Tonight at the Bell House there’s show called Ask Roulette, where you can ask a complete stranger anything. (Remember, they used to say that about 411 operators, but that might have been an urban myth. Do you even know what a 411 operator is?) For tonight’s show, host and WNYC producer Jody Avirgan has recruited Chuck Klosterman (The New York Times‘ “Ethicist”), W. Kamau and Jay Smooth of WBAI to be the answerers / askers / moderators / ok we’re not entirely sure.
Here’s how this thing works: Participants can ask each other anything they want, so long as they answer someone else’s question first. We asked Jay to demonstrate by looking through some of the questions asked at recent Ask Roulette show.
Question: “If you could domesticate any dinosaur, what would it be?”
Jay Smooth: Based on my extensive dinosaur knowledge derived from watching “The Herculoids,” I’d have to go with the half-rhino/half-triceratops that shoots space rocks out of its horn.
Q: “Who is the one politician that you want to have mind-blowing sex with?”
JS: Rick Santorum obvs.
Q: “Who would play you in a movie about your life?”
JS: Either Grover or Paul Mooney.
Q: “What is inspiring you these days?”
JS: For the last 10 years or so I’ve drawn lots of inspiration from the hip-hop’s emcee battle scene. Their creativity and commitment to craft as writers/performers never ceases to amaze, in a form that has to be for the love because no one ever gets rich from battling. Then at the same time, battle culture is hip-hop’s home base for anti-gay/anti-woman cringeworthiness so it challenges me to navigate loving something while hating parts of it, and look for ways to provide a dissenting voice without coming off like a cornball (I generally fail at that last part).
If you have questions for Smooth, Klosterman or audience randos — or you can name 10 things that rhyme with cornball — tonight is the night. Tickets $10, doors open at 7:30.