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Thursday
Dec122013

LA, Ep. 26

December 12, 2013 — For the 51st and final Literary Death Match of what's been a brilliant 2013, we returned to Busby's East for a Xmas Spectacular like never before to celebrate the one-year anniversary of our LDM TV shoot (we got optioned!), with a pitch-perfect night that finished with Jeremy Radin outdueling co-finalist Dana Johnson 10-5 in a Rock vs. Paper vs. Literature finale to win Radin the LDM LA, Ep. 26 crown. 

But before the finale was even a thought, the brilliant night kicked off with Dana Johnson (Flannery O’Connor Award-winning author of Break Any Woman Down & Elsewhere, California) who read an excellent, nostalgia-drizzled excerpt that featured David Bowie's appearance on Soul Train. Next up was Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint It Black, who went away from the darker work of her novels to deliver a short piece which she wrote using the word "spine" as a prompt. 

The mic was then handed over to the trio of all-star judges: Dana Adam Shapiro, Oscar-nominated director of Murderball and author of You Can Be Right (or You Can Be Married); Laura Krafft, improviser & Emmy-winning comedy writer (The Colbert ReportThe Crazy Ones); Josh Meyers, actor from MADtv, The Mindy Project, Behind the Candelabra and The Awesomes. The three flung praise of all stripe at both authors, but after a difficult deliberation, they decided it would be Johnson who advanced as the night's first finalist. 

After a festive intermission, Round 2 kicked with Greg Sestero, who read an excerpt from his much-praised book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made, in which he told the tale of having dinner with Tommy Wiseau, rife with quirks and bravado and fascination. Finally, it was Jeremy Radin, poet/actor who wowed fully with the title poem from his book Slow Dance with Sasquatch which blew minds. 

Again the judges were center stage, with hoorays and delight delivered in the direction of both writers, before they made their night's second impossible choice, naming Radin as the night's second finalist. 

Then host and LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga took center stage, announcing the debut of a totally oddbacll Rock vs. Paper vs. Literature finale in which the two finalists — Dana Johnson and Jeremy Radin — were tasked with opening battling Xmas gifts — the first of which was a box with one sheet of paper (Radin). The other a box with only a rock (Johnson). One point for Radin! It went on and on with strange delights in each box, with Radin miraculously winning the first four rounds to take a 10-0 lead, before Johnson got on the board with the final gift as Radin's Nutcracker was no match for the jock strap Johnson pulled out. The final score: 10-5 Radin, winning him the LDM LA, Ep. 26 medal, and literary immortality to go with it.

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