Sir, this is a DuckTales
December 23, 2020 8:04 AM   Subscribe

When Larry King asked Danny Pudi what luxury he couldn’t live without, he wasn’t satisfied with the answer, leading to a perfect retort from Pudi (cleaner video) and the first of undoubtedly many good memes.
posted by adrianhon (112 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
 
I saw this the other day, and the look on Pudi's face as he absobs what King has said is just too, too good.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:14 AM on December 23, 2020 [16 favorites]


[One comment deleted. Please skip the violent fantasies.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:22 AM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


Loving the bonus of "socks... that you put in your shoes?" I'm pretty sure any actual human would have said "socks... that you put on your feet?"
posted by neilbert at 8:22 AM on December 23, 2020 [54 favorites]


I cannot think of a better and more vividly illustrative example of the class, race, and generational divide than this video. Holy cow.
posted by Ouverture at 8:33 AM on December 23, 2020 [71 favorites]


til Larry King is still alive
posted by Mchelly at 8:33 AM on December 23, 2020 [31 favorites]


So now in addition to sock, sock, shoe, shoe vs sock, shoe, sock, shoe, we have Larry King as the only person in the sockshoe sockshoe camp.
posted by solotoro at 8:33 AM on December 23, 2020 [19 favorites]


Well, in the context of him searching for luxury, the shoes are usually more expensive than the socks.

So I think he was fixating on the sock's close proximity to something more expensive. Clearly the sock is the lesser of the two.
posted by RobotHero at 8:35 AM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]



So I think he was fixating on the sock's close proximity to something more expensive.


No, for him coffee and socks are utilitarian items. The "socks? you know, that go in your shoes?" was just his not-getting-it way of trying to define things.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:41 AM on December 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


Wait. There are sock shoe sock shoe people? Next you’ll tell me the are pant leg sock shoe pant leg sock shoe people.
posted by vorpal bunny at 8:42 AM on December 23, 2020 [12 favorites]


"Larry, I'm on DuckTales" is the new "Sir, This Is an Arby's".

Stunning.
posted by Ouverture at 8:44 AM on December 23, 2020 [44 favorites]


Danny is right. Coffee is a luxury.

It's an item that has a supply chain that, for most consumers, is both thousands of miles and mandatory since we can't grow it locally in most parts of the planet, requires ridiculous amounts of resources to turn in small amounts of the final product, and is sold at a price that is, for a lot of people, basically half an hour of labor per serving.

It's only through the miracle of the modern world that we're able to consider such a product, which would have cost an arm and a leg in ancient times, to be an easily available commodity good today.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:45 AM on December 23, 2020 [88 favorites]


People like Larry King don't understand that for the VAST MAJORITY OF HUMANS, buying any version of a utilitarian item that is more expensive than the cheapest, flimsiest, lowest-quality version actually is a luxury.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:45 AM on December 23, 2020 [114 favorites]


"Coffee? You can get that anywhere." This is an astonishing amount of context to brush aside in a discussion of the definitions of "luxury."
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:48 AM on December 23, 2020 [25 favorites]


Let them drink Sanka.
posted by a complicated history at 8:55 AM on December 23, 2020 [16 favorites]


Shit, I would love to drink better coffee, but I can't justify the expense. I pay like $8/lb for mediocre-at-best pre-ground coffee. I would love to buy the house-roasted single-origin stuff from the cool coffee place down the road, but it's literally 3x the price, and I would need to buy a decent grinder.

Larry King has either been too rich for too long or he drinks Folger's. Probably both, honestly.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:55 AM on December 23, 2020 [18 favorites]


til Larry King is still alive

And according to Wikipedia, getting divorced again.
posted by octothorpe at 8:56 AM on December 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


Coffeemakers and commodity coffee are not expensive. Daily Starbucks is a luxury. Both can be true.
posted by rikschell at 8:57 AM on December 23, 2020 [9 favorites]


I'm trying to think of luxuries that Larry King cannot literally live without. A Jarvik-9 bioprosthetic heart? Millenial blood transfusions? Ritual sex with nubile 20-somethings to placate various demons?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:57 AM on December 23, 2020 [15 favorites]


I suspect King has forgotten that there are such things as NON-luxury socks. For him, maybe, cashmere is the default--and he's so out of touch with the poors that he doesn't know that for us, sweaty, uncomfortable polyester-cotton blends are the default.
posted by Transl3y at 9:02 AM on December 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


I'm not 100% certain that Larry King's personal wealth is large enough for the man himself to regularly charter private planes for his travel needs, I am confident that the luxury of better-than-cheap-coffee and better-than-cheap-socks has long since sunk below his level of consciousness. This clip, as I said, made me like Danny Pudi a little bit more, and I already liked him quite a bit. Conversely, it also made me dislike Larry King a bit, whom previously I was entirely without feelings about.
posted by Ipsifendus at 9:14 AM on December 23, 2020 [21 favorites]


By definition, a luxury is something you can live without.

"Luxury you can't live without" is a self contradictory expression that exists for one very important reason: it's a great trope for marketing. We don't need to participate in perpetuating this trope.
posted by splitpeasoup at 9:15 AM on December 23, 2020 [27 favorites]


So, my spouse and I, years ago, started talking about what we wanted once we had some more disposable income. We talked about it as the "Luxury List" and we always said the word "luuuuuxury" in this sort of breathy advertising-voiceover voice. And I remember getting a new job, earning the highest salary I'd ever earned, and using that first paycheck on a gaming console. Generally that has been the kind of thing we put on the Luxury List. We bought entertainment stuff, or really nice versions of the stuff we were already going to need. You see this approach on Ask MetaFilter often; every once in a while someone asks "what have you bought that really upgraded your quality of life?" and people often talk about high-quality versions of everyday stuff (like socks or coffee or kitchen appliances), or services (housecleaning, massage, secretarial assistance, etc.) that make the rest of life easier.

As I've learned more about the lives of the kinda-rich, I've seen that some of the luxuries that really ease someone's life include very high-quality and reliable:

* childcare and education for your children
* housing (yeah, a vacation home, but also, sufficient space in your primary home for you to comfortably have alone and together time with other household members and visitors)
* healthcare (including stuff like a personal trainer who visits your home so you don't have to go someplace else to exercise)

Which are all kinda like: things everyone should have at some adequate baseline level, but turned up to 11.

I know very little about Pudi. Maybe he does use some of those more luxury-level services.

But also, the prompt was "a luxury you can't live without". Which I think both Pudi and King understood as "a luxury you currently enjoy and really would hate to have to give up".

For me: our Zojirushi water boiler. And, I have given up housecleaning services during the pandemic, and I am thoroughly looking forward to buying those services again!

(As you think about this in your own life I invite you to say the word "luuuuuuuxurrrry" because it is fun.)
posted by brainwane at 9:18 AM on December 23, 2020 [17 favorites]


Yeah, I make over 2x the median household income for my area. Buying regional origin beans, locally roasted, at $13-20/lb, that's a luxury I'm loathe to give up. Buying 20 lbs of green Kona beans straight from the plantation that I roast myself, that's a luxury I've done once.

And I similarly like good socks, but don't always treat myself, even though I know good socks last longer than cheap socks.

Google tells me that Larry King is paid $25-30M/year.
posted by straw at 9:22 AM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


When my partner finally got out of school and landed a job, I went out and got one of those shower curtain bars that curves out so the inside of the shower is a bit bigger. Totally unnecessary! The old straight one wasn't even broken! Then I swung my elbows this way and that in the shower, really wallowing in the luxury of it.

I would like to tell that story in great detail to Larry King so I can watch his face melt off with incomprehension.
posted by echo target at 9:31 AM on December 23, 2020 [98 favorites]


When my partner finally got out of school and landed a job, I went out and got one of those shower curtain bars that curves out so the inside of the shower is a bit bigger.

Oh man we installed one of those when we replaced our tub because it was leaking everywhere, and let me tell you. LUX U RY. (I also got my wife a towel warmer for Christmas (shhh), and if that isn't LUX U RY I don't know what is. Hopefully.)
posted by uncleozzy at 9:35 AM on December 23, 2020 [13 favorites]


We talked about it as the "Luxury List" and we always said the word "luuuuuxury" in this sort of breathy advertising-voiceover voice.

Mine's "Luxuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurious".

And this is just a great example of how someone can continue to have a career long after they've clearly lost whatever made them stand out in that career in the first place. I mean, who doesn't get luxury coffee as opposed to the plain ol' stuff? Jamaican Blue Mountain. Kopi luwak, if the production method doesn't gross you out. A roaster who knows what you like as opposed to making some astringent crap that's the coffee equivalent of grossly-overhopped IPAs. And don't even get me started on the Good Socks. If Larry doesn't know about the Good Socks, he certainly doesn't deserve them.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:38 AM on December 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


> brainwane: "(As you think about this in your own life I invite you to say the word "luuuuuuuxurrrry" because it is fun.)"

When I say it in my head, I say it the way Graham Chapman says it in the Four Yorkshiremen sketch.
posted by mhum at 9:40 AM on December 23, 2020 [29 favorites]


I'm not 100% certain that Larry King's personal wealth is large enough for the man himself to regularly charter private planes for his travel needs

Larry King's contract with CNN includes use of a private jet (source: Uh, I read it somewhere).
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:04 AM on December 23, 2020


Comfy socks are amazingly rare. My Christmas list is inevitably a single item...socks. Good, cushiony socks.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:04 AM on December 23, 2020


"I'm not 100% certain that Larry King's personal wealth is large enough for the man himself to regularly charter private planes for his travel needs"

It is truly stunning just how expensive it is for hired private jet travel. A one-way cross-country trip is a minimum of $35-40k in a small (but fast) craft such as a Cessna Citation X. In a bigger plane, such as a Global Express it is more than $50k and in an ultimate jet such as the Gulfstream G700, it is very near $100k (about $15k/hr).

An ExecuJet or NetJet subscription/membership can cut the single flight costs down somewhat but the monthly fee, whether or not you actually use the service, is eye-watering and per-flight costs can still be in the thousands-per-hour.
posted by bz at 10:26 AM on December 23, 2020 [11 favorites]


Larry King's contract with CNN includes use of a private jet

L. King hasn't worked for CNN is a decade, he's been working for RT and Hulu for like a decade now.
posted by jmauro at 10:27 AM on December 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


Larry, these socks are real velour. Just let yourself go!
posted by AndrewInDC at 10:28 AM on December 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


It's one banana, Pudi. How could it be a luxury?
posted by clawsoon at 10:30 AM on December 23, 2020 [12 favorites]


It's a funny line, and while I'm sure that Larry King is worth far than Danny Pudi, I'm also pretty sure that Danny Pudi is worth more than everyone who has posted here combined. I know that real estate prices in LA aren't comparable to most of the rest of the country, but I bet that Danny has some better than average socks in his 1.3 million dollar house.
posted by jonathanhughes at 10:41 AM on December 23, 2020


A 1.3 million dollar house is kind of professional upper middle class in LA. My parents live in 60s era tract homes on the edges of San Diego that are .6 million and just putting them 6 miles closer to downtown would up their value by a couple hundred thousand.
posted by LionIndex at 11:03 AM on December 23, 2020 [30 favorites]


I'm also pretty sure that Danny Pudi is worth more than everyone who has posted here combined.

Knowing a little bit about the demographics of Metafilter, I'm almost certain this is not true. Not that Daniel Pudi doesn't make good money, but I'm guessing there are some Mefites in this thread with job titles like "Engineering Manager" in San Francisco who make similar amounts. Some quick googling suggests that at the height of his popularity back in the 90's King's annual income was roughly 10x Pudi's current net worth.

None of which is to say that we should feel bad for poor Daniel Pudi, just that there's a fine line between "my wealth grants me comfort and security, and lets me smooth over lots of the little difficulties in life" and "my wealth warps the world into the shape of my desires simply by its existence." It's the difference between getting the nicest seat on the flight, and getting all the seats because you own the damn plane. And Daniel Pudi is on one side of the line, while Larry King is on the other.
posted by firechicago at 11:07 AM on December 23, 2020 [63 favorites]


I know that real estate prices in LA aren't comparable to most of the rest of the country

True that. You don't get anything like 3,700 square feet for £1 million in my city.
posted by ambrosen at 11:09 AM on December 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


I can hear Pudi’s immigrant parents yelling at their screens for even mentioning private planes. Pudi’s mother in Polish and his dad in Telugu.

Abed’s falafel shop owner dad would have said that he shouldn’t have studied film if he wanted private planes.
posted by mundo at 11:09 AM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


I used to live in Vancouver where a $1.3 mil detached home gets you a rotten pile of trash, likely condemned, in a deeply inconvenient location. Obviously I'll never be able to afford anything close to that but my sense of 'expensive' in real estate has been utterly ruined. So $1.3 million sounds like a bargain-basement price for what's in the description and very much in character for someone whose sense of a luxury is nice quality socks.
posted by 100kb at 11:10 AM on December 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


$1.3million is an absolutely bargain-basement price for a house with the description in much of L.A., too. That house isn't in Los Angeles, it's in Pasadena. Folks calling it L.A. don't live here. It's like referring to Jersey City as New York or, uh, a place near London that isn't London as London.
posted by Justinian at 11:14 AM on December 23, 2020 [12 favorites]


$1.3million is an absolutely bargain-basement price for a house with the description in much of L.A., too.... It's like referring to Jersey City as New York or, uh, a place near London that isn't London as London.

No, he got a great bargain. That’s a very nice neighborhood, very close to where the actual rich people live in Pasadena. And 3,700 is huge. Remember, the market was still recovering in 2014. There’s no way that house is south of $2 million now.

That said, pretty typical upper-middle class real estate purchase for the area.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:24 AM on December 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


There's something proverbial about Halloween Jack's grin.
posted by y2karl at 11:31 AM on December 23, 2020


He does specify that he likes running socks, which in my experience are more expensive and more important and less durable than your average socks. But the point stands.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:33 AM on December 23, 2020


“One can never have enough socks," said Dumbledore. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair.” -Albus Dumbledore

Even powerful wizards recognize the value of a nice pair of socks.
posted by mundo at 11:34 AM on December 23, 2020 [10 favorites]


Stupid luxury things I have seen since joining the edible rich:
* Olfactory sommelier
* Hot bath in giant barrel of red wine
* Ski valet (to park your skis)
None of these things are significantly more enjoyable than good socks.
posted by phooky at 11:44 AM on December 23, 2020 [9 favorites]


Various websites claim that Danny Pudi has a net worth of $3 million. In the Silicon Valley, that would put him in middle engineer money for someone with 20 years of experience. The climb from middle to upper management is steep, both in difficulty and resulting rewards. The compensation isn't just salary; the bonuses and stock grants grow very large and very profitable.

I've known "individual contributors" who rose to vice president level, and their total compensation added two zeros at the end of the number, easily. Apple's Greg Joswiak, current Senior Vice President - Worldwide Marketing, is probably making $11 million or more per year on salary alone, based on what his predecessor, Phil Schiller, made.

Note that this steep compensation curve isn't unique to Silicon Valley. Hollywood rewards superstars at breathtaking rates. The average income of a SAG actor is $36000/year.
posted by blob at 12:21 PM on December 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


I am very hard on socks. I learned to darn far too late for all the good knitted socks I had. I look forward to Christmas socks every year, and never take them for granted.

What does the olfactory sommelier recommend? Fragrances for your house and car?
posted by Countess Elena at 12:22 PM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


This interview is hilarious. I think Larry was just trying to pull a more interesting answer out of Daniel than coffee or socks and went bit extravagant with his private plane example. I doubt either of them have the ability to regularly fly private (Larry's CNN contract, which included a jet, appears to have ended in 2010) but I bet both of them have flown private at least once.
posted by TurnKey at 12:27 PM on December 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


"And I remember getting a new job, earning the highest salary I'd ever earned, and using that first paycheck on a gaming console."

Mine was an honest-to-goodness Hudson Bay point blanket. Queen size. Scarlet.

My luxury item is a blanket. There are few things in life that can give you the dependable sensory satisfaction of a good wool blanket. And for others, good socks. Don't disparage good socks, LARRY.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:43 PM on December 23, 2020 [9 favorites]


Larry King is a mystery to me: why - who - no. Apropos of the housing/compensation discussion, though: our stage four capitalism is fucked.
posted by corvikate at 1:02 PM on December 23, 2020


Who the hell can't live without a private plane? At least play by the rules you set up, Larry my dessicated friend.
posted by babelfish at 1:05 PM on December 23, 2020


Ya know the Kirkland hiking socks from Costco are really fucking great socks. $20 for four pair and they are nice, warm, soft, don't droop, and seem to last just about forever.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:17 PM on December 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


Let's cut to the important question: Where are Danny Pudi's eyebrows? I distinctly recall that he had eyebrows.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 1:22 PM on December 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


I don't recall at just what age I was when I realized that being on TV/being famous didn't make you "rich" in some cartoonish "have a mansion with a butler" sort of way. Extremely well off, sure. And "rich" in the sense you could level up your goods.

For me it comes down to this: for most people, they exist at a spot where, from their point of view, the among levels of magnitude blur because the lowest order of "rich and famous" magnitude is so far away from them, it's inconceivable. It sounds like King blurred those lines as well.

Oh...and I like a good pair of socks while drinking good coffee. I don't consider myself rich, but I know I'm doing OK.
posted by MrGuilt at 1:24 PM on December 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


The refreshing feel of freshly ground, homemade, pour-over coffee makes me feel that one day the DEA is going to bust down my door for manufacturing schedule 1 restricted drugs. Nice coffee just feels that good. The funnel for pour-over coffee looks like what you’d buy a kid building their own home lab.
posted by mundo at 1:33 PM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


I would need to buy a decent grinder.

The fancy beans are really expensive, but I've found a 25$ hand burr grinder, an instant read thermometer and and aeropress gets you into "i am not completely making a hash of brewing these exorbitantly expensive beans" territory, for not silly money.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:55 PM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


Where are Danny Pudi's eyebrows?

Huey Duck pencils his in. It's called method acting.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:02 PM on December 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


Apple's Greg Joswiak, current Senior Vice President - Worldwide Marketing, is probably making $11 million or more per year on salary alone, based on what his predecessor, Phil Schiller, made.

This is like the ultimate cherry-pick. Larry King would need to be discussing luxury with someone like Sir Patrick Stewart or Jason Alexander for the comparison to work.

Joz also started in the mid 80’s. He surely reached “more money than even God could spend” sometime just after the iTunes Store shipped.

Anyway, my guess is King was doing the opposite of what everyone is assuming.

I personally spend $20+ a pair on for all my socks (Darn Tough, wool socks made in Vermont), and I’m too embarrassed to even type out what capital expenditures were involved in my coffee setup.

I can definitely see Larry King saying out loud “But coffee is only 10¢ at Phillipes!” and imaging him complaining that socks over like $1 a pair are a ripoff.

Anyway, King did the 2012 election conventions after he left CNN, and the outlet he was doing it for (RT maybe?) rented the studio next my office on Cahuenga and Selma in Hollywood, so I saw in the hallway a few times during those couple weeks, and let me tell ya, he’s about a third the size in every dimension that you’d think. I’d never seen such a tiny old man before nor since.
posted by sideshow at 2:09 PM on December 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


Who the hell can't live without a private plane? At least play by the rules you set up, Larry my dessicated friend.

Well to be fair the question was Danny asking what's a luxury for an example, not really the original question.
posted by Carillon at 2:16 PM on December 23, 2020


Jeff Winger: I see your value now.

Abed: That is the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me.
posted by kimota at 2:32 PM on December 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


I got hung up on the fact that they have a plane on DuckTales, and it took me a while to figure out what he meant.
posted by BrashTech at 2:32 PM on December 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


And maybe a private plane doesn't cost that much if you self-build. Like, Gyro Gearloose from the old animated show seemed like someone who could build a plane using the "One Piece At A Time" method from that old Johnny Cash song.
posted by brainwane at 2:36 PM on December 23, 2020 [7 favorites]


His house is worth over 2 million now, so I guess that makes him basically the little match girl.
posted by betweenthebars at 2:37 PM on December 23, 2020


I would really like to see the rest of the interview, or at least how Larry reacted to the Ducktales line.
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:41 PM on December 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


I can definitely see Larry King saying out loud “But coffee is only 10¢ at Phillipes!” and imaging him complaining that socks over like $1 a pair are a ripoff.

The only socks I've bought that cost more than the 3 or 4 for $10 ones at Uniqlo are the ones I use for hiking and winter bike riding. I've been gifted socks and I assume they cost more than that but they don't seem any better than the Uniqlo ones.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:42 PM on December 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


You can pry my luxurious heating pad out my warm toasty cozy hands
posted by angrycat at 2:52 PM on December 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


Mine was an honest-to-goodness Hudson Bay point blanket.

That's what I got, too. A queen size 3.5 point. Ivory with the 4 colored stripes.

When I started to make enough money, my luxuries were foods like fresh dill and chives. I was raised very poor, so being able to buy fresh vegetables and herbs, a flank steak when I felt like it, or any foods that weren't in white and black or yellow and black boxes and cans felt like luxury to me!

I still feel so fancy when I put some fresh chives or dill on my creamy scrambled eggs.
posted by droplet at 3:00 PM on December 23, 2020 [13 favorites]


I didn’t have a salaried job till age 27 and that was $23k. A few years prior to that I told a friend that I imagined being rich enough to buy and drink “as much Tropicana non-frozen orange juice as I want”. So as I’ve moved up the corporate ladder I think that’s helped me be grounded. I have a deep suspicion of people who didn’t spend at least 5-10 years of their adult life working crap jobs for crap wages. I sure don’t trust their pronouncements about the merits of capitalism ...
posted by freecellwizard at 3:30 PM on December 23, 2020 [27 favorites]


I imagined being rich enough to buy and drink “as much Tropicana non-frozen orange juice as I want”.

I want to hug you. Nobody I know understands how OJ was rationed when I was a kid because it was expensive. I got to college -- a school that gave me what amounted to a free ride -- and drank like, 16oz of OJ every day because it was just there for the taking.
posted by uncleozzy at 3:51 PM on December 23, 2020 [30 favorites]


I'm also pretty sure that Danny Pudi is worth more than everyone who has posted here combined.

Steve Wozniak had posted here before and he's doing ok. Then there's Scott Adams of course, apparently worth $75M.
posted by biffa at 3:53 PM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


Can't believe Larry King is still somehow relevant or interesting (or, yeah, alive) to anyone, anywhere.

Which reminds me of the greatest simile I've ever read. I don't remember what, exactly, it described in an unfavorable manner, but it doesn't matter: "As weak as Larry King's urine stream." Please use liberally.
posted by Dr. Wu at 4:04 PM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


Larry King is an arrogant out of touch jerk and Pudi handled him brilliantly. [also, I am a huge fan of good socks and last Christmas when Christmas was a thing I gifted people I love all with matching socks from this amazing sock company. I wrapped each pair separately, numbered the packages and through them out from under the tree to be opened simultaneously. yep.].
posted by bluesky43 at 4:23 PM on December 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


> Nobody I know understands how OJ was rationed when I was a kid because it was expensive.

A good friend of mine is in her late 80s, and was a single mother with many children and a deadbeat ex-husband. Her example of how children have such luxuries was "My girls didn't just go to the refrigerator and get an apple!" which she said in the most "can you believe young people these days" tone.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:25 PM on December 23, 2020 [9 favorites]


I'm also pretty sure that Danny Pudi is worth more than everyone who has posted here combined.

Steve Wozniak had posted here before and he's doing ok. Then there's Scott Adams of course, apparently worth $75M


Pretty sure Scott’s not a current member, given his ...dramatic exit.

More to the point, Metafilter started as a west coast tech in-crowd site in the late 90s. There are probably only a few websites in existence whose membership has a higher average net worth, particularly if you focus on the early members.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:33 PM on December 23, 2020 [12 favorites]


I got by as a substitute teacher until my second novel took off in 2013. In the first month of its release, I made more money than I would've earned all year working as a sub. Not astronomical, and I'm not claiming I had no supports, but that pulled me out of paycheck-to-paycheck living & scrambling for work every year to cover the summer. I was 38.

About the same time the money showed up in the bank, my appendix revolted against me. After ten years without health insurance and dreading any disaster, I finally had coverage. That appendectomy hit and I realized, "Oh my god, I can actually handle this."

Not sure if that counts as a luxury. Probably not. Probably shouldn't. Too many people in power seem to assume everyone has it, though.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:45 PM on December 23, 2020 [33 favorites]


Oohh, I make slightly less than a SAG member. Goals for improvement!

Sorry for bringing down the average value everybody 😁
posted by Jacen at 6:17 PM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


scaryblackdeath: After ten years without health insurance and dreading any disaster, I finally had coverage. That appendectomy hit and I realized, "Oh my god, I can actually handle this." Not sure if that counts as a luxury. Probably not. Probably shouldn't.

The version of this interview where it's a Canadian interviewing an American:

"What's a luxury you can't live without?"

"Oh, healthcare coverage, for sure. It just makes me feel safe, like I can handle things."

"No, not healthcare, a real luxury."

"Wha?"

"You know, like good socks."
posted by clawsoon at 6:35 PM on December 23, 2020 [28 favorites]


"Steve Wozniak had posted here before and he's doing ok. Then there's Scott Adams of course, apparently worth $75M."

I meant "here" as in this thread at the point before I posted. Not "here" meaning the entire history of Metafilter. (Also: Ralph Wiggum dreams of Vikings).

Regardless, it's funny seeing the all the explanations about how a $1.3 million house isn't REALLY that expensive (note: the median price for an existing home in the US in 2014 was $189k (and yes, I know that the LA area is far more expensive, but this site is not specific to LA or Vancouver or whatever other overpriced market you want to compare his house to), and how the guy who (according to google) is worth about $50 million is completely out of touch; but the guy who (according to google) is worth about ONLY $3 million is basically like a good chunk of the users here (and this time, by "here" I mean "in the entire history of metafilter" and not just in this thread).

Still, I applaud Danny Pudi for his funny retort and that he appears to not be living extravagantly. But I'm still pretty sure he's got some things more luxurious than socks. Like a house now valued at $2 million.
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:44 PM on December 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


Until just now, I had totally forgotten that Larry took a couple of my calls to his radio show in the mid 80s. As a teenager in that era, the idea that your voice was being heard, if only for a few seconds, by who-knows-how-many thousands of people across the country was almost unbearably thrilling.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:40 PM on December 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


This has got to be a generational thing, because I can relate. I only buy high end coffee and I've been obsessing for 3 weeks over which of these socks to buy. Suggestions welcome.
posted by Toddles at 8:51 PM on December 23, 2020


Get the Darn Tough socks. Expensive, but never wear out and very comfortable. The Wirecutter agrees.
posted by blob at 9:33 PM on December 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


My favorite socks I ever bought were at Mt Rushmore, I bought them because I was wearing sandals on what turned out to be a very cold day, and also because I was amazed at the over the top marketing that Mt Rushmore did in their gift shop, I mean there was like 20 different kinds of Mt Rushmore branded socks (and many other really crazy tchotchkies like tie dye Mt Rushmore snow globes)! They unfortunately were not made to last. I may get to wear them a few more times before they finally go.
posted by evilDoug at 9:46 PM on December 23, 2020


OJ was rationed when I was a kid because it was expensive

Juice glasses were a special glass and they were tiny! Even at my Florida grandparents’ where they had their own huge orange and lime trees. Who would have swilled juice? That just wasn’t how you drank it.
posted by clew at 10:18 PM on December 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


Darn tough socks don't get holes easily. What actually happens is the wool wears away and you're left with bare areas of just nylon/lycra knit but no wool. Which is better than a hole, but I wouldn't say they "never wear out".
posted by ryanrs at 11:33 PM on December 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


I’ve tried darning wool into the bare nylon in hopes it would felt in pleasantly, but usually it washes out and sometimes it’s lumpy.
posted by clew at 11:47 PM on December 23, 2020


YouTube link for those of us without twitter.
posted by eustatic at 1:23 AM on December 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


This has got to be a generational thing, because I can relate. I only buy high end coffee and I've been obsessing for 3 weeks over which of these socks to buy. Suggestions welcome.

I have a knee-high pair of the SmartWool Margarita socks. They are pretty, super comfortable and very warm.

The sock recommendation threads on Metafilter are where I learned that socks come in different sizes, which was an absolute revelation as I hated wearing socks. As it turns out, it was because the standard women’s size of cheap socks was too big for my feet. But getting past the mentality that I was wasting money paying up to $25.00 for a single pair of socks instead of $9.99 for a six pack took some work. So I get Danny Pudi’s response.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:54 AM on December 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


fancy hiking socks are expensive enough, $18 and up per pair for darn tough socks for example, that they are a luxury. i don't know about running socks, which he mentions, but i would imagine they can be just as expensive.
posted by cosimoilvecchio at 5:22 AM on December 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Shit, I would love to drink better coffee, but I can't justify the expense. I pay like $8/lb for mediocre-at-best pre-ground coffee.

If you have time (say, 30 - 45 min a pound), buy green beans from Sweet Maria's and roast them yourself. They sell a popcorn popper that can get you started for $20 and throw in 4 lbs of coffee. From there on out, single-origin beans can be had from $5 - $7 a pound (you'll lose about 20% of the weight in the roasting process, plus pay shipping, so average cost will be about what you're paying now).

You can go super deep on roasting, and I'm sure the quality that the artisanal roasters near you are putting out is far beyond what you'll be able to achieve on improvised equipment, however, you might not be able to taste the difference (I can barely tell the diff. between my beans and highly regarded local coffee roasters, although to be fair I don't consider myself well versed in coffee tasting). You almost certainly will get better results than the pre-ground you're buying, if only because you're grinding fresh.

Grinder is tougher to do on a budget. If you're doing pour-over and small amounts, you can use a hand grinder (see this reddit thread for reqs). Otherwise, I see people most frequently recommend the Baratza Encore, which is going to run $120-ish at its cheapest and more commonly around $150. That said, should last you awhile and the company is committed to keeping their grinders in service (see here). Depending on your area, you might see decent grinders come up fairly frequently on Craigslist for around that amount as well.
posted by fishfucker at 5:36 AM on December 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


OJ was rationed when I was a kid because it was expensive

Juice glasses were a special glass and they were tiny! Even at my Florida grandparents’ where they had their own huge orange and lime trees. Who would have swilled juice? That just wasn’t how you drank it.


I still feel slightly resentful when I spend the time it takes to juice enough oranges to make a quart of juice, and then my husband pours himself a giant glassful and chugs it. (I personally consume freshly-squeezed juice in four-ounce increments, mixed with an appropriate amount of vodka.)
posted by Daily Alice at 6:08 AM on December 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


After watching that clip, I went and ordered coffee from a local fancy coffee place and I'm super excited to get it. This is definitely a luxury.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:08 AM on December 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Link for those of you who like your class tension with saxophone
posted by eustatic at 7:10 AM on December 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


And when I had my first job out of college and was making a decent amount compared to my college lifestyle (definitely not Duck Tales money but it's all relative, eh?), the first thing I did that felt truly luxurious to me was taking my mom and sister out to eat and getting to pay for it. It wasn't even a fancy restaurant - it was some Italian chain that I now only remember for its rotating pope head (???) - but boy did I feel proud to be able to "treat" them.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:14 AM on December 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


I have a grey and black Filson wool blanket. Hudson Bay Point cost more than I could swing when I was shopping, but the Filson is pretty decent and has a good heft to it. I've had it for about twenty years and it has held up well under three-season (fall, winter, spring) use. Does not look a day older than when I got it.
posted by which_chick at 7:35 AM on December 24, 2020


Darn Tough socks do eventually wear out, but they have a lifetime guarantee and I have had a pair or two replaced for free.
posted by bq at 8:09 AM on December 24, 2020


(I personally consume freshly-squeezed juice in four-ounce increments, mixed with an appropriate amount of vodka.)

Sooo....*checks 2020 recipes*...3-4 ounce increments of vodka, then?
posted by LooseFilter at 8:56 AM on December 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


I usually mix vodka 1:1 with orange juice but I didn't want to come right out and say so for some reason.
posted by Daily Alice at 10:45 AM on December 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


There are probably only a few websites in existence whose membership has a higher average net worth, particularly if you focus on the early members.

I don't know enough about the demographics of the site to say either way, but I've witnessed some really amusing "you have no fucking idea how rich you are" moments here. Including thinking that being able to afford a $2 million house doesn't make you rich.

I mean, Pudi is probably not obscenely rich and that's still an important distinction. He's probably still thinking about money as a resource that he can use up. He's buying fancy coffee and nice socks, not yachts. I think this clip does actually illustrate something about how his lifestyle and worldview differs from King's, if his responses are genuine.

Still, he's rich. Lucky dude.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:04 AM on December 24, 2020 [6 favorites]


I have a daily iced coffee from a local shop and it is 100% a luxury and I know I could put the 150 dollars a month I spend on it somewhere else and lower my blood pressure in the process but goddamnit I want it. So I felt that. I am also not rich.
posted by Young Kullervo at 11:05 AM on December 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


Via the English Wikipedia page about Pudi I found this 13-minute captioned clip (transcript also available on that page) where Pudi discusses growing up and reflecting on his Polish, Indian, and American roots. If you're outside the US, you should still be able to read the transcript.
I like my coffee with zero sugar and a gentle splash of cream.

It can't be too creamy.

It needs to be the color of my own skin in summertime.
posted by brainwane at 11:31 AM on December 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


> it was some Italian chain that I now only remember for its rotating pope head (???) -

pssst it was Buca de Beppo, if if helps you to know that you're not insane, that really did happen.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:14 PM on December 24, 2020 [8 favorites]


Yes, that was totally it!! Thank you for the reassurance and reminder; that spinning pope head has been haunting my dreams for years now.
posted by DingoMutt at 4:23 PM on December 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


Yeah, it's Bucca de Beppo that is truly insane.
posted by Jacen at 6:19 PM on December 25, 2020


I'm finding a lot of these comments about real estate prices amusing.

The mortgage on a $1.3m house is about $5000/month. That is totally within the range of a couple making $200k/year. Rich on a global scale, certainly, but still working professional money in any big city, and definitely not 1%er, let's get out the guillotines money.

(Good socks are amazing)
posted by aspersioncast at 8:44 PM on December 25, 2020 [1 favorite]


definitely not 1%er, let's get out the guillotines money.

I mean, it’s 5%-er money. It’s absolutely, factually true that there are people on this site who have that kind of money, though, whereas there are probably not a lot of Larry Kings.
posted by atoxyl at 4:30 PM on December 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


1.3m is a lot but it's also not a lot in the sense that it still very much makes sense for an actor, especially one who isn't at the very top of the profession and needs to meet people, network, and audition for roles all the time, to live in or near Los Angeles. Anything that is even remotely convenient to the jobs/events/offices/etc. he needs to visit to get work is going to start at about half of that for a studio or 1br apartment, and Danny Pudi has a wife and a daughter. So the $1.3m he spent is also an investment in his career opportunities, it's not just a place to sleep.

He bought in a desirable area and at a lower point in the market, for that money now you'd be looking at a much smaller place in a less desirable neighborhood. Here's a random $1.3m house in LA, it's 1800 square feet and in a convenient neighborhood but close to the freeway.
posted by chaz at 2:27 AM on December 27, 2020


As I've learned more about the lives of the kinda-rich, I've seen that some of the luxuries that really ease someone's life include very high-quality and reliable:

* childcare and education for your children
* housing (yeah, a vacation home, but also, sufficient space in your primary home for you to comfortably have alone and together time with other household members and visitors)
* healthcare (including stuff like a personal trainer who visits your home so you don't have to go someplace else to exercise)


The greatest luxury, and what separates virtually everyone on this site + Danny Pudi from Larry King is enough unspent money that your continued existence does not depend on your next unit of work. Now, I bet that Danny Pudi is not one project away from being unable to pay his mortgage. He may even be successful enough that he no longer has one. He's very unlikely though to be able to decide tomorrow morning that he's just not going to work for money anymore without that being a massive compromise to his standard of living at the very least.

Someone with at $1m house obviously has more money than someone with a $0.2m house (at similar leverage) but the real difference is between someone with a 200k house and enough income producing assets that they no longer work and the people with either house who are between weeks and months away from not having a place to live if they don't work. It so happens that it is very rare in the US for someone who earns enough to buy the $1m house to buy the 200k house instead (in large part because landowners capture so much of the economic surplus of high productivity locations)
posted by atrazine at 7:06 AM on December 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


Rich on a global scale, certainly, but still working professional money in any big city

The median wage of a worker in the US is under $40,000. Some people on this site talk about $200,000 as though it's a completely average income - even sometimes how it's not possible to live well on that kind of money, because they're unaware of how their definition of "living well" has expanded to fit their means.

And then they react like "rich" is a personal insult, so they try to distance themselves - and people they like - from the descriptor. It can come across as pretty tone deaf.

When I call Danny Pudi rich, I'm not attacking him as a person. I don't have strong opinions about whether or not he "should" have that money or "should" have that nice house. I don't think he's got a pile of gold in his basement that he rolls around in while deciding which poor people he's going to kick on set in the morning. I'm just recognizing that he has a lot more money than the majority of us.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 2:40 PM on December 28, 2020 [9 favorites]


Get the Darn Tough socks. Expensive, but never wear out and very comfortable.

Also, they make them up the road from me and once a year they have a holiday sale and they sell all the extras for cheap! (no lifetime guarantee tho, but WOW do I have a sock drawer that makes me seem like a fancy person). I would also recommend Heat Holders if you like to sit around the house in super warm and soft socks. Not for wearing in shoes, imo.

So much of this is about values which is why I love Pudi's response. My sister and I experienced bumps in our standards of living when my parents died (in 2011 and in 2017) and it was... weird. Because for me the idea of luxury in some way involves a thing I don't spend my own money on. Meaning that I grew up basically only knowing how to save money, not really how to spend it, so having more money didn't change my life terribly much from the outside, but the amount of fretting I did over things like health insurance, dental work, better cheese, taking bad jobs, and being generous with friends/family, changed a lot.

It's really worth being able to talk about and contextualize the role of money in your life, both in just the math kinds of parts of it but also in the how it makes you feel about yourself, the people around you, your future, all the stuff. Because money has purchasing power but it also has social power and for a lot of people (Larry King perhaps) it's inconceivable that you might not conflate the two.

I rent a small apartment and truly love it, but we also kept my father's house and most summers I go hang out there (not this one), closer to family, closer to boyfriend, closer to ocean. At the same time, living this same life, I always think "Hey free rubber band!" every time the mailman drops my mail off with a really nice rubber band around it.
posted by jessamyn at 3:00 PM on December 28, 2020 [9 favorites]


Larry King Hospitalized With Covid-19 (Deadline, Jan. 2, 2021)
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:40 PM on January 2


I poke fun at Larry King, but he seems harmless enough and I hope he makes it through. He has family that love him, like many of us, and this disease should never have infected so many, in the first place.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:54 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Well, Larry died.

I'll miss seeing him/his cardboard cutout sitting behind home plate at Dodgers playoff games. At least we still have Mary Hart.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:56 AM on January 23


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