Bill Hader’s Stefon Celebrates Mother’s Day

[The Stefon Catalogue: 1-45-6, 7]

Okay, so first I assumed Stefon was gay. Then I backtracked and allowed for a bit more ambiguity about his sexuality, admitting that it wasn’t clear and didn’t define him. Can we at least now admit that he’s got a serious thing for Seth? It’s clear he almost already thinks they’re dating… and he wants to change his diapers. Or maybe the fact that he’s promoting bi-curious beach parties should be a clue! Not that it matters.

I recently attended a Stefon-themed party. Only a few people took the theme to heart, but there was a DJ Baby Bok Choy and a Jewpid in attendance. I hope the creative nonsense just keeps coming. Here’s what Stefon offered up for Mother’s Day!

Seventh Appearance – May 7, 2011

First club: Uuuuuuungh!

» Located in the middle of the West Side highway.
» Bi-curious beach party.
» (Italian) Club owner: Bologna Danza
» Split kicks.
» Pachucos.
» Pile after pile of expired Lunchables.
» Hawaiian cleaning lady that looks like Smokey Robinson.
» Natalie Portman? No. An old Irish black man that we call “Murphy Brown.”
» This Sunday: 2-year-old ultimate fighter “Drooly Lips Jackson.” He’s got fists like little empanadas. And he’s my best friend.

Second club: Spicy! (said in a strange voice)

» Opened in 2017.
» Upper east side of a dumpster.
» 24-hour bitch fest.
» Club owner: Rabbi Jew Diamond Phillips.
» Sandworms.
» Geishas.
» Rock eaters.
» A 7-level course in adult education.
» Kick back in a subway sleeping bag. (“When you’re on the train and you sit between two guys in FUBU jackets.”)

Stefon’s mom is Ms. Stefon and his dad is David Bowie.

How to say thank-you to your mom:

» Take her to central park and bond while flying a human kite. (“Where you tie a string to a midget in a windbreaker and then run through a field.”)

Seth’s Assessment: “Even though you didn’t help tonight at all, no young party monster should be alone on Mother’s Day. So why don’t you come home with me and meet my mom.”



Zack’s Feel-Good Song of the Hump Day

For those of us who didn’t start the week with a Valentine, this could be a very long week!

Lately, there’s a song that I just can’t stop listening to. It could be because it’s great for singing along. It could be the way the guitar is gentle and playful and yet driving with anticipation, accompanied by gentle piano riffs. Or it could be the way the song captures a special kind of feeling, the one where you know someone special has just entered your life and you just can’t wait to find out how they’re going to change it for the better.

It’s a feeling I hope we’ve all experienced at least once; I know I have plenty of memories that come flooding back to me. And even though I don’t currently have someone I want to run to, just thinking about that feeling gives me hope and makes me look forward to the next time it happens.

So, for no other reason than to encourage everyone out there to take a deep breath and smile, here’s Smash Into You by Beyoncé.



Bill Hader’s Hilarious Stefon Returns to SNL

[The Stefon Catalog: 1-4, 5-6, 7]

I wrote back in December about Stefon, the eccentric club promoter played by Bill Hader who appears on SNL’s Weekend Update from time to time. I want to continue cataloging his interesting ideas, but first want to offer a correction of sorts.

I’ve referred to Stefon as gay before, and I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate. I think part of his eccentricity does play into gay stereotype, but his actual orientation seems to be a bit more ambiguous than that. In his Christmas appearance, he tells Snooki he has a girlfriend, and in last night’s Valentine’s appearance, he alluded to having dated girls before. Of course, he also hit on Seth (You should probably break up with her and do like a total 180 or something.). At any rate, his orientation has more of a Pat-like ambiguity (bi? pan? who knows?), so my apologies for playing into the assumption that he’s just gay.

It also seems to me that the SNL writers know I’m out here trying to interpret everything Stefon says. In last night’s sketch, they spell out one of the club names just before offering an unspellable club name. So to all you SNL writers: it’s not fair to tease when everything else you write is so unfunny.

Fifth Appearance – December 18, 2010 (Christmas Song)

In this unique appearance, Stefon sings “O Christmas Tree” with Gov. Patterson and Snooki. Here are the Stefon treasures we get:

» Brrrr….
» To Snooki: “This is fun, drunk leopard.”
» ????: “When jacked elves have like the pony keg chest and they bang their little baby hammer, sparks happen, and it’s just amazing…”
» In response to Snooki’s offer to smush: “I have a girlfriend. Sorry.”

Sixth Appearance – February 12, 2011

First club: Booooooooof

» Located in an abandoned orphanage on the lower lower East side of Chelsea.
» Round-the-clock puke party.
» Narcoleptic club owner: Snoozin’ Lucci.
» Pugs.
» Geezers.
» Doo-wop groups.
» A wise old turtle that looks like Quincy Jones.
» Gizblo, the coked-up Gremlin. “I’ll have what she’s having!”

Second club: HuYiKoSiYoVoHo!!

» Built on a dare.
» Club promoter: 90-year-old Fuji Howser, MD.
» Stun guns.
» Mole people.
» Freezing cold air.
» 12 dancing Jewpids (Jewish Cupids). “I just want you to meet someone nice and settle down!”

Romantic Valentine’s Day Gift:

» Human suitcase. (“When a midget on roller skates wears all of your clothes and then you pull them through an airport.”)

Seth’s Assessment: “Maybe just for tonight, and just for tonight, you can be my Valentine. I guess I got struck by Jewpid’s Arrow.”



The Reason for the Season: It’s Dark

Long-time followers of the blog will recall my post from last year about why I really like the holidays so much.

Rather than regurgitate my reconciliation of my atheism with a not-so-secular holiday, I thought I’d share a simple thought today (Christmas Eve for many).

Lots of billboards debate the reason for the season. Some atheist groups like to point out that Jesus is a myth, which is a reasonable point. Some Christian groups like to hammer home that Jesus is the reason. I never understood what makes the birth of a baby in a stable a compelling story unless you 100% accept the virgin birth, which I think is a stretch for most believers. (That’s besides the fact that if Jesus was born, he most definitely was not born in December.) Jews, meanwhile, already celebrated that there was enough oil to burn for eight days instead of one—not as miraculous as the virgin birth of a god, but at least a bit more original (or did Osiris have long-burning candles, too?).

None of those stories really matter, though. See, way back in 46 BCE, Caesar figured out that December 25 was the Winter Solstice, the day when the Earth’s tilt is farthest way from the sun and thus it is the shortest day and longest night of the year. The calendar was off though, and the date started shifting to earlier in the year. Pope Gregory XIII standardized it in 1582, but screwed up and restored the date to December 22. (Maybe he didn’t want all his loyal followers in the Holy Roman Empire to be suspicious about Jesus just happening to be born on a day already celebrated by many Pagans.)

But that’s why we have holidays around this time. It’s dark.

So we need to light it up and warm it up (though admittedly, the wintry association with this time of year is biased to the Northern Hemisphere).

We need pretty lights and warm food and stirring music and good company. We need to make each other smile and show each other how much we love each other and exchange presents as tokens of that love.

And that’s it. That’s all it’s about. That’s all that’s important.

No myths or legends necessary! Just the intention to warm the hearts of your loved ones. We all owe ourselves and each other to do so at least once a year, and what better night than (almost) the longest of the year?

So whatever you do this holiday season, enjoy it. Do what it takes to make it really feel like the holiday season and not just the dark one. Celebrate that which makes us all human: love.

Season’s Greetings from ZackFord Blogs!



The Brilliance of Bill Hader’s Stefon Character

[The Stefon Catalogue: 1-4, 5-67]

Last night we were treated to a fourth appearance of Bill Hader’s “Stefon” on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. Stefon is flamboyantly gay and into “dungeon culture,” but his gayness is thankfully not the joke (how refreshing for SNL)—it’s the ridiculously bizarre clubs he promotes. Not unlike when Stephen Colbert lists the side effects of Prescott Pharmaceuticals on The Colbert Report, Stefon’s club descriptions are hilariously absurd, and like Colbert, Hader often corpses throughout the bit. (“Corpsing” is when the actors laugh at themselves out of character.)

It occurred to me that there is actually a consistent list of features in the Stefon bits, so I thought I would write about it. Here is a recipe for Stefon’s club recommendations followed by everything he’s listed from all his bits with hulu links. Enjoy!

» Names that have “trans” or “gay” in them.
» Retro and pop culture references.
» Things that are fat.
» Toys and puppets.
» Homeless people (“hobos”) in unusual roles.
» Black versions of famous white people.
» Portmanteaus.
» Answers to vague questions.
» Human ____ (Objects made up of midgets).

First Appearance – April 24, 2010

First Club: Crease

» Club promoter: Trannie Oakley.
» Lights.
» Psychos.
» Furbies.
» Screaming babies in Mozart wigs.
» Sunburned drifters with soapsud beards. (“When a hobo becomes a rich man so they take the big bubble bath.”)

Second Club: Wesh

» Club promoter: 9-year-old Tokyo pimp (whose name sounds like “Itchiako Guru”).
» Answers the question: “WHAT?
» Trance.
» Stilts.
» Throw-up music.
» An albino that looks like Susan Powter.
» Teddy Graham people. (“When a guy has the stumpy arms but with the belly.”)

Third Club: Twice

» Rabbi that looks like Joaquin Phoenix.
» Club owner: Robert Blake.
» Goths.
» Carnival barkers.
» Groups of guys with Afros in graduation caps.
» Human fire hydrants. (“When high-waisted midgets have the red pants and the big ass.”)

Seth’s assessment: “Visions a dying gay man might have if he was under too many blankets.”

Second Appearance – May 15, 2010

First Club: Slice

» Club promoter: Gay Leoda.
» Twinks.
» Gypsies.
» Grown men in wedding dresses.
» A cat from a bodega.
» Puppets in disguise. (“When Alf wore a trenchcoat so he could go out into public.”)

Second Club: Taste

» Nightlife designer: Tranny Griffith
» Answers the question: “HUH?
» Bouncers: 10 jacked homeless guys wearing old-fashioned bathing suits.
» Ice sculptures.
» Winos.
» Germphs (German Smurphs).
» A Teddy Ruxpin wearing mascara.
» An old lady with Kid ‘n Play hair.
» DJ Baby Bok Choy. (“A giant 300-pound Chinese baby who wears tinted aviator glasses and spins records with his little ravioli hands.”)

Third Club: Slash

» Glass.
» Steam.
» Bear traps.
» Black George Washington.
» Human bathmats. (“When midgets have dreadlocks and they lay face down on the floor.”)

Seth’s Assessment: “Nightmares of a crystal meth addict.”

Third Appearance – October 23, 2010

First Club: Trash

» Pierre, the Muslim Elvis impersonator.
» Clones.
» Freaks.
» Sneezing.
» A Russian man on a pre-paid cell phone.
» At the door, do the Cosby face.

Second Club: Gush

» Club owner: Gaye Dunaway
» Answers the question: “NOW?
» Geeks.
» Sherpas.
» A Jamaican nurse wearing a shower cap.
» Broken mirrors.
» Mick Jagger? No. A fat kid on a slip-n-slide. (“His knees look like biscuits and he’s ready to party.”)

Third Club: Push

» Ghosts.
» Banjos.
» Carl Paladino.
» A stuck-up kitten who won’t sign autographs.
» Furkels. (Fat Urkels: “After you’ve been with one of those guys, you’ll ask yourself, ‘Did I do that?'”)

Seth’s Assessment: “A tour of a coked-up gay Candyland.”

Fourth Appearance – December 11, 2010

First Club: Ounce

» Located in the middle of the East River.
» Cholos.
» Puke people.
» A sheepdog that looks like Bruce Vilanche.
» Puppets doing karate. (“When someone calls Miss Piggy fat and she goes ‘Hiiiiiya!'”)

Second Club: Oonce

» Club owner: Tranderson Cooper
» Answers the question: “DO I HAVE TO?
» Schizos.
» Kite enthusiasts.
» Blingo (Black Ringo).

Third Club: Blitzen!

» 12 jacked albinos.
» 11 Little Richards.
» 10 pierce-eared babies.
» 9 Asian Balkys.
» 8 gay Aladdins.
» 7 psychos swearing.
» 6 Puerto Screeches (Puerto Rican Screeches).
» 5 homeless Elmos.
» 4 coked-up frogs.
» 3 French hens.
» Taylor Negron.
» Human parking cone. (“When two jacked midgets paint themselves orange and you have to parallel park between them.”)

Seth’s Assessment: “Don’t you want to just have a normal Christmas?”



Pastafarians Should Be Ashamed of Historic Homophobia

From Cosmo Jarvis, a tribute to gay pirates:

You may recall that according to the beliefs of Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (of which I am a member), pirates are “absolute divine beings,” essentially the great prophets of Pastafarianism. It has never been a secret to me that there are gay pirates, but it is a sad part of our church’s history that gay pirates have been treated just as poorly as any other members of the LGBT communities.

I applaud Cosmo for bringing attention to this sensitive issue.



To Whom Are You Thankful This Year?

It’s Thanksgiving! Folks around the country will be sitting down to dinner today and will share what it is they’re thankful for.

As I wrote last year and discussed on yesterday’s Queer and Queerer, Thanksgiving has an underlying assumption that God is responsible for those things. So today, rather than just thinking about WHAT you’re thankful for, think about WHO you’re thankful to.

We’re all just monkeys in shoes and all we have is each other, so take a few minutes today to show your appreciation to those who have made a difference in your life.

I know that I am thankful to all of you out there who support me and this little old blog I write. It’s not been an easy year, but it’s meant a lot to have your support and your feedback.

Best wishes for a lovely day with friends and family.



The Militant Atheist with a Gay Agenda is Popping Up All Over

So I have this really lovely post up with all my thoughts and feelings about spending my day giving hugs at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. I hope you’ll read it.

I also wanted to track who all wrote about encountering me at the rally. That’s what this post is for. I hope you don’t think it too egotistical or anything. I really wanted to make a difference and get people thinking, so… I don’t know… I’m just kind of curious to see what impact I had. Given how many people dressed as Waldo, you can’t blame me for wondering who found me.

Here are the mentions of me and my sign I’ve found in no particular order. I’ll keep it updated if I find more. I feel like some kind of superhero or something, because I’m nameless in most of these stories.

» I added my sign to the Huffington Post gallery. Won’t you vote for it?

» Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade interviewed me and included me and my sign in his story on the rally.

» Samantha, intern from WYPR’s Midday with Dan Rodricks, interviewed me for Monday’s show.

» Annie Groer of AOL News’ Politics Daily found me. (Her short list of signs also pops up on many comment forums.)

» Jonathan Kay of the Canadian National Post found me.

» New York Magazine found me.

» LA News Monitor found me.

» A blogger named “svalbard” glomped me.

» Some folks on tumblr found me. One reacted to my sign: “Life = made.”



A Thousand Hugs at the Rally to Restore Sanity

I never bought into the “good pain” exercise evangelists pontificate about. If you’re exercising just because you don’t feel like you’re thin enough for society, then the pain isn’t good—it’s just dumb.

But I’m in a good kind of a pain right now, because I spent almost seven hours on my feet giving out hugs at Saturday’s huge Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. Aside from a few little press interviews and one five-minute break to eat a snack, I was “on duty” from 9 until almost 4. I didn’t keep count, but this militant atheist with a gay agenda easily gave up to 150 hugs/hour, so I guesstimate I gave around 1000-1200 hugs.

(I’m kind of bummed the Christian Science Monitor didn’t quote me in its story despite interviewing me; I was really curious to see how I would have been portrayed there.)

I had no comprehension of what was happening on the stage at the rally. In fact, I didn’t see any clips until the next day! But I had an amazing time, nonetheless—perhaps the best day of my life. I definitely feel I made a difference, and I had to convince myself to leave when I did, though there was still a steady flow of huggable traffic.

I don’t have any sentimental videos to show you, but let me tell you a little bit about what it’s like to give people hugs all day.

First of all, let me share something kind of depressing. A lot of people are afraid to ask for hugs. I spent the whole day standing in the flow of traffic, but I didn’t shout out to solicit at all. Many stopped to take pictures of me and my sign, most of whom politely asked if they could. I usually replied, “So long as I get a hug out of it,” in which case I always did. But there were so very many who read the sign, smiled, and made extended eye contact… but kept walking. Quite a few said, “Keep up the good work,” and a surprising number gently patted my shoulder as they walked past, as if to say, “I’m with you.”

Every once in a while, when someone made casual contact like that, I would offer, “Do you want one?” or even, “Oh, come on, you know you want one.” And there would be this sense of relief and a smile as they eagerly came in for a hug. I didn’t want to push (or guilt) anyone into a hug they didn’t want, but it was amazing to see how many people wanted hugs but didn’t feel it was their place to ask despite my obvious offer.

This, alone, seems to me a stunning commentary on the state of things in our society. Here was a huge group of people at what had to be the most mild-mannered rally of its size ever, and there were people who still felt reluctant to let themselves enjoy some social contact that was freely offered. Are we afraid of each other? Are we afraid of love? Are we afraid to let ourselves be loved? Do people feel like they don’t deserve hugs? I really wonder about the state of things that so many would feel they couldn’t ask someone as obviously goofy as me for a hug.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly folks who don’t like hugs. I happily offered many high fives and (terrorist) fist bumps to folks who didn’t want to be touchy-feely. But what I’m talking about is folks who really wanted to hug, but just didn’t feel comfortable asking. It was also evident that seeing other people hug me set an example that “made it okay,” and so folks would come in clumps, but people who didn’t see me hugging someone else were less apt to ask for a hug themselves. This phenomenon, more than anything else, has me inspired to continue my own Free Hugs campaign in the future.

But let’s put those thoughts aside and focus on the positive. Hugs really are amazing. I had hugs of all kind. I had full-on hugs, one-arm hugs, side hugs (not Christian though), hugs from behind, group hugs, long meaningful hugs, awkwardly long waiting-for-the-friend-to-figure-out-the-camera hugs, running-start pick-up-and-spin-around hugs, and whoa-careful-you-almost-tackled-me-to-the-ground hugs. (Starting to understand why I’m sore now?) Hugs can be awkward if you don’t know where each other’s arms or heads are going, but they all turn out just right in the end. Sometimes I could see hug-wanters coming from many yards away by the look in their eyes and the intense bee line they were making for me. Other times people passed by and then turned around and came back because they just couldn’t pass one up.

I hugged people of all genders (including beyond the binary, as one person disclosed), ethnicities, religions, and ages.

I actually found a lot of middle-aged and older women were eager to get hugs. One woman said, “I hope you don’t mind grandma hugs.” Who minds grandma hugs?!?! (If there is a People Against Grandma Hugs group out there somewhere, it is officially my mission to destroy you!) Some younger kids were shy about hugs, and one hug with a little kiddo backfired when my shoulder and his head met in an unfortunate way! He jokingly wobbled around as if I’d just knocked him out. Don’t worry, he was okay! Hug mishaps will happen, and we made sure he got a good one.

Two couples insisted their (“progressive,” as one qualified) infants in strollers be photographed with me. In both cases, I double checked to make sure they weren’t worried I’d rub off on the toddlers. I even hugged a few pregnant women, so all the pro-lifers out there will surely count each as two hugs.

Women seemed slightly more interested in hugs than men. Many had their boyfriends photograph them hugging me, but the boyfriends were not as interested in hugging (though plenty did). When posing for pictures with women (particularly older women), it was not uncommon for their hands to just happen to be on my butt. My butt was never squeezed—at no point did I feel violated—but there their hands were. I felt a little dirty, but not in a bad way! I was happy to see that plenty of guys sought out hugs of their own volition, too. One guy, who was presumably straight and quite confident in his sexuality, insisted on a long, sensual hug, adding, “Yeah, just hold me gently.” He was quite handsome and I happily obliged.

Interestingly, many of the guys who wanted hugs gave real hugs, not feeling the need for the 3-pat “I’m-not-gay” hug variety. Some of these guys even made the necessary “I’m straight, but I’ll still hug you” disclaimer (as if my “gay agenda” meant I only gave gay hugs?), but still gave real hugs. I wonder if the “straight” hug only comes into play between guys who know each other, but with a complete stranger, guys feel more comfortable giving the meaningful kind of hugs we all treasure.

Many folks were quite excited about my gay agenda. A few straight folks weren’t sure if they could really be a part of the gay agenda, but offered that they certainly supported it. I told them I was pretty sure they didn’t have to be gay to be part of the gay agenda, but that I’d get in touch with the gay leadership on high and get back to them.

I felt bad that not all the hugs I gave were of the same caliber. Often times I’d be bombarded in all directions by huggers and I didn’t do them all justice, though plenty complimented me on my hugging ability. Other hugs were incredibly meaningful, and you could tell that those folks really needed those hugs. One woman was particularly gracious to get a hug, because she simply hadn’t had one that day. I was quite surprised by the number of people who expressed, “I love you,” and a few added a kiss on the cheek to the encounter.

One girl let me have one of her french fries. Another fed me a bite of her salad. (I’m really hoping she doesn’t have mono.) One gentleman handed me a candy bar, which I promptly “paid forward” to a very young girl who passed by with a sign that says “I want candy.” At some point my sign inherited a pro-birth control sticker, but my favorite takeaway was a pin that said “Christine O’Donnell is not me!”

At one point, a reporter who was doing some live interviews nearby stepped away from his crew for a moment and said, “I couldn’t not give you one.” He didn’t interview me or anything. He just got his hug then rejoined his crew as they moved onto another area of the rally.

I hugged a Cylon (Toasters United Against Teabaggers), a male butterfly, a rodeo cowboy, Cookie Monster, and Bert. Bert informed me that he had just proposed to his now-fiance (who I also hugged) and that they were going to the courthouse Monday morning to get married. After I congratulated them, he told me she likes it when he wears the Bert suit, which she confirmed. I told her I agreed that he looked good in it. I then suggested that she’s into furries, which she also confirmed. (I later spotted them walking hand-in-hand without his Bert-head, and he looked pretty good without it too.)

I hugged Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Catholics, Christians, and probably more. Several Christians (and only Christians) felt the need to disclose their religion when hugging a “militant atheist” such as myself. One gentleman informed me he was a Christian missionary but he still loved me; I told him I loved him back. Several wished blessings upon me. Toward the end of the day, a woman started talking to me all about her integrated church and how it’s great to have so many different perspectives there. She then told me she’d pray for me and I politely invited her to visit my blog and read about why I prefer people not pray for me. I was shocked and impressed when she then volunteered, “Well, I suppose prayer is more for ourselves than for anybody else.” I smiled and nodded.

Of course, there were plenty of atheists. Some were just as visible about it, but for many, it was a dirty little secret they whispered in my ear as we hugged. Clearly, the message of sanity resonated a lot with the free-thinking community, and I was really delighted to see so many proud nonbelievers. I also relished the chance to visit with them afterward at a gathering Hemant Mehta organized. While I didn’t get to talk to too many people there, I really appreciated the connections I did make and the feeling of being in such rational company.

One hug from the day will stick out in my mind for the rest of my life. The woman informed me that her son, now deceased, had been both gay and atheist, and it meant so much to her that I was there. We exchanged no other words, but no more needed said. A tear formed in her eye as she hugged me with all the love she clearly has for her son.

Giving free hugs is not an original idea, and I won’t pretend that there’s anything special about my own effort to give hugs. It was also an exhausting day, and I was so tired I didn’t go out or touch base with any of my other friends who were in town. Nonetheless, it was one of the most amazing days of my life. There is a lot that we all disagree on, but hugs bridge all gaps. Love bridges all gaps. No day might ever compare to the one I just had, but I look forward to the love we can all share in days to come.

If you asked me for a hug, thanks. It meant as much to me as I hope it did to you. If you didn’t get one, there’s always one waiting… and as many more as you need.



Theatre Review: I Can See Sarah Palin From My Window

Sarah Palin, you say you can see us from your vindow. Vell, ve can also see you from our vindow, and ve like vhat ve see.

So says Vlad, one of six memorable characters who weave together Peterson Toscano’s new play, I Can See Sarah Palin From My Window: Lessons Before The Second Coming. Those familiar with Toscano’s previous productions like Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo’ Halfway House will remember Vlad other characters and will be delighted by a few newcomers like Elizabeth Jeremiah who have all come out to share some life lessons with the Queen of FOX News.

Undoubtedly, Sarah Palin has become a huge fixture in American politics and culture, and who better to respond to this behemoth than the many faces of Peterson Toscano? But From My Window is not your run-of-the-mill SNL gotcha-comedy; Toscano will tell you early into the show (as he doesn’t read from his hand) that he expects more of himself and so should his audience. Rather, Toscano uses Ms. Palin as a platform for 21st Century American values, discussing lessons from the Old and New Testament, environmentalism, as well as issues around race, gender, and sexual orientation.

Don’t worry, you won’t feel like you’re in school. The characters’ entertaining “lessons” are seamlessly woven together with Toscano’s own personal stories for a two hour journey that will split your Cheechakos from your Sourdoughs. With moments both zany and solemn, From My Window paints a picture of American patriotism that simultaneously challenges and reinforces our roles and responsibilities as “allegiant” citizens. More importantly, the brilliantly fresh approach to time-old controversial topics will give audience members from all political and religious perspectives something new to think about as they leave the theatre.

Ultimately, this is a show about caretaking. Toscano certainly hopes Ms. Palin might learn a thing or two from his show, but he also suggests we might learn a thing or two from her—namely, how can we all be Mama Grizzlies for this great world of ours? As part of the production, Toscano invites audience members to help raise money for microloan foundation Kiva.org, with a fundraising twist that echoes the show’s themes of community care. Laughter is the driving force in the production, but From The Window also delivers an emotional depth that may surprise.

When asked who their favorite characters were, audience members will undoubtedly reply, “All of ’em, any of ’em that have been in front of me.” And while Toscano’s complex characters provide a unique lens for thinking about Sarah Palin, it is ultimately through Ms. Palin that Toscano provides us with a lens for our own lives.

I Can See Sarah Palin From My Window premieres this Saturday at 8:00 PM at the Rainbow Players Theater Company in Allentown, PA.

Click here for booking information.