Nerve.com’s “Crush of the Week”
(Originally appeared on Nerve.com, October 1 2007)
Two weeks ago, our Scanner cohort Nicole sent us this hilarious piece from McSweeney’s. It’s called “Whoops.” We’d read it before, but we read it again. Actually, to be perfectly honest, we have a hard time reading it the whole way through, because we get to laughing too hard, and that hurts. It’s like performing a tickle fight on ourselves.
After “Whoops,” we read another piece by the author, “Rules for My Cuddle Party,” and then became fixated with this page on his website with weird pictures from the TV. We read more and more by this guy, Mike Sacks, and we figured out two things about him: He was brilliantly funny, and for that — he was our Crush of the Week.
We decided to email Mike Sacks, because let’s face it, he wasn’t that famous, and he just might write back. He did! And so we have our very first Crush of the Week interview, amazingly devoid of any genuine facts about Mike Sacks, so let us give you those: Mike Sacks is on the editorial staff at Vanity Fair. His work has been published in The New Yorker and Esquire and many other terrifically impressive places. He is married, and he lives somewhere, but we forgot to ask where. We think maybe New York. — SH
Who is the real Mike Sacks?
From what I’ve read, he’s not too tall, not too swift, born with a thin down of white fur, happy one moment, in a red-hot rage the next, a bit shy, a bit of a loner, kinda spicy. A lot like me.
What was your big break?
I was spotted sipping a milkshake in the Conde Nast cafeteria.
Who are your favorite humor writers?
There is a current crop of young humor writers who are great. Check them out now before the “revolution” begins:
Scott Jacobson, Dan Kennedy, Todd Levin, Wendy Molyneux, Bob Powers, Jason Roeder, Ted Travelstead, Teddy Wayne, Kevin Guilfole, John Warner.
Okay, okay, we’re not paying you by the word. So what song did you lose your virginity to?
“Big Balls” by AC/DC. Actually, I was drunk at the time and don’t really remember, although I do have a vague memory of blasting NPR’s All Things Considered. (Perhaps I should consult my diary entry from October 2, 2007.)
What’s your biggest fear?
To end up in prison or in a mental institution.
Have you ever killed a man?
Just once. This was at Burning Man in 2002. He was attempting to climb into my pup tent.
How did it feel?
I don’t know, it’s hard to describe. It just felt . . . right.
What’s the worst pick-up line you’ve ever used?
“Do you come to this hospital chapel often?”
Any words of advice for writers just starting out?
If you want to write for magazines, networking is important. I’d recommend moving to New York. Learn the difference between “its” and “it’s.” Do not submit an article written in fancy font or on perfumed paper. Do not copyright your work; no one’s going to steal it. Submit to the big publications; the small publications are just as difficult, if not more difficult, to break into anyway. Submit your work to the editors who are lower on the editorial ladder; the editor-in-chief is not going to be interested in what you’re pitching, unless you know him or her from summer camp. There’s nothing wrong with being published on the web; sometimes it’s even better (a reader or an editor can reach you more easily via email). Be persistent, but not obnoxious. And, most importantly, ignore what I’m now telling you, because I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about—nobody does, really.
Is becoming a “Crush of the Week” the best thing that ever happened to you?
Besides killing the bastard who tried to creep into my pup tent? Pretty much, yes. Thanks for asking me to do this, and for giving me such a prestigious award. By the way, if anyone wants to meet me, I’ll be in the North Meadow of Central Park, performing my nude calisthenics routine, just as I do every Monday through Friday (9 A.M. ’till dark). No cameras please!