The official homepage for writer and comedian H. Alan Scott.


Presidential Beauty Contest

I’m fascinated by Newt Gingrich.  Yes, as a history nerd, I love his mind.  But that’s not what’s most fascinating to me.  With recent news that his candidacy is surging in South Carolina thanks to his strong debate performances, all I can ask myself is, “Why?”

Let’s be real, the dude is the definition of the word “icky.”  From his appearance to the way he conducts himself.  Even his smile reminds me of the creepy fat dude who, once in the privacy of his own home, you know is wanking to some truly sick porn.

Yes, I know, this shouldn’t matter, it’s the person above the appearance, but let’s be real, this isn’t 1909!  That was when an unfortunately looking man was elected President, William Howard Taft.  There have been questionable ones since then (I’m looking at you FDR and Nixon), but none truly warranting the word “ugly.”

Presidents aren’t just politicians, they are the definition of whatever we define as power at that moment (and, unfortunately, it’s always been in the male form, even when Hillary Clinton cracked the ceiling).  They are a definition of the time:

- Woodrow Wilson: Though not particularly attractive, he had the bookish thing in his corner, sending the electorates libidos into an intellectual orgasm.

- FDR: Yes, crippled, but so was the country (hello, Great Depression!).  But he had that special something, like Susan Boyle.  Sure, she’s a dog, but sings like an angel.

- Lyndon Johnson: Okay, he looked a little too similar to a houndog, but the dude had “MAN” written all over him!  He’d put back a few with you, go skinny dipping, and then shoot something.  And he loved Fresca (my personal favorite sophisticated beverage).

- Ronald Reagan: We needed a Grandpa to feed us jelly beans.

- Bill Clinton: The cigar says it all.

- George W. Bush: He had the dumb girl at the bar you could easily take home for a night of tickle tickle without any extra work required appeal.

So where does this leave Newt Gingrich?  Are we as a country in a place where we’re willing to elect another fugly?  I don’t think so.  If you take Barack Obama and put him next to Gingrich on national television, you’re going to see a smart, tall, dashing black man next to a man who hasn’t seen his penis since 1996.  Yes, the debate will be stuff of television magic, but at the ballot box, people will go for the greater endowments of Obama over the rotundness of a dude named Newt.

It’s a once you go black sorta thing, ya know?


The Whisper

My mother will whisper things she doesn’t think are appropriate to say out loud. I remember once, when talking about female wrestlers, she said in a regular volume, “You know most of them,” and then whispered, “lesbians.”

I don’t know if this is a uniquely American thing. When I studied in Germany I wanted a bagel, but there never were any to be had. Lots of other pastries, but no bagels. I asked why, but they never gave a reason other than, “we do not eat them.” But let’s be honest, Jews are famous for their bagels, but they’re famous in Germany for other reasons. So there they just avoid rather than whisper.

What’s amazing is that usually when people whisper things they think might offend others, it’s almost always in the company of like minded people. For example, my mom will say, “So I went to my hairdresser,” and then whisper, “she’s black,” standing around 4 upper-middle class white women in their 50′s. I have a feeling they probably have said/heard worse.

Perhaps Obamas ascendancy to the Presidency will squelch the use of the unnecessary whisper. It would sound a little silly to say, “Obama is the first,” and then whisper, “black President.” But maybe part of the Obama strategy was to fool all of those middle aged Midwesterners into thinking he’s just very tan, I mean, they did play up the fact that he’s from Hawaii. It’s conceivable they had no idea he’s… well, you know… black, shhhh.

Madame Secretary

Can we just agree on one thing: Hillary Clinton has become the shit, right?  Like, woah, she’s totes in hear realm.

I supported her during the election.  Well, at first I supported Obama, then I endorsed Edwards because Jean Smart of “Designing Women” fame endorsed him, and finally I settled on Clinton because of her postion on health care (it was the first time I supported a candidate for legitimate issues, rather than for them being a Democrat or black).  I loved everything about her campaign, and her concession speech was probably the most eloquent and moving concession speech I’ve ever heard.

I had hoped she’d find a place in the Obama administration, but didn’t count on it.  I predicted he would go for a totally fresh cast of charcaters, anti-establishment types.  But then when it was announced Clinton would be the Secretary of State nominee, it was almost like my best friend had just been elected Student Body President, I was thrilled.  

I knew she’d be awesome at the job, but didn’t anticipate her being as cool as she has become.  As my friend Lori pointed out, Obama’s statements always say he’s “… deeply concerned…,” whereas Clinton’s are like, “… there’s just no basis for that…”  It’s like she can now be the smarty pants we’ve always wanted her to be but she could never be, cause she had to be a politician.  No more, now she can be like, “Nope, you’re wrong, and let me tell you why…”

She is amazing, I adore her, and love that she can now be that know-it-all we all hated in high school but really don’t mind having negotiate us out of nuclear war with North Korea.

Check out the wax version of her.  Spooky!

Do You Take… I Do

One of my favorite things about getting the Sunday edition of the NY Times is the wedding section.  Alright, please refrain from thinking, “How gay!,” it isn’t like that.  My interest does not lie in the pics of the dresses or the details, but the gay people announcing their commitments to one another.  For someone of my generation, have grown up in two worlds, one where being gay was okay just not publically accepted to one where being gay is actually fashionable, seeing two men announce their wedding plans in the newspaper is still pretty friggin exciting!

Think of the 13 year old out there right now, reading his parents newspaper, coming across the announcement of two men’s wedding plans, thinking, “Alright, these feelings aren’t so bad, this is normal, maybe I can tell Mom I’m gay.” (Cause we always tell Mom first, right?)

The other couple announcements are fine, I’m sure they will live long and happy lives together.  But there is a bit of cynicism attributed to the straight couples, something like you-have-it-so-easy type of emotion, do they even realize this?  Straight people take for granted that they can file mutual taxes, receive federal benefits for their marriage, and adopt without having to explain why they share the same bed.  It isn’t their fault they’re straight and have it so easy, but I will always remind them of it.  It’s the older Jewish woman inside of me.

Will I announce my wedding plans in the NY Times?  Um, do you know what I do?  I’m a comic, which loosely translates to “attention whore”  I’m going for the front page!

You’re a Lefty

Have you seen the video of Nancy Reagan and Barack Obama together?  Hilarious!  I love the look on Obama’s face when she observes, “You’re a lefty,” as if it were some subtle political blow (which it probably was).  Nonetheless hilarious!

What’s In a Name?

Obviously not much!  What kind of name is Bo?  I’ve heard of Beau Bridges, I wish I had a beau, but Bo?

Bo is the newest member of the Obama family.  Bo Obama.  It just doesn’t sound right to me.

I am not the biggest fan of dogs.  It’s not that I have anything against them really, I just find them to be a little stupid.  Even with people, I hate it when somebody (or animal) depends on me too much.  Be self-sufficient, do it yourself, get the job done, whipe your own ass!  Cats do this.  Sure, you’ve got to give them kitty litter and feed them, but they always seem to be in a general state of “I got my shit together.”

I think I hate dog owners more than the actual dogs.  The other day I was talking to somebody who was telling me about other parents in her neighborhood.  She kept talking about all the babies walking outside together.  I asked how old the babies were, “only 3 or 4, but in dog years, woof!”  Why would somebody calculate a baby’s age in dog years?  Did she take the movie Benjamin Button too literally?  Then I realized she was talking about dogs in the neighborhood.  “You mean you and other dog owners, oh!”  She got offended when I called her an owner.

I hate these people.

I wonder if Bo will take a crap in the oval office?  I guess it won’t be such a big deal, I mean, that office has seen it’s share of little shits…



From H. Alan Scott

My New York Arrival

New York Magazine has this great feature in its current issue about noteworthy people’s arrival in NYC.  I consider myself noteworthy, so I’m sure the invitation to take part in the article from NY Mag got lost in the mail.  In any case, I shall share my story here.

I moved to NYC on Wednesday, November 17, 2004, however I didn’t know it at the time.  I worked in politics and I had just concluded a failed U.S. Senate race in Missouri.  Before my anticipated move back to Chicago, I planned on visiting my friend Lori in Philadelphia, and then my friend Dylan (and future roommate) in NYC.

I took the Chinatown bus up from Philadelphia.  Dylan told me to find the Q train, but didn’t give directions through Chinatown.  After many failed attempts at asking for directions (FYI – never ask for directions in Chinatown, everyone is either Chinese or a tourist), I finally stumbled upon the Q train.

It was late afternoon, the sun was just setting.  The Q train came out onto the Manhattan bridge.  The view of lower Manhattan took my breath away.   There was no way I was going back to Chicago.

A week later I moved into a 4-bedroom apartment overlooking Prospect Park in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn.  It was a total culture shock for me.  Here I was, a fat, gay, white, man moving into a predominantly black and Hasidic Jewish neighborhood with 3 straight guys from Little Rock, Arkansas.  I wasn’t in Boystown anymore!

I took a job with a closeted gay man running for Manhattan Borough President, but didn’t really do anything at the job.  I hated it, and the only reason I took it was because it paid well, I got my own office and it was in Midtown.  For the first few months in NYC all I did was work and watch marathons of TV on DVD.  Eventually I put down the pizza slice, discovered the benefits of living right on a park, and lost 100 lbs.

I owe NYC so much.  Without it, I probably never would have lost the weight or have shifted from politics to comedy.  NYC is my inspiration.

And now the American Express commercial can begin!