Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Side Project Shot!!!: An Interview with Mark Stegemann of "Men of a Certain Age"

I've been fortunate enough over the last few months to have the chance to write about a truly excellent show called Men of a Certain Age on behalf of the Good Men Project. Despite what you may think, Charge Shot!!! is not the only love of my blogging life. Don't fret: CS is still my wifey, my own personal queen of the blogosphere. You could call GMP my side chick. If you know anything about the content of the site, you'll appreciate the irony of that metaphor.

Men is a substantial enough show that it's actually a pleasure to recap the episodes (unlike some other shows). Each 40-minute slice gives the thinking watcher a lot to chew over, and GMP readers have happily responded to  my posts with their own responses and questions. I didn't expect, though, to hear the actual writers for the show wanting to get involved in the conversation.

The week after GMP ran my first episode recap, Gmail told me that I had a new Twitter follower, a guy whose icon was a little fat white kid in a red parka. I paid it no mind. When I checked my account a few hours later, I noticed a message from red parka guy: "Loved first blog, boy you really get the show! If it's good for the GoodMen, I'd be happy to do an interview."

I checked the sender again. "Oh crap, that's Mike Royce, the creator of the show," I thought. "Probably should have noticed when he started following me. Egg on my face!"

Little did he know I was concurrently in the process of securing an interview with another writer for the show, this one a guy named Mark Stegemann who'd cut his teeth on Scrubs, a really excellent show that often doesn't get enough credit for its depth and the inventiveness of its style.

GMP ran the interview with Mike Royce earlier this year, and I'd recommend it heartily, and not just because it will mean a slight uptick in my page views: Royce is an incredibly articulate guy who has a lot to say about comedy writing and life both at the age chronicled in the show and in general.

This week, though, GMP published my interview with Mark Stegemann, and it's an equally interesting trip through Stegemann's rap sheet and his thoughts about what it's like to be a younger man writing about guys who could be his parents. At the risk of seeming rude, I'd say you're a fucking idiot if you don't read it.

And you're even more fuckingly idiotic if you don't watch the premiere of Men of a Certain Age, which airs tonight at 10 PM eastern on TNT.