...

Haha. Halloween is 22 days away and you might be trying to figure out what to wear. How about this?

Officially branded as Officer Pat U Down, embody the practice that disproportionately targets people of color on streets and in airports! There's some costumes I'm sick of already... like Pennywise the Clown. If you're afraid of clowns, bad news. Thanks to the popularity of the new It movie, you can probably expect to see many iterations of Pennywise the Dancing Clown this Halloween. Sexy Pennywise, scary Pennywise, Tim Curry Pennywise, sewer Pennywise, bloody Pennywise... It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month and all this month I'm showing pics of one of my favorite things... side boob with tattoos.

That's sweet. Okay, so, my son and I were talking about when we used to watch "Sesame Street" together and how the show has changed. So, once again here's...

"You remember this, don't you, Mr. Johnson? You were a 15-year-old virgin, who snuck into the stir club. You expected Wonder Woman to take your virginity, but you ended up with Spider-Man instead. You panicked upon realizing the monster was male, snapping his neck. But instead of killing the feelings of guilt, it awoke feelings inside of you that simply kept escalating for the rest of your deprived life. Look into my eyes, do you remember what that poor innocent soul looked like? Have you conferred why I am always here with you?"

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, there's this comedian who I have let tell jokes on the Phile in the past, but unfortunately he's not very good and doesn't know how to tell jokes. I thought I wold give him another chance as he said he's been working on some new comedy. So, please welcome once again to the Phile...

Me: Hey, Ollie, welcome to the Phile again. How are you doing?

Ollie: I'm good, Jason. I have some great new jokes.

Me: That's good. Okay, hit us.

Ollie: Okay. Knock, knock.

Me: Who's there?

Ollie: Dave.

Me: Dave who?

Ollie: Dave proceeds to break into tears as his grandmother's Alzheimer's has progressed to the point where she can no longer remember him.

Me: Ollie, that's not funny. Try another.

Ollie: What's sad about four black people in a Cadillac going over a cliff?

Me: I don't know. What?

Ollie: They were my friends.

Me: Ahem. I actually almost laughed at that but stopped myself. Okay, you have one more chance.

Ollie: Okay. What did the lawyer say to the other lawyer?

Me: I don't know.

Ollie: We are both lawyers. Hahaha.

Me: Ugh. Ollie Tabooger, the guy who doesn't know how to tell a joke, everybody! Get out of here!

So, do you kids like Megyn Kelly? I kinda do... she's hot. Anyway, the other day I was thinking about her and out of the blue realized something. So, here's a brand pheature called...

A lawyer and "super fan" of the show "Will & Grace" named Russell Turner was invited on stage to meet the cast, and Kelly asked him, "Is it true that you became a lawyer... and you became gay... because of Will?" This question suggests that being gay is a choice... an ideal that many LGBTQ people don't agree with. A few moments later Megyn Kelly wrapped things up with Turner by telling him, "I don't know about the lawyer thing, but I think the 'Will & Grace' thing and the gay thing is going to work out great." That's... not... what???

Are you a lazy person? If so, I bet you are not as lazy as the person who did this...

Couldn't you use a bowl? Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things Overheard During Trump's Puerto Rico Visit
5. Thank God! Now we can finally dab the oil off our pizza slices!
4. They're calling this visit the second biggest disaster in Puerto Rico's history!
3. Remember when Churchill visited London after the blitz and tossed sponges at people?
2. This is how he gives Melania her weekly allowance!
And the number one thing overheard during Trump's Puerto Rico visit was...
1. Too bad he isn't throwing in the towel on his Presidency!

Donald Trump started the work week by addressing three issues of equal import to the president. The march for dollars by Donald Trump. The march towards war with North Korea. The march out of a sports game by Mike Pence. The "great praise" being given to the VP, over what was marked by players as a publicity stunt after the game, might just be the president talking in third person. Very few commenters seem impressed that Mike Pence attended a Colts and 49ers game on Sunday just to storm out of it like the most dramatic boy in the world after several players predictably kneeled for the anthem. On Twitter, he followed his tantrum by slamming the door to his room: According to the "Washington Post," more than a dozen players kneeled for the anthem on Sunday. Again, Pence likely knew they would do so, since here they are yesterday...

They did the same in previous weeks, since it's kinda their thing. The entire kneeling movement was begun by a former 49ers player, Colin Kaepernick. According to Trump a day ago, he asked Pence to pull the hissy fit maneuver himself. According to CNN, just the air travel to make the the stunt happen would cost around $242,000. That's excluding all security costs. But hey, the outburst may have had one major effect... the owner of an unrelated football team, the Dallas Cowboys, said he would not let his team play if any player was caught "disrespecting the flag." "Under no circumstances will we as an organization, coaches, players, not support and stand and recognize and honor the flag. Period." Of course, the team hasn't been doing that... they've been kneeling before the anthem, not during it. The owner, Jerry Jones, even joined them in the gesture during a game in late September. I'm sure that will stop Trump from gloating about it. We'll see what happens next week... hopefully Donald Trump takes the field himself. We know he loves to tackle.

The 67th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum and author will be a guest on the Phile next Sunday. Okay, so, today is Columbus Day and a friend of the Phile wanted to come here and say something about it. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Happy Columbus Day ? I'm part Native American (Abenaki) and I have spoken of the truth about this man since I was a small boy. Seek out the truth not the myth, the legend, the so-called history we read in books or the fake conspiracy theory BS. The man was a horrific human being who was brought up on charges by Queen Isabella when he returned to Spain. He was found guilty and jailed for seven years. Charges included war crimes, cruel and torturous treatment of his crew, murder and rape of the indigenous people of the land. He was also responsible of the rape and impregnation of his 15-year- old daughter and nearly a dozen nuns along with 139 other women. Oh sure... he deserves to be honored about as much as any other wretched demon. Check the facts... you'll see for yourself. Finding a native American who celebrates Columbus as a hero is like finding a Jew who celebrates Hitler's birthday.

John Lennon
John Lennon is the Ringo of surviving assassinations.

Today's pheatured guest is a New York City stand up comedian who is also a member of The Real Bitches of Comedy... and she's very attractive. Just sayin'. Please welcome to the Phile... Alysia Hush.

Me: Alysia, hey! Welcome to the Phile! How are you?

Alysia: Hey, Jason! I’m great! Thanks so much for having me!

Me: I have interviewed quite a few people I used to work with at Disney that went on to either be authors, artists or stand up comedians... but I never thought I'd interview you about stand up. How long have you been doing it?

Alysia: Oh, that’s amazing! It’s so cool that you do this. I’ve been doing stand up for almost two years now.

Me: You have the best stage name though.

Alysia: Haha, thanks! It’s my grandmother’s last name.

Me: Okay, so, full disclosure and honesty, when we worked together at Epcot about 7 years ago I think it was I thought you were hot, but very quiet. Who knew you were funny? I watched your videos and you are really funny. Did you have a good time working for Disney?

Alysia: HAHA! That’s amazing. First off, thank you thinking I’m pretty. I am. Kidding! And you’re right, I can be super quiet in big groups. I think that’s one of the reasons stand up is such a good fit for me. I don’t have to assert myself into a conversation or feel like I’m intruding.

Me: Do you have a favorite memory of working there?

Alysia: At Disney? Loads. Just the people alone were amazing. I’m still really, really close with my old roommate. We moved to Australia together after that. I think one of my favorite memories was a little girl names Alex. I met her while I was working at one of the rides. She kept coming back over and over again just to talk and on her last day at the parks, she waited until I got off break so that she could say good-bye to me.

Me: That's sweet. What do you remember about me? That I was hot? Hahahahaha.

Alysia: That’s all I remember about you. That you were hot. That’s all I ever remember about anyone.

Me: You're originally are from Texas, but you don't have a strong Texas accent, Alysia, when you are doing comedy. Do you hide it or did it just go away?

Alysia: I had one when I was much younger, and it sometimes comes out when I’m drunk. We moved to Washington State for a few years when I was in middle school, so that’s probably where I dropped most of it.

Me: You're living in New York City now, right? How long have you been living there? Do you like living there?

Alysia: I’ve been in New York for three and a half years now. It feels much, much longer than that though. I only really fell in love with New York last summer. Before that, I had a really rough time of it. As most of us do when we get to the city. But now, it’s home.

Me: So, when did you realize you wanted to do stand up? 

Alysia: Honestly, people ask me that all the time. And honestly, I have absolutely no idea. I had one friend who used to tell me all the time “You should do comedy; you should host late night TV." But I never really considered it. Then one day I was bored and reading an article in my bedroom about a girl who did stand up and thought “oh cool, I’ll do that too." So, it was mostly just a whim. Which is good, because I think if I had had a passion for it, I might have chickened out and never done it. And now it is all I do.

Me: Did you do any acting or theater in school?

Alysia: I didn’t! I auditioned for "The Crucible" in high school. Because, well, witches. And I kept getting called back again and again but on the very last day of auditions, before the cast list went up, the teacher pulled me aside after and said, “you’re great, but this is not a comedy.”

Me: What was your major in school, Alysia?

Alysia: I majored in Journalism and Mass Comm. I was not a good journalist at the time. At this time, I am still not a good journalist.

Me: When you first went on stage for the first time were you nervous?

Alysia: I was so, so nervous. But, at the same time, I was only doing comedy for fun. So I didn’t have a ton of stock in it, allowing me to brush it off and keep going back, without shame. Which, worthy to note, I should have been very ashamed. Horrible joke. Horrible.

Me: I am not a huge fan of female comedians, and most attractive female comedians are not funny. Tig Notaro is funny... oh, Jen Kirkman is very attractive and funny... but that's rare. You're attractive and funny. Do you find that helps you or not?

Alysia: Honestly, I have no idea. I don’t want to sit here and be like “I’m pretty, it’s hard,” but I think they way a woman looks will be held against her regardless of whether or not someone finds her funny/attractive. I think sometimes, if I look cute, it is easier to get the male audience’s attention. But by that same token, they are less likely to take me seriously. I am speaking from my own experiences, of course.

Me: So, who are your favorite comedians, Alysia?

Alysia: My absolute favorite is Jessica Kirson. I’ve seen her back-to-back one night and laughed just as hard at the same jokes as I did the first time. She’s brilliant. I also adore Chris Rock, Laurie Kilmartin, Brooks Wheelan, and John Oliver, whom I am obsessed with.

Me: I recently interviewed a Boston stand up comedian named Mike O'Brien who I also used to work with at Disney and I asked him about people sitting in the front row at comedy shows. I always thought it's not good to sit in the front row. What do you think of that?

Alysia: I like to sit in the front when I watch a show. But I’m a comic... You will likely be spoken to if you sit in front. But that isn’t always a bad thing!

Me: Do you ever get heckled? How do you handle hecklers?

Alysia: I don’t usually sweat hecklers. This is going to make me sound like an asshole, but I’m as mean as I am nice. Which is very, very nice. And very, very mean.

Me: Do you find being a female comedian you get more laughs from women or guys?

Alysia: I want to say it is equal. One of the best compliments I’ve received was from a talent manager who said, “you’re funny to men and women.” It seems like a silly thing to say, but it meant everything.

Me: I did stand up back in the 90s a few times and kinda wish I continued it... is stand up something you want to do long term or do you hope to get into acting?

Alysia: I want to be known as a stand up. If I do a little acting here and there, I would love that. But acting is not my end goal. Ultimately, I would like to do something along the lines of "The Daily Show," or the Weekend Update desk on "SNL."

Me: I have to talk about your routine... you are very frank in what you say. You said you like guys with tattoos... I have four. Haha. And you're on Tindr? Do you find people looking for you on that site now more?

Alysia: Haha! I have since deleted Tindr. Turns out, it’s bad. Who knew?

Me: I have been told I should join Tindr, but I'm too old for that. It's too complicated anyway. Haha. Another thing you said on stage was you have dated women... which is cool. Do you find you get more women flirting with you after a show or men?

Alysia: I have found that I get a pretty even number of no one flirting with me after shows.

Me: One thing that really surprised me about you is you tales about your parents. When I did stand up, I talked about my dad just a bit, but it was mostly about not knowing what the song "Slow Ride" was about until my dad told me when I was 13... it's about fucking. Hahaha. Was it easy to all about your parents, especially your mom?

Alysia: It is because they are supportive of comedy. It’s strange because I always wanted to be a writer. And my parents were really apprehensive about it. They preferred that I pursued something more stable. But when I started doing comedy, they were kind of like “this makes sense.” So they are okay with me talking about most things. Somethings make them super uncomfortable, of course. But for the most part they keep those thoughts to themselves.

Me: Have your parents ever seen your stand up? I am sure they have as it's on the Internet. What do they think of you doing it?

Alysia: They haven’t! They’ve only seen what is put on-line. My brother has been out to watch me in New York and I’ve had friends come see me. But I haven’t been hired out to Texas yet.

Me: So, when your mom was pregnant with you she was in Russia? Is that true? That's crazy.

Alysia: Her and my dad were both active duty army, stationed in Germany, when they met and got married. They weren’t stationed back to the U.S. until a few months before I was born. So my mom spent a few months in Russia during her maternity leave, since she knew it would be awhile before she could go back. And yes, the part about her drinking is true too. It’s her favorite story to tell...

Me: So, you do shows around New York City, have you done any outside New York?

Alysia: I do a lot of shows in New York state. And I go to Chicago and L.A. occasionally. I mostly travel outside New York for festivals. I just got back from North Carolina.

Me: If you come back to Florida we'll have to go to some open mic stuff. I'll even get back on stage. When I did comedy I knew some stuff to say but mostly I winged it... do you have an act memorized or do you just wing it? Mike O'Brien said no one wings it... I did mostly, and picked on people in the audience which was a cheap way to get laughs.

Alysia: I definitely write out my jokes and put tons of practice time in before I get in front of an audience. I can wing a few things, but I could never improvise my whole set.

Me: Is there anything you like about other stand up comedians or don't like? I don't like when a black comedian spends his whole act talking about being black, or any ethnic race doing the whole act talking about that, or when a gay comedian talks the whole time about being gay.

Alysia: Not a big fan of French people. Oh, you mean in comedy? Well, I still don’t like the French…

Me: Same here!! High five! Haha. Okay, I have to ask you about The Real Bitches of Comedy... is that an improv group, Alysia?

Alysia: Ah! No, but everyone thinks that. The Real Bitches of Comedy is a show in New York. The woman who produces it, Heather, does an amazing job of putting out videos and posters to market it. 

Me: How did you get to be a part of that group?

Alysia: I met Heather at an open mic and we clicked. We were both new and she started producing her amazing and fun show and was kind enough to invite me to be on it a few times.

Me: I saw the poster for it and I have to ask... what in the world are you holding? A vibrator? An e-stick? And why does your hair look black?

Alysia: I used to dye my hair brown….I like it better when it’s not blonde... but no one agrees. I’m holding a pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses, Jason. Sunglasses.

Me: Yeah, you look better blonde. And that doesn't look like sunglasses to me. If any of the other comedians want to be interviewed for the Phile tell them to get in touch with me. So, are you always writing new material?

Alysia: I will! This is so fun! I write everyday. I try to solidify a new five minute set every month.

Me: Do you ever get anybody asking you for material, Alysia?

Alysia: Not so much asking for material. I’ve had people ask for help with specific punch lines or set ups, but we all do that. Talking about a joke helps write the joke.

Me: Is there any advice you can give a reader of the Phile if they want to start doing stand up?

Alysia: Just do it. Your life will be ruined. You’ll love it. But just fucking do it.

Me: Great. So, go ahead and mention your website, Facebook, Twitter, Tindr... whatever you want. Thanks so much for being here, please come back again soon. I hope this was fun. Come back down to Florida to visit soon... we'll hang out. All the best. Continued success. You're very funny.

Alysia:  Thanks, Jason!!! This is so fun! Find me on Instagram: alysia_hush. Please, for the love of God, do not find me on Tindr.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and of course Alysia Hush. The Phile will be back on Thursday with Canadian singer Sarah Hiltz. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snake and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

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