December 16, 2005

Disability Humor Shakes Up Public Radio!

Yours truly spent an hour on the phone Thursday evening with the folks at the "Weekend America" public radio program doing an interview re: depictions of disability in media. If you haven't heard the show, it is -- in my estimation -- something of a mash-up of This American Life, Studio 360 and To The Best of Our Knowledge.

The producers seemed particularly keen on addressing comedy, as in "what should or shouldn't be allowed." As you might imagine, our discussion was, at times, very lively and not quite what the producers expected.

Topics addressed included not only the current buzz over the upcoming Farrelly Bros. movie 'The Ringer,' but also South Park, Million Dollar Baby, the protests over "Mr. Magoo" (anybody else remember that?) and the recent screening of Channel 4's "I'm Spazticus" that the Disabilities Network was a part of here in NYC.

The only time the interviewer and I really butted heads was over the casting people without disabilities in roles which, in my humble opinion, would be more often than not better performed by disabled actors.

The segment is set to air in most markets the weekend of December 17th. Of course, you never really know how these things turn out until they air, but my impression of the interview overall was positive. I'm very curious to discover what material will make the final 6-minute cut.

Those who may be interested in tuning in, and I hope you are, can find out more about the show and view their schedule online.

To those unlucky folks whose local stations do not (yet) air Weekend America, their website states you should be able to download a podcast of the program around 3pm PST on Saturday, December 17.

Don't hesitate to let us know what you think.

Posted by Lawrence Carter-Long

Posted on December 16, 2005