being silly and being real: how writing comedy on the East and West coasts made me funnier

I’ve been thinking a lot about how my stand up has changed since I did comedy back in college on the West coast, so I wrote this thing about one of my old jokes that I ended up adapting after coming to New York City. Before I say anything else, I want to point out that my experience in comedy is limited. I did relatively minimal comedy before coming to New York and I’ve been here for just over half a year. So, in terms of the East/West differences I’m writing about, they only come from my limited personal experiences, which I suppose could have been different for anyone.

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Nick Vatterott’s letter to UCB

Nick Vatterott is a big name in comedy. He’s a working comic who has been around New York City for a while now, working some of its best clubs. I think the consensus is that he hasn’t had his “breakout” moment yet on TV, but he has a huge cult following because he’s awesome. (see more of him on his website)

Yesterday, in frustration with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, he typed out this long Facebook post, which has accumulated upwards of 800 likes and 80 shares in 17 hours. His frustrations with the theater have garnered a lot of support from the stand up community. Everybody seems to be sharing or posting about it today!

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are math jokes taboo?

A lot of people hate math. People hate math so much that our word for “complete and utter destruction” is “aftermath.” That’s pretty bad. Like, what’s left after a bomb – we compare that…to multiplication tables.

That’s a joke I wrote that pretty much sums up how 50% of people feel about mathematics: it’s the absolute worst thing in the world. Physical torture cannot compare to the mundaneness of arithmetic nor the frustration of solving a system of equations. And yet, there are some crazy, weird people who actually like math.

What?! Who?! Well, I’m one of them! And so is San Francisco/Los Angeles based comedian Sammy Obeid. And if you’re a comedian who likes math, sometimes that can work against you.

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the 10 best “best of 2015” comedy lists of 2015

Yeah, so, as implied by the title I have seen a ton of lists out there chronicling the “whatever-est” comedy “whatevers” of 2015.

Here are the best of the best of 2015 when it comes to lists of the best comedy things of 2015:

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comedy throwback: who the comedians of today remind me of

Sometimes it’s fun to play stupid games like, “Who is the Richard Pryor of today?” So why not? But, before we get into this, I want to make it clear that I’m not trying to argue that any of these modern comedians are on par with the legends I am comparing them to. Nor am I saying they’ve necessarily been influenced by them, either. All I’m saying is that when I watch these comedians today, I can’t help but be reminded of some great old comedians. Maybe they’re just similar comedy souls born at different times.

Not quite sure what that means, but hey it sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Sure it does. Anyways, I tried to pick some comedian pairings that would be interesting without being too much of a stretch. We’ll see if that’s true, I suppose.

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the art of interviewing: why it finally worked out for Marc Maron

I’ve listened to enough WTF Podcast episodes to have finally realized, “You know, what? Marc Maron is actually pretty good at this.” A previous thing I wrote about a Marc Maron article inspired me to go more in depth into what makes him so good at what he does.

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15 reasons not to date a comedian

I saw this fun little list come up somewhere recently: 15 Reasons to Date a Comedian. And I read it. And it made me think, “eHarmony definitely does not have any comedians on staff.” So, I decided to dispute each of their 15 reasons to date a comedian, hopefully providing people with many more (more realistic) reasons why not to.

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why don’t people think women are funny?

I was at a small comedy show recently where a panel of eight or so comedians discussed who they thought would be on the “Mount Rushmore of Comedy.” I listened as all the comics listed their top four comics of all time and only one woman, Maria Bamford, was listed. And she was picked by the host, who went last, who might have thought “Hey, maybe I should throw a woman in there.” (and I only say that because everyone vehemently disagreed with Bamford’s right to be on the Mountain) That’s 8×4=24+ “best comedians of all time” listed and only one female comic came up. Isn’t that weird?

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why no one knows what is funny: is Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None” really, really good or really, really bad?

As a lot of conversations among comedians start, I was on the train with my friend Mark. I asked him if he’d seen Master of None (MoN) on Netflix yet. He said, “Yeah! I thought it was awful – I couldn’t watch past the first episode.” And of course I was like, “What?! That’s crazy! I think it’s awesome!”

I lied: his real name isn’t Mark. Way to lose the reader’s trust 15 seconds in.

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