In the race to find the next video wunderkind (read: Spike Jonze), industry types are looking to the pint-size, 16-year-old host of a twisted New York cable talk show. The name is Jake Fogelnest (just Jake to viewers), the show is Squirt TV, and the budget is lower than a snake’s belly, which isn’t a problem when your set is the Chinatown studio apartment you share with your comic-book-designer mom, Murphy. For one half hour each week, Jake takes no prisoners, ranting amicably from his bed like some pubescent Howard Stern: After the band Weezer made a guest appearance, an unimpressed Jake spent the next episode dissing various parts of the group’s anatomy.
His snarky precociousness has earned Jake high-powered fans, including the Beastie Boys, MTV (which asked him to be a Spring Break correspondent), and the ubiquitous Jonze, who served as consultant when Jake directed the Wax video for ”Who Is Next.” With rumors that MTV’s signing him on full-time, it’s no wonder honchos are lining up to rep him. ”Publicists, managers, agents, lawyers, accountants,” says Jake. ”There’s a whole team now. I call it Squirt Television Workshop.”