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One of the coolest things about writing for magazines is that you inevitably get to talk to interesting people. Of course, it’s mostly over the phone, but still…
Once I spoke to this guy for a do-it-yourself home improvement article I wrote for Christian Single. He was a hoot, as you might expect of a TV personality known as “Ed the Plumber.”
Anyway, this week I’ve been interviewing a few folks for an upcoming article for Collide Magazine about humor and the Church (Collide is a newish church + media publication that’s doing some great stuff.)
On Monday I talked to Dan Merchant, the writer/director/producer and star of the buzzworthy documentary “Lord, Save Us from Your Followers.” A brilliant concept and film, by the way. If you haven’t heard of it, go to the Lord, Save Us site and watch a few of the clips. Dan’s accomplishments seriously impress me. He’s written and produced shows for VH1. He’s a novelist. He’s written and sold screenplays. He even won a regional EMMY award for his work on “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” Bill Nye!
Dan was gracious and funny and laughed a lot while we spoke. I’m now jealous of Matthew Paul Turner, who’s going on tour with Dan next month, because it sounds like a lot of fun and because I possibly have a small man-crush on Dan. I’m thinking of ways I can cause MPT to get sick or sprain his voice or something, then I can swoop in as his last-minute replacement. If you have any ideas of how to accomplish this, let me know.
On Tuesday I spoke to Joel Kilpatrick, who has ghost-written a ton of books but is probably best-known for being the one-man show behind LarkNews.com (a satirical Christian news site in the completely straight and dead-on hilarious manner of The Onion), and the author of A Field Guide to Evangelicals and Their Habitat. Joel is quiet, unassuming, and frighteningly deadpan. It is not a secret that he writes the Lark, and I completely knew that I had the right guy, but the moment I asked him a question about Lark News there was dead silence on the phone. For an uncomfortably long time. Then he said, “Oh, you thought…” And some more silence.
Then, “Um, that’s not — I’m sorry. (Heavy sigh.) That’s the other Joel Kilpatrick.”
I knew he was kidding me — pretty much — and managed to keep quiet while he stammered around and played up the fake awkwardness. But for a second there, I had a brief, horrible moment of uncertainty. Then he laughed it off and we went about our business. Well-played, Mr. Kilpatrick.
Yesterday I interviewed Jon Acuff, the blogger behind the explosively big Stuff Christians Like. Inspired by Christian Lander and Stuff White People Like, Jon started SCL to poke fun at what he calls the “clutter” of church culture (of which, as a pastor’s kid, he’s an admitted part). Jon knew about the books I’ve written, and asked me if — as a published author — I was wearing gold pants. Because all published authors are breathtakingly wealthy. Sadly, I was not. But now I think maybe I need to get some gold pants. Digital high-five for the idea, Jon.