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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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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