Posts tagged some pretty okay questions
Leo Allen is a renaissance man, if your understanding of renaissance man is “great stand up comedian and writer,” or if it comes from the film Renaissance Man starring Danny Devito. In a way, Leo Allen is a down-on-his-luck guy turned unlikely teacher who teaches a class of rag-tag misfits about Shakespeare and in turn is taught the most important lesson of all: Life.
In a different way, Leo is an up-on-his-luck comedian who bares little resemblance to Danny Devito. I asked him some wordy, rambling, pretty okay questions and he responded with some sharp and short, or Danny Devito-esque, answers. In the end, we both inspired each other.
Leo Allen. Your full name is Leopold Rufus Allen. That’s an amazing name, especially for you, assuming you were born in 1893. If you had a son, what would you pick for a first and middle name? The same question applies for pets if you don’t intend to have children (also because Leopold Rufus would be a great name for a dog).
My son’s name will be Malbert Realization Allen. (I already have a gravestone picked out and engraved for him)
A devilishly handsome young journalist covering the AltComedy Festival in MA once described you as “a charmingly casual neurotic who tellingly brought his big notebook on stage only to never use it.” Maybe more accurate is to say, “a neurotically casual charmer” or “a casually charming neurotic.” Do you find yourself to be neurotic at all, and at that, charmingly casual or any combination and variation thereof?
I guess I’m neurotic to some extent, but it comes in waves. And sometimes when I’m feeling most neurotic, it seems to manifest itself as what some others perceive as calmness. If it’s calmness, it’s calmness in the same sense that being so terrified by a ghost that you can’t move or scream is calmness.
You’re perhaps best known for your part in Just Wright with Queen Latifah, which I assume is a romantic comedy in which the Queen plays Reverend Jeremiah Wright. But some also know you as a writer for SNL at one time in your checkered history. In what way was working with Queen Latifah similar to working with Lorne Michaels?
I actually met Queen Latifah at SNL, as she hosted twice when I was there. When I did the movie with her, she said she remembered me - as if I needed another reason to be in love with Queen Latifah.
You’ve done a lot in your career, and yet a third of your Wikipedia entry talks about your pledge to read 100 books in 2005, which was covered by an NPR story at which time you’d read 51. Karl Rove claimed that, among other dangerously unbelievable things, former President Bush read 51 books in 2007. How do you feel being at least as good of a reader as George Bush? What would you say to starting a book club with him?
I should probably have someone take control of my wikipedia. I’m proud to be tied with the former President, and would love to have a book club with him - let’s start with “The Shock Doctrine”, by Naomi Klein.
Not to dwell on the past, but I’ve been a fan of yours for some time, and technically the time measurement known as ‘some’ is over 10 years. How was New York comedy changed in the last since you started?
There are many, many more places to perform that are somewhat decent - people start their own shows is the biggest difference. A lot more people seem to be “doing comedy” in general. There was only the smallest of improv worlds, and not a lot of standup in those days either - you could do the same 17 minutes in vaudeville for your whole career!
Some say that comedians are insecure, self-deprecating people who need attention. I think it’s mostly comedians who say that. Why did you start doing comedy?
I didn’t know how to get a job writing, and I was determined not to have to get a real job.
You just came back from working on a new TV project in LA. Can you tell me about that?
Jon Benjamin and I made 10 episodes of a show we created called “Jon Benjamin Has A Van” for Comedy Central in which he plays a Charles Kuralt-esque reporter who travels around the country. He also does what we like to call, “street pieces”. Furthermore, usually in the course of his journalistic duties, something goes awry and he finds himself on some sort of adventure, which closely adheres to the steps described in Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero’s Journey’.
I’m in it too, kind of the same way I’m in “Just Wright” starring Queen Latifah.
One of the comedy cliches is discussing the stereotypical differences between New York City and Los Angeles. Having just come back from a long stay in LA, can you discuss some of the most true stereotypical differences between New York and LA?
Sushi is better in LA. Apartments are bigger and cheaper there. Driving there can be a nightmare. New York is better.
You’ve written on a lot of shows. Did you intend stand-up to be a pathway into a writer’s room? Did you have your sights set on writing for TV or was that just a bi-product of stand-up?
I did actually start doing stand-up because I wanted to be a writer and didn’t know anyone. But then I liked performing and learned so much from it, and was spoiled by being my own boss. But then I started to get some jobs by fortunate happenstance/not quitting.
Which do you see yourself doing more of in the future, assuming the world doesn’t end next year, or even, because it will?
I’d like to find a balance between the two. In a way, writing for TV is easier, because you have a deadline so you have to get stuff done. With standup you have to be more self-disciplined, and also book yourself out, which can be tedious. But I realize I really like being busy, so maybe I just need to stop being such a baby.
You were just on a mini tour with Eugene Mirman, Michael Showalter and Kumail Nanjiani. If crazy things happen on tours with rock stars, my logic tells me hilarous things must happen on tour with lots of comedy stars. Are there any highlights of the tour you care to share, mini though they may be?
Michael Showalter goes to bed at 10:30 pm. Kumail, Eugene, and I stayed at my ancestral home where my parents still live one night - they were away on vacation. At two in the morning, we went in the liquor cabinet and pulled out a bottle of rum that was probably purchased on the night of the moon landing. Reverting to childhood, I said, “Let’s remember how full that is, so we can match it later.” Eugene says, “Leo, you’re 40.”
We’ve all heard the tired opinion that “boys are funnier than girls,” and that has been dispelled with the “kittens inspired by kittens” youtube video. Now we know girls are funny, and kittens trump everyone. In your act you ask the audience to decide which is funnier between two things, like Dogs Vs. Cats, and then tell them when they’re wrong. I’m going to try that here on you.
Which is funnier:
-Babies or puppies? Babies.
-Babies or chubby puppies? Babies.
-Chubby baby puppies or chubby elderly cats? Neither one is funny. [Very incorrect]
-Babies with glasses or animals with glasses? Animals with glasses, obviously. [Incorrect]
-Someone getting hit with a pie in the face or someone getting hit with a fist in the balls? Pie in face [Also would’ve accepted pie in balls]
-A baby with glasses getting hit with a pie or an animal with glasses getting hit with a pie? Baby with glasses getting hit by pie.
-A mispronounced word or a misunderstood word? Misunderstood (but it’s a case by case basis, depending on context).
-A man in women’s clothes or a man in little boy’s clothes (both are for comedic purposes, not pervo purposes)? Man in woman’s clothes.
You are… Charlotte! You play the hard-to-get good girl, but you’re a tiger in the sack. The downside to your innocence? You may miss love connections because while you have a keen sense of what is funny, your lack of appreciation for how funny babies in glasses look is a big turn off to guys.
What’s the most exciting thing in your immediate future (doesn’t have to be comedy-related)?
I’m excited for the premiere of Jon Benjamin has a Van on June 15th and also I want to paint my kitchen yellow.
Finally, if you could eat a sandwich with any comedian living or dead, who would it be and what sandwich?
I’d eat a reuben with Paul Reubens and Jordan Rubin and enjoy how irritated they’d be by what I’d engineered. Maybe they’d be delighted!
Leo Allen made his third appearance on The Moon in our 55th show with Hannibal Buress, Adam Wade, Chris Rozzi, Dave Horwitz and Kenny Pickett. You can see Leo hosting Whiplash at the UCB Theatre every Monday night-Tuesday morning, and look out for Jon Benjamin Has A Van this summer on Comedy Central. Just Wright is available everywhere DVD and Blu-Ray are sold.
Elna Baker’s life is literally an open book. Not literally like her life is actually a book, that is a silly thought for you to have had. I mean of course that she is a celebrated storyteller-turned-author (what a sell out) whose first book of personal essays, The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance (Penguin, 2009), relates the universal frustration of being a single Mormon in the New York dating scene. Since the release of her book, which I assume was taken as something of a challenge for every man in New York (especially those of us who dabble in Mormonism to meet chicks), she has been attacked by an alien, worked more in radio, developed her book into a TV pilot, and taken a break from being a Mormon. I learned these things by asking her a series of pretty okay questions at a pretty okay cafe downtown.
There are a lot of stereotypes of Mormons that have remained in the popular consciousness: all Mormons were born in Tacoma, Washington but raised in Madrid and London, or all Mormons run titanium factories in Siberia. That old story. I’m not someone who is ever stereotyped unless it’s something like “all men are pigs” or “you look like a pig” or something involving pigs.
What stereotypes of Mormons do you attribute to yourself or identify with?
I’m optimistic. A lot of Mormons are very optimistic. The way the church is so much centered on progression - whether you’re progressing or reaching your potential - and so much of my thought process is about “am I reaching my potential?” and that’s a very Mormon way of thinking.
I feel like comedy is often a lot about both awareness and self-awareness, so… awareness. Observation. It requires a specific way of thinking that separates you from other people because you’re all the time observing things for what they are and for how funny they are. Did being raised in a Mormon family in any way nurture or repress that?
I think there are different kinds of comedy. The darker humor or even obscene humor, or the kind of comedy that was the kind that I see or appreciate more now as an adult was restricted. So in that sense I would definitely have thoughts or ideas that were a little bit darker, or dirty or whatever, and I would second guess or censor those thoughts. Part of the last few years has been allowing myself to sort of tip-toe out of that and feel comfortable enough to just boldly say whatever it is I want to say.
Did that start when you moved to NY?
I think the tip-toeing did. I think the last 2 years have been this transition from taking a break from being Mormon and exploring partying like crazy - I’m only joking - but exploring things other than following the rules, and in that regard, that changes your material if your material is about what you’re experiencing, and for me it is. So I think the next phase of my work is being comfortable with talking about drinking or having sex and what happens if your parents read that or what people think about you when you’re still using your life as material but your life isn’t as appropriate as it used to be.
Is the act of thinking about your life in stories what makes you prepared to do more things and be more open with yourself?
I think actually I’ve found that I told all the stories that I told on stage or in my book came from stories I was telling my friends over and over again. And then during the year and a half period where I wrote my book I felt very stifled from having new experiences, partly because I was observing things so astutely, trying to dissect and figure out how to write it while I was having a conversation. That pulled me out of being present and made me try to shape what i was experiencing into stories, and that is not good for being able to tell the story. You only really remember things if you’re present.
After my book came out there was a lot interest in me immediately writing something else, but I felt like I had to just live a little bit and make mistakes, so I’ve spent a good year and a half not thinking of my life as stories and just living my life. It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve started to realize some of the things I did, that’s a good story.
How has your storytelling improved? Can you think back to other stories and see improvement now?
Ira Glass and his wife, Anaheed, were both readers on my book so they helped me and gave me edits. But Anaheed especially taught me something that I do now, which is that she said, “you know, you could probably cut the last paragraph of every chapter of your book and your book would be so much better.” And I did. And she was completely right. I had that English class style where it’s like opening intro and three paragraphs and conclusion. So with these stories I would still, without my knowledge, tack on this stupid paragraph at the end that’s like, “And so, if you weren’t listening to the last 20 pages, this is what I said.”
That English class style got me through a lot of English classes, I’ll tell you. It has the appearance of good essay writing even if it’s not, it’s just full of superfluous stuff. Academia, some say.
Was editing painful?
A lot of the mistakes I made early on, like in the first draft of my book, was overwriting. I could, when it was just me typing, easily get lost in over explaining for the sake of being poetic. You realize how much better you are when you say as little as you can.
What is the scariest thing about performing?
The thing I still have yet to overcome is that I get in my own way. I would like to be fearless on stage and not be affected by the tone of the audience or the fear that they’re not going to like what I have to say. I’m not fearless. Mitch Hurwitz [creator of Arrested Development] said in an interview that his entire strength was only formed based around what he was afraid he couldn’t do. I think in the same sense eventually I would love to do just great stand up. I became a storyteller partly because I was afraid I couldn’t do stand up, and that’s what I always wanted to do.
What was the turning point a year ago that made you take a break from being Mormon?
I guess the initial thing was just finally this notion of questioning it so many times and every time I would feel like I’m questioning it because I’m not being righteous enough. That’s what you’re taught, that doubt comes from the desire to sin. So after going through that process of trying to recommit and recommit and push myself further in I thought, you know, I’ve never tried the other thing which is to take a step away and see if I still want it.
And so I did take that step. I remember when I came to this conclusion: I thought, “I’m going to start big!” I saw this bottle of whiskey, and thought “I’m going to get that bottle of whiskey and get drunk and write about what that feels like.” When I got the whiskey it was pretty much empty, but I took a drink and nothing happened.
Schwag whiskey. That’s the worst. Probably all oregano. What happened when you told your parents you were drinking?
My mother started crying. And I was like, “you know I’m taking a break from being Mormon. What did you think that meant?” and my mom said, “that you weren’t going to church.” I got in so much trouble.
How do you deal with this as a family?
We don’t talk about it. (Laughs)
[Read more for Elna telling me stories about her many experiences with aliens and alien-related movies, Heaven’s Gate, Sex and the City Mormon Style and more!]
Brooke Van Poppelen moved to New York from Chicago five years ago and since then neither has been the same. Mostly due to the inevitable change that will happen to a city within that large amount of time, but also because New York has snatched another great comedian from Chicago’s windy bosom. Speaking of windy bosoms, check out that picture of her. I asked her some pretty okay questions and she responded in kind.
Congrats on your Best Female Stand Up nomination at this year’s ECNY Awards. You have previously been nominated for Best Emerging Comic. How do you feel to finally be recognized as a female?
I went to a lot of trouble to grow my hair out and learn how to put on make-up so I would stop being nominated as “best male comic.”
In what ways do you feel you’ve officially emerged?
Well, now we’re being recognized as “excellent” instead of “emerging” so I guess that says it all!
Do you find it at all… shall we say… sexist that the Best Male category in any awards show is always above Best Female?
I like being on the bottom.
Very sexi…st. If you win Best Female Stand Up, are you going to go for Best Male Stand Up next year?
Well, it’s useless trying to convince people that I have huge balls because I have started doing so much huge vagina material as of late.
Who is the coolest person you’ve opened for?
Rob Riggle, Hannibal Buress, and I loved working with Eddie Brill and Rick Overton as well as Jake Johannsen.
Who is the coolest person who’s opened for you?
Anyone who goes up before me at Puppets Mic in Park Slope—-what an awesome group of open mic-goers!
Whoa, sounds like someone’s a shareholder at Puppets. What brought you to New York from Chicago, and what makes you stay here - besides Magnolia Bakery on the Sex and the City tour?
I came out here for a Montreal audition 5 years ago and canceled my return flight. It was one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done. Reality of course caught up with me eventually and I had to return to Chicago to clean up some unfinished business (divorce, etc.) before I could come back properly but it’s been a really tremendous 5 years in this city so far.
“Divorce, etc.” is a great name for a TV show, or anything really.
Has the NYC comedy scene developed since you started here?
I’ve seen a lot of transitions in 5 years but they’ve all been awesome. It’s so cool to see people go from unknown to well-known to stars! I hope I can ride those people’s coat tails!
That phrase always makes me wish more people wore coat tails these days. Besides saying jokes in front of people, you are what the kids call a “blogger.” By this I mean you write things for the internet. How has your relationship with the internet been?
I love the intertube. It’s a damnable habit but it’s also responsible for keeping me employed.
You blog about dumb stuff that dumb people do, like testing stab-proof vests with your friends, and hiding a chainsaw in your pants. (Presumably both those things were done to impress girls, or emergency room surgeons) What is the dumbest thing you’ve done recently?
I’ve been pretty good, but I was just trying to impress a guy the other day by telling him about my behavior at a BBQ this past summer when we ran out of buns so I shoved a char grilled Hebrew National hot dog through the center of a cream filled Krispy Creme Doughnut and ate it like that. Fucking delicious!
If we were on Facebook I wouldn’t totally Liked that.
You call your personal blog “New York Is Retarded,” which is offensive to me because my family’s state, Connecticut, is actually retarded. What gives you the right to call New York R*tarded, and what exactly do you mean?
I haven’t touched that blog in a while. It’s kind of regrettable name that I gave it back in 2007 before Jennifer Aniston was publicly shamed for using the “R” word. It’s a little insensitive but the theme of the blog is about my never-ending battle me vs. NYC and how NYC usually wins.
That concludes the “ur a blogger” portion of the questions. Back to the heart of things - you were on American Chopper. So you can probably die happy, or at least die knowing you were on American Chopper. Please tell me about that. All about it. Did you become cooler? Were forced to be a biker wench? Were you at least made queen of the bikers?
I actually had a ton of fun hanging out with Mikey and giving him comedy pointers. He’s a total riot and has a really big heart. We had a good time in the city and then I got the chance to chill with him upstate NY. He owns a really beautiful home out in the woods and we partied with some crazy biker dudes who are his dad’s acquaintances. Quite the night.
The words “some crazy biker dudes” and “dad’s acquaintances” need to be in more sentences in my life.
Your profile on rooftopcomedy.com says “she dares you to heckle her.” Is that really something you want to be daring people? I’d rather you dare me to kiss a cute girl sitting close to me.
OH MY GOD. I wrote that in 2004. That needs to come down. Gross.
BOOOO - that was me heckling whatever your answer is. Deal with that.
I don’t deal. I crumble under heckle pressure.
Finally, can you tell me one joke that you’ve written that you’d never tell on stage (whether because it’s not good, or because it’s way too offensive, or because you wrote it when you were 8, or whatever)?
I just wrote a bunch of monologue jokes which sound weird coming out of my mouth so technically you would probably never hear me tell a joke like this even though I think it’s clever: To make extra money, this year many stylists in Manhattan split time between Fashion Week and The Westminster Dog Show. When asked how she was hired for both jobs, one stylist replied, “It’s simple. I know how to make bitches look good.”
Two bitches with one stone. Well done.
And finally, if you could eat a sandwich with any celebrity alive or dead, what sandwich would you eat?
Classic Pork/Pate’ Vietnamese Bahn mi
I also love Bahn mi. I like to say “you can’t ban me from Bahn Mi.” Wait, I’ve never said that and never will. But thank for you inspiring my lunch options today.
Brooke writes for TruTV’s “Dumb as a Blog”, has a tumblr and is generally present on the web. You can see her on Heart of Darkness w/ Greg Barris and more at Union Hall, Saturday March 5th and at SXSW Festival.
Brooke made her second appearance on The Moon’s 52nd show with Josh Gaurino, Jared Logan and Ben Lerman.
Adira Amram is what some might call a musical comedian, and what others might call a comedy dance singing person, though others still might call her indescribable. I just call her a dream. Her songs often straddle – dare I say, hump the line between comedy and performance art, between adult artist and teenage party girl. Which is to say, I identify with the themes. Fingerblasting, smoking weed with your mom, making out, being psyched. It’s all there, America.
This morning she was my Valentine’s Cyberdate. Considering she probably doesn’t live anywhere in my apartment, it was a lot more convenient to go on GChat than to actually meet up in person.
Jordan: Happy Valentine’s Day. Do you have any romantic plans?
Adira: Oooh. Happy Valentines Day to you!
I’m going to take my lovely husband out for dinner tonight. I don’t really care about Valentines Day but it’s the kind of holiday that if you don’t do anything then you feel sort of like a Scrooge!
Jordan: Scrooge would be spinning in his grave to know that even though he became a better person in the end, his name is forever known for being a dick
Jordan: the guy got haunted by 3 ghosts, and people still hatin’
Adira: Especially that bitch Ghost of Christmas Present. What a bitch!
Jordan: Sad. So, Adira, you come from a musical family. Did that in some way factor into you being a musician?
Adira: I did come from a very musical family. My Dad is a composer, my older sister is a singer songwriter, my Mom is singer songwriter and my little brother is a drummer. I never really and still don’t really consider myself a musician but I really enjoy making music.
Jordan: Does your family consider you a musician? At least to uphold the family name, like by default.
Adira: I’m not sure what they think, I think they might think of me as a comedian and I don’t really think that of myself either. I just think I’m a comedic performer.
Jordan: Is the performance aspect of comedy more important to you than the jokes?
Adira: I think they are the same thing.
I always try to retell funny jokes I’ve heard at shows to my husband and it’s never funny. So I think it’s the same with stand ups, there is a performance that is crucial to the success of a joke, even with no song and dance.
that was a little long-winded!
Jordan: No not at all, though I did like seeing that you were typing it
On gchat when i see “the person is typing” i like to imagine being in person and seeing the other person’s mouth move a lot but nothing come out, then all their words come out at once at the end
that was long winded and vaguely sexual
Adira: Vaguely Sexual should be your new performance name.
Jordan: haha, then it shall be.
Adira: Just like Gandolph! Make it SO!
Jordan: i’d like all my decisions to be made like Gandolph
like James Gandolphini, too. either way
Adira: maybe you can describe yourself like this “Comedian Jordan Clifford is the perfect marriage of Gandolph and James Gandolphini, some locals have even begun call his act vaguely sexual”
Jordan: “because he goes to Jersey strip clubs and demands everyone obeys his commands!”
Adira: And for some reason he’s always carrying around staph.
Jordan: hahah like anyone needs a reason
Adira: Is it spelled like that
Jordan: ill fix it in post
Adira: or is that only the infection?
Jordan: i guess it works in either sense
Adira: And he has a staph infection due to his enormous staff he carries around with him at all times
Jordan: we should be a marketing team
Adira: Aren’t we already?
Jordan: we are! So how did someone who’s not exactly a musician and not exactly a comedian get into musical comedy?
I first started performing at open mics and small variety shows with a friend. Then he moved to LA so I decided I should try it on my own. And I slowly started to write more songs and do more shows around the city. Then I started performing at comedy shows and had so much fun that I just kept at it.
Jordan: you performed songs to start with?
Adira: I did! I used to do some sketches too. I also took class at UCB and really loved doing improv. Improv is the greatest.
Jordan: well, let’s not get crazy. Mohammed Ali is the greatest. beyond that, we have yet to determine what is the second greatest.
what pushed you into developing a musical comedy persona and act?
Adira: I think what pushed me was all of the encouragement I got from fellow performers and audience members that seemed to like what I was doing.
I also had no expectation that anyone would like what I was doing.
Jordan: did that give you a kind of confidence? i’ve often found that not caring about expectations is liberating
However that same philosophy probably doesn’t do me any good in professional life
Adira: I care very much. That’s why I rehearse a lot and put a lot time and energy into every moment on stage. So it’s not that I don’t care, I think the thing is that you have to really LOVE what you’re doing on stage or it’s not going to work.
The shows that usually going terribly wrong for me are the ones when I’m not loving what I’m giving the audience.
Jordan: what’s been your worst show experience?
Adira: I think that the important lesson I got from the terrible shows is that you can always turn the beat around and make it work. And there is always another show.
And EVERYONE has bad shows.
Jordan: OMG that’s the best quote.
Adira Amram says ” the important lesson is that you can always turn the beat around and make it work.”
Adira: I also use the term “Coming Out of the Dark” after a terribly bad show. basically Miami Sound Machine are my spirit guides
Jordan: I feel like that’s their purpose
Adira: I think the challenge is when you have a really killer show and then you have to perform the next night and you have to start again.
Jordan: How so?
Adira: Because no one knows that you rocked except you. So the trap is you go on stage with the attitude that you are “Simply The Best” and the audience is like, no bitch you have to WORK!
Jordan: Yea, it’s easy to rest on your laurels. especially when laurels are so damn comfortable.
I like you incorporating song quotes into your inspirational statements
Adira: Oh yes, gotta work a soundtrack into EVERYTHING!
Jordan: Believe it, giiirrl
Adira: Girl you Know it’s True.
I mean you can always Blame it on the Rain
but at the end of the day This Is How we do it
Jordan: because i think we were Born To Run
Adira: And Pump of the Jams
Jordan: even wearing our Apple Bottom Jeans
Adira: Because Fat Bottom Girls make the rocking world go round
Adira: Baby, you’re a firework
Jordan: Oh man, you’re good. So how do you feel about the state of women in comedy in the New York scene?
Adira: I think there are a lot of really talented women and I would like to see more women get into comedy so people don’t feel like having a woman on the show is like having a musical guest.
Jordan: That’s anexcellent way of putting it.
Adira: I love funny. So as long as it’s funny I really don’t care what gender. That said, I’m all for there being more women.
Jordan: Speaking of women, let’s talk about your group. The Brooklyn Dance Machine to your Miami Sound Machine.
Adira: You mean the Experience?
Jordan: How did you get involved with those ladies?
Adira: Just to clarify, The Experience is also my backing band that I get to play with sometime too. I was putting together a show for Ars Nova and I wanted to have a backing band, because it used to just be me and my keyboard, no backing tracks or anything. VERY lo-fi.
I met Jessi “Jamz” Erian at another show and asked her for her card and said, I don’t know why I need this but I do. 6 months later, I contacted her and asked her if she wanted to dance with me and if she knew anyone else and then she brought in the incredible Maresa “The Body & Soul” D’Amore-Morrison.
I try to bring the ladies everywhere I can.
Jordan: Are those their real nick names before they were in Experienced?
Adira: That came out of The Experience. But they were written on their hearts at birth.
Jordan: The Experience changes you
Adira: Jordan “Gandolph Gandolphini” Clifford
Jordan: haha, so you’ve read my birth certificate
Adira: that’s your Experience name
Jordan: what an honor
Adira: You’re the ambassador of face beards
Jordan: this chat keeps getting better and better
Adira: Totally. We need more good bearded men like yourself as Ambassadors of The Experience.It’s vital to our success.
Why is this getting so LARPy?
Jordan: it was bound to happen. It’s Valentine’s Day, after all.
Adira Amram and The Experience will be returning to The Moon tomorrow, February 15th. You can also see them on February 18th on Party Machine at Union Hall, and on March 4th as the official house band at Night Of The Living w/Kurt Braunohler at The PIT.
Some Pretty Okay Questions is a new feature on The Moon Show Dot Com where I, your question master Jordan Clifford, will be asking some pretty okay questions to some pretty amazing performers who will be on our next show. So here are…
Some Pretty Okay Questions for Kurt Braunohler
Hey Kurt, what’s up?
(Wait was that sarcastic? I can never tell in email form.)
Well anyway. You’ve talked a lot in your act about how much fun it is to edit Wikipedia pages, and really stick it to those fools at Wikipedia for making a public encyclopedia. But are you at all concerned now, with the popularity of WikiLeaks, that you’ll be imprisoned for your actions?
No. Unless Parakeets have access to police. And could read. And could care about anything other than hopping. Because parakeets are the only animals I really “give it to” on Wikipedia, if you know what I mean.
Your Wikipedia page says you’re best known for your work as Kristen Schaal. How did come up the idea for Kristen Schaal?
It does? No it doesn’t. I just checked. But Kristen was a fever dream I had when after I saw Watership Down.
[Ed. note: It does now]
You’ve been to Edinburgh a few times. And probably a few other places. The only time I’ve been out of the country was to go to Israel for Birthright, which was questionable in the first place. Oh and also to Montreal to visit a friend who didn’t want to go see strippers, but that’s a whole other thing. Is Edinburgh like that, and what’s YOUR favorite place to travel for comedy and why?
Edinburgh IS a lot like that. And my favorite place to do comedy is either right here in Brooklyn or San Francisco. They’re tied for most fun.
You were born in Neptune, New Jersey. Do you think that the cast of The Jersey Shore is giving Italian-Americans a bad name, which is to say, a worse name?
Nope. I think it’s giving them the right name. The name they’ve had all along.
Did kids in school ever ridicule your name? College must have been tough.
They did, but no one ever went for the best insult, which is “Brown Holer” or Brown Hole. The best they came up with was Granoler. Lame. Also, what college did you go to that there were bullies? You must have been very ugly and awkward.
[Ed. note: I like that there are only quotes around “Brown Holer.” And also, yes, I was, but thank God that changed.]
You love to tweet. So I guess my first question about Twitter is ‘what is Twitter?’
I love to tweet? I wouldn’t say that. I’d say I like constant attention.
Is your Twitter anything like Sh*t My Dad Says the tv show? If not, why not? If yes, explain.
It’s exactly like that but it’s things that I said. So it’s like “Things A Hopefully Future Dad Says”
Sometimes you tweet jokes before you use them live. Do you think that is risky to put actual material out there where a handful of people might read it?
Nope. You can’t be precious. It’s just jokes. I’ll make more. Also, It’s a good test of whether it would work for the stage. And I’ve never had a problem on stage where someone is like “Read that on Twitter, NOT LAUGHING!” I used to be precious with it, but then I realized that NO ONE KNOWS WHO I AM OR GIVES A SHIT. Once I’m mildly famous, maybe I’ll change my mind, but right now, the more people who see me making jokes, the better, I think.
My favorite Twitter hashtag is #uptonogood, which I saw on a subway poster for the Oxygen TV show Bad Girls Club. What is yours? (For the record I’m also a fan of your own #markwhaleberg)
I made one that was #underwater90spunkbands that was really fun and took of a little. I think my favorite one from that was “Shudder to Sink.”
There’s a guy on Twitter named BrendanJordan. I have an identical twin brother named Brendan, and my name is of course Jordan. Weird, right? What do you suggest I do about it, and has anything like that happened to you?
Fucking kill him.
[Ed. note: Done. Nuke ‘em.]
That concludes the Twitter portion of the interview. What is your most sincere resolution in ‘011?
To quit things in general.
Do you have a crush on anyone?
I get really intense crushes for like 10 minutes at a time. So, yes.
Do you have any questions for me?
So many, but I’ll just ask you tonight in person.
To be continued?????
Kurt Braunohler is the co-host of Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen, and you can see his new monthly live late night talk show, “Night of the Living with Kurt Braunohler” starting Feb 4th at 11pm at the new PIT.
by Jordan Clifford
by Jordan Clifford