By Dave Hoffman

Radio icon Joe Franklin broadcast his last radio show on WOR Saturday night, after 40 years on the air. If you're reading this, you might not know who Joe Franklin is, but basically, he's the guy who invented the TV talk show fifty years ago. He's interviewed virtually everybody, including Al Pachino, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, Julia Roberts and a bunch of other celebs, back when they were starting out. So who's one of the people he decided to bring on the air for his last show? You guessed it, none other than Steppin' Out's own The Nightcrawler! I asked Joe what the key to a successful interview was, and he deferred the question the Amazing Kreskin who said "The key is something Joe has been a master of for years, listening."

Seems like everybody's going on talk shows these days. Well, two of us. Writer Ned Vizzini's going to be on the Today Show on Tuesday July 6 to plug his new book, Be More Chill. Ned had his launch party for Be More Chill Wednesday at the Knitting Factory in Manhattan. After a reading by the guest of honor, the band Miller's Farm took the stage, followed by Consider the Source pic1and This. An excited Sarah from Manhattan showed off her book which Ned signed, "To Sarah, Thanks! Enjoy the book! Rock on!" Sarah was even more excited when someone pointed out that by telling her to rock on, Ned obviously thought that she already rocked, and should just continue being her rockin' self. Other New York creative types in attendance included writers Caren Lissner and Rachel Kramer Bussel, and comedian/ singer Jessica Delfino.

If you get a chance, go to Babalu's Theater in Manhattan and check out the show Stripped, which is about strippers. Seriously, it's sexy enough to get you and your date turned on, but has enough depth to spark conversation afterwards. Throw in some fun dialog and acting and you've got a great night out. Afterwards, the cast and crew gathers in the club part next door for some socializing. Saturday night, the DJ spun some salsa and dance music to a surprisingly roomy dance floor, while everyone involved in the production hung out by the bar talking to audience members. They're a friendly and approachable bunch, so you definitely should check it out.

Saturday night, people were talking about that Michael Moore movie, Fahrenheit 911. "Some people on TV were saying that this movie makes the rest of the world look poorly on us," said Helen, an Australian of Eretrian descent who's having a drink at Zanzibar in Manhattan while visiting from Houston, pic2after spending two years working in Saudi Arabia. "But the truth is, now the rest of the world sees that Americans in general don't necessarily support the war. We're a country that can and does speak up against the government. It's actually helping our image."

Having grown up in New Jersey, I don't really get this concept of caring what the rest of the world thinks of us. Nobody's ever respected New Jersey, and know what? We like it that way. Anyway, there was a disagreement in the bar, but I took a survey, and it's true across the board. Everyone in my random sample at Zanzibar agrees - The Beastie Boys are better than Jane's Addiction, and now it's in print, so end of discussion! Love blowin' stuff up? Next weekend is the weekend to do it. Happy Fourth! Be safe everyone!

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