Mathew Klickstein is the writer of Sony Pictures’ “Against the Dark,” co-creator of “National Lampoon’s Collegetown, USA,” and Editor-in-Chief emeritus of Entertainment Today. His novella “Daisy Goes to the Moon” was published in 2009. He currently resides in Boulder, Colorado, where he is an entertainment reporter/columnist for Colorado Daily and a producer for local television station Channel 22. Matt@Klickstein.net
It had been a difficult choice to leave Hollywood behind. Not so much for the firm network of support I had established at such a ripe age—the television show for National Lampoon, the famed entertainment magazine I edited, the screenplay for Sony.
It was a difficult choice to leave behind the other group of folks I spent my time with when not “working” or engaged in late-night chicanery.
Though I had long been fascinated by the alien subculture of the disabled community—a deep love of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, having been the special-education teacher’s assistant in junior high-it wasn’t until the end of film school in Los Angeles that I became a part of the Kids of Widney High universe.
When I found out that there was a “band of retarded kids” out there waiting for me to listen to them and then finally heard the music itself, I knew I needed an album of my own. I couldn’t find one, however—this was pre-Amoeba Music—and so I emailed the Kids’ website.
Michael Monagan, their teacher—and “icon,” as one member of the band refers to him—emailed me back immediately. He informed me that Widney High—from where the band originally stemmed as a songwriting class in the late 1980s—was right down the street from my college. Monagan invited me to sit in on a music class, and I went.
I was awe-struck by what I saw.