Here is a KatieHalpe-centric excerpt of a longer review by Electrick Literature’s Emily Firetog of the Mischief + Mayhem Valentine’s Day Show I MC’d. Go to “read more” to read the whole article.
1. Big crowd at Housing Works. There are never enough chairs! 2. Dale Peck, co-founder of Mischief + Mayhem, reads. 3. Ben Greenman (Celebrity Chekhov) takes a break from the reading to catch up on his favorite picture book about the first lady.
As my boyfriend lives a hundred and seventy-seven miles away and Valentine’s Day dinner over Skype seemed a pretty grim idea, I headed down to Housing Works Bookstore for Mischief + Mayhem’s take on the Day of Love, a reading that promised to be “evil, sarcastic, and mean.” The MC for the evening was Katie Halper – hysterically funny and “recently single” – who was happy to share her red flags for soon-to-fail relationships: writer-types, drinking straight out of the bottle, talking about how much of an asshole you are, aspiring to be a pot head. The good thing, she notes, about dating underachievers is that you don’t have to wish ill on them… they’re already living it. Jeez, someone hire this girl as a comedy writer.
Dale Peck, co-founder of Mischief + Mayhem, read first, then had to run because he had a class to teach at The New School. He did, however, introduce us all to his boyfriend and gave him a box of chocolate in front of everyone. WTF, where’s the meanness and sarcasm in that? I barricaded myself in front of the door as he was trying to leave and asked why he started M&M: “We wanted to change the way people bought books. We’re bourgeois revolutionaries, we’re not blowing anything up. It’s boring and exciting.”
1. Max Blagg, journalist and poet, loves Valentine’s Day. Sort of. 2. MC Katie with an adoring fan. Actually, while I was talking to Katie about how funny she was, writer Cara Hoffman (whose novel So Much Pretty is out from Simon & Schuster next month) accosted Katie to say she was absurdly funny and listening to her was incredibly therapeutic. Why therapeutic? “I just finished writing a really dark book.” Katie thought she looked like Tina Fey.
1. I caught reader Marian Fontana (A Widow’s Walk) outside with friends Scott, Jesse and Tara. “We’re going for dinner and cocktails. I hope they have tables for four and not just two.” 2. And look! I wasn’t lying about 30 Rock! Watch out for the episode that takes place in a bookstore. You’re in the know!