Comedy Careers Library

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Wed. Sept. 23: Tone Bell - Actor, Writer & Comedian (Click for Bio)

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Tone Bell is an actor, writer, and comedian known most recently for starring as Richard Pryor on the hit BET Series AMERICAN SOUL. He can currently be seen in the independent film THE WEEKEND, written and directed by Stella Meghie, with DeWanda Wise, Sasheer Zamata, Y’Lan Noel and Kym Whitley, available now on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

Tone also starred in the CBS series FAM with Nina Dobrev. Tone is best known for starring opposite Kathy Bates in Netflix’s original comedy series DISJOINTED, as well as several other half-hour comedy series: TRUTH BE TOLD, BAD JUDGE and WHITNEY for NBC. As an accomplished stand-up comic who tours nationwide, Tone filmed his first one-hour comedy special for Showtime, which began airing in February 2019.  TONE BELL: CAN’T CANCEL THIS can currently be seen on Showtime, Showtime Demand, Showtime Anytime, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

Tone recently co-starred in Lee Daniels' THE U.S. VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY as well as SYLVIE'S LOVE with Tessa Thompson and Eva Longoria, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year and will be distributed by Amazon. Tone's recent Films, LITTLE, starring Issa Rae, Regina Hall and Marsai Martin  produced by Will Packer and DOG DAYs starring Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Rob Corddry, and Adam Pally are available on Hulu, as well as DVD and Blu-ray.

Tone is originally from Atlanta and currently resides in Los Angeles.

Ep. 57: Michael McShane - Actor, Singer & Improvisational Comedian

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Full Archive Length: 55 minutes

Michael McShane answered questions like: 

  1. Where are you from and how’d you get into comedy?
  2. You ended up on the british version of Whose Line Is it Anyway? How’d that come about?
  3. Whats your story from being stiffed?
  4. What was your audition like from Whose Line Is It Anyway?
  5. Did you have any mentors? What advice did they give you?
  6. What are some additional audition tips or advice you have?
  7. What advice do you have for a first time actor?
  8. Who were some of your comedic influences?
  9. You're fantastic at accents, dialects, sound effects. How'd you learn that?
  10. Do you do any voice over work?
  11. Did your time in the service influence your art?

What was it like working on the set of Robin Hood? What did you learn from that film?*****

Bio:

Michael McShane is an American actor, singer, and improvisational comedian. He appeared on the original British television show Whose Line Is It Anyway? and went on to appear in films such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Richie Rich, and Office Space.

Ep. 56: Mindy Sterling - Actress & Voice Actress

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Full Archive Length: 60 minutes 

Mindy Sterling answered questions like:

  1. We’re starting this episode a little differently but with a question we frequently ask...What’s the worst or the weirdest live show you’ve had?
  2. Where are you from and how’d you get into comedy?
  3. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  4. Your parents were both entertainers. What did you learn about the business from watching them?
  5. What are your best audition tips?
  6. How’d you get the role of Frau Farbissina? What was that process like?
  7. Cody asks: what was it like having a love scene with Mike Myers?
  8. Your character as Frau Farbissina has seen a revival as part of meme culture in 2020. What has that been like for you going viral as a meme?
  9. What’s your least favorite part of the business?
  10. You're so positive and fun in real life, how do you snap into a mean principal, boss, or friend role?
  11. What’s it like working with children and the cast of iCarly?
  12. The Groundlings has produced so many fantastic performers. Can you describe the method or process of how it all works?
  13. When doing improv, what do you tell yourself when it’s not going well?
  14. You do lots of voice acting. How'd you get into that?
  15. What are your thoughts on representation?
  16. Do you suggest going YouTube directly or finding an improv group?
  17. What are some goals or dreams you’d like to accomplish?

Bio:

Mindy Sterling is a 2017 two time Emmy Nominee for Best Actress in Short Form Comedy or Drama for her work on CON MAN and SECS AND EXECS.She is probably best known for her character portrayal of The Frau Farbissina, Dr. Evil’s German henchwoman and lover, in all three AUSTIN POWERS Films.  She is delighted to be recurring on THE GOLDBERGS with mutual Groundlings alumni, Wendi McClendon Covey. On Netflix, she has guest starred on GRACE AND FRANKIE and A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS.Kids and parents know her from Disney’s ANT FARM and ICARLY. She is the voice of Lt. Lin Beifong on the Nickelodeon Animated Series, LEGEND OF KORRA. Her voice can also be heard on LOUD HOUSE, ADVENTURES OF PUSS IN BOOTS, PIG GOAT BANANA CRICKET, SCOOBY DOO, CHOWDER, and many others.  She recurred on BLACK-ISH, FX's LEGIT, and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. She guest-starred on LIFE IN PIECES, 2 BROKE GIRLS, DETOUR, YOUNG AND HUNGRY, and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. Some of her memorable film credits are THE GRINCH WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS, DROP DEAD GORGEOUS, and RENO911!

Ep. 56: Wally Baram - Writer & Comedian

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Wally Baram is a 23 year-old Mexican-Syrian comedian that probably should have stayed in school.

After dropping out of an ivy college to pursue comedy full-time (since a degree in economics is an awfully expensive way to become a stand-up comedian), Wally has opened for Jeff Garlin, performs regularly at clubs and venues across the country, and has produced and written for Brat (Digital) and Snapchat Original shows (whatever that means). She's currently a writer on season 2 of HBO's Betty.

Her comedy brings a unique perspective on the strange banalities of entering the adult world as well as growing up with a strong multi-cultural/Mexican-Syrian identity.

Anyways, please help her figure out if dropping out was worth it. Really at a loss over here.

Ep. 54: Christian Duguay - Writer, Comedian, Executive Producer

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Full Archive Length: 58 minutes

Christian Duguay answered questions like:

  1. What’s the worst gig you’ve ever had or the weirdest thing you’ve seen at a show?
  2. Where are you from and how’d you get into comedy?
  3. Can you talk about the transition musicians make into comedy?
  4. What was groundlings like?
  5. Any of your groundlings classmates that we may know of today?
  6. How’d you get on MADtv? What was that process like?
  7. What are your best audition tips or advice?
  8. How’d you end up as EP of Ridiculousness? 
  9. What does an EP do on a day-to-day basis?
  10. As an EP who is your boss? And what do conversations sound like with them?
  11. You eventually got into stand-up. Do you remember your very first time trying it?
  12. Do you remember any of your first jokes? Do you still use them?
  13. Who were some of your comedic influences?
  14. How would you describe your on-stage comedic character and how is it different from Christian Duguay off-stage?
  15. You would make a great host because you're clean.
  16. What’s your process for developing new material? How has it changed over time?
  17. Will you dedicate a section of the day to writing? Do you have any writing rituals?
  18. How have you been using your time during quarantine?
  19. What are some goals or dreams you’d like to accomplish?
  20. What’s your favorite part of the business?
  21. What’s your least favorite part of the business?
  22. What’s it like talking to networks?
  23. Anything you want to add that I did not ask about?
  24. If you weren’t in LA where you would live?

Bio:

Christian Duguay was born on January 3, 1970 in Stanford, California. He grew up in Carefree, Arizona and Readfield, Maine. Duguay attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where he majored in Jazz Theory and Composition. In 1990, Duguay enrolled in the film school at California State University at Northridge, majoring in screenwriting. He performed with the improv comedy group Legitimate Freaks, and later studied at Groundlings Theater. He joined the Groundlings Main Company in 2000. He is most notable as one of the recurring cast of sketch comedy series, MADTV.

Ep 53: Jill Kimmel - Comedian, Actor & Voice Over Artist

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Full Archive Length: 54 minutes

Jill Kimmel answered questions like:

  1. What’s the worst gig you’ve ever had or the weirdest thing you’ve seen at a show?
  2. Where are you from and how’d you get into comedy?
  3. Do you remember your very first time doing stand-up?
  4. Do you remember any of your original jokes? Do you still use them?
  5. Who were some of your comedic influences? 
  6. Did you ever take comedy classes? How did you learn to write a well structured joke?
  7. You host a mic in Arizona, right? Do you do that because you wanted more stage time or do you actually like running shows?
  8. Emceeing is a great skill set to have. What did you learn from it?
  9. What’s the local comedy scene like there in Phoenix?
  10. So does this mean that the local comics are strong because they can get up a lot?
  11. How would you describe a Phoenix or Arizonian sense of humor or style of comedy?
  12. What were some of the great pieces of advice that Brian or anyone else in the business has given you?
  13. How would you describe your on-stage comedic character and how is it different from Jill Kimmel off-stage?
  14. What’s your process for developing new material? 
  15. Will you dedicate a section of the day to writing? Do you have any writing rituals?
  16. Do you record and watch your sets?
  17. What’s your favorite part of the business?
  18. What’s your least favorite part of the business?
  19. How do you decide on what you’ll wear on stage?
  20. What are some goals or dreams you’d like to accomplish?
  21. How’d you get into the cruise ships?
  22. What’s your best advice for moms that want to be comics? How do you balance that?
  23. What’s your best piece of advice for women in the business?

Bio:

This divorced mother of two has always had an appreciation for performing and making people laugh, but didn't discover her true calling of stand-up comedy until July of 2006. Since then, she's worked with Tom Papa, Greg Fitzsimmons, Jim Norton, Jeffrey Ross, Tig Notaro and many other great comedians at Stand-Up Live, the Improv clubs, The Laugh Factory, Catch A Rising Star and several other respected venues around the country.

Featured at the 2018 Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal for the LOL Network, and last fall on Comedy Central's, "Kevin Hart: Hart of the City", Jill also has a bi-weekly video segment on Facebook, called "What A Mouth', where she comedically explores the topics everyone can relate to, like attending a bachelorette party or bringing Starbucks for the entire office.

Known for her extensive performances at charity and fundraising events, Jill was personally asked to emcee a fundraiser by world-renowned musician Nils Lofgren, who also performed at the event. She has also been a favorite at the yearly comedy events held by The Jack Morton Foundation, an Arizona-based group that raises money to fund pediatric cancer research, as well as events for various animal rescue organizations, including Lost Our Home, AZ Small Dog Rescue, and Home Fur Good.

Jill has been part of several groups of very funny comedians who were selected by Armed Forces Entertainment to perform for the U.S. military. Since the spring of 2013, Jill has traveled to bases in Germany, Belgium, England, Italy, Turkey, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Egypt and Jordan. She performed on her fifth tour this past December, spending Christmas and New Year's Eve with our American troops overseas.

Jill has appeared in sketches on Jimmy Kimmel Live, for the website SheKnows, and has filmed multiple commercials for companies such as Vocera, Sit N Cycle, Presto Loans, George Brazil, Plexus, and ThinOptics. She regularly hosts lifestyle TV segments on various morning shows, for the PR company Orca Communications.

Every Tuesday night for seven years running, you can catch Jill hosting her own comedy show at Dos Gringos, a sports bar in Tempe, AZ, where the comedy is mediocre and the food is Mexican.

Don't miss this up and coming talent!

Ep. 52: Laurie Kilmartin - Comedian & Writer

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Full Archive Length: 53 minutes

Laurie Kilmartin answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy? 
  2. Who were some of your comedic influences? Who are some of your influences today?
  3. Do you remember your very first time doing stand-up?
  4. Do you remember one of your first jokes?
  5. What’s your process for developing new material like? How has it changed over time?
  6. Do you record your sets and revise?
  7. How did you end up getting to be a writer for Conan?
  8. What’s in a writing packet?
  9. What’s that monologue meeting look like? 
  10. You’ve written a few books? How is that process different?
  11. With poignant humor you’ve live tweeted the heartbreaking passings of both your parents. Could you talk about why you chose to do that? 
  12. Was there an unexpected response or something that happened as a result that surprised you?
  13. How were the two different for you?
  14. You got hospital policy changed for just you? Or was it policy moving forward so that others could visit their loved ones?
  15. That’s an incredible legacy that I think many would be thankful for.
  16. What was the best business advice you’ve ever received?
  17. How do you view your career?
  18. Do you have any goals or dreams you want to accomplish, let’s put it into the universe! 
  19. What was your first year in Los Angeles like?

Bio:

Laurie is an Emmy-nominated writer for CONAN on TBS. As a stand-up comedian, she has appeared on CONAN, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Comedy Central.  She was a top 10 Finalist on Last Comic Standing. Her  first book, Shitty Mom, was a NY Times bestseller. Her Seeso special, 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad, was named Vulture ‘s Top Ten Comedy Specials of 2016.

In 2018, Rodale Press published Laurie’s book about cancer, hospice and grief . “Dead People Suck was called “hilarious and heartfelt” by the New York Times. The Audible version of Dead People Suck was recorded partially at The Stand NYC comedy club.

Ep. 51: John Shealy - Comedy Agent

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Full Archive Length: 59 minutes

John Shealy answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how’d you get into comedy?
  2. What’s your favorite part of business? What’s your least?
  3. What’s that initial conversation like with a comedian that wants to take their career to the next level?
  4. Where do you look for new talent?
  5. What are the ways that digital is being monetized?
  6. Who are some of the talent you’ve worked with?
  7. What catches your eye?
  8. Can you now spot talent at an early stage?
  9. Is there a common characteristic you see among those top 100 artists working today?
  10. Do you represent/ work with newer comics or only comics who are seasoned and selling out comedy clubs? How important are social media numbers to you (followers/ likes, etc)
  11. Can you give some examples of the sort of deals you’ve worked on?
  12. Can you explain guarantee deals?
  13. What’s the new normal going to look like?
  14. How many comics are you managing? What have they been doing during the last few months?
  15. Do you take submissions from comedians directly or only work with managers?
  16. I know you worked more on touring but could you talk about what a comedy special deal look like with lets say Netflix, Amazon, etc.? 
  17. What makes a great working comedian?
  18. What we’ve heard is that people that are fun to be with and professional continue to get repeat and referral work.
  19. In addition to the pay, what are the musts you have to see in a contract? Food? Hotel? Transportation?
  20. Do you know of any colleges today that don’t censor?
  21. Who are some of your favorite comedians today?
  22. From the audience...What are your favorite festivals?
  23. Favorite comedy clubs?
  24. What’s the best advice you received about the business?
  25. What should a comedian spend their time focusing on today? Social media like TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube? Something else?
  26. Do you have an example of a comic that did something wrong that we could learn from?

Bio:

John Shealy is an experienced comedy agent with an in-depth knowledge of media markets, artist/brand development and marketing. He's been the lead agent for 20+ Comedians, Podcast, and/or Influencers with more than 1,500 live events booked. His responsibilities include negotiating all deal terms, contracting buyers/promoters and reviewing any changes, creating marketing strategies (digital, print, radio/Pandora), acquiring sponsorships, monitoring ticket sales, arranging travel & accommodations, implementing press runs, general show promotion, and dealing with any day-to-day issues that may arise while comedians are on the road. Tour booking territories include stand-up, podcasting, hosting/MC at festivals, colleges, rock clubs, theaters and comedy clubs. In addition to touring, other deals negotiated include “Specials” that aired on Netflix, Comedy Central, Hulu, and other broadcast platforms; Book deals with publishers; Podcast network deals; CD & DVD deals; Corporate activations at festivals; and Red Carpet appearances.

Ep. 50: Margaret Sanfelippo - EVP, Bonkerz Comedy

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Full Archive Length: 57 minutes

Margaret Sanfelippo answered questions like:

  1. What’s the status of your clubs right now?
  2. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  3. What does your job look like on a daily basis?
  4. What makes a great working comedian?
  5. Do you have an example of a comic that did something wrong?
  6. Can you now spot talent at an early stage?
  7. With so many comics now...What catches your eye/ear? What makes one stick out?
  8. What’s the booking process?
  9. Audience is asking...Is it through the website or should they email you directly?
  10. What do you look for in choosing a comedian? Are you thinking of the local cultures? 
  11. Do you or someone on your team manage comics as well?

  12. What do you look for in someone you manage?
  13. How have you adapted to quarantine? Are you doing any digital/zoom shows?
  14. What are the ways that comics can really make money as soon as possible? Being clean? Emceeing? Selling merch?
  15. What’s the best advice you ever received about the business?
  16. What are common mistakes or pet peeves you see new comedians making?
  17. How can a comedian best support the club on stage? Maybe a way to bump F&B revenue?
  18. What other venues do you have in vegas? 
  19. How is the comedy scene in Las Vegas compared to LA or New York?
  20. Do you notice comics in your venues doing much material on COVID? 
  21. Is laughs per minute important? 
  22. Do you think COVID, presidential campaign and race relations which change the format of comedy in anyway?
  23. How have you seen comedy evolve over the years?
  24. Any final thoughts, advice?
  25. What is your opinion of TV credits?
  26. What are the elements you want in the submission email?

Bio:
Margaret Sanfelippo, Executive Vice President and CFO, has been part of the Bonkerz executive management team since 1998. Margaret is a graduate (cum laude) of the University of Central Florida’s School of Business. Margaret is responsible for overseeing the day to day business and financial aspects of Bonkerz. She oversees all facets of the company including comic and venue scheduling, sales and marketing, venue relations, web master, IT and our reservation center.

In addition to her involvement in the daily operations of Bonkerz, Margaret travels extensively consulting with Bonkerz venues and helping them to set up systems, work on branding issues, etc.  Her depth of knowledge is a major asset to Bonkerz Comedy Productions.

She is also a fantastic cook and baker of both traditional and paleo friendly cookies, cakes and other delicious treats.

Bonkerz currently produces shows for over 2 dozen venues including several locations throughout the Las Vegas area and all across the USA. In Florida alone, we have clubs in Orlando, Deltona, Daytona Beach, Ocala, and various other comedy series around the state. Bonkerz also has locations in Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

Ep. 49: Abdullah Saed - Host, Reporter, Writer & Producer

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Full Archive Length: 60 minutes

Abdullah Said answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into the entertainment business? 
  2. Can you briefly summarize each one of your shows that you have now?
  3. What do you enjoy most about the shows? Producing? Writing? On-Camera?
  4. What is that threshold for getting into the writers guild? Also, can you quickly explain what the writers guild and the benefits that come with it for those that don’t know.
  5. At this age, knowing what you know, how would you get into the business today?
  6. What’s your rubric for a project?
  7. What was your first year in Los Angeles like?
  8. What’s the best advice you’ve received about the business?
  9. What does your family think of your success?
  10. How do you get through the tough times?
  11. What’s next? What’s in your pipeline?
Bio:
Abdullah Saeed is a Pakistani-American writer, producer, reporter, host, and actor currently based in Los Angeles. Abdullah created and produced several of Vice's cannabis properties, including Weediquette, the James Beard Award-nominated TV cooking series Bong Appetit, and the short-form series Smokeables. He also hosted and produced the political road trip TV series Vice Does America, as well as documentaries including the Webby Award-winning Mad Honey, The Ketamine Cure for Depression, AUTO-INFECTADO, and the "Dark Web" episode of Black Market with Michael K. Williams. He has written for Vice, Guardian, Atlantic, High Times, Complex, Village Voice, and others.
Abdullah is a writer and recurring actor on the HBO series High Maintenance. He's co-writing his first film for New Regency and Searchlight Pictures with High Maintenance co-creator and star Ben Sinclair. Abdullah is also currently an investigative reporter for Greater LA on KCRW, LA's NPR station, for which he was a second-place finalist in the 2019 Associated Press Television and Radio Association broadcast contest.
Ep 48: Natalie Palamides - Actress, Comedian & Writer

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Full Archive Length: 71 minutes

Natalie Palamides answered questions like:

  1. You’re from Pittsburgh? How did you get into comedy? 
  2. Who were some of your comedic influences? 
  3. You interned at Conan. What was that like? 
  4. What was the best business advice that you took from that experience?
  5. What was your first year in Los Angeles like?
  6. Have you had a mentor in the business?
  7. Can you tell us about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival? What led up to that event for you?
  8. You’ve performed at both Just For Laughs and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, correct? How were they alike and how were they different?
  9. Can we play a couple of your videos and you can tell us about it?
  10. Can you tell us about your show, NATE?
  11. How have you stayed artistically active during quarantine?
  12. You’re teaching a digital class, right?

Bio:

Natalie Palamides is a comedian based in Los Angeles, CA from Pittsburgh, PA. She's the voice of Buttercup on the reboot of the PowerPuff Girls on Cartoon Network. Catch her solo show "LAID," directed by Dr. Brown (Philip Burgers), at UCB before it hits the Edinburgh Fringe festival this August. Natalie was named one of the "New Faces" of comedy for Characters at the 2016 Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. Natalie is a regular performer at the Upright Citizen's Brigade theatre and has been a member of the UCB TourCo, Maude Night, UCB Digital, and a director for the UCB Character Team, "Characters Welcome." The Comedy Bureau said "you could peg Natalie Palamides as the second coming of Kristen Wiig. We like to think of Natalie as something all out-of-left-field and supremely committed to her characters..." She worked as a creative consultant with the Obie-Award-Winning Pig Iron Theatre Company on the play, "I Promised Myself to Live Faster" which premiered at the 2015 Humana Festival. She's been a series regular on Comedy Central's "BriTANick" pilot, TruTV's "How to Human" pilot, and Disney XD's "Very Important House" pilot. Other TV/Film credits include Bob's Burgers, Tween Fest, Uncle Buck, Freaks of Nature, Uncle Grandpa, Futureworm, the UCB show, and Comedy Bang Bang.

Ep. 47: Justin Hires - Actor, Comedian & Musician

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Full Archive Length: 67 minutes

Justin Hires answered questions like:

  1. You grew up in St. Petersburg Florida, is that where you started doing stand-up? How did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember your very first time doing stand-up?
  3. What was that first joke that got laughs, do you remember it?
  4. Who were some of your comedic influences back then? How about today?
  5. Have you gotten the chance to perform with any of them?
  6. What was that like to perform with someone you watched and looked up to? Did you take advantage of it and soak up as much as you could?
  7. What’s some of the best advice you’ve ever received about the business?
  8. You do...a lot. Writing screenplays, music, and standup. How do you think those disciplines interplay with each other?
  9. What’s your process for developing new material? How has it changed over the years?
  10. What was your first year in Los Angeles like?
  11. When you go back and watch your videos how do you break it down so you can pull as much useful info out as possible?
  12. You’re pretty athletic on stage. Were you a gymnast?
  13. If you could trace back, what was the point in time when the opportunities started to roll in faster for you? 
  14. How did you get Rush Hour?
  15. Aside from doing you, what are your best audition tips?
  16. You’ve been tapped to write the sequel to Half Baked - an american classic. How did that come about and how does that process look right now?
  17. Have you gone to cast?
  18. What don’t you like about being a writer-for-hire?
  19. Who would you like to cast for the leads?
  20. How do you think up-and-coming comics can posture themselves to stick out more, especially right now when it seems everyone is a comedian?
  21. Have you faced adversity in stand up or the entertainment business? And if so, how'd you overcome it?
  22. Do you have any pet peeves or mistakes that you see newer comedians making that they can avoid? 
  23. What’s one of the weirdest things you've seen at a show?
  24. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do?
  25. Is there anything you want to mention that I may not have talked about?
  26. How did you transition into music?
  27. How did you come up with the concept for your street fighter music video?

Bio:

Justin Hires is a multi-talented artist.

Hires can be seen playing BOZER in the CBS reboot of MACGYVER. His past credits include starring as DETECTIVE CARTER in the CBS action/comedy RUSH HOUR, portraying JUARIO in the box office success 21 JUMP STREET, and recurring on Comedy Central's popular sketch comedy show KEY & PEELE.  In between filming, Justin can be seen headlining his own nationwide stand-up comedy tour. Next up for Justin- conquering the hip hop world. He's gearing up to release his second hip hop mixtape under the moniker J. HIRES, entitled CHAPTER 2: He Rap Rap. Justin is also currently writing HALF BAKED 2 for Universal 1440 Entertainment.

Born in St. Petersburg, FL and raised by two very supportive parents, Hires always had an extremely notable gift to make others laugh.  While attending college at Clark Atlanta University, Justin was cast in two feature films- STOMP THE YARD and THE GOSPEL.

After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media- Radio, TV, and Film, Justin moved to Hollywood, CA. He started performing stand-up comedy and landing television and film roles, along with accumulating millions of views online with his personal sketches and vlogs.

Justin is determined to continue his pursuit of international stardom and is positioned to become one of Hollywood's elite brand names.

Ep. 46: Chuck Johnson - President, Summit Comedy

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Full Archive Length: 69 minutes

Chuck Johnson answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. What’s your favorite part of the business?
  3. What’s your least favorite part of the business?
  4. What does your job look like on a daily basis?
  5. In addition to JFL and Big Sky. What other festivals do you recommend? 
  6. What makes someone marketable to a college audience?
  7. How do you respond to those clients to regain their trust?
  8. Who are some of the most booked college comics on your roster that our attendees can look up and watch?
  9. Can you be more specific, What is it about him and his act?
  10. Do you have to have representation to get into NACA?
  11. From the audience...I’ve been told that for colleges, you’ve to be young. If you are over 40, you are too old. Is that true?
  12. What makes someone wanted back by a college?
  13. Can you spot talent at an early stage? What catches your eye/ear? What makes one stick out? 
  14. You mentioned, being really friendly with the buyer before and after the show. How else can a comedian help you so that they can be booked more and more? What are some of the other little things?
  15. What’s your booking process? How can someone be considered by Summit or if your roster is full will you critique a reel or provide feedback? How long should the clip be? Should it be unedited?
  16. How has the corporate and cruise market changed because of covid?
  17. Are laughs per minute important?
  18. What’s your best piece of advice for new comedians? 
  19. What’s the best advice you ever received about the business?
  20. What are common mistakes or pet peeves you see new comedians making?

Bio:

Chuck Johnson entered the comedy business the day after graduating from Appalachian State University in 1995 being hired as a college agent for comedian Carrot Top.  In 1998 he formed Summit Comedy, Inc. which is now in its 22nd year of business as one of the Nation's Largest suppliers of Stand-up Comedy & Comedy Entertainment for Colleges/Universities, Corporate Events, Country Clubs, Cruise ships, Clubs & beyond.

Ep. 45: Roy Wood Jr. - Comedian, Producer & Actor

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Full archive length: 74 minutes

Roy Wood, Jr. answered questions like:

  1. You grew up in Alabama, is that where you started doing stand-up? How did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember your very first time doing stand-up?
  3. Do you remember any of your original jokes?
  4. Who were some of your comedic influences back then? How about today?
  5. What’s your process for developing new material? How has it changed over the years?
  6. How do you think up-and-coming comics can posture themselves to stick out more, especially right now when it seems everyone is a comedian?
  7. Your dad was a broadcast journalist that became known for his pioneering coverage of the civil rights movement. How much of that or just growing up in the south, influenced your comedy?
  8. Audience members asks...You mentioned the traditions of comedy. As a new comic, I find it hard to figure out when I need to follow tradition vs. do things my way. Do you have advice on when you felt comfortable with that?
  9. Audience member asks...I’m autistic and I’m having a difficult time finding ways to speak about it. How do you write material on sensitive subjects?
  10. Audience members has a question regarding Cancel Culture - do you feel that the progress we’re making in society with respect to minorities, LGBTQ, etc. comes at any expense to comedy (for example... sometimes great comedy can make people uncomfortable, can be super shocking, Chapelle, etc.)
  11. Audience member asks...How do you bridge the gap of being silly and talking about serious topics? I feel sometimes that’s where I create a disconnect with audiences with trying to get them to laugh while also getting real...
  12. What are your tips for practicing and staying up on your comedy skills during quarantine?
  13. Have you faced adversity in stand up? And if so, how'd you overcome it?
  14. Do you have any pet peeves or mistakes that you see newer comedians making that they can avoid?
  15. Audience member asks...My question is more about the producing aspect of comedy. I have started by own online comedy show, and start new Zoom in-person shows. Do you have any advice for young producers?
  16. Does the work you do on The Daily Show effect your stand-up ... and vice versa?
  17. What’s one of the weirdest things you've seen at a show?

Bio:

Roy Wood Jr.’s comedy has entertained millions across stage, television and radio. In addition to stand-up comedy, producing and acting, Roy is currently a correspondent on Comedy Central's Emmy and NAACP Award winning The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. During his tenure, he has used The Daily Show’s brand of satire to shed light on serious issues including gun violence, police reform, LGBTQ+ discrimination, ICE deportations and PTSD in the Black community. Wood’s recent credits include guest starring roles in Netflix’s comedy series Space Force, AMC’s Better Call Saul, and The Last O.G on TBS.

 

Roy expanded his already large role on Comedy Central with a comprehensive first-look deal and is developing his comedy pilot Jefferson County: Probation. In addition, he recently created the Comedy Central web series, Stand-Up Playback, in which he has fellow comics revisit vintage clips of them performing to see if their old jokes still hold up. Roy also wrote and starred in the Comedy Central web series The Night Pigeon, the story of a black superhero with minimal powers fighting the biggest baddest gang in his community, The Gentrifiers. Additionally, Comedy Central is committed to produce and air Roy’s third one-hour standup special. His second special, No One Loves You, premiered as part of Comedy Central’s Stand-Up Month in January 2019, the network’s highest rated original stand-up premiere since his February 2017 one-hour, Father Figure. In 2017, he was also named the new host of Comedy Central’s storytelling series, This is Not Happening.

 

Roy is a graduate of the Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. True to his roots, he is a strong and outspoken advocate for reshaping the image of Alabama and the American South as a whole. In 2018, he penned a New York Times piece on the subject. He is actively working with the Birmingham City Council and the Film Commission to bring more entertainment jobs to the state. During the pandemic, Roy has spent time raising money for the staff of his hometown comedy clubs in Alabama through tipyourwaitstaff.com and Laugh Aid. In October 2006, he made his network television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman. In 2008, he appeared on HBO’s historic Def Comedy Jam and in 2010 was selected by America as one of the top three finalists on NBC’s Last Comic Standing. He has appeared on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Conan, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He has also performed for the troops on numerous USO tours in the Middle East and the Pacific Islands. Prior to The Daily Show, Wood co-starred for three seasons on the TBS sitcom Sullivan & Son. Angeles. Keep up with Roy on Twitter and Instagram @roywoodjr.
Ep. 44: Jade Catta-Preta - Actress, Comedian & TV Host

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Full Archive Length: 54 minutes

Jade Catta-Preta answered questions like:

  1. You’re originally from Brazil, is that where you started? How did you get into comedy?
  2. How do your jokes translate?
  3. What's the comedy scene like in Brazil? Is this Rio? Sao Paulo?
  4. Does sarcasm work in portuguese?
  5. How did you get into comedy?
  6. Do you remember your very first time doing stand-up?
  7. Do you remember any of your original jokes? Do you still use them?
  8. Who were some of your comedic influences back then? How about today?
  9. In addition to the acting classes did you ever take stand-up or improv classes? 
  10. Can you describe your on-stage comedic character and how it's different from Jade off-stage?
  11. You said you’re using comedy as therapy. What’s your process for developing new material? How has it changed over the years?
  12. Can you describe last time you bombed?
  13. Do you also work clean?
  14. What did your family think when you first started doing comedy and wanting to take it seriously? Were they supportive?
  15. How did you get the job of host for Talk Soup? Can you talk about that process?
  16. What does a day of production look like at the Soup? Can you walk us through it?
  17. How do you hope to leave your mark on that show? 
  18. What about a blue Talk Soup? Dirty version.
  19. Can you describe how the writers room works?
  20. Do you or have you had a mentor in the business?
  21. What has been your greatest challenge in your career and how have you overcome it?
  22. What's the best piece of advice you ever received about the business?***
  23. If you were starting out now, how would you do it? Would you lean into digital content creation like youtube/tiktok?
  24. Do you have any pet peeves or mistakes that you see newer comedians making that they can avoid?
  25. What’s one of the weirdest things you've seen at a show?
  26. Any personal haunting stories from The Comedy Store?

Bio:

Jade Catta-Preta is a Brazilian-born comic and actress working in Los Angeles, New York and Brazil. She performs at comedy clubs all over the country both in English and Portuguese. Her credits include MTV’s Girl Code and Punk’d, Comedy Central’s @Midnight and guest roles on Modern Family and The Jim Gaffigan Show.

Jade Catta-Preta is currently host of “The Soup” on E! that airs on Wednesdays at 11pm ET/PT. The Soup is an unfiltered catch-up for pop culture fans on the buzziest clips of the week across entertainment and social media. From reality TV, to viral trends, and streaming sensations, it’s everything you can’t miss this week.

Ep. 43: Lukas Seely - Comedian & Producer, Big Sky Comedy Festival

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Full Archive Length: 65 minutes

Lukas Seely answered questions like: 

  1. You’re originally from Montana, what was the scene like there when you started and how did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember your very first time doing stand-up?
  3. Do you use any of your original jokes? Do you still use them?
  4. Who were some of your comedic influences back then? How about today?
  5. Did you ever take comedy classes? 
  6. Can you describe your on-stage comedic character? How is it different from Lukas Seely?
  7. What’s your process for developing new material? How has it changed over the years?
  8. Do you have any on-stage performance techniques to engage the audience in your stories?
  9. Do you or have you had a mentor in the business?
  10. Everyone is talking about Big Sky Comedy Festival which means you’re doing something right. Can you tell us how it came about and what it looked like up until the pandemic?
  11. You break the comics into two teams. Can you talk about how that works?
  12. How many comedians in total? How are you able to pay for everyone’s trip?
  13. How will the pandemic change things for the festival?
  14. What’s the submission process look like? What are you looking for? 
  15. Of the 1,000 submissions that you receive. How many are actually of the caliber that you would consider for the festival?
  16. What other pet peeves or mistakes do you see new comedians making?
  17. What are the technical specs for the submission? How long a video are you looking for? Laughs per minute?
  18. How much material should a comedian have to be successful at the festival?
  19. Do you have a youtube page where people can see past performances from the festival?
  20. What's the best piece of advice you ever received about the business?
  21. What’s one of the weirdest things you've seen at a show?
  22. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so, what did you do about it?

Bio:

Lukas Seely started comedy back in his hometown of Billings, MT before relocating to Seattle,WA in 2004. Lukas soon became a crowd favorite in Seattle Comedy scene and had since moved to Los Angeles, California where he regularly performs at The Hollywood Improv, The Comedy Store and many other venues.

The comedic poise he brings to the stage is impressive. His contagious laugh makes audiences feel as if they were sitting at home in front of the fire place. His hilarious stories about his life in a country city and other life experiences make his performance a knock out punch.​

He was nominated as an Emerging Comic in the New York Underground Comedy Festival. Recently he opened for Bill Burr on the "Billy Red State Tour." Lukas has also worked w/ such names as Dane Cook, Damon Wayans, Russell Peters, Bobby Lee, Sarah Silverman, Ron White, Greg Giraldo, Daniel Tosh to name a few.

​ Lukas performed his stand-up on FOX's "Laughs," and Showtime's "Louie Anderson Presents" currently on Hulu.com. His cooking skills were on display on TNT's "On The Menu" with Emeril Lagasse.

For the 2015 NFL season his is the 49ers Official Goofy Weather Man for the Series " The Faithful Forecast." on 49ers Studio.

Lukas Seely is rising star you must catch!

Ep. 42: Capt. Brien Spina - Owner, Off The Hook Comedy Club

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Full Archive Length: 47 minutes

Capt. Brien Spina answered questions like:

  1. Your comedy club turned 15 years this year, I doubt this is how you expected to celebrate the anniversary. What’s the status of your club right now?
  2. Do you have a parking lot you could do driveins?
  3. Have you transitioned into digital shows or entertainment at all?
  4. You have a podcast called Captains Log. Can you talk more about it? 
  5. Does it help promote the comedy club?
  6. What’s your advice for comics to be better promoters?
  7. What are some of your biggest pet peeves when it comes to new comics? Mistakes you see them making?
  8. What are your audiences like? Are you thinking of them when booking?
  9. What’s your booking process? How can someone submit their stuff for consideration? 
  10. Is there an example of a perfect audition tape that you like?
  11. There are more comedians now than ever before...How can one stand-out from the pack?
  12. What’s your best piece of business advice for an aspiring comedian?
  13. Who are some of your favorite comedians?
  14. Who brings the best audiences for you as far as big food and bev bills?
  15. What is the craziest/weirdest show you've seen?

Bio:

Off The Hook Comedy Club was opened in 2005, in Marco Island, and has now relocated to Naples, Florida, by owner Brien Spina. Off The Hook was the first venue in Southwest Florida to incorporate a full service restaurant into a comedy club. The venue has 4-6 shows every week, Thursday thru Sunday. Off The Hook was created to bring the biggest names in comedy to Southwest Florida. Off The Hook Comedy Club has staged over a thousand comedians, and was the first comedy club to book Tom Green, and feature “Jackass star Steve-O.” Off The Hook was home to Bubba The Love Sponge’s first Bamboozle Festival. The venue has featured the biggest comedians in the country including Mike Epps, Darrell Hammond, Pauly Shore, Carlos Mencia, Kevin Hart, Chris Kattan, Gabriel Iglesias, Eddie Griffin, Andy Dick, Kevin Nealon, Shawn Wayans, Louie Anderson, Tom Arnold, Jackie Mason, Jim Breuer, Tommy Chong and many more.

Ep. 41: Joel Pace - Venue Development / Senior Agent at EastCoast Entertainment & The Comedy Zone Worldwide

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Full Archive Length: 88 Minutes

Joel Pace answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. What does your job look like on a daily basis?
  3. What makes a great working comedian?
  4. Can you now spot talent at an early stage?
  5. With so many comics now...What catches your eye/ear? What makes one stick out?
  6. What do you look for in choosing a comedian? Are you thinking of the local culture? 
  7. What’s your best piece of advice for new comedians? 
  8. What are your thoughts on one-man shows? Do you book many of those?
  9. How would a talent manager go about submitting a comic to a booking agent? How long should the clip be? Should it be unedited?
  10. What do you do about a heckler? 
  11. What are your thoughts on laughs per minute?
  12. Can we send in zoom show clips nowadays or would a booker (you) prefer an older live clip? 
  13. How long of a set does a comic need to have to get a booking agent? 
  14. Is it bad if a comic goes under their time?
  15. What are the ways that comics can really make money as soon as possible? Being clean? Emceeing? Selling merch?
  16. What’s the best advice you ever received about the business?
  17. What are common mistakes or pet peeves you see new comedians making?
  18. Will you do an unsolicited critique of a comic when they get off stage?
  19. Let’s say you hear a comedian tell a joke similar to one you've heard before. Do you do anything about it? What’s that conversation like?
  20. What’s the best selling merchandise that you’ve seen? What should comics think about when trying to figure out good merch?
  21. What’s the submission process for bookings?
  22. How can a comedian maximize their time at a festival if they’ve been accepted?

Bio:

A unicorn of sorts, Joel Pace was born, raised and continues to reside in Charlotte, NC. His start in the comedy business began in 1991 when a friend invited him to see a hypnotist show at The Comedy Zone. The club had two shows that evening and the host never showed up. While waiting for the second show to begin at the karaoke bar next door, a server he knew from high school asked if he would step in and host that evening. (His singing and acting skills are legendary.)

With an offer of $50 and an open bar tab, Joel took the gig. From karaoke host to barback, bartender, assistant manager, and general manager, Joel climbed the comedy ladder until he reached the rungs of the corporate office.

Comedy is Joel's life and he prides himself on his leadership within the industry. Along with his partners, Brian Heffron and Leonard Kure, the three have grown The Comedy Zone into the largest comedy booking agency in the country and a trusted brand.

Joel resides in Charlotte, NC with his beautiful wife, Stacy, and four children. He is an avid Pittsburgh sports fan - Go Steelers, Pirates & Pens!

Ep. 40: Brian Moses - Writer & Producer

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Full Archive Length: 54 minutes

Brian Moses answered questions like: 

  1. Who was your comedy mentor? What did he teach you?
  2. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  3. Do you remember your first time performing standup?
  4. Do you remember any of your first jokes? Do you still use it?
  5. Who were some of your comedic influences? Then and now.
  6. How would you describe your comedic character on-stage and how does it differ from Brian Moses off-stage?
  7. Do people misinterpret you online with that kind of comedy?
  8. For those that may not be familiar with it, can you describe what Roast Battle is…
  9. How'd you come up with the idea for Roast Battle? 
  10. Do you remember the first one?
  11. What was the process for Roast Battle to end up on a cable network like Comedy Central?
  12. Is it possible for me to make a show happen if you're not in New York or Los Angeles?
  13. Can you talk more about the intellectual property aspect? How do you protect your show?
  14. How did you transition the show during the pandemic?
  15. Any advice for hosting a roast battle?
  16. What’s your process for developing material and how has it changed over time?
  17. What are your tips for comedians to find their comedic character?
  18. There are more comics now that ever before, how can someone stand-out from the pack?
  19. How many years have you been doing comedy and when did it click for you?
  20. What was your first year in LA like?
  21. How did you get the comedy store mic? 
  22. What did your family think of your comedy when you first started versus today?
  23. Do you have any pet peeves or mistakes you see new comedians making?
  24. What was your most memorable moment performing or your weirdest gig?
  25. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?
  26. Anything you want to add that I may not have asked? Any additional tips or advice for comedians?

Bio:

Brian Moses is a writer and producer, known for RoastMasters, Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle.

Ep. 39: Freddy Stebbins - Comedian, Emcee & Actor

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Full Archive Length: 75 minutes

Freddy Stebbins answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy? 
  2. What was Groundlings like?
  3. Did Groundlings accelerate your comedy from a technical aspect?
  4. Do you remember the first time you performed on stage?
  5. Who was your first character?
  6. For your characters do you create profiles for each detailing their backgrounds, family, job, etc.
  7. How do you get the accents?
  8. What do you include in the character profile?
  9. Do you have a favorite of all the characters you play?
  10. Not only are you a comedian, you’re also a professor at Miami Dade College and you happen to be a historian. You’ve combined your love of Miami History with your character comedy to create something truly unique. Can you talk about your history show?
  11. Who were some of your comedic influences?
  12. Can you tell us about the Walter Mercado character you do.
  13. You’ve won the Miami NewTimes Comedian of the Year, Ultimate Miami Comedian, the Miami Public Space Challenge. What has been your greatest accomplishment to-date?
  14. You are one of the few comedians in Miami (and South Florida) that regularly gets work. What do you attribute that to?
  15. What’s your best advice for someone who wants to do characters?
  16. You talk openly about being gay on stage. And this past june during pride month you shared a story about being the victim of a hate crime that happened to you 12 years ago after one of your shows. For those in our audience that are unfamiliar, can you share more about what happened?
  17. Did that have a chilling effect on your comedy back then? 
  18. What’s your advice for young comedians?
  19. What does your family think of your comedy? Especially when you first started?
  20. How do you balance your job as a professor with your comedy goals? How do you prioritize?

Bio:
Freddy Stebbins is a professional comedic artist, performer, and humorist. His craft combines freestyle character impersonations, stand-up comedy, satire and accent (dialectic) expertise. Recognized for his successful season with the Travel Channel’s “Get Packing!” (see credits) and extensive national TV commercial work, his voice has been heard by millions of Americans through radio, tv, film, animation, sports and attractions. The traveling comedic correspondent for the Los Angeles Dodgers (2000), Freddy is currently the voice behind many attractions at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure. With a Master of Arts from the University of Miami, Freddy moved to LA and trained with America’s most prestigious improv troupe; “The Groundlings” (of SNL fame). As a stand-up comedian, he has won several major competitions including the 2017 Miami Ultimate Comedian, the Miami NewTimes 2016 Best Comedian, the “Certs College Campus Comedy Award” (finalist), “2007 South Beach Comedy Festival” (finalist), “Miami Improv’s Funniest New Comedians/MC 2007” (winner). His weekly stand-up show was recently acclaimed in the Miami Herald as the “place to be”. Freddy has opened for national headliners Al Jackson and Ian Baggs and also won the The Miami Foundation’s 2018 Public Space Challenge for his Laughter in the Library tour.

Ep. 38: Ben Brainard - Comedian

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Full Archive Length: 80 minutes

Ben Brainard answered questions like: 

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy? 
  2. Do you remember one of your first jokes? Do you still use it?
  3. Who were some of your comedic influences? Who are some of your influences today?
  4. How were you using social media prior to the pandemic? Were you posting just your stand-up or were you posting sketches?
  5. Do you remember your first video that went viral?
  6. Why do you think that one took off versus others? 
  7. How did you come up with the idea for table talk?
  8. Can we play one of the first table talk videos and you can tell us about it?
  9. How long do they take to write, shoot, and edit?
  10. Have you found it hard to keep up with the news? Will you start writing and then find it’s outdated?
  11. Do you create character profiles for each detailing their backgrounds, family, job, etc.
  12. How do you get the accents for each state?
  13. Which is your favorite state?
  14. Do you find that your audiences engage with the character as if they are real people?
  15. Would you ever do a table talk about what teachers are going through with COVID-19?
  16. How do you view the audience differences between the social media channels? Facebook v. Instagram v. YouTube v. Tiktok. 
  17. How do you deal with negative comments? 
  18. Collaborations with Drew Lynch which is a great way to grow your audience. How else do you develop and grow your online audience? 
  19. You’ve done a great job of monetizing. For those that don’t know can you explain what Patreon is and how you use it?
  20. Are your online audiences translating into stand-up audiences and ticket sales? 
  21. When do you think you will be traveling again?
  22. Can you describe your stand-up comedic character and how is it different from Ben Brainard off-stage?
  23. Are you thinking of bringing the states on-stage?
  24. You’ve mentioned you’ve had ADD before, what are some challenges and what are the benefits professionally and interpersonally?
  25. What’s your best advice for someone who does characters and wants to grow their online audience? 
  26. What was it like for you when you started going viral?
  27. What does your family think of your comedy? What about your buddies in the reserve?

Bio:

Ben Brainard is a comedian with a natural ability to make any crowd laugh. Originally from Daytona Beach, and now living in Orlando, Ben has performed at comedy clubs across Florida, including: the Orlando and Tampa Improv, Gregory’s Upstairs Comedy Club and Bonkerz Comedy Clubs. He’s also produced several shows for Army Reserve units and currently produces several shows in the local Orlando area. Ben has even appeared on Sling TV's show "The Lowdown with James Yon."

Since a very young age, Ben has been “the funny kid,” or at least, “the kid that will cheer you up,” but, oddly enough, standup comedy was never really a part of his plan. Before his junior year of high school, Ben won an “Engineering Scholars Program” scholarship and literally did rocket science for a summer. As a senior in high school, Ben played 3 sports, took AP and honors classes and won student body President as the presidencies for the FCA and The Academy of Drafting and Design. For a year and a half after high school, he majored in mechanical engineering and double minored in physics and CAD/CAM at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. Then, one day, he got bored of calculus, dropped out of school, joined the US Army Reserve, moved to Orlando and started doing standup comedy. Ben has always said “yes” to opportunities, and his “I’ll try anything once” attitude has ultimately lead to some hilarious stories and an irrationally high 26 different jobs since he turned 16. Ben has done everything from work a drive-thru at Chick-fil-A to drive a bus for the YMCA after school program, and now he takes the stage to tell all about everything he’s done and seen and make you laugh along the way.

Standing at only 5’5 and weighing in at 125lbs, Ben is not an intimidating presence, but don’t let his size fool you! He packs some serious punchlines! From jokes about his stature to hilarious stories about dating, jobs, general life mishaps and even his crazy family, Ben is sure to have you laughing until your sides hurt!

Ep. 37: Mary Basmadjian - Comedian, Actor, Writer and Producer

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Full Archive Length: 61 minutes

Mary Basmadjian answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy? 
  2. Do you remember one of your first jokes? Do you still use it?
  3. Who were some of your comedic influences? Who are some of your influences today?
  4. How did you transition to social media with your comedy?
  5. Why do you think that one took off versus others? 
  6. Can you talk about the cast of characters you do and the inspiration for each?
  7. Do you create character profiles for each detailing their backgrounds, family, job, etc. before writing each sketch?
  8. What’s your process look like for developing a sketch?
  9. Do you find that your audiences engage with the character as if they are a real person or Mary or both?
  10. Did you ever take improv classes?
  11. How do you view the audience engagement differences between the social media channels? Facebook v. Instagram v. YouTube.
  12. How do Armenians react towards your characters?
  13. How do you develop and grow your online audience? 
  14. How are you able to monetize your online audience?
  15. Can you talk about how your manager is helping to develop your career?
  16. Can you describe your on-stage comedic character and how is it different from Mary Basmadjian off-stage?
  17. Any advice for up and coming comics?
  18. During quarantine you’re also working on voice acting and self-auditions. Can you talk about that?
  19. Where are most of your orders for your personal video messages coming from? 
  20. How do you critique your performances?
  21. How do you go about getting yourself booked at clubs?
  22. What have you found to be the biggest challenges in the business?
  23. What’s your best piece of advice for women in the business?
  24. What was it like when you started going viral?
  25. What does your family think of your comedy? 
  26. What was the weirdest show that you’ve had?
  27. It’s said that you can’t joke about the holocaust. Has that been your experience with the Armenian genocide? 
  28. How do you deal with the negative comments? Do you read all your comments?

Bio:

Mary Basmadjian: Armenian-American stand up comedian, actor, writer and producer. She has been a fixture of the Los Angeles comedy circuit for 10 years and recently rose to fame with her hilariously accurate reflection of the Armenian diaspora subculture. Her nuanced approach articulates the immigrant experience in a way that transcends cultural barriers.

Ep. 36: Emilio Savone: Owner, The New New York Comedy Club

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Full Archive Length: 90 minutes

Emilio Savone answered questions like:

  1. What’s the status of your clubs right now?
  2. How have the audiences been? What’s their feeling?
  3. Has the business model changed since the pandemic?
  4. Have you used quarantine to make any updates to the clubs?
  5. What did the transition into digital look like? What was working?
  6. Have online audiences dropped off now that people are kinda zoomed out? 
  7. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  8. What’s your advice for comics to be better promoters?
  9. What are some of your biggest pet peeves when it comes to new comics? Mistakes you see them making?
  10. Who's your favorite up and coming comedian right now? As an owner can you tell if the comic is going to be big?
  11. Do each of your clubs have a talent booker? Is there a standard booking process?
  12. Do you notice a difference between NY and LA comics?
  13. What festivals do you recommend? 
  14. How have you made your clubs into more inclusive and supportive environments for women and marginalized voices?
  15. There are more comedians now than ever before...How can one stand-out from the pack?
  16. What’s your best piece of advice for an aspiring comedian?

Bio:

Emilio is an industry leader in the comedy community, with 20 years experience in media and promotions. He is the co-owner of the New York Comedy Club and co- founder of multiple comedy entities including Stand Up Tix Platform, Connecticut Comedy Festival, Atlantic City, Philly, and Fairfield Comedy Clubs. Emilio previously founded and served as CEO of Empire Marketing & Promotions. He serves on the board of the DeGregorio Foundation and has an undergraduate BA from Loyola University in Maryland.

Ep. 35: Dan Gabriel - Comedian

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Full Archive Length: 92 minutes

Dan Gabriel answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember your first time performing standup?
  3. Do you remember any of your first jokes?
  4. Who are your comedic influences?
  5. What’s your process for developing material and how has it changed over time?
  6. How would you describe your comedic character on-stage and how does it differ from Dan Gabriel off-stage?
  7. What are your tips for comedians to find themselves in their comedy?
  8. There are more comics now than ever before, how can someone stand-out from the pack?
  9. Was there a moment that the opportunities started accelerating for you? Maybe an audition or festival? 
  10. When covid is over, where would you go to first to do a live show and why?
  11. Did you have any mentors or just collect pearls of wisdom from great comics along the way?
  12. How did you transition from clubs to cruise ships?
  13. How are cruise shows different than club shows?
  14. Did you have to mix your set up to succeed in that environment? Do more visual comedy?
  15. What do you need to get booked on a cruise line now? What are they looking for?
  16. How do you make each show memorable and different so that your audiences will want to return to see you?
  17. Do you sell merchandise? Any tips for merch that sells great and is easy to lug around?
  18. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?
  19. Can you break an old sketch of yours down?
  20. What was your most memorable moment performing or your weirdest gig? 

Bio:

Dan Gabriel does the kind of comedy that his friends call “Smart/Stupid.” He makes you think. Everyone has troubles. Dan hilariously tells you all about his troubles to make you momentarily forget yours.

Dan Gabriel was bit by the comedy bug in college. His fellow students at UC Davis told him he was funny and luckily he was gullible enough to believe them. The next few years were spent in class by day and searching for scraps of stage time at night. After graduation, Dan moved back to his home town of San Francisco and immersed himself in the tight-knit comedy community there. This provided Dan with chances to tour and open for comedy legends like Dave Chappelle, George Lopez, and Mitch Hedberg. After moving to Los Angeles, Dan won the LA Take Out Comedy Competition and was the runner up in the San Francisco International Comedy Competition. Word spread and led to television appearances on Comedy Central, Star Search, Showtime, The Late Late Show, Comics Unleashed and many more.
Baby For Sale

Throughout it all, Dan’s comedy reflects the life he’s currently experiencing. In the beginning, he used to focus on dating and partying. Now he’s a family man reaping all the material that comes along with that.

You can hear Dan’s three critically acclaimed comedy albums, Giant Robot, Baby for Sale, and The Vowel Diet on Sirius XM, Spotify, and iTunes.

Ep: 34: Mark Normand - Comedian

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Full Archive Length: 85 minutes 

Mark Normand answered questions like:

  1. You’re originally from New Orleans, what was the scene like there and how did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember your very first time doing stand-up?
  3. Do you use any of your original jokes? Do you still use them?
  4. Who were some of your comedic influences back then? How about today?
  5. How'd you become such a strong structured writer? 
  6. Can you describe your on-stage comedic character? How is it different from Mark Normand off-stage?
  7. What’s your process for developing new material? How has it changed over the years?
  8. On May 12, you debuted your special “Out to Lunch” on Youtube. Perfect timing btw. What was the decision making process into publishing your latest special on YouTube?
  9. One of the comments on youtube is “Man casually tells the world 5 jokes a minute, for a full hour, for free.” Do you take pride in your laughs per minute?
  10. How do you remember your jokes?
  11. Did you or do you have a mentor?
  12. What's the best piece of advice you ever received about the business?
  13. Do you have any pet peeves that you see newer comedians or performers doing, or mistakes you see them making?
  14. From the audience...I’ve mainly tried to make jokes from personal experiences to avoid hacky material. I’m trying to expand on my subjects, but how do you avoid those pitfalls? What do you consider hack. Almost every subject has been talked about on stage nowadays.
  15. How do you find inspiration for new material?
  16. Was there a point in your career when the opportunities start to roll in much faster?
  17. How do you manage your expectations of yourself and try not to compare you and your successes to other comics? 
  18. If you have a strong online presence, is it necessary to move to a bigger market city like New York or LA?
  19. When reaching out to clubs, what are some proper forms of etiquette when talking with bookers you have no relationship with? Is it arrogant to say you make a terrific opener or do you let your tape do the talking? 
  20. How much time should I have ready to start hitting the road?
  21. Did you critique all your bombs for that five-year period when you felt no progress?
  22. When a joke is fresh its easy to tell it convincingly but a few weeks or months later it loses its passion I guess. How do you stay in love with an old joke?
  23. What has been your greatest accomplishment as a performer thus far?
  24. What’s one of the weirdest things you've seen at a show?
  25. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so, what did you do about it?
  26. Considering the implications of the pandemic into the future would you say New York or LA is the place to move?
  27. Do you sell merch? What’s your approach to making as much money as possible from your talent and the opportunities that you get?
  28. After doing a special, are those jokes retired?
  29. Who are your favorite up and coming comics?
  30. How do you market your shows? What have you found to be most effective?
  31. Any tips around getting representation?
  32. What are your future goals?
  33. What do you or your management say it will take to get to that point where you’re selling out everywhere?
  34. Do you find it hard to turn off the comedian?
  35. Any tips on managing those personal relationships with the weird hours and all?
  36. What’s your approach to crowd work?
  37. Anything you want to promote?

Bio:

Mark Normand is a fun-loving, New York comedian. Mark has done a One-Hour Comedy Central special “Don’t Be Yourself”, a Comedy Central HALF HOUR special, has appeared on TBS’s CONAN 6 times,  Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Showtime’s “Live at SXSW”, INSIDE AMY SCHUMER, TruTv, Best Week Ever, MTv, Last Comic Standing, @Midnight and released an album with Comedy Central records titled “Still Got It” (it’s not bad). Mark took first place at the Great American Comedy Festival competition. In 2013 won Caroline’s March Madness competition, beating out 63 other comedians. And this is a real shocker for all of us, but he was also voted Village Voice’s “Best Comedian of 2013.” In 2012, Mark appeared on “John Oliver’s New York Standup Show” on Comedy Central, and in 2011 was picked as one of Comedy Central’s “Comics to Watch.”

Mark was born and raised in New Orleans, LA surprisingly to two normal parents. As a kid he spent most of his time shooting short films and wetting the bed. He started doing comedy right after college and quickly moved to New York. Mark now does comedy clubs and colleges across the country and has been involved in many festivals including Portland, Seattle, DC, Boston, Vancouver, Melbourne and in 2013 was featured as a New Face at the Montreal Comedy Festival.

Mark was named one of Comedy Central’s Comics To Watch for the 2011 New York Comedy Festival. Mark was also named Esquire’s “Best New Comedians 2012”, Splitsider’s “Top 10 Up and Coming Comedians on Each Coast”, and Time Out New York’s “21 New York Comedy Scene Linchpins”.

Ep. 33: D'Lo - Actor, Writer & Comedian

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Full Archive Length: 89 minutes

D'Lo answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. You came out to your parents and then moved to New York? Were those two moments related?
  3. Can you tell us about how you got into the college circuit?
  4. How do students respond to your message? 
  5. Do you have a favorite story that really stood out where maybe someone has approached you after a show to tell you how you inspired them?
  6. Does that perspective of your life, and sharing that with the audience, affect your first few lines on stage? How do you break the ice?
  7. What are the other considerations you take into how you present or look on stage?
  8. Along those lines….Can you describe your on-stage comedic character? How is it different from D’Lo off-stage?
  9. What’s your process for developing new material? How has it changed over the years?
  10. Do you have to be over the pain part to talk about it in class?
  11. Have you found that comedy has become a form of therapy for you?
  12. How does your screen writing influence your stand-up and vice versa?
  13. Do you remember your first time doing stand-up?
  14. Do you remember one of your first jokes? Is there one that you still use?
  15. Do you remember when you first talked about coming out on stage?
  16. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  17. How completed is your material when you try it with your friends in a theater?
  18. What was the process of developing your solo show?
  19. Did you or do you have a mentor in the business?
  20. What's the best piece of advice you ever received about the business?
  21. Have you ever faced any discrimation from within the comedy business?
  22. Do you have a pet peeve that you see newer comedians or performers doing, something that bothers you?
  23. When you rent the theatre to work out your material are you bringing in professionals to provide feedback or friends whose opinions you value? 
  24. When you rent a theatre you must have some ROI in mind. How are you making money with the material that you develop in the show?
  25. What has been your greatest accomplishment as a performer thus far?
  26. What was the transition to film/tv like?
  27. When feeling down... is there something you do to bring your spirit up so you continue being creative and upbeat?
  28. What are your best audition tips or advice?
  29. What do you think is going to happen with your shows in the covid world?
  30. What are your future goals?

Bio:

D’Lo is a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor/writer/comedian whose work ranges from stand-up comedy, solo theater, plays, films and music production, to poetry and spoken word. He’s been seen on HBO, Amazon, Netflix, and CW. D'Lo is currently in development on a scripted series based on his life that is set up at BTR Media and Paul Feig’s Powderkeg Media. His next solo play To T, or not to T? will be performed at The LGBT Center in October 2019.

His tv/film credits include co-starring in the HBO series LOOKING as Taj, on the Amazon series TRANSPARENT, the Netflix series SENSE 8 and USA’s Mr. ROBOT. In Sundance Fellow Adelina Anthony’s feature-length film BRUISING FOR BESOS he plays the supporting role of Rani. He also appears in various Buzzfeed and Fusion videos, on the web-series EASTSIDERS and DYKE CENTRAL and the Issa Rae/Project Greenlight produced MINIMUM WAGE. His is working on his own web series PRIVATE DICK. He has also been featured in The Guardian, NBC, and The Advocate. The documentary by Crescent Diamond based on D’Lo’s life/work, called Performing Girl, won the best short documentary award at Outfest 2013, and he was part of the Emmy-Nominated mini-doc series THIS IS ME produced by Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker.

Ep. 32: Kate Flannery - Actor, Comedienne & Singer

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Full Archive Length: 55 minutes

Kate Flannery answered questions like:

  1. How did you get into comedy?
  2. Who were some of your comedic influences? Who are some of your influences today?
  3. How did you jump from theatre/improv to TV?
  4. What inspired you to move to Los Angeles? Were you offered work?
  5. Looking back was there a moment that the opportunities started accelerating for you? Maybe an audition or festival? 
  6. Can you talk about the Lampshades...What that is and how you came up with the idea?
  7. How did you get the Office? How did that come about?
  8. What are your best audition tips?
  9. What’s your favorite episode of the Office and why?
  10. How much of the office was Improv for you?
  11. Were you able to keep your pelvic cast?
  12. How did you film the bat/vampire slayer scene? 
  13. Is there a part of Meredith Palmer that you put your personal stamp on and in what ways?
  14. Did you really flash Michael in the Christmas episode?
  15. You did a lot of non-verbal acting in The Office which made your lines stand-out even more. Do you have any tips for non-verbal acting?
  16. Do you do your own stunts or did you have a double when Michael hit Meredith with his car?
  17. Can you talk about the process with shaving your head in The Office? How did that come about?
  18. What has been your favorite job that never felt like a job?
  19. What role or show would you love to do?
  20. What’s the worst role you’ve ever had in show biz?
  21. Leslie David Baker and he said you could never look Steve Carell in the eyes without busting out laughing. Do you feel the same way? Any favorite Steve Carell stories?
  22. What’s your best piece of advice for women in the business?

Bio:

KATE FLANNERY is best known for her 9 seasons as Meredith the drunk on NBC’s THE OFFICE. She is an actor, comedienne, and singer. Kate has recently been seen on ABC's Dancing with the Stars and YOUNG SHELDON on CBS. She’s been heard on Cartoon Network’s OK KO and STEVEN UNIVERSE. She has guest starred on FOX’s BROOKLYN NINE NINE, NEW GIRL, ABC’s AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, Comedy Central’s ANOTHER PERIOD, HULU’s ALL NIGHT and FOX NFL pre-game show on RIGGLE’s PICKS.  She was in the Tribeca Film Fest’s TENURED and SLOW LEARNERS and in the critically acclaimed FORTH MAN OUT on NETFLIX. Kate stars in the HBO short EMERGENCY CONTACT, HOW TO GET GIRLS, DIAL A PRAYER with William H. Macy, and the Sundance hit, COOTIES with Elijah Wood.

Kate is currently singing with Jane Lynch in their anti cabaret act, TWO LOST SOULS where they did a residency at The Carlyle Hotel in NY. She’s toured with Jane for the past 4 years playing the Kennedy Center, Joe’s Pub and 40 cities over the past two years. She is featured on Jane’s Christmas album, A SWINGIN' LITTLE CHRISTMAS which hit #6 on Billboard Top 100 charts. She has sung with the Ocean City Pop’s. Kate's original cult comedy lounge act, THE LAMPSHADES plays comedy festivals and Hollywood regularly.

Ep. 31: Emma Willmann - Comedian & Actress

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Full Archive Length: 84 minutes

Emma Willmann answered questions like: 

  1. What was your recent experience at the club in Kansas City like?
  2. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  3. What attracted you to do standup comedy?
  4. What was your class experience like?
  5. Do you remember your first time performing standup?
  6. Do you use any of the jokes you originally performed when you started?
  7. What’s your process for developing new material and how has it changed over time?
  8. What inspired you to move to New York/Los Angeles? Were you offered work?
  9. Was there a moment that the opportunities started accelerating for you? Maybe an audition or festival? 
  10. Who are your comedic influences?
  11. How did you transition into television? 
  12. Did you have any mentors?
  13. How would you describe your comedic character on-stage and how does it differ from Emma Willmann off-stage?
  14. Was there a moment when it clicked for you on stage?
  15. How was it performing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert?
  16. Do you have a favorite place to perform?
  17. What are your tips for comedians to find themselves in their comedy?
  18. How do YOU make each show memorable and different so that your audiences will want to return to see you?
  19. How was it interviewing your mom?
  20. What’s your best advice for women in this mostly male dominated industry?
  21. As a performer, how can you stand-out from the pack?
  22. What’s a pet peeve you have when it comes to new comedians or common mistakes you see them making?
  23. Can you break down your 2016 The Late Show performance for us?
  24. Are you usually more physical with your comedy when not doing a TV set?
  25. What was your most memorable moment performing or your weirdest gig? 
  26. What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
  27. What are your future goals?
  28. What's your podcast about?
  29. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?

Bio:

Emma Willmann is an American stand-up comedian and actress. She made her televised stand up debut on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Emma Willmann was born in Blue Hill, Maine. She is a graduate of Georges Stevens Academy and currently resides in New York City. Willmann also graduated from Simmons College Boston and received a masters from the New School in New York City. She was featured as a new face at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal in 2016. Time Out New York has recognized her as one of the 10 funniest women in NYC. Emma performed stand up on the Seeso series, Night Train with Wyatt Cenac. Emma is a series regular on the show Crazy Ex Girlfriends and most recently appeared on "The Comedy Lineup" special on Netflix.

Ep. 30: Ken Miller - Comedian

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Full Archive Length: 90 minutes
Ken Miller answered questions like:
  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember one of your first jokes? Do you still use it?
  3. What was with the gap in the years? Were those your army years?
  4. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  5. What did your creative process look like then versus now? The actual writing and development process?
  6. Can you break down one of your sets for us? This from your winning performance at the Flamingo Comedy Festival showcase at the Orlando Improv.
  7. What’s your approach to crowd work? We noticed in that clip you involved the audience but didn’t lose control.
  8. Can you talk about your physical comedy in that set? How you use it to enhance the performance?
  9. What did you do in White House? Did you incorporate it into your comedy?
  10. How did your time in the service influence your comedy?
  11. It’s so important to know your audience. When on the road...do you ask about the audience or look at the room before performing?
  12. Can you talk about bombing?
  13. Might want to explain who Preacher is that he’s referring to.
  14. What was it like to finally win Florida’s Funniest Comedian?
  15. What was the process like?
  16. Have you ever been tempted to move to LA or New York?
  17. What was it like to win Steve Harvey’s Stand-Up Spotlight?
  18. A lot of haters came out after the announcement but your response to them was fantastic...can you talk about it?
  19. What are some of the common mistakes you see new comics making? Or common things that bug you?
  20. What’s the best piece of advice you have for new comics?
  21. Did you notice a time when things began to fall in place with your comedy?
  22. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?
Bio:
In just a few short years, Ken Miller has stormed through the ranks of comedy. He is now touring as a headliner and is one of Florida’s funniest comics.

Ken was just crowned the winner of the first-ever Steve Harvey Standup Spotlight Comedy Competition in 2019. More than 1,000 comedians from around the world submitted videos to the contest. “I know funny when I see it,” said Steve Harvey about his decision to handpick Ken as the Grand Prize Winner. Steve also gave Ken his stamp of approval by saying his comedy has rich, relatable material.Ken has worked with numerous headliners, including John Henton, Patrice O’Neal, Guy Torry, Eddie Griffin, Tom Segura, Mark Curry, John Heffron, Arnez J, Jim Norton, and the legendary Paul Mooney, to name a few.

In 2013, Ken won the Florida’s Funniest Comedy Competition, beating out more than 200 comics. Ken has also competed in The Great American Comedy Festival, The World Series of Comedy in Las Vegas, The American Black Film Festival Comedy Wings Competition, and The Laughing Skull Comedy Festival. Ken made his TV debut on NICKMOMs, MOMS NIGHT OUT on NICKJR. In 2019, Ken was featured at the Big Pine Comedy Festival and the Oak City Comedy Festival.

Originally from a big family in Greensboro, NC (he’s #8 out of 11 kids), this former US Army veteran now resides in Orlando, FL with his wife and his two and a half kids (ask him about it). Ken was born for comedy. His show is guaranteed to make you laugh or he will pay for your first drink.

Ep. 29: Sari Cohen - Writer, Comedian

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Full Archive Length: 71 minutes

Sari Cohen answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. Have you ever taken comedy or acting classes?
  3. Do you remember your first time doing stand-up?
  4. Do you remember one of your first jokes? Is there one that you still use?
  5. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  6. How did you transition into entertainment reporting?
  7. Did you have or do you have a mentor in the business?
  8. Can you list off some of the interviews you’ve had?   
  9. What do you like about it?  What do you dislike about it?
  10. How has quarantine changed your job? 
  11. How do you suggest someone try entertainment reporting out for themselves?
  12. How did you create material or come up with your questions?
  13. Do you need to have a following to make money from it? 
  14. How does one find writing and reporting gigs?
  15. Do you have any advice for women in the industry? 
  16. What’s the best advice you've received about the business?
  17. How did your acting/comedy background influence your writing career?
  18. Do you have any tips for interviewers?
  19. Are you ever star struck?
  20. Do you have a pet peeve that you see newer reporters/comedians doing, something that bothers you?
  21. Do your connections get you the interview?
  22. What are your goals?
  23. What’s the weirdest answer from an interviewee?
  24. Have you dealt with inappropriate advances? Any advice to women?
  25. What has been your greatest career accomplishment thus far?

Bio:

Sari Cohen is a journalist based in the Greater L.A. Area. She began her career in the entertainment industry as a stand-up comedy writer/performer and over the years has developed scripts for both the stage and screen. She currently covers music and live entertainment for AXS, writes for InLove Magazine, and is an on-air correspondent/associate producer for Hollywood First Look Features. She has also penned funny stuff for popular sites such as Cracked and Screen Rant. You can often find her at concerts or on a red carpet somewhere, talking to someone about something. From on-the-scene reporting to exclusive interviews, she tackles every topic from music, movies and television, to fashion, lifestyle and politics. You can check out more on Twitter at @ask_sari or follow her adventures on Instagram under @thesavvyscribbler.

Ep. 28: Josh Potter - Comedian, Podcast Producer

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Full Archive Length: 85 minutes

Josh Potter answered questions like:

  1. You’re from Buffalo, how did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember your first time doing stand-up?
  3. What did that early radio career look like for you? What were you doing?
  4. In what seems like such a saturated market. How can a podcaster differentiate themselves from all the others?
  5. From the audience...How did the Tom Segura thing happen? How did you guys connect? 
  6. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  7. Do you remember one of your first jokes? Is there one that you still use?
  8. Did you have or do you have a mentor in the business?
  9. How do you find inspiration or look for new material?
  10. Do you intentionally write or do you only write when ideas come to you?
  11. Have you ever taken comedy or acting classes?
  12. What’s the best advice you've received from a comedian and who was it?
  13. Do you have a pet peeve that you see newer comedians doing, something that bothers you?
  14. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker? If so, what did you do about it?
  15. What’s the moral of that story? What’s the advice from that?
  16. What has been your greatest accomplishment as a performer thus far?
  17. What’s one of the weirdest things you've seen at a show?

Bio:

Josh Potter is a comedian and podcaster from Buffalo, NY who now resides in Los Angeles, CA. He got his start at age 16 working in morning radio for 15 years. After performing stand up since 2008, in 2013 he began opening for Tom Segura which led to his move to Los Angeles where he is now a member of Segura and Christina P’s podcast “Your Mom’s House.” Josh performs at clubs and theatres all over the country.

Ep. 27: Jaye McBride - Comedian, Actor & Writer

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Full Length Archive: 80 minutes

Jaye McBride answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. What was the process for NACA?
  3. Do you remember your first time doing stand-up?
  4. Do you remember one of your first jokes? Is there one that you still use?
  5. Do you find that comedy has become a form of therapy for you?
  6. Do you remember when you first talked about being transgender on stage?
  7. I’m curious to know if people come up to you after shows or message you to tell you how inspiring you have been to them?
  8. Have you faced any additional discrimation from within the comedy business?
  9. Did you have or do you have a mentor in the business?
  10. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  11. How do find inspiration or look for new material?
  12. Do you use prompts when writing?
  13. Can you describe your on-stage comedic character? How is it different from Jaye off-stage?
  14. Do you have a pet peeve that you see newer comedians doing, something that bothers you?
  15. What was the process like of auditioning for the Comedy Cellar?
  16. What's the best piece of advice you ever received about the business?
  17. You’ve written films, how do you think that helps your standup?
  18. Was there a point in your career where the opportunities started to roll in much faster? A festival or audition? Your Ted talk?
  19. What has been your greatest accomplishment as a performer thus far?
  20. What’s one of the weirdest things you've seen at a show?
  21. Being a transgender woman, do you take more consideration into how you present or look on stage?
  22. What are your future goals? You mentioned your graphic novel.

Bio:

Jaye McBride is funny, smart and proudly transgender. Jaye has traveled the world performing stand-up comedy both as a headliner and sharing the stage with comedy greats like Aziz Ansari, Gilbert Gottfried, Jim Norton & Bobcat Goldthwait. Jaye has also been a part of The Boston Comedy Festival, The Maine Comedy Festival and the She Devil Comedy Festival.

In addition to stand-up, Jaye has written, produced and acted in a variety of short films. When not performing on-stage or on-screen Jaye writes "The Comedy Blog" for the Times Union and speaks at colleges all across the country with her lecture about being transgender. Having transitioned in 2007, Jaye is uniquely qualified to talk about awkward first dates, strained family relationships and self-acceptance.

Jaye is originally from Upstate NY but now calls Brooklyn her home.

Ep. 26: Carlos Alazraqui - Actor & Comedian

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Full Length Archive: 77 minutes

Carlos Alazraqui answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember your first time doing stand-up?
  3. Do you remember one of your first jokes? Is there one that you still use?
  4. How did you learn voices and sound effects?
  5. Do you have any suggestions for people to create impersonations? Do you have a class or resource that you recommend?
  6. Is this what people would see if they came to see your standup?
  7. Can you describe your on-stage comedic character? How is it different from Carlos off-stage?
  8. What is your process like to do characters physically?
  9. What’s your writing process like? How has it evolved?
  10. Was there a point in your career where the opportunities started to roll in much faster? A festival or audition?
  11. How did you get Reno 911?
  12. I understand a lot of Reno 911 was not scripted but improvised.  What was that like?
  13. Would you play a cop differently in 2020?
  14. How do you prepare for auditions?
  15. What are your best audition tips?
  16. Good piece of advice for an aspiring comedians?
  17. How does one get into voice acting? What are the initial steps?
  18. We hear you doing them but can you list off your voice acting roles and credits for everyone joining us?
  19. What's the best piece of advice you ever received about the business?
  20. What’s your best piece of advice that you could share to an aspiring comedian?
  21. Did you have a mentor?
  22. Why do you think so many great comics from San Francisco? 
  23. How do you use your improv skills doing stand up and vice versa if it applies?
  24. Do you have a pet peeve that you see newer comedians doing, something that bothers you?
  25. What has been your greatest accomplishment as a performer thus far?
  26. What are your future goals?
  27. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker? If so, what did you do about it?

Bio:

Carlos Alazraqui was not just the face of Deputy James Garcia on Comedy Central’s hit show RENO 911 or RENO 911 the movie!  He recently won the prestigious ANNIE AWARD for Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production THE MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN SHOW. He’s also been a standup comic for over 25 years, a well known television/film actor and one of LA’s top voiceover actors with hundreds of credits to his name.

Ep. 25: Maria Sahakian - Managing Director, Alex Theatre

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Full Archive Length: 69 minutes
Maria Sahakian answered questions like:
  1. Tell us about the Alex Theatre.
  2. Where are you from and how did you get into this business?
  3. Did you have a mentor?
  4. What was the best piece of advice you ever received about the business?
  5. How have you seen the live entertainment business change in the past 5, 10, 20 years?
  6. How have you been able to weather COVID shutdown? Do you have any projections for things that you’re going to continue to do until people are comfortable going out, things that might be in your control.
  7. What’s the good and bad with a historic aging theatre. 
  8. With so many venues in Southern California how does the Alex theatre differentiate itself and stay competitive?
  9. How important is the support of the Glendale locals and how do you cater to them?
  10. What should performers know about the business of running a venue?
  11. What are some tips for performers to act professionally when entering a venue?
  12. From an operations stand-point what does the process look like for filming specials and tv shows at the Alex on the day-of?
  13. Other than the virtual tour, have you provided digital offerings for your patrons during quarantine? What was the discussion like in making that decision? 
  14. From the audience…who are some of the artists in residence at the Alex past/present/future?
  15. What are your concerns before, during and after a show? What are the things you’re thinking about?
  16. What’s one of the weirdest things you’ve seen at a show?
Bio:
Maria Sahakian is the Managing Director of the 1,400-seat Alex Theatre Performing Arts and Entertainment Center in her hometown of Glendale, CA, a historic landmark managed and operated by Glendale Arts.
Maria oversees the Theatre’s bookings, event management, client and audience services, and marketing, serving as the primary liaison to the producers and presenting organizations that book the venue across an annual average of 200+ days of activity comprised of music, theatre, comedy, film, dance, cultural performances, film and TV shoots, and a variety of special events.
The Alex is a highly sought-after venue, by comics and production companies alike, for live comedy performances and filmed television programs and stand-up specials. Over the years, the venue has hosted several seasons of NBC’s Last Comic Standing and Bring the Funny; David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction featuring guest Ellen DeGeneres (Netflix); Curb Your Enthusiasm with Larry David and special guest star Lin-Manuel Miranda (HBO); specials including Kevin Smith (Showtime), Ronny Chieng (Netflix), and Brad Williams (Showtime/Amazon); and special events featuring Steve Martin, Martin Short, Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, three of the five members of Monty Python (John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam), and numerous shows in partnership with Richy Leis and Comic Cure.
Maria is a graduate of UCLA, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English, as well as a certificate in UCLA Extension’s Public Relations and Entertainment Publicity program. When she’s not working, she can be found working some more.
Ep. 24: Andrew Dorfman - Owner, Nationwide Comedy Clubs

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Full Archive Length: 88 Minutes

Andrew Dorfman answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. Who are some of the comedians you enjoyed when you first started in comedy?
  3. Have you ever seen a new comic and said that guy has it? And it was true?
  4. How did you build up the number of clubs you manage over time?
  5. What is appropriate? What should a comic do when they enter a club?
  6. What are some of your biggest pet peeves when it comes to new comics?
  7. What are the ways for a comedian to get into the black as fast as possible and start making money? Is it being an emcee? Is it selling merch? Being clean for non-profit and corporate work?
  8. Any advice for feature level comics who are trying to get on the road?
  9. Would you agree that the host's job is to make comedians look good and the audience feel comfortable? 
  10. What’s the latest with each of your clubs? 
  11. How have you made your clubs into more inclusive and supportive environments for women and marginalized voices?
  12. Have you used quarantine to make any updates to the clubs?
  13. Which is your favorite club and why? Which is your favorite that you don’t own?
  14. How do comedy clubs make revenue? What are your different sources of income? Booking outside events?
  15. How have you chosen the comedy club brand names to work with? How does that work?
  16. You were talking earlier about how some comics will be pigeonheld as they are for certain people. For example “urban” comics or "stoner" comics. Do you have any advice on shaking off those “boxes” people put comics in?
  17. Do each of your clubs have a local talent booker? Is there a standard booking process?
  18. How have you seen the business change in the past 5, 10, 20 years?
  19. How do you position and market the clubs so that they stay relevant among all the options?
  20. Do you think, because of Covid, it will be less necessary to migrate to LA or NY in the future to further your Stand up career?
  21. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received about the funny business?
  22. What’s your single best piece of advice for aspiring comedians?
  23. There are more comedians now than ever before...How can one stand-out from the pack?
  24. Festivals are a great opportunity to learn, network, and be seen. Are there any festivals that you suggest?
  25. What does the Nashville Comedy Festival look like?

Bio:

As a 25-year veteran in the comedy industry, Andrew Dorfman knows a lot about the funny business. He started out as a comedian in San Francisco’s tight-knit comedy community of the 1990s, but he was drawn to working the business side of the industry. In 1992, Andrew, along with his brother Brian, went to work for the legendary Rick Uchwat at Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago. Uchwat taught them well. Today, the Dorfman brothers now own eight comedy clubs all over America, including Nashville’s Zanies Comedy Club.

Ep. 23: Naela Durrani - Casting Producer

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Full Archive Length: 60 minutes

Naela Durrani answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into casting?
  2. What are some of the shows you’ve cast for in the past?
  3. Who are some of the names that you’ve been responsible for casting?
  4. When you say you casted them...what does that process actually look like?
  5. What are the trends that you’re seeing in reality casting? From a technical (digital, length, aspects) side and a talent side (Skill, back story, followers)? 
  6. Has it become less about the talent and more about the followers?
  7. Back-story seemed to be prized for a show like AGT. Is that important?
  8. Is there a way to skip the lengthy audition line?
  9. How should an aspiring performing be crafting their story or showcasing their talent to present to someone like you?
  10. What should the video look like technically, how long should it be? The joke should be immediate?
  11. Any tips for live open auditions?
  12. What are your tips for someone that’s gone through multiple seasons of auditions?
  13. How can a comedian stand-out from the pack?
  14. Are there any resources you suggest for someone that wants to hone their auditioning skills? Websites? Blogs? Apps?
  15. What are the festivals that you suggest?
  16. From the audience...How has COVID changed the casting process? What are some ways the industry has had to adapt?
  17. What’s your advice for women in the industry?
  18. Any advice for the older comic?
Bio:
Naela Durrani is a Freelance Reality Casting Producer and Associate Producer based in the Los Angeles area. She has been working in the Casting/Production Industry for over ten years, after she moved to Los Angeles from Dallas/Ft Worth Texas at the young age of 24. She started at Radio Disney AM 620 (DFW ) while in High School and worked there as an In Person Talent for 4.5 Yrs hosting local events.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2007, she worked for Joe Pytka, a notable Commercial Director, as a Receptionist. After 4 yrs it was time for her to move on. Soon, she started working more in Production and moved over to Casting.
Currently, she is casting for America's Got Talent Seasons 12,13, 14, 15, and soon Season 16 at Fremantle Productions in Burbank CA. She considers herself a Texan at heart but was raised all the way from GA to CA. She has tech. lived in California longer than Texas now and doesn't know where she is from. She loves to say, "everywhere". She prides herself in having a unique background with being born in Saudi Arabia, living there until the age of 5, having a father from Pakistan and a Mother from a small farm town Indiana. She loves coming from two different cultures and backgrounds. She really has been able to experience the best from both worlds.
She recently had a son, Jack Brooklyn during the Covid 19 pandemic, with her partner Justin. In her spare time, before Covid, she attends local comedy shows, national comedy competitions, and national talent festivals of all kinds.
She also takes Fire Eating Classes to escape her computer screen.
Outside of work and networking, you can find Naela at home cooking full Traditional Pakistani Cuisine and hanging out with her two elderly pups, Buddy and Honey.... and now new family.
Ep. 22: Jannelys Santos - COO, Villain Theater

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Full Archive Length: 75 minutes

Jannelys Santos answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into the funny business?
  2. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  3. Do you have a mentor?
  4. Can you talk more about Villain Theater and how it’s evolved since the start? From your space to your offerings.
  5. Villain Theater resides in the Little Haiti area of Miami and South Florida is one of the most diverse markets in the country. How does that influence what takes place inside the theater?
  6. How have you been able to nurture an inclusive environment at Villain Theater and how is this portrayed in the content you produce?
  7. What does being an instructor, performer, and COO look like and how do you maintain that balance?
  8. Do you teach via Zoom? 
  9. You mentioned “making money” as something you're thinking about among all the other things. What are your different revenue sources to make sure you stay financially secure? I believe you just introduced merchandise. 
  10. There are a million events going on in Miami making it one of the hardest markets in the country for a comedy venue. How does Villain differentiate itself from a marketing standpoint and attract audiences week in and week out?
  11. When many comedy clubs and theater companies went completely dark during COVID. You said you took all your classes and programming digital. Could you tell us about that process?
  12. What's Villian’s improv philosophy?
  13. Were there any physical updates made to the theater during quarantine?
  14. Historically, improv and stand-up communities don’t really mix well. You offer opportunity for both at Villain. Do you sense any tension between the two? How does it look in practice at Villain?
  15. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  16. What have been the highlights of your career thus far?
  17. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received about the business?
  18. What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring comedians?
  19. What’s your best piece of advice for women in comedy?
  20. Who are Jannelys’ comedians to watch?
  21. Aside from Villain, do you have a favorite comedy venue? A place that you wish you could watch live comedy everyday. 
  22. Second City? UCB?
  23. What’s one of the weirdest things you’ve seen at a show?

Bio:

Jannelys Santos is the Chief Operations Officer at Villain Theater. Santos has been performing since high school. She is dedicated to uplifting marginalized voices in comedy, and elevating Miami’s comedy scene.

Ep. 21: Ben Maher - Founder of Philly Sketchfest / Marketing Associate Helium Comedy Clubs

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Full Archive Length: 86 minutes

Ben Maher answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. What exactly do you do at Helium and what does your job look like on a daily basis?
  3. How can do you cut through the clutter to catch someone’s attention and get them to purchase tickets?
  4. What’s your best piece of advice for new comedians trying to get more work?
  5. How many minutes do you want a demo video to be?
  6. Do you like electronic press kits?
  7. Do you expect a comedian to do the  the same set they did on their demo video?
  8. Let’s say I get booked - What are the marketing assets that I should be providing the club to best promote the show?
  9. How is Philly's comedy scene?
  10. With 7 clubs in the Helium family you can see trends better. Prior to covid, are more/less people coming out to live comedy?
  11. There are more comedians now than ever before. How can a performer stand out from the crowd?
  12. Putting on your bookers hat...What exactly are you thinking about when you’re choosing a comedian/selecting a lineup? Are you looking at the headliner and then trying to figure out someone that would complement them or the audience they bring in?
  13. What’s some great advice you’ve received about the funny business?
  14. What are common mistakes you see new comedians making?
  15. What’s the submission process for Helium?
  16. Tell us about Philly Sketchfest...
  17. Are you going digital this year?
  18. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen on stage?
  19. Where can one submit a sketch for consideration at Philly Sketchfest?

Bio:

A lifelong comedy fan, Ben Maher began his comedy career in 1995 at the legendary Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco, CA. After moving up through the years to managing the club and booking hosts & showcases, Ben moved to Philadelphia in 2005 to open the first Helium Comedy Club. Now with a network of 7 clubs around the country, Ben works in Helium's main office booking some of their shows at Top Golf entertainment centers and as a lynchpin of their promotional team, working on print and online campaigns. He also opened, managed and booked shows for The Punch Line Philly, a Live Nation venue. Ben is also one of the founders and directors of Philly Sketchfest, Philadelphia's premier comedy festival, currently in its 12th year.

Ep. 20: Atsuko Okatsuka - Comedian, Actress, Writer

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Full Archive Length: 88 minutes

Atsuko Okatsuka answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. What is comedy like in Japan?
  3. Who are your comedic influences?
  4. Your parents met on a Japanese game show? Is that true?
  5. Is there any matchmaking on your show? Tell us about your show.
  6. With quarantine, how have you transitioned to digital?
  7. How would you describe your comedic character? How is it different than who you are in real life?
  8. What’s your writing process look like?
  9. Do you have any advice or tips for a new comedian whose first language may not be english? Immigrants that want to get into comedy?
  10. You love to dance. Do you do any physical comedy with your stand-up?
  11. What do your parents and grandparents think of your comedy?
  12. How did your mom’s schizophrenia impact you as child? Your comedy?
  13. How did you meet your husband?
  14. Prior to covid you were able to record your debut comedy album. Can you talk about that process?
  15. What’s Atsuko mean in Japanese?
  16. Do you have any advice for female comedians in this male dominated industry? What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring comedians?
  17. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received about the business?
  18. What was process of transitioning into writing like?
  19. What has been your greatest accomplishment to date? Was there a game changer moment?
  20. What was your most memorable moment performing or your weirdest gig?
  21. What are your future goals?

Bio:

Atsuko Okatsuka is a Los Angeles-based comedian and writer who gained mass recognition after a video of her doing stand-up during a 7.1 magnitude earthquake circulated on the internet.  She hosts the hit live show and weekly podcast produced by Foreverdog Productions, Let's Go Atsuko! A (woke) Japanese Game Show.  It has been recommended as a show to watch by The New York Times, The AV Club, and Vulture to name a few, who described the show as a blend of "the physical silliness of Japanese game shows with the dry, matter-of-fact fatuities of Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!" She was named a comedian to watch by Vulture in 2018 & in TimeOut Los Angeles in 2019, and just recently released her debut album with Comedy Dynamics entitled "But I Control Me." Atsuko has been the creative consultant on various Adult Swim Shows such as The Eric Andre Show and Soft Focus with Jena Friedman.  Prior to comedy, she worked in the independent film world, having written, produced, and acted in various award-winning feature films such as Littlerock (2010), Pearblossom Hwy (2012), and Lake Los Angeles (2014).  Her latest acting appearances include HBO's Room 104 and a horror anthology series called Scare Package on Shudder.  You can catch her dancing with her grandmother and mother on her social media any day of the week.

Ep. 19: Richard Barrett - Entertainment Director of The Comedy & Magic Club

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Full Archive Length: 79 minutes

Richard Barrett answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. What does your job look like on a daily basis?
  3. What do you mean by having a diverse lineup?
  4. What do you look for in choosing a comedian? Has that changed?
  5. What’s some great advice you’ve received?
  6. What’s your best piece of advice for new comedians?
  7. What are common mistakes you see new comedians making?
  8. Aside from being funny what does it take to have a successful career in comedy?
  9. Can you succeed by just being funny?
  10. Do you critique comedians?
  11. Let’s say you hear a comedian tell a joke similar to one you've heard before. Do you do anything about it? What’s that conversation like?
  12. There are more comedians now than ever before. How can a performer stand out from the crowd?
  13. What’s the submission process for the Comedy and Magic Club?
  14. What should a great demo video look like, length, laughs per minute? What are some red flags in a demo video for you or things you dislike?
  15. Are laughs per minute important?
  16. How do you think comedy will change in a post Covid-19 era?
  17. Is there a quality you see in a new comic that’s a clue to future good kind of consistency?
  18. How much time do you want a comedian to have? Do you care about social media followers?
  19. What can a comedian do to help a club off-stage?
  20. If a guest set goes well, how long is it usually before a comic is put in rotation for regular shows?
  21. Who are some of your favorite comedians?
  22. Many comedians want a manager so that they can get more gigs. Do you have any advice on the topic of management?
  23. What’s the best selling merchandise that you’ve seen?
  24. What should comics think about when trying to figure out good merch?
  25. You judge a number of festivals. Which do you recommend submitting for? 
  26. How can a comedian maximize their time at a festival if they’ve been accepted?

Bio:

Richard Barrett has been the Entertainment Director of The Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach CA for over 20 years.  He has produced shows or judged competitions at many comedy festivals including The Great American, Boston, and Big Sky.

Ep. 18: Vanessa Graddick - Writer, Comedian & TV Producer

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Full Archive Length: 72 minutes

Vanessa Graddick answered questions like:

  1. You’re from St. Paul Minnesota, how did you get into comedy?What inspired you to do standup comedy?
  2. Did your career as a social worker influence your comedy?
  3. What inspired you to move to Los Angeles?
  4. Can you talk more about that first time performing when you found out your mother had just been diagnosed breast cancer.
  5. How would you describe your comedic character on-stage and how does it differ from Vanessa Graddick off-stage?
  6. Explain your mom’s take on what you do.
  7. More recently you started producing for shows like “The Gossip Queens” and “Funny You Should Ask.” What’s that transition like and what have you learned from it? 
  8. Who are some of the people you have written for?
  9. Can you describe your stand up and writing process? 
  10. What’s your best advice for women in this mostly male dominated industry?
  11. Through the lens as a woman working on the road, what was it like for you?
  12. Who were some of your comedic influences? 
  13. Did you have a mentor?
  14. Have you been able to pay it forward?
  15. Was there a moment that started accelerating the opportunities for you?
  16. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
  17. What are some of the common mistakes you see new comics making?
  18. Is there something you are seeing or saying in your head when you read a room?
  19. What’s your advice to someone trying to transition from stand up to writing. 
  20. What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
  21. What are your future goals?
  22. What was your most memorable moment performing or your weirdest gig?
  23. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?

Bio:

Vanessa Graddick was born in St. Paul, MN where she grew up an athlete, performer and involved in several social clubs. Prior to her career as a comedian she was a Children’s Social Worker in both Minnesota and California. In January 2006, Vanessa moved to the City of Angels to see what else the world had in store. However, it was much more than expected. On November 1, 2006, her mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Needing an instant distraction from real life, that very night Graddick took to the stage, and the people laughed. Since then this talented, driven and most importantly, funny Stand Up Comedian has been taking comedy by storm. Though based in LA, Vanessa has performed all over the United States including major Comedy Clubs in California, New York, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, Florida and more. Additionally, she has entertained American troops in Kuwait, Iraq, Korea, Japan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.  

Vanessa has participated in several comedy competitions including the New York Underground and Boston Comedy Festivals. She was the winner of Uncle Clyde’s Comedy Competition in Los Angeles and a semi-finalist in the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition. To round off her comedic competition experience, Vanessa was a Top 10 Finalist in the NBC Stand Up For Diversity National Search. 

Since then Vanessa has been seen on Byron Allen’s Comics Unleashed, The Gossip Queens, Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, Showtime Network’s Lip Service, NuvoTv’s Stand Up and Deliver and BET’s Comic View. She has also made appearances on The Real Husbands of Hollywood, Black Jesus and the original pilot for Centric’s The Rules According to Him + Her. Not only has she made her presence felt on camera, Vanessa moved behind the camera as a Segment Producer on celebrity news show, The Gossip Queens and as a Producer on the hilarious game show, Funny You Should Ask. 

Vanessa comedy is direct, fast paced, and intelligent with attitude and no regrets. Real life, real talk and real funny! With her introspective and thought-provoking comedy, Vanessa Graddick is proving quickly to be a name to watch out for.

Ep. 17: Lisa Alvarado - Writer, Comedian, Director & Producer

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Full Archive Length: 71 minutes

Lisa Alvarado answered questions like: 

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. What inspired you to do standup comedy?
  3. Do you remember your first time performing standup?
  4. Do you use any of the jokes you originally performed when you started?
  5. What inspired you to move to Los Angeles?
  6. Can you describe your writing process? 
  7. How do you make each show memorable and different so that your audiences will want to return to see you?
  8. You mentioned depression earlier and how many comedians struggle with it. Is that something you deal with? Do you find that comedy helps you with that?
  9. How would you describe your comedic character on-stage and how does it differ from Lisa Alvarado off-stage?
  10. What are some of the “deep” subjects you cover?
  11. Was there a moment that started accelerating the opportunities for you?
  12. What was your process for writing for a TV show?
  13. What goes into a pitch packet for a tv show?
  14. What are your tips for comedians to find themselves in their comedy?
  15. Did you have a mentor?
  16. As a woman working on the road what was it like for you? How did you power through?
  17. What’s your best advice for women in this mostly male dominated industry?
  18. What are some of the common mistakes you see new comics making?
  19. Is there something you tell yourself when you see that you’re rushing?
  20. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
  21. What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
  22. What are your future goals?
  23. What was your most memorable moment performing or your weirdest gig?
  24. Favorite question of comedy careers: Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?

Bio:

Lisa Alvarado, The Latin Queen of Comedy, is Tina Fey meets Sophia Vergara. Lisa brings the funny with clever wit and a sassy fun attitude; relatable and quirky, in that Ellen Degeneres way, using her own life as the punch line. Lisa specializes in targeting her humor to her audience!Born to Peruvian parents in Chicago, Lisa knew she wanted to be a Stand Up Comedian at an early age. She writes all her own material and enjoys sharing her gift of laughter with audiences around the world, including several overseas shows for the Troops.Lisa is a National Headliner to many theatres, clubs, colleges and corporate events. TV appearances include: NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”, Nick at Nite’s “Funniest Mom in America 2″, “Comics Unleashed” with Byron Allen, “Stand Up in Stilettos” on TV Guide Network, NuvoTV, and many more. Lisa also played Paul Rodriguez’s sidekick on 20 episodes of “Mis Videos Locos” on the MTV Network.

Ep. 16: Steve North - The Comedy Coach

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Full Archive Length: 89 minutes

Steve North answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember your first time performing?
  3. Tell us about moving from Colorado to LA.
  4. You are Steve North - The Comedy Coach. What is a comedy coach?
  5. What does the process look like to create your comedic character?
  6. What should individuals look for when trying to decide on a comedy teacher or class?
  7. You wrote something called “Be a Comedian, Not a Comic” what do you mean by that?
  8. Can you break the 4 parts of comedic character down? What does each mean?
  9. Congratulations on your new book “How to Kill in Comedy.” The reviews look great. What are some of the themes you talk about in the book?
  10. You wear the signature captains hat. How did that come about and how important is one’s “look” when it comes to comedic character?
  11. In the book you say there are 20 formulas to writing a joke. Can you share a few?
  12. How do you suggest people find inspiration or mine for new material?
  13. Aside from being funny, what do you think the basics are for having a successful career in comedy?
  14. What’s the difference between a comic and a comedian?
  15. What's the best piece of advice you ever received about the business?
  16. What’s the best piece of advice you could share about the business?
  17. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see new comics making?
  18. How important is reputation as a professional? Can you succeed by just being funny?
  19. Do you think a comedian who is hard working will always surpass a comedian who is talented but doesn't work as hard? If the hard workin comedian isn't half as funny as the talented one 
  20. Are there any festivals that you highly suggest for your students to submit for?
  21. What was your most memorable performance or weirdest moment?

Bio:

Steve's trained everyone from stars to beginners to find their COMEDIC CHARACTER for Standup, Acting, Writing, Speaking — Steve North’s training can help anyone who needs to be funnier.  Steve has worked with everyone from George Carlin to Kevin Nealon; and has coached everyone from SNL’s Leslie Jones to scores of other celebs and comedy stars, helping them get their persona.

Steve can save you 2 to 3 years by finding your comedic character, then growing material from that theme or focus. Steve calls it “finding your house (character), BEFORE you buy the furniture (material). And, it works – ask his many happy clients.

Over the last 15 years in Hollywood, Steve has coached hundreds of comedians — beginners, touring comedians, sitcom actors, people who want to be funnier.

In addition to private session, Steve and his partner, Barb, offer the longest running homebase for standup comedians in LA — workshops which provide a creatively healthy, non-competitive environment – a home base for comedians to workshop and grow professionally.

Steve North attended school at the University of Denver and at USC. He trained in comedy with Second City, The Committee, Avery Schreiber, Spolin Players, Jack Kosslyn, Danny Simon, Joyce Selznick, and Estelle Tepper.

The team of Barb and Steve North have performed live stand up comedy at the Comedy Store in LA, the Improv, Ice House, and venues all over the world. They have also appeared at colleges, conventions, and talk/variety shows (“George Carlin” special,” “Thicke Of The Night,” “Make Me Laugh,” and “The Mike Douglas Show”). The North’s have written or produced on TV shows, ranging from The Gong Show to America’s Funniest Videos to Totally Hidden Video, and a slew of others.

Steve runs classes in his studio in Los Angeles. You can enroll in his workshop performing groups; he can coach you ON THE PHONE, by MAIL, E-MAIL, whatever! The “Standup Repertory Company” was founded by Steve & Barb North in 1992 and is the first group of standup comedians to be part of a workshop and a cast. The comedians perform regularly at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank – where else can comics get comprehensive training AND performing in front of an audience regularly?

Ep. 15: David A. Arnold - Comedian, Actor & Writer

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Full Archive Length: 89 minutes

David A. Arnold asked questions like:

  1. How did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember your first time performing?
  3. How did your time in the service influence your comedy?
  4. How did the nursing influence your standup?
  5. How important was moving to Los Angeles for your career?
  6. Did you have a mentor?
  7. Many comedians want a manager so that they can get more gigs. Do you have any advice on the topic of management?
  8. How have you adjusted their approach to getting gigs?
  9. You’re doing a lot now, writing, stand-up, acting, producing. What’s your favorite and why?
  10. How does one go about writing a sitcom? Is there a process or do you pitch the idea first? 
  11. Is it a good idea to put the first season of our series out on youtube or should we write the series and ONLY shop it around to a paid platform?
 
  12. How do you choose your openers?
  13. How do you get through the tough times?
  14. Do you suggest getting a manager prior to moving to LA or NY?
  15. .Do you think Zoom shows are helpful during this time to practice our craft? Or do you have any other suggestions during quarantine?
  16. Everyone says you need so many years as a comic to be good. Do you subscribe to that belief?
  17. What’s your biggest pet peeve with new comics? Or common mistakes you seem them making?
  18. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?
  19. Do you make money from sponsors on your instagram?

Bio:

A standup comic, actor and writer, David is triple threat in the world of comedy. As a comedian, he has performed all around the country, tickling the funny bones of audiences near and far. He’s made numerous tv appearances on everything, such as THE RUCKUS on Comedy Central and ENTOURAGE on HBO. Plus, he’s appeared on various comedy shows and specials, including DEF COMEDY JAM, SHAQ’S ALL STAR COMEDY TOUR, BET’s COMIC VIEW and Comedy Central’s LAFFAPALOOZA as well as the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. David is set to headline the Deon Cole and Friends Comedy Show at the 2020 Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans. In addition, he’s joined the T. D. Jakes Presents “A Time to Laugh” Comedy Tour.

David has made his mark as a tv writer, and recently served as a producer on Netflix’s Emmy-nominated reboot series, FULLER HOUSE. His other television credits include REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD on BET; the Kelsey Grammer/Martin Lawrence sitcom, “PARTNERS” on FX; and Tyler Perry’s HOUSE OF PAYNE and MEET THE BROWNS.

Ep. 14: Dee Burdett - Head of Comedy for TIXR, Director of Marketing and Special Event Production at The Ice House Comedy Club

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Full Archive Length: 84 minutes

Dee Burdett answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from? And how did you get into the funny business?
  2. What exactly was your role at the Improv?
  3. How has corporate comedy changed over the past 20 years?
  4. Do you remember your first comedy show?
  5. Do you remember who the first show was at the Improv when you opened it?
  6. You now work at the Ice House Comedy Club...Can you profile the Club for us? How many rooms, seats, bars, etc. Number of patrons, comics annually. 
  7. How are you different from other clubs? Maybe in a business approach or comedy development?
  8. How does a club stay open that long when others have not?
  9. What’s your job there? And what does it look like on a day to day basis?
  10. Who have you “found” or helped who’s now a big name?
  11. Any advice for a rookie booker? When booking acts what is your thought process?
  12. How does someone get booked at the Ice House? What’s the process?
  13. What can comedians do to help a club off-stage?
  14. What can comedians do to help a club on-stage?
  15. What’s your biggest peeve with performers?
  16. How can comedians make your job easier from a marketing perspective?
  17. Is there anything you wish new comics would stop doing?
  18. What tips do you have for comedians to get more paid work?
  19. How has the Ice House taken advantage of the downtime of quarantine? Any updates to the club or kitchen?
  20. Tell us about your work as head of comedy at TIXR the ticketing company.
  21. What’s one of the craziest or most legendary things you’ve seen take place at the Ice House? In your career?

Bio:

Twenty years in the entertainment business and there isn’t a side of the industry veteran Dee Burdett hasn’t worked on. From her early days of booking and promoting live music events in her native San Francisco Bay area, she moved on to venue management as well as special events/corporate party sales in 2000 when she was part of the opening team of the San Jose Improv. The Improv Comedy Club chain in 2003 moved her to their Southern California Brea location to continue managing, developing, & building their special events sales department.

After working for years with many of the top touring stand up comedians, Dee Burdett was recruited by national headlining comedian Ralphie May to join his team as Road Manager in 2006 for his “Girth of a Nation” tour. Coming off of the road in 2007, Dee returned home to the Improv – this time at the legendary Hollywood location to manage the club.  In high demand from the industry she was pursued by Laughstub event ticketing system to be a part of their launch team in 2010 handling Artist & Venue Relations, Live Event Ticketing & Production. Departing LaughStub in 2013, Dee remained a solid fixture in the LA comedy/music scene in her role as Director of Booking/Production for the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club. She also took an active role in the development of JLCN.tv (Jon Lovitz Comedy Network) working to develop original content, and utilized the network to further promote and grow artist fan bases.  When JLCC closed their doors in November of 2014, Dee developed a Special Event program and a weekly show Harvelle’s Comedy & Burlesque for Harvelle’s in Long Beach. Dee departed for Pioneertown, CA’s historical Pioneertown Motel in 2015 where she worked with owners Mike and Matt French to restore/renovate the property and develop/produce events on site. In addition to corporate and private events, Dee produced Campfire Comedy – a weekly summer show that served to introduce live comedy to the high desert.  After leaving the desert in the fall of 2016, she took some time to work on various production crews for HGTV and NBC. Dee eventually returned to her native Northern California to spend time with family and pursue interesting and challenging projects in entertainment, social media, and hospitality.

In the fall of 2017, Dee returned to Los Angeles to continue working in live event and television production. She built an event clientele at The Rec Room in Huntington Beach, as well as a weekly stand up comedy show Taco Tuesday.  Dee accepted a full time position in May of 2019 with the legendary Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena where she serves as Director of Marketing and Event Production. In February of 2020, while maintaining her spot at The Ice House, began working to develop a comedy division for TIXR, a progressive ticketing company based out of Santa Monica where she serves as Head of Comedy.

Ep. 13: Murray the Magician - Celebrity Magician, Comedian, Host, Illusionist

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Full Archive Length: 81 minutes

Murray the Magician answered questions like: 

  1. Where are you from?
  2. Which came first, the magic or the comedy and how did you get into it?
  3. Do you remember your first time on stage?
  4. Who are some of your magic influences? comedic influences?
  5. What did your creative process look like then versus now? The actual trick making and writing process?
  6. Did you have a mentor?
  7. How did you create your look? How important is it for everything?
  8. How would you describe your on-stage character? How is it different from off-stage?
  9. Can you talk about how you connect with the audience?
  10. How do you create that personal touch on social media to the digital audience?
  11. Was there a moment in your career where the opportunities started to roll in faster?
  12. What’s your best business advice for aspiring entertainers?
  13. What’s been your greatest accomplishment so far in your career?
  14. Do you have any insights/ advice to advance on AGT?
  15. Who’s your favorite magician?
  16. You have nearly 1.7 million subscribers on Youtube. How did you get that many followers? Was it gradual building over time or did something in particular happen? 
  17. Does that generate passive income for you? 
  18. What are some of the common mistakes you see new entertainers making? Or common things that bug you?
  19. You mentioned earlier to say yes to every gig. Do you have any other great pieces of advice for aspiring entertainers?
  20. How do you find inspiration for new material and tricks?
  21. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?

Bio:

Murray who is currently headlining at the Tropicana on the Las Vegas strip nightly really made his mark as a household name when he exploded onto the entertainment scene after his successful run as a semi-finalist on NBC-TV’s “America’s Got Talent.” The #1 network summer series was viewed by over 22 million fans nationwide. Murray dazzled the judges: Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel by producing a Ferrari from thin air, transforming a girl locked in a cage into a 450 pound tiger and did the largest trick ever on “AGT” by vanishing an entire 1918 steam train locomotive in mere seconds. All of these illusions took place before a “live” and national “TV” audience, and brought standing ovations from the judges.

Murray has just become one of YouTube’s newest sensations with his first viral video hitting over 37 million views and all his other video going over 1 million views. Murray is a regular guest star on History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” as a Magic Expert. He has also been featured on over 20 Reality shows from America’s Got Talent, Pawn Stars, CW’s Masters of Illusion, SYFY’s Wizard Wars, VH1’s Celebracadabra, TLC’s 4 Houses and What Not to Wear, Reelz Extreme Escapes, PopTV’s Don’t Blink, Master Chef,  Top Gear, Hallmark’s Home & Family, Nat Geo’s Brain Games,  and many many more!

Murray John SawChuck was born in Burnaby, British Columbia – Canada and always had the passion for adventure. At age 3, he began swimming and golfing. He learned how to play the accordion, keyboard and saxophone at 5 years old. At age 7, he began dance lessons that included: ballet, Russian, swing, break dancing, ballroom, etc.  He was an avid athlete and enjoyed participating in soccer, baseball, snow skiing, horseback riding, etc.

Murray’s parents, John and Arlene presented him with a Siegfried and Roy magic kit when he was 7 years old and his uncle and aunt Bill and Olga gave him a magic gift that changed his life. Murray envisioned himself as an entertainer incorporating magic, music and dance in his routines. He wanted to perform for audiences like his idols Dean Martin, Johnny Carson, Lucille Ball, Danny Kaye and Phyllis Diller.

As a teen, Murray had over 21 different jobs from bus boy to fixing bicycles, and lifeguard at local pools. He continued to entertain folks by dancing, playing the accordion and saxophone.  He continued his studies and received a degree in Broadcast Communications and Journalism.

When Murray was a young man he met Marvyn and Carol Roy, a.k.a. “Mr. Electric.”  The couple had toured worldwide for over 50 years and mentored Murray while he grew from an accomplished magician to an international star.

Murray was the only magician globally who invented a magic act that included the manipulation of a multitude of Compact Discs when he began his professional career called The CD Act!

Murray has won over 32 awards for his performances nationally and internationally and received the title of “World Champion.”  He has delighted audiences in theatres from Monaco and Paris to Las Vegas and the legendary Playboy Mansion.  Recently he was honored with 4 awards, The Hollywood FAME Award for contribution to Magic on TV, the LA Comedy Award for BEST COMEDY SHOW, TOP 100 Business Men of Nevada and 100 Most Distinguished Men of Nevada.

Ep. 12: Sean Grant - Comedian, Actor & Writer

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Full Archive Length - 88 minutes

Sean Grant answered questions like:

  1. How did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember your first time on stage?
  3. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  4. What did your creative process look like then versus now? The actual writing and development process?
  5. What’s your formula?
  6. I want to play a clip of your “Getting Robbed in LA” from Laff Tracks. After it’s over can you tell us how that story evolved? https://youtu.be/S9mkrvl54_8 
  7. You mentioned classes, which have you taken? Which do you recommend?
  8. How did your career form from college?
  9. How else did the diversity of South Florida influence your comedy?
  10. What’s the hardest thing about living in LA?
  11. What’s it like working with King Bach?
  12. How was it to finally perform at JFL? Did you feel like it was another step towards your goals?
  13. What are your best audition tips?
  14. How would you describe your comedic character?
  15.  How is it different than from how you view yourself OFF-stage?
  16. What is something that you wish you learned earlier in your career?
  17. What are some of the common mistakes you see new comics making? Or common things that bug you?
  18. What’s the best piece of advice you have for new comics?
  19. Did you have a comedy mentor?
  20. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?
  21. What are your future goals?

Bio:

Sean Grant is a comedian from Miami, FL. He has been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and has had guest roles on Maron on IFC and Meet the Browns on TBS. Sean was also the head writer for Dead House on Kevin Hart’s LOL Network.

Sean was featured on Tru Tvs Laff Tracks, he hosts a weekly improvised podcast called Welcome to Coo Coo Town and his hit comedy album Sean Grant-First of His Name by Comedy Records is available everywhere music is sold.

Ep. 11: Krista Spanick - Gen. Manager, Orlando Improv

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Full Archive Length: 88 minutes

Krista Spanick answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into this business?
  2. How have you seen the business change in the past 5, 10, 20 years?
  3. Has Netflix, Amazon, Hulu helped or hurt comedy clubs? Do people want to come out to see the celebrities or do they stay at home and consume more digital content?
  4. Who are some of the comedians you enjoyed when you first started in comedy?
  5. How does that local talent puzzle piece help to make the club work?
  6. When it comes to booking talent what are you evaluating? Past tickets sold? Social media followers? How funny they are? References?
  7. Can you explain how the Improv brand works?
  8. Where do you look for new talent? 
  9. What do comedians need to know about the comedy business?
  10. How important is a good emcee? What do you look for in a great host?
  11. What do you look for in a feature or middle act?
  12. This next question has multiple parts so take your time to answer...What are your concerns before, during and after a show? What are the things you’re thinking about?
  13. What’s the professional way as a comedian to deal with a drunk or rowdy audience member? What’s the protocol?
  14. As a woman in this male dominated industry...What’s your best advice for female comedians?
  15. Lin wanted to follow up… what is your advice about branding yourself ? 
  16. While quarantine was in place were there any updates made to the club while the doors were closed?
  17. What new protocols are in place for re-opening?
  18. How are you maintaining margins with the decrease in audience size?
  19. What’s your favorite item on the new menu?
  20. Some clubs including Improvs around the country and in Florida have started to re-open. Have you gained any insight into what it’s been like?
  21. What are some things that comedians can do to support the venue off-stage?
  22. How can comedians support the venue on-stage while performing?
  23. What do you hate seeing comedians do on stage?
  24. What are some detractors that would keep you from booking someone or rebooking someone?
  25. What excites you about the future of the funny business?
  26. Do you have any advice for someone who wants to be a comedy club booker? How to get started?
  27. What’s one of the best shows you’ve seen?
  28. The facebook viewers want to do a roast of Krista Spanick. Can you guess who those people might be?
  29. Aside from the Orlando Improv, what’s your favorite comedy club and why?
  30. What’s one of the weirdest things you’ve seen at a show?

Bio: Krista Spanick is an experienced General Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the entertainment industry. Skilled in entertainment management, operations management, coaching, sales, and hospitality industry. From 2002 to 2009 Krista was the operations manager for the Orlando Improv / Funnybone Comedy Clubs.

Ep. 10: Al Jackson - TV Host, Comedian & Actor

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Full Archive Length: 83 minutes

Al Jackson answered questions like:

  1. How did you get into comedy?
  2. What inspired you to get on stage? Did someone tell you to try it?
  3. Do you remember your first time on stage?
  4. How did teaching kids influence your comedy? You must have been comfortable in front of an audience having to perform for kids everyday. What type of school were you in? Were you trying jokes out on your students or their parents?
  5. Did you have to hide your comedy from the school administration for fear of losing your job?
  6. South Florida is very diverse. What was the South Florida comedy scene like for you? How did it help your comedy?
  7. What does your writing and development process look like?
  8. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  9. How do the people in your life influence your comedy?
  10. What does your daily process look like? 
  11. Did you ever take classes in stand-up? 
  12. Did you have a mentor?
  13. What’s your best piece of advice for someone getting into this business?
  14. What’s your advice for a comic looking to get to the next level? Is going to New York or Los Angeles still important?
  15. Do you have any advice that was given to you from some of the greats comedians?
  16. Looking back can you identify a moment in your career that made the opportunities start to roll in much faster? An audition? Festival?
  17. What’s your motivation when getting through the tough moments?
  18. Is there something you see new comics do that drives you crazy?
  19. Was there ever a time when you wanted to quit?
  20. How would you describe your comedic character on stage?
  21. What tips do you have for new comics to find their comedic character?
  22. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?

Bio:

American television host, comedian, and actor Al Jackson.  He cohosts the nationally broadcast talk show Daily Blast Live, which was just renewed for a third season, as well as the weekly podcast “Al & Frank Try To Be Serious” with Frank Caliendo, found on all streaming platforms.  Al regularly serves as a contributor with weekly segments on the Bob & Tom Radio Show, which boasts 140+ affiliates nationally.

Recently, Al brushed up on his acting chops appearing on HBO’s 2Dope Queens performing stand up as well as shooting four episodes of the Jim Jeffries show Legit on FX.  Last year, he shot the 100th episode of his BBC Guinness Book of World Records show Officially Amazing.

Al’s hour long comedy special “Baby Steps” was picked up by the global distributor Comedy Dynamics and his half hour comedy special is on Comedy Central.  He has appeared on several Comedy Central shows, including This is Not Happening, The Meltdown, and @midnight.  He was also featured on John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Special and Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground.

Ep. 9: Kel Mitchell - Actor & Comedian

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Full Archive Length: 92 Minutes

Kel Mitchell answered questions like:

  1. How are you doing with quarantine?
  2. You’re a Chicago native. A great comedy city. How did you get into comedy?
  3. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  4. How do the people in your life influence your comedy?
  5. What was stand-up like for you?
  6. How did you jump from theatre to TV?
  7. Were you taking classes when you started out in TV?
  8. Did you have a mentor?
  9. What was your transition into directing and producing like?
  10. What’s your motivation when getting through the tough moments?
  11. How can an actor get to the next level?
  12. Have you started mentoring the next generation?
  13. Do you have any tricks for performing characters?
  14. Would Kel have any interest in taking the reins of John Ritter's role in a modern day version of Problem Child?
  15. How do you get into voice acting if you’re not a celebrity?
  16. Who has been your favorite character to play or create and why?
  17. Would you say there is a difference in generational comedy from the original All That to the new All That?
  18. Have you thought about an All That reunion with the original cast? Has that been done?
  19. Who is your favorite muppet? Did you get to meet Chris Farley when he did the ketchup character with Keenan? Do you actually hate orange soda? 
  20. Can you talk about the Good Burger pop up restaurant that you created?
  21. How does someone get mentored by you?
  22. What are your favorite and least favorite parts about being on TV?
  23. How do you stay positive on camera even if you’re having a bad day?
  24. Do you have any audition tips?
  25. When writing sketch...what did your creative process look like then versus now? The actual writing and development process?
  26. How would you describe your comedic character? How is it different than from how you view yourself off-stage?
  27. What are your tips for comedians to find themselves in their comedy?

Bio:

Two-time Emmy Award-nominee & Dancing with the Stars runner up Kel Mitchell currently stars & serves as executive producer, on the Nickelodeon’s reboot of the hit series All That & co-founder of the Good Burger Pop-up restaurant in West Hollywood, Ca. Hailing from the Windy City of Chicago, Illinois, Mitchell began his acting career at a young age and won several awards for his starring roles in Nickelodeon’s breakout hits All That and Kenan & Kel. Additional acting credits include truTV’s Friends of the People, Cartoon Network’s Loiter Squad, TV One’s Love That Girl, Disney’s Liv and Maddie, the Nickelodeon series Game Shakers, Sam & Cat and The Thundermans, and the 1997 feature film Good Burger and the 1999 feature film Mystery Men. In September 2019, Mitchell debuted as the host of CBS’s educational Saturday morning program Best Friends Furever. 

Ep. 8: Ty Barnett - Actor, Comedian & Writer

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Full Archive Length - 89 minutes

Ty Barnett answered questions like:

  1. You’re a Chicago native - a great comedy city, but got your start at Seattle’s “Comedy Underground” How does that happen? How did you get into comedy?
  2. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  3. Do you remember your very first time on stage?
  4. When did you know when you wanted to do comedy?
  5. What did your creative process look like then versus now? The actual writing and development process?
  6. How do you use your energy on stage?
  7. How do you transition as you go on stage?
  8. How would you describe your comedic character? How is it different than from how you view yourself off-stage?
  9. What are your tips for comedians to find themselves in their comedy?
  10. When did you feel like you started to have a command of stand-up?
  11. What's the craziest story you have from performing?
  12. You served in the Army after high school. Thank you for your service. Did that influence your comedy at all?
  13. Did you have a comedy mentor?
  14. Looking back can you identify a moment in your career that made the opportunities start to roll in much faster?
  15. What’s the best piece of advice you have for new comics?
  16. What are some of the common mistakes you see new comics making?
  17. What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
  18. What are your future goals?
  19. A favorite question of Comedy Careers: Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?

Bio:

Ty Barnett, a Chicago native, got his start at Seattle’s “Comedy Underground.” Since then, his star keeps rising! Dedicated to“bringing the funny,” his shows have been called “hilarious” (Whoopi Goldberg), “thought provoking,” “edgy,” and have earned him countless television appearances. He was one of the final 2 on the most watched and only Emmy nominated season of LAST COMIC STANDING and has made multiple TONIGHT SHOW, LATE LATE SHOW, and KIMMEL (please take off quotes for  ALL TV shows please) appearances. Jay Leno says Ty is: “…one of the funniest comedians working.” He currently has scores ofnational commercials and has a notable presence online through his web series THIS IS THE BULL@%t I’M TALKING ABOUT.

Barnett is a series regular on Discovery Family Channel’s “Babies Behaving Badly” and “Beasts Behaving Badly.”  He was also the host of The Food Network’s MEALIN’ AND DEALIN’ and CHEAP EATS along with HBO’s BAD BOYS OF COMEDY, his ownCOMEDY CENTRAL PRESENTS, his one-hour special, ISSUES,and his half-hour special, YEP… which gets millions of views online. Ty has been called “one to watch” by the Hollywood Reporter.  His albums, GROWN MAN, BABY STEPS and ‘BOUT DAMN TIME are regularly featured on Sirius/XM.

You may have seen him in a recurring role on ‘TIL DEATH on FOX, LIFE IN PIECES on CBS, or perhaps the sitcomSAMANTHA WHO? NICKMOM NIGHT OUT or TOSH.0. He was also a guest star on NBC’s BROOKLYN NINE-NINE. With charm and style that transcend race and age, Ty’s ability to rock ANY and ALL audiences has made him an international favorite on stages from the South Side of Chicago to theaters in London. You don’t “go to” a Ty Barnett show, you “hang-out” with Ty Barnett!

Ep. 7: Kristin Key - Comedian & Musician

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Full Length Archive - 92 minutes

Bio:

Kristin Key grew up a minister’s daughter in a small town in West Texas. Much like Footloose, she was raised in a no-drinking, no-dancing, no instrumental music environment, so she immediately took up drinking, dancing and playing an instrument. Proving that the almighty has a strange sense of humor, Kristin came out of the closet at 15. Needless to say, it did not go well. So, Kristin decided to “take it back”, retreat back into the closet, and try a little harder to be straight.

At 19, while in college to become a paramedic, Key signed up for Open Mic Night at the local comedy club. As soon as she took the stage she felt at home. Though her observations and wit made her a local favorite, she remained in the closet, fearful of losing her local fan base. Small shows in the Texas panhandle turned into 35 states worth of comedy over the next 5 years. Audiences couldn't help but love the original comedy songs and rapid-fire style of comedy coming from the "Preacher's Kid", and though female comics struggled to find work she was booked not for being a woman, but for simply being funny.

When Last Comic Standing held their auditions in Austin, Texas, she stood in line hoping for a chance to be seen. After 7 hours of waiting, she got her chance and her ticket to Hollywood to compete with the best in the comedy world. At the end of the season she stood among the final six and watched as her fan base exploded. With validation from millions of comedy fans, Key moved to L.A. and began preparing a new act to take on the road.

While participating in an anti-bullying fundraiser, Kristin finally broke her silence and decided to share her hilarious story of coming out, taking it back, living in the closet, and meeting her wife. After 15 years in comedy, Kristin has found a way to perfectly blend together her thought provoking hilarious true stories and original songs with outrageous off-the-cuff improv moments, ensuring that no two shows are the same.

She is most recognized for her appearance on Last Comic Standing, additional credits include: Comics Unleashed, VH- 1’s 100 Greatest Series, The Bob and Tom show and Sirius and XM Satellite Radio. She has released several comedy and music albums, including a new Christmas album, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Kristin” (now available on Amazon, Google, and iTunes). Much has changed from the dusty west Texas town of Amarillo to the bright lights of L.A. but the one thing that hasn't changed is that fast-paced quick witted comedy that has kept audiences rolling in the aisles from the beginning.

Ep. 6: Claudia Cagan - Supervising Producer, Entertainment Tonight

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Full Archived Length - 95 minutes

Claudia Cagan answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into the business?
  2. As a talent booker what did your job look like on any given day?
  3. What was the best tip or piece of advice you ever received about the entertainment business?
  4. Did you have a mentor?
  5. What was the hardest part of your job?
  6. What other jobs in comedy have you held?
  7. What are your tips for a comedian when they audition?
  8. What was the submission process like? Were you only working with agents? Going to clubs to find talent?
  9. How important is laughs per minute?
  10. What would be your advice for a comedian trying to get on a late night tv show?
  11. You went to the high school for performing arts...how can someone recreate that experience for themselves that might not have the ability or means to attend a school like that?
  12. ET has been on the air for a long time. What’s the secret with all the other options out there?
  13. What are the steps a comedian can take to get a tv spot?
  14. Is there a market for musical comedy?
  15. How important is it to be in New York or Los Angeles?
  16. How important are social media followers?
  17. Is a college degree required for tv production? Or can someone apprentice or display their experience in another way? Let’s say with their own web show or online bits they’ve produced.
  18. How do you suggest aspiring artists network today? Both in the digital world and in-person, when that’s possible again. Do you need to find a common connection to get a person’s attention?
  19. What’s the proper way to approach a celebrity? 
  20. What’s it like two win an Emmy? What’s it like to win two Emmys?
  21. What were you looking for when you were booking Arsenio? What kind of funny? A character? A personal background story?
  22. Looking back, what’s been your greatest accomplishment to date?
  23. Do you still sing or perform in any way?
  24. This is a weird business, do you have a strange story that tops all others?

Bio:

Claudia Cagan is a two-time EMMY-winning television producer for Entertainment Tonight, having started her career on the performing side of the business as production singer and personal assistant. She traveled all over the world with her sister, GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter, Melissa Manchester, until she made the transition into TV production.

Early on in her TV career, she was hired as a talent executive on THE ARSENIO HALL SHOW, where, besides booking TV and THEATER stars, she also booked the classic and up-coming comedians of the 90s, including MARGARET CHO, CHRIS ROCK, CHRIS TUCKER, MARTIN LAWRENCE, ELLEN DEGENERES, ROSIE O’DONNELL, HOWIE MANDEL, JERRY SEINFELD, GEORGE WALLACE, LEA DELARIA (the first openly gay female comedian to appear on a late-night talk show,) and many, many more.

Ep 5: Cisco Duran - Comedian & Actor

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Full Archive Length: 52 minutes

Cisco Duran answered questions like:

  1. How did you get into comedy? Do you remember your first time on stage?
  2. Who are your comedic influences?
  3. At what point did things “click” for you or that you really felt in command of the art of standup?
  4. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
  5. You’re in Miami a lot and traveling often. Is it still important to be in Los Angeles or New York?
  6. You’re one of the first performers to get back up on a live stage. Whats it been like?
  7. What were you thinking about if we didn’t come back.
  8. What were your corporate zoom shows like?
  9. Comedy is best when the audiences are packed in together. What’s it like with a socially distant audience?
  10. Do you remember one of your first jokes and do you still use it today?
  11. Can you describe the evolutionary process of the mcdonalds joke?
  12. How about the gay bear joke? Can you describe how that joke was written.
  13. You tour with Carlos Mencia. How did that come about? What’s it like and what have learned from it?
  14. What are your tips for a new comedian?
  15. Have you ever had to deal with a booker or producer that stiffs you all or a portion of payment? What did you do in that situation?
  16. Can you take us back to the day you shot Hart of the City? What was that like?
  17. What resulted from that show?
  18. Was there a moment in your career that you can pinpoint that really started accelerating the opportunities for you? A festival? An audition?
  19. Agent v. manager? How are they different in your experience?
  20. What are your career goals? 
  21. For standup, How would you describe your comedic character? 
  22. How do you use your size and look to enhance your performance?
  23. Are there any mistakes that you’ve made that you can look back on and say...I wish I had done it this way. How have you learned from those mistakes?
  24. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see new comics making?
  25. How do you find that unique point of view?
  26. Let’s say I want to be a corporate comic. What do I need to think about?
  27. For a new comic that just moved to LA. What should they be doing their first week here?
  28. Aside from being funny what does it take to have a long, successful career in comedy?
  29. What’s your approach to writing, developing new material? What does your daily process look like?
  30. What’s the craziest thing that's happened with your crowd work?
  31. Have you performed in spanish? What are the differences between english and spanish standup?
  32. Do you have a favorite club, theater or space to perform and why?
  33. Do you have any other weird moments you’ve experienced in your career? An “Is this really happening?” moment.
  34. You hear someone similarly perform a joke to one that you have. What do you do?
  35. We keep hearing from managers, agents, buyers and bookers about online presence? How are you developing your digital audience?
  36. Is there anything I didn't ask that you want to talk about? Anything new comics should know about the business.

Bio:

Francisco “Cisco” Duran (b. 1986) is a stand-up comedian and entertainer from Miami, Florida. Cisco Duran moved to Miami at the age of 4 and started performing comedy at age 21. By age 23, Cisco was a finalist for Florida's Funniest Comedian and was subsequently named as one of the Top Ten Comics by Sunpost.com. Cisco has been featured on Kevin Hart's show on Comedy Central "Hart of the City, “Minuto de Fama” on América TeVé, AXS TV on Gotham Live, also as part of the Bucharest Comedy Festival (Romania), Big Sky Comedy Festival (Billings Montana), and has performed alongside the likes of Bobby Lee, Charlie Murphy, Loni Love, Eddie Griffin, and Hannibal Buress.

Cisco currently tours clubs, college's, and also travels with Carlos Mencia’s world tour as his Feature Act.

Ep. 4: JC Currais - Comedian, Actor & Writer

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Full Archive Length - 71 minutes
JC Currais answered questions like:
  1. How did you get into comedy? Do you remember your first time on stage?
  2. Who are your comedic influences?
  3. At what point did things “click” for you or that you really felt in command of the art of standup?
  4. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? 
  5. What are your tips for a new comedian?
  6. What did that weekly workshop look like?
  7. Is it still important to be in Los Angeles or New York?
  8. Do you remember one of your first jokes and do you still use it today?
  9. Why don’t you work blue as much anymore?
  10. When you ran the club in Gainesville did that give you a different perspective of how the business worked than just from the lens of a performer?
  11. Can you describe the process of editing your Hagrid joke down for Conan?
  12. How was the Conan format different from most other live performances let say, at a club?
  13. What was the experience like starting out going to the studio that day?
  14. Was there a moment in your career that you can pinpoint that really started accelerating the opportunities for you? A festival? An audition?
  15. Agent v. manager? How are they different in your experience?
  16. What are your career goals? 
  17. Did you ever take acting classes? How did you get into acting?
  18. How do you prepare for auditions or do people now call on you to fill roles that make them think of you?
  19. How did you get Just Roll With It?
  20. Does writing for the screen help your on-stage performances? How are the two writing styles different?
  21. You mentioned Twich. How are you adapting to digital?
  22. For standup, How would you describe your comedic character? 
  23. How do you use your size and look to enhance your performance?
  24. Are there any mistakes that you’ve made that you can look back on and say...I wish I had done it this way. How have you learned from those mistakes?
  25. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see new comics making?
  26. Let’s say i just moved to LA. What should I be doing my first week here?
  27. Aside from being funny what does it take to have a successful career in comedy?
  28. What’s your approach to writing, developing new material? What does your daily process look like?
  29. What’s the difference between a mic you like v. one you don’t?
  30. What’s the weirdest moment you’ve experienced in your career? An “Is this really happening?” moment.**
  31. You hear someone similarly perform a joke to one that you have. What do you do?
  32. We keep hearing from managers, agents, buyers and bookers about online presence? How do you develop your digital audience?
  33. Have you ever had to deal with a booker or producer that stiffs you all or a portion of payment? What did you do in that situation?

Bio:

Born and raised in Miami, FL. Jc Currais mixes a larger than life stage persona with his high energy performance style. He has performed on Last Call with Carson Daly, FOX's Laughs and TBS's CONAN. He was named one of TBS's Top Comics to Watch at the New York Comedy Festival and one of the New Faces of Comedy at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.

As an actor, he has appeared on FOX's Lethal Weapon, BET's Real Husbands of Hollywood and was a writer on Comedy Central's TripTank. He made his film debut in the Sundance Film Festival feature “New Low”. His second feature film “From The Dead” is slated for release in October of 2019. Recently he joined the cast of the Disney Channel original series Just Roll With It.
His presence is as big as his imagination and you never know where the show will end up when this man-child is the ring master. Currais has opened for such comedians as Steve Byrne, Hannibal Burress, Whitney Cummings, Kyle Kinane and Ralphie May.
Ep. 3: Barb North - Managing Director of Brook Forest Entertainment, Comedy Management & Development

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Full Length Archive - 90 minutes

Barb North answered questions like:

  1. What does a comedy manager do exactly? How is it different from an agent?
  2. What are some tips that new comedians can do to start out looking and acting professionally?
  3. Clean v. Dirty comedy. Which is better if I want to make money and why?
  4. What does comedy look like in this new digital world?
  5. What have been the most entertaining digital shows/products that you have seen come out of the creativeness of quarantine?
  6. How can comedians adjust to a post-quarantine world? Laughter doesn’t move the way it did when people were all packed in together.
  7. What are you looking for in new talent? 
  8. I just want to be a comedy writer, not a performer? What steps should I take to do that professionally?
  9. Is it still enough to just tell jokes on stage or do today’s comedians need to engage their audiences online and at the show in interactive formats?
  10. Can you talk about merchandise? What should I be thinking about to create, market and sell good merch to make some extra money and provide something memorable?
  11. I want to do a “special”. What kind of team do I need to put together?
  12. What are the bookers/buyers looking for? Cruises? Netflix/Amazon/Hulu? Late night? Clubs? Sirius/Spotify/Pandora?
  13. Is there a market for new comedians that are older?
  14. What are your favorite comedy festivals to attend?
  15. What can a newer comedian do to get to the next level?
  16. How much performance time must a comedian have for you to sign them?
  17. What are some tips/advice to develop one’s comedic character/personae?

Bio:

Barb and her husband Steve, Founded Brook Forest Entertainment in 1985. The company has been involved in comedy development and production for 30 years, and branched off into management in 1994. The North's are no strangers to acting and comedy as they began their careers touring comedy and folk clubs and appeared on over 30 network and syndicated television shows in the late 70's and early 80's- before moving behind the camera. Writing and producing, the North's were Head Writers of the late 80's rendition of The Gong Show and wrote or produced for many others including Candid Camera, Make Me Laugh, Bachelor Party and Switcheroo. Additionally, they worked in development, created shows, and sold formats of shows they created in the expanding International market of the early 90's.

In 1992, the North pair created the successful home base for standup comedians at the L.A. Connection in Los Angeles, which, now in it's twelfth year, continues to offer private coaching, workshops and Industry Showcases for beginning and experienced comedians to have support, feedback and a safe place to grow.

Ep. 2: Daniel Franzese - Actor, Comedian, Director & Activist

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Full Length Archive - 86 minutes

Daniel Franzese answered questions like:

  1. How did you make the transition into stand-up comedy?
  2. How do you make each performance uniquely memorable?
  3. How do you incorporate social messages into your performances?
  4. How have you kept connected to your audiences during the pandemic?
  5. You’re an advocate for the larger people out there. For stage performers, how do you use your size to your advantage?
  6. Do you have any tips for auditions?
  7. You were a judge on RuPauls drag race season 12. What was that experience like? How did you leverage that experience to further your own audience development?
  8. Who is your favorite queen of season 12 of RuPauls Drag Race and why?
  9. Who are you rooting for for Allstars 5?
  10. You became very well known as playing Damian. How have you broken out of that box to create your own brand, the way you want to?
  11. Aside from your well known roles what has been your greatest accomplishment as a performer thus far?
  12. What’s your best piece of advice for an aspiring comedian? 
  13. You do a great job of meeting fans after your shows? How might that change for you in a post-quarantine world?
  14. You do a great job of selling merchandise? How important is that in the life of a performing artist?

Bio:

Best known for his roles in Larry Clark’s “Bully”, and as Damian in Tina Fey’s “Mean Girls”. Danny is the creator of several live comedy shows including rock opera “Jersey Shoresical: A Frickin’ Rock Opera!”, and his one-man stand-up performances “I’ve Never Really Made the Kind of Money to Become a Mess” and “Yass! You’re Amazing!”

Ep. 1: Jimmy Shubert - Comedian & Actor

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Full Length Archive - 85 minutes

Jimmy Shubert answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how long have you been doing comedy?
  2. How did you get into comedy?
  3. What’s are some of the biggest mistakes you see new comics making?
  4. Do you remember your first time performing?
  5. What was your most memorable performance or weirdest moment?
  6. Aside from being funny what does it take to have a successful career in comedy?
  7. What does your creative process look like?
  8. What do you think of story tellers?
  9. What is layering?
  10. What's the best piece of advice you ever received?
  11. What piece of advice would you give to a new comedian today?
  12. Did you have a mentor?
  13. What was it like working at The Comedy Store?
  14. Do you have any advice on the topic of management?
  15. How did you get your special made?
  16. How important is reputation as a professional? Can you succeed by just being funny?
  17. What do you think the basics are for becoming a professional?

Bio:

Jimmy Shubert has built an impressive resume as an actor, both in film and on television. He can currently be seen in a movie entitled “American Nightmares” with Danny Trejo, Vivica Fox and, Jay Morh on Cinemax. He also just wrapped filming scenes in a new movie entitled “Puppy Love” with Hopper Penn, Michael Madsen and, Rosanne Arquette heading for a major theatrical release. As a comedian, he is one of the busiest comedians working today. After becoming a finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and, being seen on Comedy Central as the closing act on Dave Atell’s Comedy Underground. He also just wrapped post- production on his brand new hour special entitled “Zero Tolerance” – soon to be seen on a premium cable network.

From headlining A list comedy clubs, casinos, theaters across the country. Shubert’s New-hour special ‘Zero Tolerance” is a theatrical presentation of Shubert’s stand-up persona of a blue collar working man’s man. He combines the outlook of a modern-day Archie Bunker with an utterly real world sensibility to create signature pieces of comedy, on Therapy cats, Smart Phones, Male grooming and, the dumbing down of America. Shubert loves playing  the part of a pop culture Iconoclast.

In television, Shubert is also known for his recurring role on “King of Queens” for five years and several appearances on “Entourage”. Jimmy has a wide range as an actor and has played everything from a prison guard in a hostage crisis to a murder victim on “Monk.” He’s worked with such marquee names as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Katie Holmes, Kevin James, James Caan and the late Robin Williams. On the small screen, He recently did a guest star on IFC’s  ”Maron”  ABC’s “Back in the game” with James Caan,  on the CBS comedy “2 Broke Girls”, He played Betty Whites neighbor. He appeared on Disney’s hit show “Zeke and Luther” as Bobby Dicey”-World’s Greatest Daredevil, and “Barely Legal” a pilot presentation about a dysfunctional family law firm, other TV credits include ” “Heist,” “The Loop,” “ER,” “Reno 911,” “Rude Awakenings,” “Angel,” “Lucky,” “New Car Smell,” “Sonny with a chance” and “Youth In Revolt.”

It was Jimmy’s performance as the lollipop-sucking strip club bouncer Vic jr. in Columbia Pictures’ “Go”, directed by Doug Liman, that jumpstarted his film career. He then starred in a short film, “Velocity Rules,” for producer Brett Ratner and director Patty Jenkins (“Monster & Wonder Woman ”) He has since landed roles in numerous films such as Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Coyote Ugly,” Fox Searchlight Pictures’ “One Hour Photo”, “The Italian Job”, and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”. He starred in a short film entitled “Wedding Jimmy,” and a feature entitled “Tales from the Crib”, it is currently making the rounds on the festival circuit soon to be theatrically released.

Jimmy recorded his first half-hour special for Comedy Central Presents at the Hudson Theater in New York City, which received rave reviews from critics and a standing ovation from the discerning New York audience. In addition, he has released three comedy albums, “Animal Instincts” “Pandemonium” & “Alive & kickin,” were produced by Grammy-winning producer Dan Schlissel and Stand Up Records. A veteran of live performance, Jimmy has performed all over the United States twice, China, Honk Kong, Singapore, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Korea and, he along with Drew Carey, performed for the troops in the Middle East   and Afghanistan as part of the “America Supports You” program for the Defense Department and Armed Forces Entertainment.

A Philly native, growing up as the son of a Philadelphia Detective wasn’t easy for Jimmy. He says“ It was like having Lieutenant Colombo as a roommate, most of my childhood was an interrogation scene from Law & Order ” Jimmy and his band of six brothers were always getting into trouble, and being the middle child, Jimmy learned at an early age that a sense of humor could get him through any situation. He attended the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts and Majored in Drama. It was from those experiences in acting class that Jimmy knew he wanted to pursue a career in Show Business. Jimmy took an interest in Magic at 9 years old and by the age of 15, jimmy he had become an accomplished professional magician. He later channeled that energy into stand-up comedy. His unique ability to see the humor in social trends and deliver his poignant and hilarious point of view on world issues has made Shubert one of the most respected and original comedians working today.

Jimmy started performing right out of high school in comedy clubs around the Philly area. He later moved to Los Angeles and started working at the Comedy Store. It was at the Comedy Store where he later met Sam Kinison, and after taking him offstage on a Motorcycle at the Comedy Store’s Main room in front of a packed house , they became fast friends . Kinison liked Shubert’s cockeyed chutzpah and included him as one of the original “Outlaws of Comedy” which he toured with for five years, playing major casinos in Las Vegas and other venues like the Universal Amphitheater in front of audiences as large as 6,500 people. In 1997, after a well recognized performance at the prestigious Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal , he was spotted by the late Brandon Tartikoff , who signed Jimmy to a holding deal to develop a pilot sitcom for him to star in at 20th Century Fox, which led to another holding deal and then finally a Pilot.

Jimmy’s comedy routine is usually performed with an observational point of view, in comedic short-story form, and typically focuses on poking fun at pop culture. As AllMusic.com put it, “His confidence and lucid delivery enhances his humor, making even his most perverse moments hilarious.”

Comic Cure