BLUF bottom line up front: I would find the money to produce this in Palo Alto, at the Cubberley, for the HRC or one of its initiatives — and it only took me 10 years to think of this — but Samson Koletkar could or should do a parody of Tom Waits “Big in Japan” called “Big in Bhutan” and mispronounce it “byu tan” not the lighter fluid in the Mike Judge show but the way George Bush says “new clear”:
Samson Koletkar produces comedy events and does stand up under the name Mahatma Moses. He is from India but is also Jewish.
I met him at the Jewish street fair on Cali Ave in Palo Alto in 2007 and just this a.m. watched a six-minute interview with him and Robert Handa; I didn’t know when to laugh, especially when he suggested that Americans should live with their girlfriend’s mother for six months before deciding to pop the question.
In 2007 and 2008 we briefly exchanged email — Samson and I, not me and his mother in law. I was reading about Bob Newhart (“I shouldn’t even be doing this”) and watching a PBS retrospective on Bob and thought I should pass on some advice to Samson, based on my cold take of Bob. Which may or may not logically follow from having heckled him at “To Life”.
I said that since Bob Newhart was “the button down” comic, Samson should be the Bhuton Down comic, (since Bhuton is part of India, and Samson is Indian — should I mention here that I once worked for the Ladakh Project? Ladakh being a Himalayan kingdom that became part of India).
He also produced a “Jewish-Muslim” comedy night or tour.
I remember when Rupa Marya (Rupa and the April Fishes) played in LA, and I was kinda sorta the intern or co-manager with Chris Trouz Cuevas, that I met some hip Muslim cultural creatives in LA.
Last night I was interviewed for 10 minutes regarding my interest in the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission by Eric Filseth, Tom Dubois, Adrian Fine and Karen Holman, while Lydia Kou was doing her Teller impression (or was that Silent Bob?) and not in the room, but potentially following along at home thanks to the magic of video tape and computers were Liz Kniss, Greg Scharff, Greg Tanaka (but his name tag was there), and Cory Wolbach.
Adrian asked me if I had any bright ideas for raising money for events that would advance the cause of the HRC. What I kinda got to – in the compression and shorthand of these types of sessions — 10 minutes is kinda rushing it — is that if there was a good idea for an event, people would find the money.
I’m wondering about trying to enlist Samson Koletkar to produce a comedy event for Palo Alto Human Relations Commission.
At one point in my mental preparation for that seminal 10 minutes, I thought about singing the hooks to James “Sit Down” and the Liverpool “Mo Salah” chant or prayer. I’m wondering if “Mo Salah” sounds like “Mos Allah” when 50,000 Christian soccer ultras sing.
One of the other applicants for the commission — there were eight candidates for three seats and one incumbent — William Morrison said he was the protocol chief for the 1994 World Cup here and that July 4, 1994, Brazil 2, USA 0 was a highlight of his life. I too have fond memories of that day in that my mom and dad and I attended the game together, probably the only sports event professional sports event that I ever attended with both my parents. (They came to many of my little league and Gunn basketball games, however, plus Dad and I went to many Niners games, and actually the old San Jose Earthquakes the ones with Archie Robostov, Paul Childs Milan Mandaric et al — Paul Birchenall, Manny Fernandez, not Joe Silveira, Crazy George — my dad was pitched by Ken Keegan once in Santa Cruz about investing in a NASL team — nice save! Which reminds, if you excuse the further digtessin and kafefe and shaggy dog rag, apropos of Mohammed Solah I was going to point out that Brits call turf pitch but sing way better than Americans, ok that’s all I got, try the fish).
This Friday I have the choice of Michael McFaul doing a lecture somewhere or so my phone tells me or Korby Lenker a singer songwriter in a 30-capacity Boulder Creek venue. McFaul being the former ambassador to Russia, with a book out, but also I went to Grateful Dead at the Greek in 1982 with our respective dates. (He said somewhere else, a policy journal, that he went to the Dead once because a classmate or dormmate of his at Stanford had an abundance of tapes and Michael was thinking of becoming an ascetic, but he was curious enough to round up that posse — for my part, I fell asleep in the second set but later woke up to find out that I was the eyes of the world and saw another 10 or so Dead shows at three or four other venues, plus inspired Malcolm Welbournes collaboration with Bill Kreutzman).
Koletkar is performing Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at Mountain View Center for Performing Arts, mazel tov (and Lord Willing and The Creek Don’t Rise, at an HRC meeting that has Me Too at the table).