Interview - Mad Dog


I/V: Mad Dog, Author & Director of Mad Dog Productions - 24th June 2003


What's your background and that of Mad Dog Productions?

I left college after ¾ of a semester because I was writing instead of going to classes. I went to work in a recording studio in New York City instead. I've sold candles on the streets of New York, worked in a foam rubber factory, wrote, played in bands (drums, guitar, pedal steel guitar), owned a handcrafts store, wrote advertising copy, was a live audio engineer, put out a line of novelty gift items, wrote, produced records, started an independent record label (Brat Records), wrote, was a radio DJ, and a slew of other things. You think it's easy being A.D.D.?

Mad Dog Productions itself was formed to sell Croc O' Shirt, a golf shirt with an embroidered patch of an upside down dead crocodile. I later put out the Horse Shirt, Earl the Dead Cat, the Silent Vigil Foam Rubber Wind Chimes, and other useless products for people with too much money. From then on most (legal) things I've done have been under that name.

What are your aims and objectives?

To earn a living doing what I enjoy.

What are your products and services?

Please, don't call what I do products or services. It metamorphoses every couple of years (see Answer #1) but lately it's a combination of the weekly humor column I've been writing for the past seven years, magazine articles, writing and designing web sites, and writing advertising to make ends meet.

How has the internet helped and hindered you?

It's helped immensely. For one, I do virtually all my work via e-mail. It's allowed me to live without actually having a place to live for the past six years-I house sit and petsit and move around all the time. I spent eight months in Bali two years ago and while there I wrote my columns, posted them to my web site, e-mailed them to my syndicate and other newspapers, published a compilation of my columns, and even wrote a large web site for a company. All those people were in the U.S.

All I need is my laptop, a phone outlet, and IBM tech support. Also, since I started my website five years ago, I've gotten an average of 1,200 people a day visiting from all over the world. The website, not my house. There's no way I could get that kind of reach without the Internet. Unless, of course, I hijacked an airplane and demanded that they let me read some of my columns on TV if they wanted to see the hostages alive.

What do you do on a day to day basis?

Eat, drink, go to the toilet, masturbate, and put hyphens between the words day-to-day.

Who have been your biggest supporters?

AlterNet, the syndicate which gets my column into alternative newspapers in the U.S. and my mother. In that order.

Describe freedom of the press?

He who owns the press has the freedom to print what he wants.

What books and e-books have you authored?

A novel, "Skywriting at Night," (Xlibris Corp); "Stand Tall," the co-written autobiography of Ike McKinnen, the former Chief of Police of Detroit (Sleeping Bear Press); "If It's Such a Small World Then Why Have I Been Sitting On This Airplane For Twelve Hours?", a compilation of my humor travel columns (Xlibris); and I was included in an Australian humor-I mean, humour-compilation, "HumorUs" (WriteSpotPublishers International).

What do you prefer to write about, and why?

Whatever strikes me. It turns out to usually be humor, though to be honest I don't think it's funny. It's just what I do. I write the way I think and see things and learned that people think it's funny. Some of them, anyway. I've written a novel, several unproduced screenplays (one was the winner of the Virginia Governor's Screenwriting Competition), over 400 columns, and lots of other stuff. Obviously I prefer writing what I want to write rather than try to get people to buy a certain brand of toilet paper, but a guy's got to make a living.

What motivates you?

My motorcycle.

What have been your biggest influences?

Groucho Marx, Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving, the bra and girdle ads in the New York Times magazine when I was growing up, and tequila.

Describe your sense of humor?

No.

What's the funniest or weirdest thing that's ever happened to you?

Some guy from Australia e-mailed me and said he wanted to interview me. Want another? I got the job writing the autobiography of the former Chief of Police of Detroit because some guy found my web site, liked it, and put me in touch with his sister, who was an editor for Sleeping Bear Press. We finally met up when we were both in Paris and a month later she hired me to write the book. That's the short version.

What other media coverage have you received previously, and what was it for?

Oh my. When I put out the Croc O' Shirt I was sued by Lacoste, S.A. I knew of over 300 newspapers and magazines that ran articles about the lawsuit and it was on all U.S. TV networks, in all major news magazines, etc. I had gobs of publicity about Earl the Dead Cat too. And on and on and on.....

How would you like to be thought of, 50 years from now?

I'd like to be thought of as alive.

What places in Australia have you been, or would like to go to, and why?

I'm sorry to say that I haven't been to Australia yet. When I was growing up I wanted to go there very badly and still do. I spent eight month on Bali several years ago and was supposed to visit friends in Australia on the way back but it didn't work out. Will you still publish this? If so, can I say "Hi" to all the Monet girls on Phillip Island?

What other important information should our media savvy audience be aware of?

Nothing's as expensive as a woman who's free for the night. Well, that and my website is at www.maddogproductions.com

...end.

Editors note: This guy is talented and "out there". I like him.

Links:

Mad Dog Productions