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The Indecision 11
  • The Indecision 11: Myq Kaplan

    Myq KaplanWelcome to The Indecision 11, our soft-hitting — caressing, really — politics questionnaire for smart, funny people. This week: comedian Myq Kaplan, whom you know from his stint on Last Comic Standing, his appearances on Conan and The Late Show with David Letterman, his Comedy Central Presents special and his regular guest spots on the Keith and the Girl comedy podcast. Would you like to buy his best-selling comedy album Vegan Mind Meld?  (Hint: you do.) You also want to follow @myqkaplan.

    What's your earliest political memory?
    I didn't follow politics as a child much at all, other than class elections where I would write in votes for communism. When I got to college I got more engaged. I remember taking an ethics course where I read something that Reagan (or one of his speechwriters) had said about abortion, something to the effect of "If you don't know whether a body is alive or dead, you don't bury it." And it really made me think. I remember thinking that I agreed with the words, but there was more to the issue. Like, what if the body in question is a vampire? Is it alive or dead? Is it alive AND dead (Schrodinger's vampire)? Either way, the point is that you defend yourself against that vampire! (The other point is, I learned that I can make compelling yet distracting arguments about important issues as well. So elect me president against the vampires! As I understand it, presidents need to be vampire hunters these days anyhow.)

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    Tags: Myq Kaplan, The Indecision 11
  • The Indecision 11: Andrew Jenks

    Andrew JenksWelcome to The Indecision 11, our soft-hitting — caressing, really — politics questionnaire for smart, funny people. This week: Andrew Jenks, filmmaker and man-about-media who's covering the 2012 election for our friends at MTV's Power of 12 campaign. He's also the host of "World of Jenks," a documentary series that returns to MTV this fall in a new one-hour format. Jenks made his first feature documentary, HBO's "Room 335," when he was 19 years old; critics called it things like "gorgeous" and "hilarious" and they were right. Keep up: @AndrewJenks.

    What's your earliest political memory?
    Easy: Lake George, New York, tiny house, on the porch around 6 p.m. I was about nine years old, watching television with my Grandad while Tom Brokaw or someone was trying to find choice words to explain what happened with Bill Clinton and Monica in the Oval Office. At a certain point, Grandad started to sweat and turned off the TV. I had a feeling this politics thing was worth looking into.

    What do you think of people who don't vote?
    They're probably working–the election is held on a Tuesday.

    If you could meet any political figure, living or dead, who would it be?
    I am sure Lincoln, Washington, FDR and Reagan are all good choices, but I'd love to play basketball with Obama, smoke cigarettes, drink $20 coffee and talk world domination in the Situation Room. Then we could sip whisky and play poker, deciding if the prez should take Air Force One or just a chopper to tomorrow's meeting.

    You're trapped in an elevator with the president. Strangely enough, you also have a superpower: the ability to make him do one thing of your choosing. What would you have him do?
    I'd ask, "So let's be honest, you were really born in Jersey and just didn't want to tell anyone."

    Have you ever supported a candidate, issue or campaign and regretted it later?
    I always supported gay rights but now the traffic from those parades are killing me.

    If you ran for office, what would your campaign slogan be?
    "America runs on Dunkin."

    Who do you follow on Twitter for politics news?
    Single daughters of politicians.

    Fill in the blank: Washington, D.C. is __________________.
    Not a part of any U.S. state. No, seriously, Google it.

    Who is the sleaziest person in politics?
    Depends how you define the word 'is.'

    Who's the sexiest person in politics?
    Clarence Thomas. Especially with the glasses. And then the robe… game over.

    Tell us a joke.
    I once lived with a comedian and tried stand-up and was booed off stage. So I am not falling for that crap again.

    But that's why I couldn't be president.

    Recent presidents have been able to get up on stage and tell a quality joke or even laugh at themselves. Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama. All were quite comfortable in their own shoes. One was a movie star, another was making love wherever he felt like it, and the other two never thought they would actually win in the first place.

    Their opponents? Gore (didn't they compare him to a tree?), Kerry (I am already bored), Carter (remember him sermonizing on TV? I don't, but my dad told me), Dole (just the name), and maybe there's a reason Bush Sr. never got a second term (he looked at his watch during one of the debates).

    Photo by Brad Jones

    Previously: Kurt Braunohler


    Tags: Andrew Jenks, The Indecision 11
  • The Indecision 11: Kurt Braunohler

    Kurt BraunohlerWelcome to The Indecision 11, our soft-hitting — caressing, really — politics questionnaire for smart, funny people. This week: Kurt Braunohler, an extremely tall and extremely funny gentleman whom you may know from Bob's Burgers, Jon Benjamin Has a Van, Comedy Central Presents and Hot Tub, the legendary NYC variety show he hosts with his partner-in-comedy Kristen Schaal. He's also the host of BUNK, the "anti-game show" that premiered on IFC this month. Get on board: @kurtbraunohler.

    What's your earliest political memory?
    I remember not liking school and I had a vote, with myself, and refused to go. I was overruled.

    What do you think of people who don't vote?
    They get the leaders they deserve.

    If you could meet any political figure, living or dead, who would it be?
    I'd like to say Teddy Roosevelt, so we could go camping in Yosemite together, but I hear he was overly competitive. So it would be more like competition camping, which sounds awful. After that Abraham Lincoln – I'm supposedly related to him, and he's constantly used in comedy sketches. I want to know why. Probably because he was so sad.

    You're trapped in an elevator with the president. Strangely enough, you also have a superpower: the ability to make him do one thing of your choosing. What would you have him do?
    Fly. Duh. To go flying with the president? Nobody's done that. We'd just be holding hands and flying around the city together. It would be great.

    Have you ever supported a candidate, issue or campaign and regretted it later?
    I supported a flip-flopper because I thought he was supporting flip-flops. Turns out he wasn't. I regret that. I guess I flip-flopped about flip-flops.

    If you ran for office, what would your campaign slogan be?
    "Kurt Braunohler: He Can't Be Corrupted Because He Has No Idea What's Going On."

    Who do you follow on Twitter for politics news?
    Bernie Sanders, CNN, NYTimes.

    Fill in the blank: Washington, D.C. is __________________.
    A former swamp, but still filled with dirt that smells like shit.

    Who's the sleaziest person in politics?
    Donald Trump. But he's more in pretend politics.

    Who's the sexiest person in politics?
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep is so good).

    Tell us a joke.
    I'm feeling pretty good today. I slept like a baby last night… I woke up every two hours, screaming in the dark. Then I shit my pants and almost died for like NO reason whatsoever.

    Photo by Seth Olenick

    Previously: Morgan Murphy


    Tags: Kurt Braunohler, The Indecision 11
  • The Indecision 11: Morgan Murphy

    Morgan MurphyWelcome to The Indecision 11, our soft-hitting — caressing, really — politics questionnaire for smart, funny people. This week: writer/comedian Morgan Murphy. Current gig: writing on the hit CBS sitcom "2 Broke Girls." Previous gigs: writing on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," appearing in the "Comedians of Comedy" tour. She will make you laugh. Follow her on Twitter: @morgan_murphy.

    What's your earliest political memory?
    Watching my mom make pro-choice signs in the kitchen to take to a rally. Luckily she marched so I don't have to, and my reproductive rights are now no longer something I have to worry about being taken away… oh wait, never mind.

    What do you think of people who don't vote?
    Considering that the question probably applies to 90% of my friends, I really like them. They're fun to hang out with, especially the alcoholics.

    If you could meet any political figure, living or dead, who would it be?
    I'd like to meet Hitler. Just to tell him about how many Jews, like myself, have taken over show business. Then I'd say "booya!" or something tough like that, just to hammer in the point.

    You're trapped in an elevator with the president. Strangely enough, you also have a superpower: the ability to make him do one thing of your choosing. What would you have him do?
    Can I be trapped in an elevator with any president? Cuz if I can, I'd be in there with George W. Bush and I'd give him the power to speak in eloquent, full sentences. And I'd chat with him about Proust.

    Have you ever supported a candidate, issue or campaign and regretted it later?
    I voted yes on Prop 8 just so I wouldn't have to go to any more weddings. On second thought, that might have been selfish of me.

    If you ran for office, what would your campaign slogan be?
    "Vote for me if you want to live."

    Who do you follow on Twitter for politics news?
    I follow Bossip, a black entertainment website. Does that count? I also follow Huffington Post for all my political news about red carpet nip slips and cute panda videos.

    Fill in the blank: Washington, D.C. is __________________.
    Where 63% of middle-school girls first get fingered on a school field trip.*

    *fact

    Who's the sleaziest person in politics?
    Joe Biden seems like he'd slap your ass at a party then laugh it off. But if Mitt Romney wears that Mormon underwear then he's the sleaziest. That underwear looks like something you'd put on if you knew sex was gonna get messy. Like wearing a lobster bib with a hole for your penis.

    Who's the sexiest person in politics?
    Now that I'm REALLY thinking about Mormon underwear, Mitt Romney.

    Tell us a joke.
    I didn't drink the entire time I was pregnant. It was the worst four days of my life.

    Previously: Ana Marie Cox


    Tags: Morgan Murphy, The Indecision 11
  • The Indecision 11: Ana Marie Cox

    Ana Marie CoxWelcome to The Indecision 11, our soft-hitting — caressing, really — politics questionnaire for smart, funny people. This week: the always incisive and relentlessly hilarious Ana Marie Cox. She was the founding editor of Wonkette, she wrote a satirical novel called Dog Days, and now she is a political columnist at The Guardian U.S. You are a nut if you don't follow her on Twitter: @anamariecox.

    What's your earliest political memory?
    There's a picture of this somewhere: Me, in third grade, wearing a tan corduroy suit, holding a "Carter for President" sign, which I had made myself in green marker using white paper and a cardboard towel roll. I remember it kind of flopped over because the paper wasn't stiff enough. Which is fitting. I was representing Carter in our school's mock election. My best friend, Kelly, was Reagan (I have no memory of why it was two girls who stepped into these roles).

    We gave speeches in front of the class. My mom had helped me with mine, and it was actually a speech arguing for Carter and his policies! I remember it mentioned SALT II. Kelly, on the other hand, gave a speech about longer recess and more options in the lunch line. In some ways that was a perfectly representative speech as well. She won.

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    Tags: Ana Marie Cox, The Indecision 11