DID YOU READ

A Brief Interview With Young, Broke and Beautiful’s Stuart Schuffman

A Brief Interview With Young, Broke and Beautiful’s Stuart Schuffman (photo)

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“Young, Broke and Beautiful” premieres on IFC on Friday, June 24th at 11 p.m. ET. The series chronicles Broke-Ass Stuart’s (a.k.a. Stuart Schuffman’s) travel adventures within the U.S. But this is no ordinary travel show, and Broke-Ass Stuart is no ordinary host. Rather, Stuart believes that being broke-ass is a state of mind and the best part of most cities aren’t in any guidebooks. We sat down with the travel writer and blogger known for his popular guidebook “Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply in San Francisco” to chat about the new show.

Good morning, Stuart, where in the world are you today?

I’m in my hometown of San Francisco. I work at home so I am wearing my usual work uniform: Pajamas and a t-shirt.

How did you go from living in SF to being young, broke and beautiful?
I was making Zines — you remember zines. right? I was making zines about broke-ass Stuart living cheaply in SF. They got to be pretty popular and people really started reading them. The success let me start writing for the Lonely Planet guidebooks. And then I got a book deal on Craig’s List.

You got a book deal on Craig’s List?!

Yeah, I always joke that I wanted a blow job and got a book deal instead. But there was an ad and they asked for submissions, so I sent in my stuff. I ended up doing two books with them. One was on San Francisco [Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply in San Francisco] and one was on New York [Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply in New York]. They were general survival guides to being broke asses. Now I’m on IFC.

How did you translate your books into a show?

It’s a totally different medium. The show is definitely not my book, we didn’t take a novel and turn it into a movie, but the ethos is the same. We wanted to show that you don’t need money to be alive or wonderful or to seek things out. We wanted to explore our favorite cities and find awesome things to do there.

What are some of your favorite cities?
That’s hard because I’ve traveled quite a bit. Whenever I get money I think oh I have to buy a ticket and go somewhere. There’s something cool almost anywhere you go. I wrote the Lonely Planet guide to Ireland and Galway was amazing. It was wide open with an energy that was different from the rest of the country. I also love Buenos Aires and I really think that Bilbao, Spain is great. I fell in love with Bilbao. It is one of those cities that right now is the time to go visit. It’s going to be one of those cities that you wish you had visited way back when. Domestically: I love New Orleans. It reminds me of San Francisco in that you can be as freaky deaky as you want to be. Everything’s awesome.

Do you go into towns with an idea in your head about where to go or what to see or do you just let the chance drive you?

It’s television, so there is a lot of planning involved. There were months of pre-production research about cool places to see. It’s not how I’ve ever functioned before, but

How did you choose your cities?

Short list of cities whittled it down from there. Wanted to go to Portland but …

Wait, how have you not been to Portland, it’s so close to SF?

Well, I don’t have a car, so I can’t drive. But it’s crazy, I’ve been to 40 something states, but I’ve never been to Oregon. I really want to go up there. Maybe I will.
But so we had a short list of cities and eventually chose Baltimore, Boston, Memphis, San Diego, New Orleans, and Detroit.

What did you find to do in Detroit?

The economy is depressed there, so it creates a space for artists. You can pay the rent there. Being an artist in NYC or San Francisco is crazy you have to have two jobs to pay the rent. But in Detroit the economy is bad so you can just be an artist. There are cool people doing amazing shit. Like this group of artists were living in this crazy building with vaults and shit and these artists occupied the first few floors and they eventually bought the whole building for $350,000, which coming from SF or NYC is nothing! People in Detroit get to be really creative and do amazing shit that they just couldn’t do in other cities because they’d be too busy being waiters or something.

Did you have a set budget in mind when you went to the cities?

No, no, that premise is s too limiting. It’s been done. We’re not really hammering you over the head with broke broke broke but amazing things that don’t need a lot of money. We don’t count down the receipt at the end of the show. Being broke ass is really a state of mind. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. You don’t need money to have a good time. It’s not about the things that you own, it’s about the things that you do and there are cool things everywhere.

What was your favorite city to visit for the show?

New Orleans. I mean, I don’t want to play favorites at all. Each city had something you wouldn’t experience anywhere else in the world. But I really loved New Orleans. There’s so much culture meshed together there to make something more. It was also the first city we went to so maybe that has something to do with it, but it’s totally not an American city, but at the same time it fully encapsulates the American experience

What city do you wish you could have spent more time in?

New Orleans. I have to go back to that city. There’s such a sense of revelry about it. It’s like a first love, where there are a lot of fucked up things about it, but you love it. There have been disasters and shitty things but people have this attitude that while things may be just terrible today, but tomorrow we will dance in the streets. However, we love all the cities equally. No favorites.

What can viewers expect from this show?
It’s going to fucking awesome! People in these cities can watch and say, “Oh hey I had no idea that was here!” These are love letters to the cities. There is something in Baltimore that is worth doing. Something you won’t find anywhere else in the world. There are a lot of great people doing cool things like warehouse parties, loft parties, and musicians in every city. The Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore is one of the best museums I’ve ever seen. Mink Stole from John Waters’ movies is in the show. It’s fucking awesome! She’s awesome. It’s all going to be awesome.

“Young, Broke, and Beautiful” premieres on IFC on Friday, June 24th at 11 p.m. ET

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.