Monday Monologues: Mike Daisey on “America,” and Rush Limbaugh, Bill Clinton, talk radio

Part of a continuing series of Monday Monologues.

What is  being skewered here is both a talk radio personality and the selective memory of many politicians today. The surprisingly effective echo chamber the right employs has now convinced a third of America to believe in a past that never existed. Even as WalMart, McDonald’s and Whole Foods replaced Woolworth’s White Castle and the A&P, the world is actually humming along pretty much as it always did, with less crime and more commercial interruptions than half a century ago.  Unless you turn on the TV.   America, the monologue,  is  #53 of Eric Bogosians series of 100 Monologues. It is part of a collection that make up the writer’s commentary on contemporary life.

Says Bogosian, “America is the prelude to the show Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead. Written in 1994 at the height of the anti-Clinton hysteria, it was a shot at the vociferous junkie and radio personality Rush Limbaugh. I wanted to explore the ass-backwards logic of the cavalier right-wing mass media characters who pretty much will say anything as long as they get their ratings.” Here it is performed by the master of rant, Mike Daisey, known for his own amazing list of monologue shows.

Mike Daisey

Mike Daisey

While taking time off from his own monologues to bite into this Eric Bogosian lemon-laced verbal cupcake, MIKE DAISEY has been called “the master storyteller” and “one of the finest solo performers of his generation” by The New York Times.  His groundbreaking monologues which weave together autobiography, gonzo journalism, and unscripted performance to tell hilarious and heartbreaking stories that cut to the bone, exposing secret histories and unexpected connections. He is best known for The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, a tour de force that explores the contradictions inherent in the major corporation, Apple Inc.

Since his first monologue in 1997, Daisey has created over fifteen monologues, including the critically-acclaimed The Last Cargo Cult, the controversial How Theater Failed America, the twenty-four-hour feat All the Hours in the Day, the unrepeatable series All Stories Are Fiction, the four-part epic Great Men of Genius, and the international sensation 21 Dog Years. Other titles include If You See Something Say Something, Barring the Unforeseen, Invincible Summer, Monopoly!, Tongues Will Wag, I Miss the Cold War, and Teching in India.


In January 2016, the 100 Monologues project successfully launched a crowd funding campaign to continue its work, and raised $25,531 from 122 backers a month later.  What Bogosian and his supporters have been creating over the past two years is an amazing archive of great theatre snippets, a resource for not only audiences, but for the actors who perform them on demand in your home or on electronic devices.  The search for dramatic and memorable monologue materials for use by performers at live auditions and guest appearances never ends.

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