This year marked the 15th Anniversary of the New Yorker Festival and our 3rd annual venture to the festival. There were some big names this year, and I was lucky to get in early with my Mastercard for early release tickets.
On our agenda:
Friday: 7PM Bill Hader
10PM Sunshine State (Carl Hiaasen, Karen Russell, Donald Antrim)
Saturday: 7PM Jeff Goldblum
10PM Julianna Margulies (cancelled) replaced by Keifer Sutherland
The beginning was amazing with Bill Hader. He was not only hilariously funny but also told such amazing stories from a fantastic viewpoint that the whole audience was laughing and engaged. He was completely exhausted from the week of SNL rehearsals but made it anyway to the NYerfest, and we could not have been more elated.
My favorite story was of the SouthPark fishsticks episode and of a retreat in Seattle to get the creative juices flowing for ideas. Apparently Trey Parker acts like a dad sometimes and had this great idea to take everyone to a salmon ladder. Trey is standing there with a brochure and explaining what it is while everyone else is making funny stories about the fish and laughing and suffice it to say, the hilarity comes out in the episode: South Park FishSticks Episode
It was very sweet that even Bill’s father attended and was in the front row. Lots of stories of SNL shenanigans, as well as, the new movies Bill is in that look amazing and are must-sees: Skeleton Twins 2014 and Trainwreck 2015.
Moving on we were enthralled later by the Floridian stories from all three panelists of the Sunshine State. The newspaper headlines that are the genesis of some of the books discussed were over the top but true, definitely inspiring and shocking stories to build fictional characters around. The perspective of growing up in Florida and living there showed how interesting these authors are and how their surroundings contribute to their success in storytelling. I will definitely be checking out Swamplandia by Karen Russell and The Emerald Light in the Air by Donald Antrim.
Saturday was interesting with Jeff Goldblum, who was incredibly engaging and charismatic. I had no idea he played Jazz every Wednesday at the Rockwell in LA and well. I have added this to my to-do list for LA outings, check out the details from NPR.
It would not be a NYerFest if I did not mention the following faves of NY: