Humor Me

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Sunday, October 03, 2010

The funny, or funny/sad, side of life is offered up in tales by three masters of the form.

To create a program of funny tales, we invited the wonderful humorist and journalist Ian Frazier to host a program at Symphony Space made up of selections from his new anthology, entitled Humor Me.  From that evening we’ll hear first a wonderful reminiscence by the late Grace Paley, who as a Vietnam War protestor was sentenced to jail time at the now defunct Women’s House of Detention in the heart of Greenwich Village.  As one of the lively characters she profiles in “Six Days: Some Rememberings,” notes, “that was a good idea, a prison right in the neighborhood.”  Bringing the late, great Grace to life is Dana Ivey.

Next up, a transgressive favorite of SHORTS host Isaiah Sheffer, who says he enjoyed reading Ian Frazier’s own “Dating Your Mom,” because of its “sincere innocence.”

And what would a humor program be without something from the inimitable David Sedaris?  This time, we offer up obsession/compulsive disorder as only Sedaris could imagine it, in “A Plague of Tics.”  No doubt reader Robert Sean Leonard’s long run on the television series House gave him just the right sense of empathy with the beleaguered narrator.

The musical interlude is “Red Hot Mama,” by George Clinton, from the album Standing on the Verge, and the SELECTED SHORTS theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”

"Six Days: Some Rememberings," by Grace Paley, performed by Dana Ivey

"Dating Your Mom," by Ian Frazier, performed by Isaiah Sheffer

"A Plague of Tics," by David Sedaris, performed by Robert Sean Leonard

For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, please visit

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Ian Frazier, Dana Ivey and Robert Sean Leonard

Comments [2]

From the Producers

Thank you for your supportive remarks. We are so sorry your local stations don't broadcast the series--it is always worth writing to let them know you would like them to carry it. Our programs are also available for a limited time as podcasts on iTunes,; and at

Dec. 27 2010 09:05 AM
Betsy Noorzay from 6639 Chimineas Ave.,Reseda, CA 91335

About 7 or 8 years ago(not exactly sure when)I was in Frankfort, Michigan, listening to the NPR stationthere which broadcasts selected shorts (whereas none of the 3 stations I receive in Reseda ( 91335) in the San Fernando Valley broadcast Selected Shorts which is my loss. We do get Praire Home Companion so its not all bad, but I feel extremely deprived because I cannot get Selected shorts, my favorite of which was AMAZON by Sylvia Browning. Can you help?

Dec. 22 2010 12:48 AM

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