Alex Gibney: on The First Amendment

Alex Gibney: on The First Amendment

Did Julian Assange ever watch ISHTAR? If so, he would have heard Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty lyrically forewarn: “Telling the truth can be dangerous business. Honest and popular don’t go hand in hand.” Of course, whistle-blowing is no laughing matter. While the majority of those in power deem secret-spilling an act of treason, others define it a patriotic act befitting [...]

June 14, 2013 at 11:16 am 0 comments

Trigger Unhappy

Trigger Unhappy

You could argue that guns kill people or that people kill people; it’s semantics mixed up with semi-automatics. What cannot be denied is that people kill themselves… with firearms… a lot. in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11,078 Americans were killed by firearms, a depressing statistic, for sure. However, did you know that the same [...]

May 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm 0 comments

Not to scale?

Not to scale?

The Mountaineers hosted one heckuva a hoedown this weekend according to this report. Why? Because they’re there! And by they, I mean RFK Jr., Jay Inslee and Big Jim Whittaker, the latter of whom picked up a lifetime achievement award for being a climber, and a social one at that. Apparently, scaling Mt. Everest is one of those things that [...]

April 23, 2013 at 10:15 am 0 comments

About face

About face

Learning to appreciate ourselves for our flaws as well as our strengths is a hallmark of self-compassion. Of course being self-compassionate can be extremely challenging as our inner critics are vocal, persistent and, too often, cruel. Courtesy of Upworthy comes a video that demonstrates our common incapacity for honest and kind self-assessment; a forensic artist sketches people based on their [...]

April 17, 2013 at 10:55 am 0 comments

Point Our Camera at Demetri?

Point Our Camera at Demetri?

I don’t laugh out loud much. Certainly not on the bus. Even when I’ve been tempted. (Yes, I *was* looking at you, man-playing-Lane-Splitter when you provided your own awesome sound effects of speedy motorcycle in traffic for all of us to hear so we could enjoy your virtual game, virtually.) However, the deceptively simple line and one-liner drawings in Point [...]

March 13, 2013 at 6:57 am 0 comments

The Warren vs. Larry Flynt

The Warren vs. Larry Flynt

Was it Frank Sinatra or Phil Hartman as Frank Sinatra who said, “You don’t need to work blue, kid?” Either way, it’s a lesson that may get blown up next week when I welcome self-proclaimed “smut peddler” Larry Flynt to The High Bar during our Season 4 shoot in Los Angeles. Will he raise the bar for free speech? Sex [...]

February 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm 0 comments

Getting swanky

Getting swanky

We’re raising the bar for ourselves. For the first time, The High Bar will venture outside of Washington state. Soon, we will be shooting episodes for Season 4 in Los Angeles at the world-class Hotel Bel-Air. Guests confirmed to appear thus far include: actress/filmmaker Illeana Douglas (Easy-to-Assemble), who will raise a toast to moving image media actress/activist Amy Brenneman (Private [...]

February 13, 2013 at 11:06 am 0 comments

Lev Anderson: on Fishbone

Lev Anderson: on Fishbone

Ice-T, Gwen Stefani, Tim Robbins, George Clinton and Branford Marsalis walk into a bar and go over to the jukebox. Chances are they all agree to play some Fishbone… but have trouble finding a track.   Despite industry-wide consent that Fishbone is one of the most original, influential and badass bands of the last 25 years, too few know their [...]

November 1, 2012 at 5:26 am 0 comments

Gaylen Ross: on Memory

Gaylen Ross: on Memory

Do you remember…? If you’re fortunate, you do. Memory is an indispensable tool, but one, too often, we take for granted. When Caris Corfman suffered a brain tumor, she survived yet her short-term memory did not. This would be a blow to anyone, but when your career, your passion is acting — a job dependent on the memorization of lines [...]

October 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm 0 comments

Elliott Gould: on Non-conformity

Elliott Gould: on Non-conformity

Bill Cosby warns: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” It would seem Elliott Gouldnever tried and, perhaps, that explains the unorthodox actor’s spectacular early success and enviable longevity. When the star of such critically-acclaimed hits as M*A*S*H, THE LONG GOODBYE and OCEAN’S ELEVEN and such indie gems as DORFMAN [...]

September 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm 0 comments

Melanie Lynskey: on Bad movies

Melanie Lynskey: on Bad movies

Is it more entertaining to be bad than average? When it comes to Hollywood, you bet. Mediocrity is the curse of the unimaginative. To make a truly awful film requires a certain brand of unchecked genius. Beloved actress Melanie Lynskey (HEAVENLY CREATURES; Two and a Half Men) visits me at The High Bar for a sober tribute to the best [...]

September 3, 2012 at 11:28 am 0 comments

Eric Weiner: on Finding God

Eric Weiner: on Finding God

Some folks speak with God daily. Others can’t locate God given a prayer book, a GPS device and a formal introduction. After a medical emergency (that turned out to be dramatically less than that), journalist Eric Weiner (The Geography of Bliss) was asked by a kindly nurse “Have you found your God yet?” and, consequently, tried to make peace with [...]

July 24, 2012 at 8:23 am 0 comments

Lewis Black: on Theater

Lewis Black: on Theater

Reports of Theater’s death are greatly exaggerated. That’s not to say anyone can make a living in it, but still, the theater can prove richly rewarding. Just ask beloved comedian/notorious curmudgeon Lewis Black who has returned to his first love, playwriting, after a hiatus of a few decades, with One Slight Hitch, a full-length romantic romp he has partially re-imagined [...]

June 19, 2012 at 12:49 am 7 comments

How do you *SAVE* 11 million people?

How do you *SAVE* 11 million people?

Q: How do you nurture political activism? A: By preserving critical thought. Q: How do you preserve critical thought? A: By asking how do you kill 11 million people? Q: How do you kill 11 million people? A: By failing to nurture political activism.   In his quick read, How Do You Kill 11 Million People?: Why the Truth Matters [...]

June 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm 0 comments

Chaser: Warren & Dana Gould (uncensored)

Chaser: Warren & Dana Gould (uncensored)

When the director calls cut at The High Bar, the cameras keep rolling, as the show’s Executive Producer Jason Ganwich, snaps stills and the guests get sassy. In this red-band Chaser, Dana Gould doles out the straight poop on Ronald Reagan‘s later years, points out the glaring idiocy of Stephen Hawking and shows us the proper way to construct a Simpsons-worthy [...]

May 30, 2012 at 9:58 am 3 comments

‘Tis the (third) season!

‘Tis the (third) season!

As happy as I have been with the second season of The High Bar, I am absolutely stoked about Season 3. There are many big changes ahead, thanks to the solidified leadership of my co-executive producer Jason Ganwich, pacts with two television stations to increase our audience by nearly 3 million viewers and a line-up of guests that makes me [...]

December 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm 0 comments