2.18.16: Making Bank as a TV Extra, Bob Odenkirk, & Maz Jobrani

Feb 18, 2016

Before Maz Jobrani was a panelist on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, he was an actor trying to get a break. Today, the Iranian-born comedian talks about being typecast as a terrorist.

And like Maz, many Hollywood hopefuls get their start as extras, making less than minimum wage. We’ll hear about an elite group who have made blending into the background a lucrative career.

Listen to the full show. 

Making Bank as a TV Extra

In Hollywood, getting noticed by a director, producer, or casting agent is a good thing...but for an extra, getting noticed can actually get you kicked off a set.  

Hillel Aron is a staff writer for L.A. Weekly where we found his article, “Some Hollywood Extras Suffer, But Others Are Rolling in It.”

Bob Odenkirk

Long before becoming a Hollywood “face”, Bob Odenkirk reached near cult status for his contributions to the world of sketch comedy. First as a writer for Saturday Night Live, then, The Ben Stiller ShowLate Night With Conan O’Brien, and most devotedly, as co-creator of Mr. Show with fellow comedian, David Cross.

Virginia talked to him about his book, A Load of Hooeyfrom Mc Sweeney's. We're revisiting the conversation just in time for Better Call Saul's season 2's premier. 

A Chemist's Quest for Pure Food

In 1906 the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act prohibited the making, trafficking, and sale of quote un-quote "misbranded, poisonous, or adulterated food and drugs".  While intended to protect the public from ingesting risky products, the road leading to the act put a few individuals in harm’s way. This story comes to us from Sruthi Pinnamaneni.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

Maz Jobrani

We spoke with Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! panelist and comedian Maz Jobrani about his memoir I’m Not A Terrorist, But I’ve Played One On TVwhich is now available in paperback.