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Friday, July 18, 2008

Judah Friedlander: OK, so, no to NYU, then?

judah.jpg

You know why Judah Friedlander (whose four-night stand at The Punchline continues through Sunday) is wicked funny? Because he made me laugh within the dreaded cone of pain: the 24 Mengelesque hours following the belated removal of my wisdom teeth. I was in so much pain — OK, severe annoyance — I even forgot to podcast the damn interview. It's one of those you-had-to-be-there moments, because Friedlander is one of those comics who is so naturally funny that he reminds me of a friend of mine. That kind of funny. (My friend's name is George. He knows who he is.)

One part of the interview, which didn't make the feature in this week's issue, was particularly funny in the way the World Champion went off on his (complete lack of) education at New York University. It all started when he mentioned he went to film school at NYU, and I kind of mumbled, "Wow, cool," and he shot back:

Dude, it's really not that impressive at all. It's basically like you're having a high school education. The biology class was basically (on the same level as) the sex-ed class that I had in junior high. I mean, it was like, one question was, "Labor is the process of give birth — true or false." I’m not kidding. Take that, NYU. Yeah. Great school. That was one of the answers I got right. Fortunately, the kid next to me was really smart.

When I mentioned how prestigious NYU's film school was, hoping to elicit some kind of positive vibe, Friedlander snorted, "No, I didn’t learn about film, either. My teachers were from like Russia and Israel. They couldn’t speak English. One burned-out hippie teacher who was so burned out from the ’60s. My favorite quote from one teacher was, 'I like to think of TV as a magic box!' She elaborated: 'Remember around Christmas or Easter, there’s a little ball you get and it’s cut out, and you see reindeer? That’s like TV!' I think I had maybe two to three good teachers."

Maybe it's because Judah has Attention Deficit Disorder, as he proves here in "The Office."

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/6qGouqhgFWU" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

(Image courtesy Judah Friedlander)

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