The New Yorker just published a fantastic longform article about how Mike Judge’s phenomenal HBO series, Silicon Valley “nails” its real-life namesake without breaking a sweat. Or, at least it doesn’t cause Judge, the writers, and actors like T.J. Miller to sweat nervously. As for the people and companies their show eruditely lampoons on a weekly basis… that’s another story altogether. One that New Yorker staff writer Andrew Marantz tells flawlessly, like when he sneaks in Miller’s amazing story about the time he met Matrix truther Elon Musk at a party after Silicon Valley‘s first public screening in 2014.
The two were conversing until Miller realized Musk “was thrown by the fact that I wasn’t being sycophantic” since he “didn’t realize who [Musk] was at the time.” In other words, the actor wasn’t groveling before the main mind behind the likes of Tesla and Space X, and this threw the tech CEO for a hyperloop:
“He said, ‘I have some advice for your show,’ and I went, ‘No thanks, we don’t need any advice,’ which threw him even more.”
To make matters even more awkward, a woman approached the two and asked for a picture. Seeing as how Musk was one of the real Silicon Valley’s “big men on campus,” he assumed she was asking him. Musk was wrong:
“He starts to pose — it was kinda sad, honestly — and instead she hands the camera to him and starts to pose with me. It was, like, Sorry, dude, I know you’re a big deal — and, in his case, he actually is a big deal — but I’m the guy from Yogi Bear 3-D, and apparently that’s who she wants a picture with.”
Miller prefaced his story earlier in the account, noting that “Some Valley big shots have no idea how to react to the show… They can’t decide whether to be offended or flattered. And they’re mystified by the fact that actors have a kind of celebrity that they will never have — there’s no rhyme or reason to it, but that’s the way it is, and it kills them.” Seeing as how this observation comes from the man who scored the Yogi Bear role by filming an audition tape with a live bear, the picture request was obviously for him instead of the guy who’s been landing rockets on floating ocean platforms. One picnic basket is definitely better than the other.
(Via The New Yorker)