I was a reporter for years before I became a startup founder, and so I always try to be as accommodating as I can when reporters contact me, especially if they are from local papers or radio stations. They work so hard for so little pay.
And then sometimes I get an email, and well, I sit up a bit straighter. That happened when the Daily Show reached out, and that whole experience was amazing.
It happened again recently when a producer from the Lovett or Leave It podcast reached out.
I’ve been on a few podcasts, and they are always great, but there is nobody more sophisticated in his thinking about Daylight Saving Time than Lovett. I’ve written about his positions a couple of times here on this blog. And I always note that whenever he even says “Daylight Saving Time” in front of an audience, the crowd cheers. It’s Lovett’s Thunder Road. It is what his fans want, and he gives it to them.
The episode is here or embedded below, and my bit starts at about 57:30 if you want to skip a lot of funny stuff:
So, what was the experience like?
It was fantastic.
Because I knew I was by far the least famous person on the podcast, I wanted to be sure that I would be as cool as I could be. My way of not being nervous is to over-prepare, so I went over a zillion funny lines in my head. I also listened to a bunch of the old podcasts so that I would know that I was fitting in with the general feel of the environment. I also wore a white shirt. I dunno why, I knew I'd be the only one wearing a white businessy kind of shirt at the event, but somehow I thought it would be OK.
Luckily, they had a pro photographer there, who could make anyone look good, because this photo is really nice, so thanks.
I got there and they had a green room, which wasn’t green, and wasn’t even really a room. The podcast is recorded at the Cinelounge, which is a cool outdoor concept and just a half-block off Hollywood Blvd. The green room was just some plywood walls sort of screwed together, but it did have green astroturf on the ground, so that made it green, I suppose.
They had a few munchies, and some booze. I did not have the booze, but just about everyone else did. Jon took his on stage with him.
Because I was there so early I got to chat with some of the producers and writers for the show, who are all so smart and talented that you would think they would treat me like dirt given that I am clearly not an A-list celebrity. Or B-list. (After the Daily Show, I may have moved from Z-list to Y-list.) They did not. They were all as gracious and welcoming as possible.
The first other person to arrive who was going to be on the show was Sam Sanders, host of It’s Been a Minute from NPR. If you haven’t heard that show, or heard any of the other times he has been on other shows, you are missing out. He is a thoughtful and interesting as they come. His work is so genuine and he seems so personally gracious on the air that I figured he would be a good guy in person, too. He was. Just fun and funny, and is clearly a great reporter as he started asking me questions about DST that I never get.
I didn’t get to chat as much with Adam Conover or Michaela Watkins, but I did a little and they were both great also.
Lovett was the last to arrive. Everyone seems to call him that—not Jon. Just his last name.
If you’ve heard his show, you know that he talks about fast food a lot. I didn’t think that it was just a gag before, I figured that it was part of his life. But he is a big shot, I figure he typically eats at nice places, or has people prepare him food at home. Maybe he does, but he rolled in with a MacDonald’s drink in his hand, and immediately starts chatting with basically all of us in the green room about some great deal they have right now. He also said he doesn’t eat fries while driving. I don't know if he talks in all parts of his life in the way that he does on his podcast, but to the four or so of us in the green room, he sounded exactly the same.
The podcast itself is great, but I only know that now. The problem with the green room is that it doesn’t have a speaker, and the plywood kind of makes it hard to hear. So most of the time those of us on the show stood off to the side of the stage, watching what was going on, but it was still hard to hear.
I do hope that you will listen, and let me know on Twitter or by email what you thought.
The funniest reaction I thought from Lovett to something I said was when I complimented him on how sophisticated his take was, as DST is a more complex topic than it might seem at first. A lot of well known people just say they are “against DST” but don’t really take it past that. Lovett has views that understand the complexities. So I mentioned that I wrote about that in a post about celebrities and DST, and he mock-demured about being on a list of celebrities. The audio is funny, but his body language of pretending to be coquettish was hilarious.
We then did a quiz that was based on DST, which was fun based on real research, and then it was over.
After my bit, they did a standard thing that they love on this show where they have the guests defend a basically un-defendable position for 60 seconds. The funniest moment there for me was when Sam Sanders refused to even pretend to extoll on how Teri Gross is not that great of an interviewer.
I had suggested that they do that bit, but instead of standard views from the news, make the guests defend a position that has been sent to me by very earnest people through the years. It was probably wise not to do this, but just for fun, here is that list:
- Move the clocks a half hour and lock it there. (I get this one a LOT.)
- Everyone use Greenwich time. (Computer programmers love this one because it makes their job easier. Also, they see the world differently. The idea is that we would all use GMT, and so in L.A. you would go to work around 5 p.m., have lunch around 9 or 10 p.m., dinner around 4 a.m. etc. Each time zone would just get used to their new hours.)
- Make days longer and shorter depending on the time of year, and our computers and phones will just keep track of it. So, a 30-minute meeting in the summer will be longer than a 30-minute meeting in the winter.
- Make the day 10 hours long instead of 24. (This was actually from a guy named Yates who wrote in to the guy fixing the time for the railroads back in 1883.)
- Abandon “time” completely, and just go to work, eat, etc., whenever you want.
After the show, I asked Lovett what I could do to be helpful to him. He asked what was going on, and I told him about an effort in Texas that could have some real promise. He said he was totally focused on the federal bills, so we said we would keep in touch about that. (I have posts coming soon about both Texas and the federal efforts.)
I had a hunch that I would be pretty worked up after the show, and not ready for bed, so I walked over a block or so from the Cinelounge, and saw the new Eternals movie at the historic El Capitan theater. I don’t know if I had ever seen a movie with a live organist before a film, so that was cool. The movie was great, I thought, and then after the film it was quite late and fog had rolled in, making a nearly deserted Hollywood Boulevard other-worldly.
Sorry this post has gone on so long. Lovett has joked about how after Zack Snyder’s Justice League we can use the shorthand: Go ahead and give me the Zack Snyder version as a way of saying Go ahead and give me all the characters and all the storyline. This is clearly a Zack Snyder’s Daylight Saving Time League post.
So, thanks to Lovett, the producers and writers, to Sam and the other guests, and the audience that cheered me on the same way they did the other guests. I really appreciated it.