Glaser Vision: The Authoritative (and False) History of Rock


Published February 9, 2011

Comedian and actor Jon Glaser (Delocated, School For Scoundrels) enlisted the help of friends Jon Hamm, Paul Rudd, John Hodgman, Scott Adsit, and Zoe Lister-Jones to perform readings from his new book, My Dead Dad Was In ZZ Top, a book of “recently discovered” fake documents from the history of rock and roll, to a sold-out crowd last night at The Bell House in Brooklyn.

John Hodgman (The PC from Apple’s “Mac vs. PC” commercials, and a Daily Show and This American Life contributor) read a letter from artist Pablo Picasso to the band The Modern Lovers, seeking to correct them on their lyrics, “Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole.” Hodgman started by noting that since Picasso was from Spain but spent a good deal of time in France, “nobody knows what he actually sounded like,” and he would be reading the letter in a “vague foreign accent” he had prepared for by watching thirty seconds of an interview with Javier Bardem on YouTube.

Jon Hamm (Mad Men) read a classified memo detailing a top secret Navy Seals program called “Butthole Surfers,” which is, according to Glaser’s book, the origin of the band’s name. Scott Adsit (30 Rock) read a series of telegrams from Jack White to Meg White, which promised to clear up any uncertainty as to whether Jack and Meg were siblings or former spouses. According to the telegrams, Meg is actually Jack’s mother and he went back in time to form The White Stripes with her. Zoe Lister-Jones read notes from Bob Seeger’s therapist’s notepad about how Bob Seeger is a werewolf, and all of his songs are, in fact, about being a werewolf.

Paul Rudd (Role Models) ended the night by reading some letters from Jay Leno to some prospective new house bands for the Tonight Show, including Interpol and Franz Ferdinand. He told the audience that he had prepared for his Jay Leno voice the same way Hodgman had prepared for Picasso’s, by watching thirty seconds of an interview of Javier Bardem. His Jay Leno was spot on at first, but by the third letter, he opined, “Now I just sound like a regular guy!”

“The Jay Leno voice is a sprint, not a marathon,” Glaser responded.