Courtesy Reanimation Library
Kings County is, first and foremost, a variety show: comedy, music, storytelling, artisanal mayonnaise… basically everything that’s good about Brooklyn, on stage, to enjoy (or on your radio dial!). Brought to you by the patron saint of Intelligent New York Media, Kurt Andersen, and the ringmaster of smart (and funny) news, Daily Show Executive Producer Steve Bodow, Kings County will showcase the best of the borough in three live-to-air shows this summer, starting on June 10, at Galapagos Art Space. We asked the aforementioned cultural impresarios just what the hell they were thinking…
The L: So, you guys seem like you’re already pretty busy. Why’d you decide to do a live variety show, of all things? Why Brooklyn? Why now?
Kurt Andersen: A lot of reasons. We’ve done a bunch of live versions of my radio show, Studio 360, here in New York as well as in LA and Aspen and Seattle, and I discovered I really liked live audiences. Studio 360 is all about deep conversations with and stories about artists and performers, and I hankered to be a ringleader of a show that’s all about artists and performers *performing.* As for Brooklyn, it means I don’t have to leave the borough. And finally, I’m in awe of Steve Bodow, and the opportunity to make something with him was irresistible.
Steve Bodow: Oh, Kurt. You say the least plausible things…
For me it was, firstly, a chance to work with Kurt, whose legend of course blah blah blah… except for real. He knows culture broadly and deeply and he knows funny. And when we first started talking about this it seemed our instincts—what we’d like to do with a radio variety show, and just as crucially, what we hated about radio variety shows—were completely in sync. Why Brooklyn? Kind of obvious—it’s where the cultural action is. Not always literally, but you know. Why now? Because with Portlandia already having thoroughly ridiculed everything we’re talking about, the timing seemed right.
KA: Also, the paydays in public radio are huge.