My celebrity tonight is author, editor, screenwriter, and fellow glutton for punishment, A.J. Jacobs. Author of the fantastic book The Know-It-All : One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, A.J. forced himself to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from beginning to end.
As if that were not enough, A.J. is currently working on a book titled The Year of Living Biblically. It is about the year A.J. spent trying to abide by all the rules of the Bible, from the 10 Commandments to not shaving his beard to stoning adulterers. Peas in a pod, we are. Except I can shave and not throw rocks at people. Not that I do and don’t do either of those, in any particular order. What?
A.J. Jacobs is currently working on screenplays for both of these books, and is an editor at large for Esquire. He admits that the long title simply means he gets to sit at home in his underwear and work. I could be in my underwear right now! Have you even seen my bottom half?
Click here to read the schedule A.J. has planned for me tonight. It looks to be an evening full of education and cartoons. So let us being!
First up is Meerkat Manor. I originally thought it was meekrat, not meerkat. See, I am already learning something tonight! Meerkat Manor is a nature documentary about a meerkat family. The Whiskers, as our host calls them. Flower runs the household of 21 kids. Did you always think nature programs could be more like reality TV? Then your wish has finally come true!
Coming to you this Friday, the second in the continuing series that is Celebrity Remote. Our second channel surfer is none other than author, editor, and soon to be screenwriter, A.J. Jacobs. If you remember a little while back, I mentioned finishing his fantastic book, The Know-It-All : One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World.
A.J. was also a writer for Entertainment Weekly and is currently an editor at large for Esquire.
Why are you still reading this blog and not reading The Know-It-All already? You had better hurry up, there will be a quiz on Friday.
Here, for your pleasure, is A.J. Jacobs’ Friday night Celebrity Remote:
Iâ€™m apologize in advance for this. But I thought Iâ€™d put you through an intellectually rigorous night of TV watching. Because, well, I suffered for a year reading the encyclopedia. Time to make someone else suffer.
At 7 p.m., go to channel 34, Animal Planet. Youâ€™ll be watching an episode of Meerkat Manor entitled â€œBoys Will Be Boys.â€To prepare
yourself, you should know that a group of meerkats is called a â€œmobâ€ or a â€œgang,â€ which gives them a lot of street cred among their fellow small mammals.
Next, channel 17 at 7:30, where PBS is airing a half-hour show called â€œNietzsche on Hardship.â€ Personally, I think reading Nietzsche is itself a hardship. In college, there was a guy in my Nietzsche seminar raised his hand and said, â€œIf I listen to one more minute of this, Iâ€™m going to go crazy,â€ then promptly stood up, walked to the back of the class, and jumped out the window. It was a ground floor window. But still. It was memorable.
At 8:00, turn your TV set to channel 49, the Sci-Fi Channel, where youâ€™ll see a documentary called Quest for Atlantis: Startling New Secrets.Youâ€™ll learn about new â€œscientificâ€ evidence that supports the existence of the mythical lost city. Personally, when it comes to lost civilizations, I prefer Lemuria, the supposed precursor to modern-day Madagascar. One of its â€œdiscoverersâ€ was Madame Blavatsky, an occultist who appears to be the L. Ron Hubbard of her day. She said the island was inhabited by spiritually clean hermaphrodites who later angered the gods by engaging in bestiality. Just so you know.
And finally, for a cerebral cooling-off period, try Camp Lazlo on the Cartoon Network. Here, the campers â€œvie for the lead role in a play about poisonous sandwiches.â€ I might add that Jack the Ripper used poison grapes to murder a prostitute whom he then disembowelled. You wonâ€™t find that on the Cartoon Network.
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