The Magic Number


We went, with some friends, into the woods. A few days later we left the woods. Our memory of the time we spent in the woods is a bit fuzzy; fortunately, someone thought to make an audio recording of it.

This episode is about friendship. (And some other stuff. Well, mostly other stuff.)  read more »

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Bankruptcy Liquidation Auction
Beginning @ 9:00 AM-85 Herston Rd.
Long Beach, CA
Feb 8, 2010

Registration 7:30-10:00 A.M.

Auction With Reserve Will Be Conducted By:
Leroy D. Plaavs, III, License #KCL6232




Sellers are forced, after years of negative cash flow, to liquidate their storage locker as a condition of their bankruptcy claim. Sellers identify themselves as “We Look Nice,” an internet group.  read more »

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The Sake Period


Subject: #1228743 “Mann”
Application Date: September 4, 1980

Subject has submitted a new application to the Coolness Review Board. Note that this is Subject’s 12th separate application to the Board in just the past 2 years.

No signs of progress.

Pictured, above, is Subject’s self-declared “Summer Transformation.” No comment is required other than to note the outfit, which includes a web belt, painter’s pants, fake Adidas “four-striper” sneakers, a Dallas Cowboys T-shirt, and, tragically, Mork suspenders.  read more »

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In Congrefs


Hop in our decommissioned World War II tank that has been outfitted to look like the Liberty Bell. The You Look Nice Today Tour of Philadelphia Hotspots starts in 5 minutes!

For just a few dollars we’ll take you on an all-day tour of The City with a Nickname. Some highlights:

  • Discuss fonts n’ ligatures with Merlin Mann at the Benjamin Franklin Museum’s authentic replica printing press.
  • Stroll briskly through “transitional” neighborhoods with YLNT Gentrification Ambassador Scott Simpson.
  • Hit the Burlington Coat Factory with your personal shopper for the day, Adam Lisagor. He’ll show you how to cry in the dressing room without leaving unsightly tear stains.

After the tour, go with friends old and new to any local Curves™ franchise. Present a copy of this website for 15% off any CurveBurger or Curvey Fries.

Seriously. Thanks PHL, you were the hottest one-night stand. Our favorite September 17, 2009 ever.


Youse Look Nice Today  read more »

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Breakin' In


While under the influence of y, we reveal that

  1. Merlin once put x in an envelope.
  2. Scott hoped another guy’s x would draw attention away from his own -(x).
  3. Adam = 2x.

If y = “tequila,” solve for x.  read more »

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East Arcadia State: 2009 MindSetter Sheet


At the dawn of each academic year, East Arcadia State University prepares our instructors and staff by curating some facts and observations about the generational differences that are peculiar to our incoming freshman class. By understanding how the world looks to them, we hope to provide the best possible educational experience. In other words:

How have things “always been” for East Arcadia’s incoming class of ‘13?

First, let’s kick off the ought-niner MindSetter with the hard and painful facts.

Folks, there’s no nice way to put this: many of these kids are young and uneducated.

Recent data conducted by the prestigous Van Hœt Group suggests that many of the 17- to 20-year-old students who comprise the fattest part of our freshman curve are not yet 21 years old; many are barely older than 16. But, it gets worse.  read more »

The Good Part


You’re gonna love it—the guitar does this “Wheeee!” thing while the drums go all “Chukka chukka booda booda.” OK, here it comes. Shhhh!

No wait, that’s not it. Almost there, just after this last chorus. Seriously, I think you’re going to love the song once you’ve heard this part. What’s that, little guy? No, Daddy’s playing his new favorite song for Mommy, so if you could go over there and wait for us. Quietly. Thanks!

Huh? Sure, I don’t care what we have for dinner. But wait, you’re gonna miss the—

JESUS. You just made me talk over the good part. GODDAMMIT.

No, it’s OK, whatever. I’m not going to rewind. Really, it’s NO BIG DEAL. It’s not a big, no…it’s really not a problem. It’s cool. I’ll play it for you later.

Pizza sounds fine.

 read more »

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Lonely Polisher


Seattle LIVE!: April 23, 2009

We teamed up with our pals Jordan, Jesse, Go! and took the Monsters of Podcasting on the road. Our Pacific Northwest Megatour kicked off in Seattle on Thursday and finally ended in Portland, on Sunday. In between: laughs, tears, exhaustion, roadies, groupies, monkeys…typical superstar stuff.

In this episode, we give a little bit back to our listeners. These are tough times. Money is tight. Luckily, we’re here to help. With Adam and Merlin’s antique appraisal expertise, you’ll be digging treasures out of your crawlspace in no time.  read more »

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Angry Captain



The chair behind the captain’s desk is empty. Two men sit, smoking, in folding chairs facing the desk. CABINTIRE (Adam Lisagor) relaxes in one chair; FLEECE (Emmanuel Lewis) fidgets in the other.

Cabintire, I told you, man! Captain wasn’t gonna be cool with this!

Put your panties back on.

(Cabintire hands Fleece a pair of frilly panties.)

First of all, no, man, that’s nasty. And they ain’t even my size!

The door swings open, then slams shut. CAPT RIFFLES (Dennis Franz) stands looking down at the two detectives, shaking his head, chuckling.  read more »

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Visit Hernes!


The You Look Nice Today Writer’s Retreat is located in the bristly pine hillocks just west of Coalinga, CA, accessible via Interstate 5 or the Pook County Community Airfield. Men and women whose applications have been approved (and checks cleared) are welcome to use the retreat and its 200-acre arboretum for reflection, meditation, and vigorous masturbation.

Hernes, the historic mansion where we serve supper and hold readings, towers over the cottages that dot the rest of the property. It was originally built to house a hot spring spa whose radium-based treatments drew convalescents from as far away as Kettleman City. The spa proved too costly—and too carcinogenic—to maintain, and the owners abandoned the property in 1911. We took over the place in 2005, and have kept the fire lit ever since. Come any evening between May and September and you’re sure to find a pot of Adam’s famous beluga lentil stew a-boil on the range.

A near-certain bout with cancer is a small price to pay for the quiet, and the camaraderie, of this special place.  read more »


We learned that The Smoking Gun was about to publish this, so we decided to get it out there first. Someone, at some venue where we’ve performed in the past, got a hold of our performance contract’s “rider”: the addendum that spells out how we’d like the dressing room to be set up, etc.

Background: together with our podcast pals Jordan, Jesse Go!, we occasionally perform live as the Monsters of Podcasting. In fact we’ve got two shows coming up: one in Seattle on April 23 and one in Portland, OR on April 26.

We love Jordan and Jesse. We think their show is fabulous. Without them there certainly would be no Monsters of Podcasting. Are they demanding? Sure. Unreasonably so? OK, maybe sometimes—see the rider. But we love them anyway.

They’ll be criticized, maybe even vilified, for the contents of this document. But you know what? We’ll stand by them. Well, near them. Kind of close-ish. The same room. Probably.  read more »


'The Lion sleeps tonight....' by law_keven

Making college affordable, restful, and culturally relevant; the cupping comforts of secondary scholarship; Adam becomes a costumed mascot and buys a new koch; how many greeting cards does it take to change (or not change) Los Altos?; Playing Marco Polo with immigrant labor; sweet corn, fresh from the tank; Leopold Bloom, Herman Blume, and the subtler hermeneutics of dysentery; abrupt Chinese c*nsorship; Merlin gets talk-blocked by a blogless Belizean zookeeper; Kraftwerk speak through a vocoder about “Das Futur”; the suspicious motions of Ad Hoc Tai Chi; still no cream for senioritis; and Scott offers East Arcadia State’s surviving TAs an urgent drum solo.

Photo Credit: The Lion sleeps tonight by law_keven (cc by-sa)

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Merlin: Boy Scout
Scott: Boy Scout
Adam: YMCA Indian Guide

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Christmas Is Near


Listen as we conduct our exclusive pro gift-giving super-session TED Talk master class webinar. Over $600 in essential GiftWisdom™ is yours for FREE. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  1. Virtual presents
  2. Secret Santa? Secret Sucker!
  3. 1978
  4. Holiday photography essentials
  5. Lessons from Guantanamo Bay
  6. Cinco de Nada
  7. A members-only sponsorship opportunity

As a special bonus, Adam reveals his secret “Thought That Counts” method: learn how to give gifts without actually giving them!

But wait, you say, I’ve already completed my Christmas shopping. Heck, I’ve even given out all the presents already! Whatever, busybody. Luckily, these Power Tip Essentials are just as relevant for anniversaries, birthdays, and any other holiday where gifts are expected.  read more »

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The Noises Rest

Most people assume that silent films were silent for technological reasons—that there wasn’t a way to capture and reproduce sound along with the moving image in those classic early films.

That’s a lie: the technology was never a big deal. Directors at the time simply chose, for aesthetic reasons, to embrace the purity of silence.

When the Silent Film Institute* asked us to create something inspired by the era of silent films, we knew we had to honor the early foley artists, those brave sound effects engineers who chose silence over noise.

Three of our best pals are foley artists, and by a fantastic coincidence, they’re working right now on a project we simply had to document.

We’ll let Evan, Lanolin, and Tiborg tell you the rest of the story.

The video also is available in a much prettier HD version.  read more »