Stephen Elliott, editor of S.F.-based online lit mag The Rumpus, used to tease Nato Green by calling him the unofficial West Coast Comic of The Rumpus, which was funny because Nato was more a mainstay of The Rumpus' events than anyone else. His blasé stage presence forms an inviting contrast to his acerbic political commentary, a feel-good combination that will make you smarter. Poking fun at liberals: "It's better to be smug than successful."
Back from New York, where he worked as a contributing writer for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, Nato has organized a series of talks called The Nato Sessions at the JCCSF... "with famous smart people." There are no set topics, of course; in tonight's episode, "Nato will investigate big ideas" with quick-witted Ayelet Waldman, author of novels (Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, Red Hook Road), essay collections (Bad Mother), and a mystery series (The Mommy-Track Mysteries), and co-editor of McSweeney's "Voice of Witness" anthology Inside this Place, Not of It.
The Nato Sessions: Ayelet Waldman this Monday April 15 starts at 7 p.m. at Stagewerx Theatre, 446 Valencia St., S.F. $15; call 292-1200 or visit jccsf.org.