April 7, 1994
on the Duplex Planet
by Richard Gehr
stand-up sociologist David Greenberger had his way, every school would
have to post a sign reading, WHEN YOU GET OLDER, EVERYTHING WILL BE
has been illustrating that axiom since 1979, when he began
posing evocative questions like "Which do you prefer, meat or
"How close can you get to a penguin?" to the residents of
Nursing Home, scribbling down their free-range response.
invented sitting down? "The man that couldn't stand up"
What can you tell me about the Beatles? "I can't remember that
far back! I
used to go to musicals in New York. There's no place like New York
father said that, and his daughter says it now" (Edna Hemion).
published the hilarious and moving results in The Duplex
Planet, a modest, on-going 'zine, the best of which is now available
book of the same title (Faber and Faber). In addition a Duplex Planet
series (Fantagraphics), card set (Kitchen Sink), CD (East Side Digital)
video (Gravita International) all lend multimedia voice to this chorus
elders. On stage, NRBQ keyboardist Terry Adams punctuates Greenberger's
touring monologue with Ellington interludes.
taught that 18 to 25 are the glory years," says Greenberger,
"I'm trying to give a name, a face and a character to the phenomenon