Saturday, December 10

John Warner, funny guy teaching at Clemson

Lately I've been reading John Warner's "My Life in the New York Times" series at The Morning News. Hilarious guy--think McSweeney's (just as clever without being as wordy) meets David Sedaris (just as funny and sarcastically charming without being as gay - which he's not, not that there's anything wrong with that).

Here's a sample of some of his work, taken from "Bombing with Jai Al-Leno", a column written from the point of view of, you guessed it, the large-chinned, squeaky-voiced funnyman host of the Tonight Show, Al-Jazeera edition.

[Jai Al-Leno]: "Let’s see what’s happening over in the Evil Empire. Oh yes. Because of the bombing — that would be the bombing in THIS country, by the way — they postponed the 53rd Annual Prime Time Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. [audience: "awwwwww"] That’s right. That’s right. But we had to cancel some big entertainment events in Afghanistan Sunday night, as well. For instance, over in the football stadium, they had to postpone the Taliban’s Seventh Annual Marching of the Women Who’ve Committed Adultery and Shooting Them In the Back of the Head Festival. [laughs] You should have seen the dress Bjork was planning on wearing to THAT." [cheers]

Yes, sir. And best of all, he's a teacher at Clemson. Yes, Clemson. Or "HarvardPrincetonYaleMITBerkeley of the South" as I like to call it.

To this I say:

Boo yah!

Him getting hired the year after I leave is kind of like seeing the guy in line directly in front of you getting the last whatever it was you wanted or running into an ugly ex-girlfriend that suddenly got a lot prettier. But still, anything that makes my degree worth that extra .001 cent...

By the way, if you look him up online you'll find there's a major irony in my summary of his style. I would tell you, but that wouldn't be any fun, now would it?

Warner's first book, co-authored with Kevin Guilfoile, My First Presidency: A Scrapbook by George W. Bush


Trevor said...

Ah, yes, John Warner. I'm very familiar with him...he's the guy that always sends me those nice rejection slips from McSweeneys.

(Not that I'm bitter about that or anything)

James said...

You, too?!

Robb said...

Just wanted to let you know that I'm now a reader of your blog. Seriously, nice work James.
Also, I wasted nearly all of yesterday reading it, so we're gonna have to work out some way for you to give me that time back.

Anonymous said...


I havent read your blog in awhile and I just sat down and devoted about a half hour to reading everything. Can't tell you exactly how much soaked in because.. it is exam week. But, definitely got a few laughs, thanks. Im glad to hear you are doing well, where are you working again?? My very best friend is in LA right now doing super well... acting and such. If you ever go there, ya'll should me, she could introduce you to famous people.. its all about networking, am I right? anyways... glad to see everythings awesome. If you see Danny Tanner or Joey Gladstone, tell them they rocked my childhood. (wasnt full house filmed in San Fran.?) ok, bye!!
-Sara Towne

Trevor said...

I don't know where Mr. Warner finds time to be a senator from Virginia (and an ex-husband of screen legend Liz Taylor, no less).

Unless there's a different John Warner than the one that's on Wikipedia ;-p

James said...

Next time I'm in NYC I'll give you a call and take you to the Staten Island/Statue of Liberty boat ride tour, my treat.

You're entirely right. Which is why I'm currently working on making famous friends. The project's not going so well, however - unless you count antagonizing an up-and-coming indepedent filmmaker this past spring at USC - that's Southern Cal, NOT South Carolina -
as a sign of friendship. I don't, unforunately.

So what I'm saying, Sara, is send me your friend's email. Then I can send her my screenplay. Tell her I said she can co-star in it when she gets it to Ben Affleck, who I'm envisioning in the role of the main character. What's that character like you're wondering? He's a real asshole.

And Trevor, yeah, I forgot to mention that in the post. So it's John Warner, liberal website editor, funnyman writer, English professor, AND Republican senator from VA.

James said...

Oh and Sara, why did you leave out Uncle Jesse?

By the way, remember when we all thought John Stamos was actually cool?

Me neither.

jenneral said...

Heh. Funny stuff. Would read again.

glomgold said...

Need a zoom-in on that bookcover art. That looks like an Amish basketball player in the lower left corner.

Who thought John Stamos was cool?

James said...

Whoa, it is!

And I - I mean - my friend thought he was cool. "Was" being the operative word.

James said...

Back when my friend was about eight and other things I - I mean, he - thought were cool included white rappers with flattops, crime-solving ninjitsu-using reptiles, and movies involving a combination of the two.

Trevor said...

You mean "Remains of the Day", right? That was such an amazine pairing of Anthony Hopkins and Vanilla Ice...

James said...


Trevor said...

Oh, sorry. I forgot that the historic paring of Hannibal and Ice was barred from release by the movie studios and reshot with Emma Thompson in the Van Winkle part.

In my alternate reality, of course...