Setting the Table:

Most of the contributors to The High Hat first met gathered around that 21st century oracle, l'Internet. More specifically, in one or more of the various message boards that make up some of the many curious, quaint little villages to be found along the Information Superhighway (and what a strange, pothole-ridden, wreckage-dusted stretch of road that's proven to be, eh?). Message boards are funny little entities (as anyone with even a passing acquaintance with them - which is probably most of our readership - can attest). At their worst, they are mere repositories for frustrated, lonely miscreants to toss vile, misspelled imprecations and obscene emoticons at one another, safely carrying on virtual class(less) warfare from behind a firewall of faceless anonymity. At their best, however - and herein lies their insidious, addictive power - they can be vibrant party lines where some of the finest, wittiest and most articulate individuals you could ever hope to meet (not that you wind up meeting most of them) come together to exchange information, opinion and one-liners, as educational, entertaining and ultimately life-enriching an experience as anyone can imagine. (At least anyone who spends far too much time staring at a monitor every day. And never mind that the frustrated, lonely miscreants and the fine, witty and articulate individuals are occasionally the same people.) The group assembled on this online spot are, we think you'll agree, highly skilled at composing discrete pieces, reviews and interviews, the usual staples of this kind of enterprise. But throw them into the fast-paced, give-and-take environs of a message board and you wind up with something unique that even the best-written articles can't quite approximate. The Algonquin Kids' Table is an attempt to capture some of that flavor, albeit in slightly more sterile surroundings. An experiment, in other words. And as such, it might fail miserably. It will be regularly updated, but not quite in real time; a venue for more personal and casual conversation than usual, but still subject to (hopefully minor, if any) editing; a fairly freewheeling arena with, as yet, a very small guest list. All of which could conceivably kill off what makes that particular form of movable verbal feast often so sumptous. But we figure it's worth a shot. It's something to do. Hey, how much did you pay to get in here, anyway?

The Algonquin Kids' Table takes on “The Office.”
-------------------->Page One of The Office Talk

 

Page One
“Why has this show struck such a chord among comedy acolytes?”
Page Two
“What's hard is to write a funny episode of a sitcom where the cast and characters are strong enough to make everyone realize how goddamn funny it is.”
Page Three
“As goeth the character, so goeth the show as well.”
Page Four
“You can't help but feel a morbid curiosity about what's underneath the joyless smiles and the permanent layer of flop sweat.”
Page Five
“Alas, there will be no third season.”
Page Six
“I, for one, have just had the unusual sensation of feeling offended on behalf of Barney Fife.”