season 1 of the Green podcast is live!

Green is a seasonal podcast where two green comedians talk to successful comedians about stuff they’re really good at. It’s hosted by me (Stu Melton) and Jake Fromm. Here’s a little preview of what the first few episodes are about:

ep. 1 – How to create a podcast
ep. 2 – How to get booked & be a working comic
ep. 3 – How to pitch a TV show

The episodes feature some of our favorite comics in NYC who know a lot more about these things than Jake and I do. The first episode features Corinne Fisher, who co-hosts one of the biggest comedy podcasts on iTunes with millions of downloads per episode: Guys We F****d. She tells us that, for our first episode, we’re doing okay. On the “working comic” episode, we’re joined by NYC comedian Lucas Connolly who regularly works club shows, independent shows, storytelling shows, and the road…and is blown away by our charming naiveté. Episode 3’s guest Dan Perlman was in the middle of developing an animated pilot for Fox when we sat down to talk about how exactly he got there. Fast-forward to today, when Jake and I are developing our own pilot with a major TV network. Pshh, we wish.

My favorite part about the show is that it’s recorded over the span of 7 months, so you can hear Jake and I become better hosts as the episodes improve. And, even cooler, you can hear us become marginally less stupid about comedy over time.

Although the episodes are informative, Jake and I also thought a lot about how to make it a well-rounded show. It’s funny, sad, smart, stupid.. .admittedly the best podcast you’ve ever heard.

YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE FIRST THREE EPISODES OF GREEN ON iTUNES HERE

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Matt Ruby of Schtick or Treat (Seeso) on recording his comedy album, life as a comedian, and how to get people to notice you

Matt Ruby is a touring comedian based in New York City and is the creator of Vooza. His newly released album Hot Flashes (top 10 on iTunes) is available now. 

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how to network in comedy from a real pro – Alex Ptak

Illustration by Rachel Lenihan

Alex Ptak is a top talent man for KRB Talent Empire. He has done many big deals with top comedy talents like Geraldo Rivera and the Rivera Family Band. He is also currently represented by ACA as a Networking Star.

Before leaving to work as talent man at KRB, Alex worked on a steam boat where he quickly rose to the top by networking. After many years of hard work on the poop deck, Alex became a famous stand up comedian in only 3 weeks. He is now ready to pass his show business lessons on to you.

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what the 10,000 hours rule really means: taking lessons in stand up comedy from a nerdy Swedish guy instead of Malcolm Gladwell

My roommate Matt, like me, is a stand up comic. So, when one of us decides to take a night off, the other always tries to inspire some action: “Why don’t we go out and do some open mics?! You need to write more!” Matt always boils it down to: “You’ve gotta get your 10,000 hours, man!” I’ve probably heard Matt say that phrase 10,000 times. He’s really good at it. 

I was listening to a rebroadcast of a Freakonomics Radio episode called “How To Be Great At Just About Anything,” when the guy who came up with the 10,000 hour rule started explaining what it’s all about. And it got me thinking. What does 10,000 hours really mean? In the stand up community, the idea of “10,000 hours” is thrown around like crazy, but does anybody ACTUALLY know what it means? Yeah, 10,000 hours is a number.. .but do you magically become Louis C.K. after you’ve been on stage for that much time? Does it only matter how much time you’re on stage, or does writing count, too? Are you meant to keep track of how many hours you’re doing? Or is it just a big number to use for inspiration? Is it even physically possible?

When we boil it all down, “10,000 hours” really amounts to a buzz word that’s lost a lot of it’s meaning. So this is an attempt to get some real, concrete answers about what it means to get your 10,000 hours in comedy. Starting here:

You ask anybody who came up with the 10,000 hours rule and they’ll say “Malcolm Gladwell.” But they’re dead wrong. Which is why I’d rather take a lesson in stand up comedy from a nerdy Swedish guy named Anders Ericsson. Wait.. .who?

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the 13.5 best “best of 2016” comedy lists of 2016

There are A LOT of “best of 2016” comedy lists out there – dozens and dozens of them. And with that many, how do you know who to trust? The “best” comedy books, the “best” comedy specials, the “best” podcasts.. .how are you supposed to figure out what’s really important: which lists are really the best “best of 2016” lists?

That’s why I’ve combed through all the 2016 comedy lists to name the top 13.5 best “best of 2016” comedy lists of 2016. This way you’ll know which lists are the most skillfully compiled, cleverest, and most worth your time. I’m not gonna lie: there was some tough competition out there this year. Only a select few made the cut, but what’s here is the cream of the crop. When it comes to comedy, this list is (quite literally) the best of the best!

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the REAL secret to stand up comedy? there ain’t none! except for handshakes – Tim Unkenholz

Comedy truly goes hand in hand with handshakes. What is laughter, really, but an audience shaking hands with the comedian, with their mouths? Here we’ll talk about the most important part of any stand up comedy scene — the ritualistic devotion to grabbing each other’s hands as a sign of respect. It’s why stand up comedy is often called a “hand job.”

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a complete history of stand up comedy in America

Jokes! Laughter! Buzz! Excitement!

These are just some of the words you might use to describe “stand up comedy.” But if you described stand up comedy that way, you’d be doing a horrible job. And that’s because you don’t know anything about comedy in America.

Much like jazz, stand up comedy is often viewed as one of the only truly “American” art forms. But, shamefully, a lot of people today (including comedians themselves) actually don’t know the true history of the art. The backstory of stand up is just as important as ever – as topics like “political correctness,” a constant theme throughout haha yesteryear, are super trendy right now. Subjects like transgender people are posh, a la mode, and other french words that mean “cool.” By looking backwards, comedians have an opportunity to “learn from our mistakes” .. .and all that stuff. Being informed about our past allows us to be more analytical when looking forward .. .I guess. Pretty much any cliche argument your friend Sharon uses to justify her degree in history will also apply to learning about the history of comedy.

Which is why I’ve done extensive research in order to pull together a highly, highly comprehensive history of this American institution, including facts that I guarantee you haven’t heard before. After all, how can we respect the art form of comedy today if we have no understanding of how we got here? (Wow, I snuck in another cliche!) Let’s take a dive into the “ocean” that is funniness in America, shall we? Let the waves of history wash over you. Lick the salty taste of history on your lips, smell the rich stand up in the fresh breeze, and.. .well, you get it.

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from comedians to bloggers everywhere: go to hell! (except for me, my blog is cool)

“Look, it’s just us [here]. Blogs.. .what a bunch of bullshit!” – Paul F. Tompkins, The Wolf Den Podcast

If you’re a person with a heartbeat, you can agree that blogs are the worst thing to ever happen to human society and that includes Adolf Hitler. Bloggers should happily kill themselves, knowing they are doing the world a favor! Okay, I’m exaggerating a little. However, like any good comedian, I hate everything that bloggers have ever done. I’ve never read something a blogger wrote and thought, “Wow, I’m glad I read that! I definitely don’t want to kill whoever wrote this!” Any Joe Shmoe can write a blog to boost his self-importance; all you need are fingers to type. Who gives a shit about what you say! Boooo! Get. A. Life. Right???

Us comedians thoroughly despise bloggers. And rightfully so! Comedians are the truth-tellers of our society. They aren’t afraid to call people out, especially those faceless, soulless “writers” of the web who have no purpose in life other than to shamelessly wrangle clicks at any cost. Comedians provide the world a fantastic service: they make people laugh! On the other hand, bloggers complain. Laughter is positive; complaining is purely negativity. Bloggers bring people together to hate on others gripe about the state of the world. Nothing could be fucking sadder. Who wants that?

Bloggers are a bunch of no-good, self-important nobodies who don’t matter! That’s a fact. But, you shouldn’t just accept that as truth; there are a ton of great reasons why comedians think bloggers should jump off a damn cliff. As far as I know, no one has taken the time to carefully, thoughtfully, and meticulously put these degenerates in their place until now. So, here they are. Here are all the reasons that comedians think bloggers are jerk off fuckbrains.

Oh and by the way, THIS blog is really cool, though.

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the (honest) stand up comedy dictionary

A lot of “normal” people don’t know there’s a whole different language comedians use to talk about stand up comedy.. .which has led to the creation of “stand up dictionaries” in an attempt to explain our lives to humorless plebeians.

But this isn’t one of those fluffy-ass dictionaries for non-comics! This dictionary is for advanced, fluent stand up comedians! With the real, honest definitions – what the words really mean. This ain’t your grandma’s stand up dictionary (unless your grandma was a comic!).

Unfortunately, if you’re not a comedian, this glossary is about as useful as bringing a pocket French dictionary to France. So it might help a little bit. But you’re definitely still going to look stupid. Hey, it’s a start! Actually, it’s the perfect piece to read if, like my mother, you don’t particularly care for comedy but you have “a horse in the race.” With some practice, maybe your poor grasp on our lexicon won’t completely stick out like a sore incomplete idiom.

I know this isn’t an alphabetical list. And, yes, technically that’s what a dictionary is supposed to be. But the alphabet is overrated! Screw the alphabet! Who uses anything besides emojis anymore? screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-11-08-05-am That’s why I organized these words for maximal vocabularic retention (i.e. however I feel like it). I’m not sure if “vocabularic” is a real word, but it should be.

So. Below is the very first, very un-alphabetical edition of The (Honest) Stand Up Comedy Dictionary.

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what your microphone grip says about you

Every stand up comedian has her or his or her or his own unique microphone grip; it’s what makes her or him (or her) special. I’ve collected a comprehensive list of ALL the grips that are out there. Every single one! If you tell jokes into a microphone, there’s a description here waiting specifically for you. I’ve been hunting different mic grips for years, and I’m proud to announce I have finally caught them all. I’m the Ollivanders Wand Shop of microphone grips. 22. That’s how many mic grips I’ve documented! TWENTY-FREAKING-TWO. I’m the expert! Here they are. Which one fits you?

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