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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dec. 4: Paul Shirley

A bit of a departure for us tonight. In our illustrious seven-year run, the bulk of our guests have come from the world of live comedy, be it stand-up, improv or sketch. But we've also had on authors, film makers, and musicians. Well tonight, we've got a former NBA player. Now, if you're a regular listener, you know I kinda sorta like basketball. If you don't, don't be turned off because this ain't a sports show. Oh, I'm sure we'll talk a bit about the greatest sport on earth (i.e. not hockey), but it won't all be roundball. I promise.

That's because Paul Shirley is a modern-day renaissance man. Yes, he was a hoops hobo, but he's also a man of letters. He's a really funny writer who started his second career while he was still in his first. This was in a time before Twitter, when athletes and celebrities weren't so available. It was a revelation to read his very funny online journal on his Phoenix Suns' playoff run in the 2004-05 season. Since then his former career floundered and his current one flourished. He wrote Can I Keep My Jersey?: 11 Teams, 5 Countries, and 4 Years in My Life as a Basketball Vagabond (2008, Villard Books), did a column for ESPN, founded the online writing project FlipCollective (with accompanying podcast), and now is known for his writing on indie/alternative rock, with occasional forays into weightier topics.

And another way this is a departure for us is because Paul won't be in studio with us. He'll join the handful of other episodes we've done by phone when he calls in from Kansas City (we save that for very special guests). As always, we'll be on the air at 11 pm till midnight. If you've done the math, you'll realize that's 1 to 2 a.m. his time. As he wrote to me, "Yeah, I can stay up till 2 a.m. on a Sunday, because I'm wildly irresponsible."

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