The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI and WNYC, is public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy – so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life.
June 16th, 2015
Episode 62 of 186 episodes
In the beginning, there was Twitter. David Javerbaum— a seasoned comedy writer for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report who has won Peabodys, Emmys, and a Grammy — started the account @TheTweetofGod in 2010. Like God Himself, he quickly gained millions of followers. — God (@TheTweetOfGod) June 30, 2013 THE NEW 10 COMMANDMENTS 1 Laugh. 2 Read. 3 Say please. 4 Floss. 5 Doubt. 6 Exercise. 7 Learn. 8 Don't hate. 9 Cut the bullshit. 10 Chill. — God (@TheTweetOfGod) April 20, 2014 Javerbaum originally opened the account to promote a book, a new testament for the modern age — he just hadn’t written it yet. Javerbaum planned to extrapolate the jokes from Twitter into a fully-realized text. He finally finished in 2012, but The Last Testament: A Memoir by God didn’t do nearly as well as the Twitter account. “That’s a shame, because God’s previous books have sold in the billions,” Javerbaum says. “I explained to him that there’s a new publishing paradigm and that digital has really undercut a lot of book sales.” But @TheTweetofGodhas a surprising third act. Javerbaum recently turned his one-liners into a Broadway play. An Act of God, starring Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory as God (or, more precisely, as the normal chump whom God temporarily possesses to address the audience), opened in New York City in late May. It combines some of Javerbaum’s best tweets with his faux-memoir for a long and funny sermon from the stage. For most writers, Twitter is a distraction from paid work, but for Javerbaum ithappened to turn into a paying gig."I found a way to do what many, many people failed to do which is to monetize my Twitter account," hesays."I can't say there was any plan to it, and I'm sure God would say the same thing. WQXR'sTerrance McKnightplayed God in our story.