Yoshi Didn't Podcast

This week we explore the Swedish comedy scene with Sweden's best male standup comedian, Al Pitcher, a Kiwi from London. After seeing him perform at Upsala University (where he murdered the audience), I asked Al if he wouldn’t mind doing my podcast.

He turned out to be exactly the guy Adeel Faqih (@AdeelFaqih) told me he was - a very funny, professional and gracious man. He spoke of his childhood in England and about growing up in New Zealand. We discussed some of his earlier struggles in standup and his surprising career in Sweden. I especially like Al’s idea about taking pictures of the town in which he is performing that night then sharing them with the audience, who are delighted and amused by his observations. He also told some interesting anecdotes about his friendship with John Oliver in the UK. Please enjoy this episode and follow Al!


Al's website:
http://www.alpitcher.com

Al's twitter account:
https://twitter.com/thealpitcher

The Local's article about Al:
http://www.thelocal.se/20120126/38744

Al's comedy on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIsL8c64q00

Al's guide to Sweden: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3J76ws9hvs

Radio interview with Al:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfNNO8RYt6w

Direct download: episode_57.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 3:55am PDT

This is the second part of our Danish holiday episode. 

After a communication mix-up created by me, I was finally able to meet up with Mr. Joergen Kjaer, president of the Danish Drug Users Union, or BrugerForeningen (BF). BF was created to provide a place for drug users to help themselves, understand their rights and fight against personal isolation. Also attending the meeting was my friend Mikkel; we were both moved by the staff’s generosity and brotherhood.

The BF facility helps both illegal drug users and those on methadone maintenance. Active members have access to fitness, gaming, healthcare and computer rooms. After we visited their on-site drug museum, Joergen, a 35+ year user of heroin, was kind enough to do my silly little podcast and answer our questions. Mikkel and I hope you like the episode. 

If you can, please donate to their organization!

Danish Drug Users Union
BrugerForeningen 30. Korsgade 2200 Copenhagen Denmark 
Phone No.: +45 35 36 01 50
Fax No.: +45 35 24 52 31
E-mail adress: jk@brugerforeningen.dk
Website: http://www.brugerforeningen.dk
Contact person: Joergen Kjaer

Here are a few websites we mentioned during the episode:

Ethan Nadelmann
http://vimeo.com/7587458

Ethan Nadelmann and Richard Branson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuAe9GUcPnk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw4LlgXLOfM

Drug Policy Alliance
http://www.drugpolicy.org

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
http://www.leap.cc

Direct download: SHOW_56y.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 3:56pm PDT

Welcome to Part One of a special Danish holiday episode of Yoshi Didn't. This podcast episode deals with one of the few major issues that really drives me crazy. Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." The drug war is 100% pure insanity. We have lost the war, and we all need an alternative for this important health issue.

I was very lucky to meet someone like Michael Lodberg Olsen. A social entrepreneur who has dedicated his life to helping people (starting with homeless and abused kids in Romania in the 1980s, and currently trying to pioneer creative solutions for drug users). I traveled across Sweden then to Denmark during Storm Sven, and a five-hour train ride became an 18-hour trip. But it was definitely worth the effort.

Not only did Michael L. Olsen create facilities where addicts have a place to rest, eat and use drugs, he also brought several social innovations to this difficult issue. The "Illegal" van which Michael drove around Copenhagen provided a safe and clean facility for addicts to take their drugs (in addition to a driver, the Illegal van includes a doctor and/or nurse to guard against overdoses). Michael has also started publishing “Illegal!” magazine. This publication is filled with information on drug issues, artwork and photographs, and helps put a human face to addiction. Addicts sell the magazines at a markup, and keep the proceeds to maintain their habits — an alternative to crime or street prostitution.

After visiting his facilities, meeting addicts both current and recovering, we did this interview. Before saying goodbye to him, I met his son and beautiful daughter. They were very happy about the snow at the park! That's when it dawned on me: Michael is not just working for justice for our dope-taking brothers and sisters; he’s also fighting for his kids’ future.

Please enjoy the episode!

Illegal! Magazine:
http://illegalmagasin.dk/illegal-%E2%80%9C-best-alternative-sucking-d-street%E2%80%9D
http://illegalmagasin.dk/new-street-paper-drugs-hits-copenhagen

Illegal and Michael L. Olsen on Vice:
http://www.vice.com/en_au/read/illegal-magazine-helps-copenhagens-drug-users-fund-their-addictions-legally

Direct download: Episode_55.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Please enjoy the first episode of the Swedish series of Yoshi Didn’t! I had a talk with my new roommate, Addie Faqih, who’s a funny standup comedian as well as the owner of the best Spanish restaurant in Stockholm, La Cucaracha (www.lacucaracha.se).

In this episode we mainly talked about his greatest passion: Football. (His team is Tottenham Hotspur FC - www.tottenhamhotspur.com.)

It’s one of many conversations I plan to have with this comical Pakistani-Swede. And if you are ever lucky enough to walk around Stockholm with Adeel, you’ll be astonished to see how many people he greets on the street like a seasoned politician. Please follow Adeel's twitter account: @AdeelFaqih.

Direct download: Episode_53.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 2:20am PDT

This discussion was recorded at the last minute with two of my friends: Steve Cattani and David Chien (@thedavidchien). Since it was an impromptu meeting, we ended up talking mostly about the great Greek-American director John Cassavetes and his films. I couldn't keep up with David’s and Steve's expertise, but I enjoyed it tremendously. Anyhoo, I hope this will excite you enough to watch some of Cassavetes’ work.

Also, definitely check out the movie by Steve and Tracy Tuffs (@tracytuffs) coming in 2014, Resurrecting Doug Dunning. Here is the trailer:

http://gevilentertainment.virb.com/trailers

Direct download: Episode_52a.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

On this week's episode of Yoshi Didn't, Episode 51: This Ain't the Rush Hour, we have the great Al Jackson (@aljackson). He's a standup comedian, actor, podcast master, scientist, athlete and, most important of all, a great husband and father. Talking to him was like watching The Godfather or Goodfellas: We were having so much fun, I wondered afterward where the last three hours had gone. The discussion went just about EVERYWHERE! Also, we were fortunate to have along Eric Smith (Episode 40: Mr. Smith Goes to Musicland) who let us record this episode inside his touring bus. You can follow Al here:

http://www.aljacksonlive.com/#!bio/cnyl
https://twitter.com/aljackson
https://www.facebook.com/aljacksonlive

Here is some of Al's standup, brought to you by Comedy Central:
http://www.comedycentral.com/comedians/al-jackson

= = = = =

This extravaganza was facilitated by Baye McNeil (originally from Brooklyn, now living in Yokohama) aka Loco in Yokohama. His writing will make you laugh and cry and, whether you like it or not, you will learn plenty about race, life and Japan. I said to Al during the podcast, "Black people understand racism the way Japanese people understand nuclear radiation." Yes, they are both toxic! Anyhoo, please check out both Al and Baye!

Follow Loco here:
http://www.locoinyokohama.com/
https://twitter.com/Locohama

And watch him here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhQPD7Le6Ys

Direct download: Episode_51.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:06am PDT

For today's episode, I am delighted to introduce my longtime friend (and a fellow disciple of Carl Warmenhoven, our comedy guru from Episode 23). I first met Craig Gass years ago at Seattle's oldest and most important standup club, the Comedy Underground. Before he was a comic, Craig was a rock and roll roadie, traveling the country as a teenager. After deciding on a career in standup, he began honing his incredible talent for mimicry — and has become very famous for his dead-on impressions of Sam Kinison, Gene Simmons, Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Tracy Morgan, and countless other celebrities.

In addition, we discuss Craig's amazing family background, one that has had a great impact on his stage performance. You'll easily understand why he was one of Howard Stern's favorite guests, and how he's made so many memorable appearances on shows like Law & Order, Sex and the City, The King of Queens and American Dad!

Enjoy!

Craig Gass at the Gene Simmons Roast
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj7d0kFVo1w

Craig Gass as Al Pacino
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpeqEex6zfI

Craig on Shaw TV
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlRX4q4pDgg

Direct download: Episode_50.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

1