My Appearances on Chelsea Lately from 12-09-08

In case you missed me on Chelsea Lately – here are the links that exsist on YouTube!


And “The Hills CSI”


Don’t Ever Read Emails You Wrote at Age 25

When my nana passed away this past spring – my immediate and extended family promptly ransacked her house for goodies. I found a drawer – in her really ornate 1970’s side table – a bunch of “Jen Kirkman” memorabilia…horribly embarassing headshots, newspaper clippings of me on a pony in my childhood and various emails that I had sent my mom, who apparantly printed them and shared with nana.

One such email that I wrote in 2000 caused me to cringe so much I had to be removed from my floor by the jaws of life. My injuries are minor except I have a slight film of douche-bag on me that I’m not sure can be removed anytime soon.

I had a job in the year 2000 that was pretty sweet. I was hired to travel the country in a van but sleep in nice hotels and eat in nice restaurants when not driving in said van. I was with a few producers and other writers. We ate oysters and drank cocktails on Miami Beach, staged a parade in New Orleans and ended up spending 2 weeks in all parts of California, from podunk military towns that wouldn’t let us go to their karaoke nights – to a wild week on the Sunset Strip.

What the hell kind of job is this? It was one of those internet start-up companies. Our bosses, who were not wrong – just too early, knew that the next phase of the internet was watching video. I thought that was absurd since I had a crap laptop and it took so long to download email, I just called people. But I realized that these guys were millionaires for a reason and I was not…for a reason.

We had a web-TV show that was like Road Rules meets The Real World. We pulled stunts and pranks around America while revealing our personal selves and interactions with each other via short web videos and blogs – before they were called blogs.

Obviously, my bosses were right. People do this shit now. But they didn’t then. And after our first round of investments, no one else would sink their money into us and we were all let go over a case of beer one Friday afternoon. I had trouble understanding. When were we let go? Right now? Like, right this second? But, I thought you guys had millions? Oh, you personally do but can’t bankrupt yourselves on a business model that is ahead of it’s time? Should I have been paying attention to all of the news coming out of Wall Street, considering I worked…at a dot-com, on fucking Wall Street????

So, week one of this job – we were all flying high. Promises were being made and smarter people were hoping the promises were real but knowing how business works. I didn’t know how anything worked. So I wrote this email to my mom…(I included only the most cringe parts, which is most of it.) Oh, and the email is titled, “For Those Who Doubt…”

“Hey, well, it turns out the two 27 year olds who run the company are worth three HUNDRED million, not thirty million as previously thought. They are extremely well-known in the web world so their connections are helping out our press. We are pretty sure we are going to get written up (I don’t know if it will be an article or a blurb) in Time Magazine.

For our trip we are getting equipped with cell-phones, laptop computers and a little device, which I guess is a mini laptop but it’s as small as a phone and you can type on it – from even a mountaintop! The GAP is totally going to sponsor us, so we will get free clothes.

Also, it looks pretty good that a better website or even a TV “network” on the web will buy us, which would mean a lot of $$$ for us, as in retiring early. It’s business stuff that I’m not too sure about except that it will mean BIGGER paychecks.

I am not in any way saying this will become a hit web and TV show but this is all about connections, if the show fails we have made definite TV connections so we are totally safe.  I am writing this so you can tell your friends when they say, “Well…I never heard of it.”

If this company were to fail, it would be nearly impossible and only due to a literal disaster like an earthquake or flood…or something else that I don’t even know what. It’s as solid as anything else.

Love, Jen”


(Chelsea Lately) Facts of Life Reunion Special

I am Jo!

Dreading My Tofurkey Purchase

Originally published on Funny or

It’s that time of year again. I will buy my Tofurkey at Trader Joe’s. I’m a vegetarian. I don’t want to get into it. Please, don’t make fun of me. I’ve heard it all before. “You know plants are technically alive…” You might think it’s sad that I lug a log of fake turkey to the host’s house but I try to do it quietly and without attention being drawn to me. It usually works out.

The problems began for me last year when I rolled up to the register at Trader Joe’s. The cashier rang up my items and it was uneventful at first. And then he spotted my box of Tofurkey. He grabbed it and said, “I’m not ringing this up. You can’t eat turkey just one day of the year?”

I then had the world’s most boring conversation about being a vegetarian for 20 years and if I did cheat one day – why would I risk having digestion problems on Thanksgiving? I’m already going to have a hangover the next day. That’s enough excitment for one long weekend.

He opened my box of Tofurkey and said “Heads up!” to the cashier next to him and tossed my loaf like a football. The other cashier fumbled and my Tofurkey was on the floor. We stood over the dead tofu and he said, “I used to be a vegetarian. I had a girlfriend who was one and she convinced me to be one. Then we broke up. And I got a new girlfriend. A meat-eater.”

On the word meat eater – he flexed his bicep. He said, “She was good in bed. So I started eating meat again. I had forgotten what I was missing.”

Then he mimed sex with his arms and hips. You know the move.

The manager came over and said, “Can I get you another one?” I wanted to tell on this cashier who told me about his meat-eating sex life but before I could – the manager said, “You tell her you used to be a vegetarian?” The cashier laughed, “Yeah. I told her the story.”

What manager sees that their cashier dismantled a Thanksgiving dinner, talked about his sex life and acts like the only abnormal thing is the vegetarian who is just trying to get the hell out of there?

Everytime I go to Trader Joe’s something like this, but not as bad happens. The cashiers are too friendly and nosey. I’m met with question after question. One time I was interrogated about why I don’t have an outdoor BBQ grill. Another time I was told by an older cashier that I looked too young to be buying wine. Then he proceeded to tell me that I must have good genes to be 34 but appear to be in my 20’s. He told me his ex-wife had good genes but her mother had better ones and he still wants to take his ex-mother-in-law on a date because she is beautiful for her age, but she won’t return his phone calls.

I’m not saying people should ring up my order in silence but do we have to talk about meat or sex? I’m glad the employees only have to wear Hawaiian print nametags as opposed to shirts but let’s keep progressing, and maybe we’ll get to the point where cashiers can just go back to talking about the weather, or else I’m taking my complaint to Trader Joe himself. He’ll probably rape me.

The Other Great TV Shows

Originally published on Pop-Rock Candy Mountain

Thanks for hanging in there with me, through all the ups and downs of my blogging career. I know I got kind of annoying there for a while with my paranoia (justified but still…) that the 2008 election would be subverted by the Karl Rove-bots and we’d be left with the covertly ambitious Sarah Palin as our VP.

I raced home from work to begin my relaxing night of watching election returns. I got in my pajamas and made myself a hot toddy (I had a cold.) Just as I was settling in for a long night, Chris Matthews announced that he had an announcement to make. And then it happened…my DVR switched the channel and started recording a repeat of Entourage. (This is my fiancée’s fault. He tapes the show. But I own the Sex & the City movie so, we’re both equally terrible.)

I furiously scrambled with the remote control and my DVR was insistent that I watch Entourage. After what seemed like five hours but was really sixty seconds, I got my TV back to MSNBC. I saw crowds literally dancing in the streets of New York City. For a moment I thought I had entered a time warp and it was New Years Eve. Nope. It was just America celebrating the election of our first black President and our first Democratic president in eight years. I was watching the credits of Entourage while the rest of the world had that moment – that one moment in time that I’ll never get back. I began yelling, “Entourage? The results of the most historic election in American history and I miss it because of freaking Entourage?” My neighbors yelled, “Shut up!” They must be either fans of Entourage or fans of celebrating Obama’s wine without my whining.

Now that I’m not watching pundit predictions 24/7 I’m adding a few more flakes of flavor into my TV-watching stew. And I want to tell you about some of my favorite shows on TV. I know that 30 Rock and The Daily Show and Real Time and all the other great shows are the best shows on TV. But I’m talking about the other best shows on TV. And here they are.

Ruby, Sundays at 8pm on The Style Network.

Ruby is a four-hundred-something pound woman who is putting her struggle to lose weight with a new training and diet program on TV. Ruby is constantly joking around about how she can’t sit without her ankles filling up with fluid, her sleep apnea, her inability to stand for too long. My husband-to-be covers his eyes and groans when I watch this show because he can’t stand her flip attitude towards her possible early death due to obesity. But I find her fascinating to watch. If you log on to the show’s message boards the average viewer seems to take Ruby’s sense of humor at face value. They log on and thank her for laughing through all of this. Not to knock my fellow-Ruby watchers but if you have a little more intellectual curiosity than your average message-boarder, you can see that Ruby is in serious emotional pain and her constant joking is a huge way for her to distract herself and whoever she’s talking to from really getting close to her sadness.

And the best part of the show is her nephew Jim. I can’t tell if he’s gay or just Southern. If I were a betting woman, I’d peg him as gay. In the first episode he explains, very quickly and with a strange smile on his face that he lives with Ruby. His parents can’t have him living at home because….he’s allergic to their cat. And I’m supposed to accept immediately that it’s normal for parents to choose a cat over their teenage boy who is now being left to be homeschooled by Ruby and her (seemingly gay) other male roommate, her childhood friend. I hope she loses the weight and I hope that Jim moves to New York City and gets a spin-off reality show called Gay Southern Guy in The Big Apple.

Celebrity Rehab, Thursdays at 10pm on VH1

Lots of people ask me how I can love this show when really isn’t it just D-list actors exploiting themselves? No. Where else are you going to hear Rodney King’s side of the L.A. beating story? Who else is going to give Gary Busey a platform for his Busey-isms? – like FAITH – Fabulous-Adventures-In-Trusting-Him. Where else can I learn that Tawny Kitaen’s real name is Julie? The failed reality TV show, Sons of Hollywood didn’t showcase Rod Stewart’s son as anything but a tail-chasing jerk. On Celebrity Rehab we see him calling his fellow rehab-mates “beautiful” and giving many same-sex back massages.

And don’t get me started on Dr. Drew. Not only does he have surprisingly great biceps but he’s brilliant. He’s no Dr. Phil. When Drew nods and looks concerned for you – he means it. And he doesn’t yell at anyone with a catch phrase like “What were you thinking?”

The show definitely does not glamorize drug use but it does make me want to live in a communal place where every morning I’m woken up for morning exercises and group therapy. How cleansing to bawl before 9 a.m. with a group of new acquaintances and cozy chenille blankets.

Admittedly, it’s hard to watch Jeff Conaway contemplate suicide and walk around bent at the waist with a cane. I was so in love with him when he was Bobby on Taxi. I’m wondering if someone in that rehab center could just show him my favorite episode of Taxi where he loses a role on a soap opera but decides to remain a struggling actor anyway. Would Jeff come back to life if he could see a DVD of his once-feathered hair and tight jeans? It might be something for Dr. Drew to consider if Jeff tries to leave again.

And finally,
The Pick-up Artist, Sundays at 10pm on VH1
My friends ask me, how can a loudmouth feminist like you, like this show? I don’t think there is anything wrong with picking up women at bars. Have you met women who go to bars to hook up? That’s what they want. No one is there to discuss Tolstoy. Sure, the methods are a little cookie-cutter and it seems as though the message is that if you are a little fresh to a woman and dazzle her with a few magic tricks that she’s putty in your arms, but, um, these women on the show…respond that way and it’s fascinating to watch.

Being a comedian, I’m often around nerdy dudes and I’ve had a few hit on me. The painful part is when a shy guy is hitting on you but he’s somehow doing it so badly that the girl ends up doing all the work and wanting to leave at the same time. Painfully nerdy guys need to learn how to talk to girls so that at least the girls are entertained while being put in an awkward position. And if wearing a feather boa, and black nail polish and starting conversations with a group of girls with lines like, “Did you know Elvis dyed his hair?” works for these loveable geeks, great.

Okay, now I’m going to obsessively flip between the cable news networks until someone tells me if Hillary Clinton accepted the Secretary of State position or not!

I Am Not On Fire

Dear East Coast,

I am fine. I am not in the fires in California. I think it’s very nice of you, my friends and family, to email me and check in to see if I am safe or if I’m burning up like a dried leaf. I do want to point out, and I hope this doesn’t sound too critical, but for my friends and family who have visited my apartment in West Hollywood, California, do you remember a forest in my neighborhood? There isn’t one. There is a Starbucks and an Urban Outfitters in my neck of the woods (shout out to Al Roker!) and although I imagine paper holiday coffee cups and extra long scarves are quite flammable – I think should those buildings go up in smoke it would be relatively contained.

I don’t mean to make fun of you. I know when the news reports that “California Wildfires are raging,” the natural assumption is that my cement front stoop is on fire. (Which, it could be. My neighbor tosses her cigarette butts on the third step.) But a quick Google search will let you know that the fires are raging in some Santa Barbara counties as well as Orange County. I am many, many, many miles and several highways away from these areas. I’m also about $10 million short of being able to afford living in these areas as well.

Do I ask you folks in Massachusetts if you got caught in the crossfire at Lexington and Concord? What, that was 1776-ish? Oh, I didn’t know. I heard something went down in Massachusetts and I just assumed that you were directly involved.

I’m flattered that when you think “house” with “acres of land” near where Oprah Winfrey has a mansion that you think of me. I suppose it would be rude to not ask me if I’m okay. But if I was on fire – I’m probably not at home responding to emails.

I will say this. I have been affected by the fires. It is very hot in Los Angeles right now but it’s not the normal hot that summer or Global Warming brings. I went to Kmart today. Let me tell you, it’s freaky to be terribly hot while you watch animated reindeer covered in Christmas lights nodding their heads to “The Little Drummer Boy.” It feels like I’m in an episode of Amazing Stories (remember that show?) I feel like I’m the only one who notices the Apocalypse and everyone else is acting like its normal for an animatronic reindeer to be moving around under a pink sky and oppressive heat.

I do think the air quality is challenged and while it’s not bad enough to activate my asthma it is bad enough to make me cranky. I treated myself to a pedicure today and I had no patience for the up selling-in-broken-English that pervaded my relaxing afternoon. “You want deluxe?” No, I don’t. I’m ticklish. I want to get out of here. “You want neck massage?” No. I don’t want a neck massage. I’m trying to read Bill Clinton’s book, Giving. I don’t want to be touched. I want to read about the culture of giving globally and I reserve the right to be distant and rude while doing it. Los Angeles (County) is burning and I’m cranky, damn it.

Obama on Letterman Makes Me Think, WWKD?

Obama was on Letterman last night. He was charming. He was funny. He was likeable. He was geniune. He was earnest. He was smart.
I started to wonder. How would Dennis Kucinich have handled Letterman’s question about what could have been done differently on 9/11 and how to avoid an attack today?
Before you get your fingers poised to type – let me say, I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW he has to be political on TV and he’ll get accused of this, that and the other. I KNOW, this is the problem with the Democrats, trying to act diplomatic, fair and set an example in a world where everyone else is cheating and winning.
This is my blog. This is my fantasy.
In this world where people fall in love with Republicans because they tell it like it is (they are lying, but people think they are hearing “straight talk”.) What if Obama did real straight talk?
I’m picturing this.
Instead of saying Giuliani did a good job, he could have said the truth. Giuliani was walking the streets because he had no office – because he put the terrorism response center in the trade towers. That’s like me keeping an emergency condom, in my fallopian tubes. TOO LATE.
Richard Clark, the terrorism expert who had decades of expertise under Reagan, Bush I and Clinton and who was already working on Bin Laden, was FIRED. He was FIRED immediately upon Bush’s entrance to the White House – for reasons of ego.
Bush ignored his daily briefings that said “Bin Laden Determined To Strike Within U.S.”
Giuliani was not well liked by the police and the firemen, they have come out and admitted it.
Now, I lived in NYC on 9/11 and I didn’t know WHAT THE FUCK to think. And I fell for it. Giuliani is my daddY! He’s telling me how to feel and what to do everyday because I’m so damn traumatized! But then I started to unthaw and listened to people and realized that although he did conduct himself with great sorrow and attended those funerals, every single freaking one of them, he was not well liked. I had not been paying attention.
I know a lot of you, who didn’t live in DC or NYC on that day, might be terrified. Some of you have even asked me how scared I was on that day, since I’m such a known neurotic.
I was not scared at all. Because in the face of real danger, I believe you see the face of God. That city was beautiful that day and not just the weather. Any person who was not physically injured rose to the occassion and there was no time for neurosis. And my feelings on life and death were so fucking crystal clear, my understanding that I have NO regrets and no true sorrow was staring me in the face. It was about other people, not me.
I have a problem with people from other states, voting for people who will “Keep them safe” when I lived it, in the unsafe city, under the president whose neglicence let this happen. Ironic that most people in NYC realize this and people who are more in need of a daddy figure to have a beer and shoot a gun with in faraway states, are so adamant about who keeps us safe and how pissed they are about 9/11. I FUCKING LOVE THIS COUNTRY and that’s why I dissent. My forefathers gave me that right. I have no party identity. I have a strong identity. I go to therapy so I can honestly look at myself. You think I really give a shit about Democrat or Republican? No. But today I do, because the Republican party has been corrupted by corporations, Karl Rove and neo-con-ism.

Anyway, Obama could have told David Letterman, as Kucinich would have, that Bin Laden’s demands and one reason behind 9/11 was that he wanted us out of Sauda Arabia. He wanted us to close the Sultan Air Base. Guess what? WE DID! Did you know that? We met his demands, after 9/11. We flew his family out of the United States in the middle of the night.
So, although Obama is right, yes, we should have stayed in Afghanistan and caught Bin Bin, it’s not that simplistic. And I just wish he could have explained it better. He could have mentioned Blackwater and how he won’t have a private army that makes 100K a year and doesn’t have to follow the Geneva convention methods of war….
Where was NORAD on that day?
How about, “I would not continue reading My Pet Goat to a classroom of children.”
Did you further know, that when Bush was reading My Pet Goat (after the second plane hit)- he says he didn’t want to stop because he didn’t want to scare the kids. He couldn’t say, “Excuse me kids, the President has to pee pee. Or the President has some important callst to take! Santa is on the line!” Instead, he did not speak to the country right away and he later took a school photo with the kids, where he openly spoke about the terrorist attack in front of them. So much for not scaring them.

But instead, Obama was charming, and didn’t want to Monday morning quarterback. But no one is asking him to say, how would you react to 9/11? Let’s bash Republicans. No. It was, tell us, how you will keep us safe because it seems so more intricate than quoting WANTED signs from the Old West.
I just think Kucinich would have been firing off facts and swinging his arms and jumping in his chair like the little Liberal Leprachaun he is. And that’s why he’s not popular. Because he makes just as much sense as Obama but he has more balls. He’s briliant. He’s such a straight talk express. And if the country, or at least the Democratic base heard him, they would cheer. He could tell them where to find the facts if anyone doubted. It might be challenging but I’d rather fight the right with FACTS and BOLDNESS than CHARM and trying to be nice. Just as Kerry and Gore how that worked for them!