Michael O’Donoghue

By: Jason Grote

No one personified the knotty relationship between comedy and brutality quite like MICHAEL O’DONOGHUE (1940–94), the man responsible for the funniest (and most unnerving) comic bits from the golden ages of both Saturday Night Live […]

Read This Post

Madeleine L’Engle

By: Jason Grote

If there were to be a patron saint for misfit smart kids who do poorly in school, it would have to be MADELEINE L’ENGLE (1918-2007). A gifted writer from the age of 5, she was […]

Read This Post

Sam Shepard

By: Jason Grote

Writing in 1949, Philip Rahv divided American literature into volatile, rebellious “redskins” and puritan, effete “palefaces.” Although Rahv was dividing the lowbrow from the high, I would assert that, today, our “redskins” are intellectually restless […]

Read This Post

Alfred Hitchcock

By: Jason Grote

ALFRED HITCHCOCK (1899-1980) was schooled in the genre conventions of the English Murder Mystery and the Hollywood Thriller, and his primary goal was always to entertain. A legendary control freak, he invented some of cinema’s […]

Read This Post

Wendell Berry

By: Jason Grote

As a kid, my upbringing pulled me in divergent directions: on my mother’s side, an urban technophile Jewishness (inspired, in part by her own lack of nostalgia for her childhood on a chicken farm) and […]

Read This Post

Robert A. Heinlein

By: Jason Grote

The biography of ROBERT A. HEINLEIN (1907-88) firmly places Golden-Age SF on the grand continuum of Americana: the no-nonsense engineer’s mentality of his Kansas City upbringing, his longing for military service (he graduated from the […]

Read This Post

Gilda Radner

By: Jason Grote

My heart still skips a beat when I look at old Rolling Stone photos of GILDA RADNER (1946-89), an early childhood crush and, then as now, one of America’s greatest comediennes — and it still […]

Read This Post

Octavia E. Butler

By: Jason Grote

Much has been written (and rightly so) about white appropriation of black culture, but it’s only recently — in these days of Barack Obama, Pharrell Williams, and TV on The Radio — that we hear […]

Read This Post

Jello Biafra

By: Jason Grote

It’s never been easy to like Eric Reed Boucher, better known as JELLO BIAFRA (born 1958). In my New Jersey high school, the mainstream kids were offended the very idea of the Dead Kennedys, while […]

Read This Post

Curtis Mayfield

By: Jason Grote

There are two kinds of people in this world: Shaft and Superfly people. But while Shaft and Isaac Hayes have long enjoyed an irony-driven revival, the far superior Superfly and CURTIS MAYFIELD (1942-99) are overdue […]

Read This Post

Cee-Lo Green

By: Jason Grote

Editor’s note: This is one of the most popular posts, traffic-wise, ever published on HiLobrow. Click here to see a list of the Top 25 Most Popular posts (as of October 2012); and click here […]

Read This Post