We’re blogging this from our bedroom this morning, so keep hitting the F5 key for more. This is ONE LONG POST. We have 15 pages of notes to fit into this tiny web space. There will be lots of typos and lots of things wrongly reported. SORRY. In advance. You try scribbling in the dark as a bunch of comedians rips apart your beloved magazine industry…..
The audience was atwitter last night at what was probably the coolest-ever ASME/MPA event. It was held at Jazz at Lincoln Center, for a sell-out crowd of what looked like 3,000 people in stadium-style seating. Keep in mind, this event was packed with not only the cool kids who are heading to Puerto Rico next month, but all those juicy advertising industry folks who the publishers are out to impress. It is Advertising Week in NY, after all.
Here’s how it was billed on the AdvertisingWeek.com web site:
Inside the Covers – Laughing Matters: Magazines Celebrate Humor featuring Jon Stewart
This special event is sure to be one of the highlights of Advertising Week 2005, featuring Jon Stewart interviewing a panel of four leading magazine editors. This invitation-only event is part of the magazine industry’s “Inside the Covers” forums, a series of timely and provocative discussions.
Note how they didn’t even mention the magazine editors (Kate White, Jim Kelly, David Zinczenko and Graydon Carter) — and that was a sign of things to come. Watching Jon Stewart impishly pummel some of the preeminent magazine editors in our business was at times amusing, at times hilarious and horrifying all at the same time. This was no roast, it was a vivisection, a live vivisection (redundant, we know, but it still sounds right).
But, heck, anyone would be intimidated before JS’s meandering, wrecking ball wit.
We’ll start from the beginning, because you wouldn’t want to miss anything. First Nina Link (MPA chieftainess) got up and did her bit for the betterment of magazine-kind. “Magazines touch us in so many meaningful ways…help us try new things….fill our minds and hearts with inspiration…make us laugh.”
Then, Mark Whitaker (Church) and Tom Ryder (State) did their bit. Ryder, the ceo of Reader’s Digest Association, gestured toward the audience and said something about it being the largest collection of advertising minds in one room: “so much advertising talent…so much MONEY… We love these guys.” Whitaker recounted how Kate White, upon hearing that “God” was the word that sells the most Newsweek covers, had emailed him to say “Thanks for giving me this fab new cover line for Cosmo. ‘God, that was great last night!’”
Enter Suzie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm) with a raucous raunch routine, delivered in a heavy New Joisey accent. As Ryder and Whitaker made their way offstage, she shot over her shoulder: “I think I know that guy from years ago (referring to Ryder)… I had never met him before and he said “whore” to me…and I got up off my knees and marched right out of the men’s room…