I host a bunch of podcasts. And I’m a stand-up comedian.
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Victoria’s helping me get started. Go ahead and AMA.
Which was your favourite Speakeasy interview and who would you most like to interview that you haven’t already?
So difficult to pick a favorite! I loved chatting with Tony Hale & Judy Greer spring to mind. I’d love to interview Stephen Colbert.
Growing up, did you realize that growing a mustache and having excellent taste in clothing would help define you as a person?
Will we be seeing a Beyond Belief TV show? Please say yes!
If you had to choose one of your characters to live as for the remainder of your life – including all of their CBB canon (eg, cake boss being bit by a cake scarab) – which would you choose and why?
Garry Marshall. He seems the happiest and most easygoing and just generally seems to LOVE LIFE.
Any further information on this picture?
There is further information! I am not at liberty to divulge it.
Who is the funniest person you know?
If you had to pick one, what would be your favorite memory of working with Bob Odenkirk?
One time Bob despised a sketch of mine so much at a readthru, he told me what was wrong with it for a full ten minutes before concluding, “So I guess I’m saying I hate this sketch and it’s trying to kill me,” as he dropped it on the ground.
Since you are a fan of the Comedy Bang Bang podcast yourself, who is your favorite character that someone else plays?
I am a huge fan of James Adomian’s Tom Leykis, Lauren Lapkus’ Traci Reardon, and anything Andy Daly ever does.
Have you started recording for BoJack Horseman season 2?
Recording for Bojack Horseman Season 2 is completed! It is now being animated.
When you decided to do an AMA, did you realize you’d get over 600 questions in less than half an hour?
Technically, it’s ten actual questions and 590 “When did you first learn about U2″s
Now that TAH is coming to an end live showswise, I was wondering, have Paget Brewster’s and your portrayal of Frank and Sadie changed a lot since the first shows a decade ago?
They really haven’t! It’s rare, but it sometimes happens that a character emerges fully formed right out of the box, and that was certainly the case with Frank and Sadie. We are still performing them the way we did a decade ago! And i could do it for decades more.
Do you have advice for other celebrities regarding how to treat and interact with fans?
The answer was right there, in “Roadhouse,” all along.
Your interviews on “Speakeasy” on youtube have been great. What do you think makes for a better interview?
I am lucky on Speakeasy because I can listen in a way that late night hosts can’t; they have to be looking for jokes and keep the comedy going. I can listen to what my guest is saying with no agenda other than, what more can I find out? In either case though, being present is the key.
My friend and I are big fans and met you last October and she was so happy she was crying. How did that make you feel? And is that how you know you’ve made it? When women cry when they meet you?
It is a strange thing. I am not famous, not by the way fame is measured by the average person. It is very touching to me to have touched someone else’s life. It shrinks the world in a lovely way.
What is a joke that you’ve heard that you can’t forget?
Jonathan Katz had a joke in his act where he goes home to Boston and hadn’t heard the accent for a while. He’s in an elevator and someone said [in a Boston accent] “Call out your floors” and he says, “I’m impatient with the elderly.”
Who was the biggest influence on your comedy?
I don’t think I could point to one person as my biggest influence. Like most creative people, I am a collection of a thousand influences. That said, SCTV had a profound impact on me when I was younger. Still holds up.
Did you think about going after the Colbert job? Does that type of nightly chat/magazine/political show interest you at all?
I would have loved a show like that but I am not on those lists of people. Luckily, the show I CURRENTLY have expanded from 15 minutes to 30, and we were able to expand it from a kind of one-joke idea into a really weird, silly show that I very much love doing. Honestly, check out “No, YOU Shut Up!’ It really makes me laugh.
Can you tell us the process that went into producing the Pod F. Tompkast?
Man oh man. It was involved. I had to write the sketches– both the Great Undiscovered Project and the Live at Largo sketches– I had to book time in Eban’s studio, book Daamen and, later, guests; had to arrange a phone call with Jen Kirkman, record & edit that phone call; record multiple voices for the aforementioned GUP; then Eban had to edit everything together and get it back to me to upload.
What would you say to a friend who recently had their heart broken?
“Will you marry me?” Sometimes ya just gotta shock ’em out of it!
I saw the other day that the wonderful Steve Agee made you break on stage really hard. Is there another time that you can share with us where you broke character really hard?
There have been many instances of my breaking onstage, many of me breaking other people, but that Steve Agee thing was just nuts. Look for it on the Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast on the coming weeks
When you start doing Spontenation, will that mean less or more appearances on Comedy Bang Bang?
It will probably be the same amount!
Will Dame Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber be gracing us all with his musical genius on your new cast of pods?
Doubtful! The new podcast is not about creating characters in the way I did on The Pod F. Tompkast or as I do on Comedy Bang Bang. The episodes will be self-contained, so any characters are created on it will probably just live for that hour.
I love your work and cannot wait for your next standup album. When will it ‘drop’?
I’ll be recording a special/album in Los Angeles this coming June. I hope to have all relevant information shared soon!
What podcasts do you listen to regularly? What’s a podcast that doesn’t exist, but you’d like to listen to/appear on if it existed?
I listen to a lot of Earwolf stuff, one of my absolute faves being Hollywood Handbook. I also love Stop Podcasting Yourself and Judge John Hodgman. Baby Geniuses. Too many to mention them all!
On Dead Author’s Podcast, generally do you prefer those who do research on their respective author or those who completely improv it and/or do you have a favorite example of each?
BOTH ARE GREAT! Honestly. If someone knows the subject well, they are so confident and relaxed that it’s a breeze. If they are completely ignorant of their subject, things get REALLY silly.
Do you write your stories down in full, or do you write the main bits down and improv the sections in between?
I do bullet points and shape them live in front of the audience, then edit or add as needed with successive performances until it hums and it’s stored in my head.
What would you make if you had unlimited money and resources and creative freedom to do it?
A weekly variety show.
What is your favorite alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverage?
Beer Ice-cold Coke in a glass bottle Honorable mention: Water
Have you ever considered turning the Dead Authors Podcast into a television show? It’s one of my favorites and I’m so sad to see it go!
I’d love that, but I cannot IMAGINE what American network would go for it.
We are huge fans of yours and subscribed to Fusion just to get your show. We love it! Do you have any input on the puppets that are used in the show? Do you write for the show as well?
I do not have input on the puppets– we mostly use existing puppets from the Henson Creature Shop. Some of them have been discovered, literally, in desk drawers. But our amazing puppeteers are able to take these misfit toys and create characters and voices for them that are perfect for our show. It starts with the writers having need of a character. They look around the shop to see what we haven’t used, then collaborate with the puppeteers on what the character will sound and act like. It’s a really great team.
THANK YOU FOR ASKING ABOUT “NO, YOU SHUT UP!”
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Say it again!
What is it about podcasts that draws you to host and/or guest on them?
The freedom you have with podcasting is tremendous. Let’s hope it stays that way.
What can we expect from your new podcast? Something we are all familiar with about yourself (characters, etc.) or something completely new?
Somethings will be old. Some things will be new. I will not be borrowing anything. Blue makes my eyes pop.
How much of NYSU is improvised?
A good chunk! It was much more improvised in the first two seasons. But since we expanded, there’s a solidly funny script that we embroider around the edges. And we keep ourselves open to changing things on the fly, no matter what the script says.
Do you think the rise in social media usage has improved comedians’ relationships with fans or made it a little too personal?
It gets difficult sometimes! Lines get blurred and one sometimes has to remember, oh, we’re all strangers and there are subtleties and nuances of expression that are lost in typing. Overall, though, I think it’s good.
Any advice for wearing a suit when there’s snow and dirt everywhere?
Wear a coat over it and get a roof.
How do YOU balance work and family?
It is actually very difficult, and I do not have kids! people should stop asking this question of moms because there’s no answer that doesn’t make the mom feel bad!
I was wondering if Sponteanation is going to put an end to the Pod F Tompkast once and for all? Will it be a restructured version of it, or something completely new?
The Pod F. Tompkast will never truly be over. I reserve the right to make an episode of it any time I feel like it. But I am doing this weekly show now, and it’s about all I can handle in addition to my various other projects.
I hope everyone will enjoy SPONTANEANATION!
I listened to your story about getting a driver’s license late on the Judge John Hodgman podcast. How old were you when you got it, and what was the reason you didn’t have it earlier (besides maybe Philly’s public transport)?
The entire story of my adventures in driving will be included in my upcoming special/album “Crying and Driving,” to be recorded this coming June!
Who decides which authors are on The Dead Authors Podcast? Is it you or the guests who decide which authors to play?
The guests always decide!
I’d love to know your prime motivations for dressing so fancy, for so long? Even the young PFT was festooned with a bowtie. What is the fashion philosophy that drives your inimitable style?
Fashion is absurd. Wear what you like!