Melissa Pugh

The Eric Andre Show Experience

Mythicist Milwaukee (MM) team members have spent the past four days on the road in support of comedy TV show "The Eric André Show." MM helped the show's tour manager line up guests for their live shows in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan - putting atheist activists and mythicists in front of ranch-dressing-loving crowds of up to 1,500 and connecting them with two very well-connected actors. Activist Melissa Pugh and mythicist Dr. Richard Carrier were among the guests the MM team lined up for the show.

Now in its fourth season, The Eric Andre Show is a late night talk show on the Adult Swim network. A parody of low-budget, 1980’s public access talk shows, the series is hosted by comedian Eric André (Man Seeking Woman, 2 Broke Girls) along with comedian Hannibal Buress (30 Rock, Broad City, Neighbors), who serves as André's deadpan sidekick.

MM's president and co-founder, Sean Fracek, has been reaching out to the tour's managers to find collaboration opportunities after he learned that André was an open atheist. Penn Jillette even had a cameo on Season 4 of the show (chanting, "Magic, Magic, Atheism!"). The tour's manager took MM up on the offer - asking for support to find guests for their upcoming shows. “This event marks another major step in the continual transition of secularism into the modern mainstream and popular culture.  The Eric Andre Show is bringing to new and younger audiences a unique and creative way to collaborate with atheists with humor but without ridicule.,” says MM co-founder Fritz Blandon.

Sean Fracek, Hannibal Buress and Fritz Blandon backstage in Milwaukee at The Eric Andre Show Live.

Sean Fracek, Hannibal Buress and Fritz Blandon backstage in Milwaukee at The Eric Andre Show Live.

Melissa Pugh, Eric Andre, Fritz Blandon and Sean Fracek backstage in Minneapolis at The Eric Andre Show Live

Melissa Pugh, Eric Andre, Fritz Blandon and Sean Fracek backstage in Minneapolis at The Eric Andre Show Live

Melissa Pugh, grassroots and outreach coordinator for the United Coalition of Reason, was a guest on the Minneapolis show.  “It was so much fun. Eric made the point to highlight the fact that there are atheist activists out there, which brings this topic to the attention of these younger audiences who are more-often-than-not, non-religious. His antics may be whacky, but just having atheists guests on the show gives this audience proof that they are not alone in their non-belief.”

 

Dr. Richard Carrier, historian, author, atheist activist and leading scholar on the Christ Myth Theory, appeared on the Milwaukee show. “Andre's show is a parody, and as such, intentionally subverts the corporatized nature of talk shows as mutual promotion festivals. He does everything possible to prevent guests from using the show as a venue for their own promotional goals. And yet, even in that environment, a huge, young audience is nevertheless being exposed to the very idea that atheists exist as scholars and authors, can endure a roasting with aplomb, and aren't ‘above’ being entangled in the stage humor of avant-garde artists. But even more subversively, we're actually acknowledged as existing by the whole production, side by side with the same status as artists and celebrities. Notably, of all the jokes told at my expense on stage, none of them made fun of my being an atheist. I was as humanized as everyone else who ever occupies that same hot-seat.”

A Focus on Women in Atheism w/ Melissa Pugh

Melissa Pugh Joins Us on the Mythicist Milwaukee Show

Melissa Pugh is the current president of the Atheist Alliance of America, which is a national atheist organization dedicated to developing and providing educational, advocacy, and community-building programs for atheists and atheist organizations located throughout the nation. Melissa and her team have put together many unique initiatives that will help them achieve their mission. One of their current projects is to donate funds to impoverished schools for the sole purpose of purchasing new science equipment.

Melissa Pugh has taken on the large task of shifting the Atheist Alliance of America into new initiatives and goals. She was only elected president as of September, 2015 and has already made some big changes to improve the overall efficiency of the organization. During this interview Melissa explains some of the tough decisions that she has made that were not always favorable, but certainly needed.

Melissa and her Vice President, Mark W. Gura, , have also taken over the development of the Secular Nation Magazine that is produced by Atheist Alliance of America. The Secular Nation Magazine covers the news surrounding secularism all over the world. In 2016, Melissa is scheduled to tour the nation to speak at many secular conferences with a focus on women in the atheist community. In this podcast interview Melissa takes us through how and why she was elected as president and what is next for her and the organization.