Talking to @RachelHastings about Teenagers, Turning Tweets Into Sketches, and Her Mom
Rachel Hastings is a writer living in Los Angeles, where she writes for the Bob’s Burgers comic (the third issue of which comes out October 29th from Dynamite Comics), works in the production department for Bob’s Burgers the TV show, and is a writer on the UCB LA Maude team Tut. This week I asked Hastings to tell me about some of her favorite tweets she’s made. She talked to me about creating sketches out of those tweets, the funniest thing she’s ever seen on Twitter, and her mom’s role in all this. Check out some of her tweets below, and follow @RachelHastings for more.
“So what do you do?” “I’m the Eileen from ‘Come on Eileen.'”
— Rachel Hastings (@rachelhastings) October 24, 2013
Hastings: This is just something I really hope has happened in real life. I know I’m assuming a lot, for instance, that the song “Come on Eileen” was written about a real woman named Eileen, and that this real woman does not have nor will ever have anything else going on in her life, but again, I hope she’s out there and that this conversation has taken place. Additionally, when I tweeted this, my friend Lauren immediately replied “Sketch,” and I later wrote it into a sketch that was performed by my UCB LA Maude team, Tut. So my dream did come true on some level.
Can you think of other tweets you’ve turned into sketches or bigger pieces?
I don’t remember exactly what it was, but I wrote one once about not being able to tell whether jazz is good, which I turned into a sketch about a game show called “Is This Jazz Good?” And after all that, I still don’t know how to tell whether jazz is good.
Do you ever sense as you’re tweeting those ideas that they could be a springboard to something bigger, or is it usually someone else bringing it to your attention?
I don’t think I sense it as I’m doing it, but sometimes if I’m trying to think of ideas for sketches I’ll look back and see if there’s anything there. Also, sometimes on the phone my mom will tell me about a tweet of mine she liked, so that’s a good indicator as well.
Romeo and Juliet is the original “no YOU hang up first”
— Rachel Hastings (@rachelhastings) July 8, 2014
Teenagers are the worst. My apologies to the few teenagers I know, who are great, but generally, they’re the worst. Romeo and Juliet are no exception. And instead of actually hanging up, as they didn’t have fun giant iPhones like today’s teenagers do, they killed themselves, which I suppose is the ultimate hanging up.
I like that your Twitter is pretty evenly split between hypothetical or fictional situations and first person tweets about your experiences. Do you prefer or find it easier to do one or the other?
Thank you! I think I prefer jokes about hypothetical or fictional situations, but find it easier to write first person ones about my experiences. If I could find myself in hypothetical situations more often, things would be a lot easier.
Do you ever feel pigeonholed into tweeting about certain themes or in certain styles?
Not really, but the way I write is pretty similar to the way I talk, so in a sense I’m just pigeonholed by my own personality.
Do you have any favorite kinds of tweets you like to do?
My favorite kinds of tweets to do are ones that I’m pretty sure are too dumb for anyone but me to think are funny. Like “One, two, three, four / Get your woman on the floor / Five, six, seven, eight / Help her up! She’s on the floor!” And they usually just do kind of okay, which maybe confirms my initial inclination.
When I moved here, I said I wouldn’t let L.A. change me. But here I am, five years later, a palm tree :(
— Rachel Hastings (@rachelhastings) August 21, 2014
I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to move to Los Angeles and not turn into a palm tree at some point. They’re everywhere!
What do you think is the funniest thing you’ve seen on Twitter?
One of my favorite comedians from UCB NY, Gavin Speiller, had a tweet that I go back and laugh at a lot. “Hi, I’m Joey Fatone. I was in the group N*SYNC, but there’s nothing N*SYNC about dry skin. You’re probably wondering why I’m in your kitchen”
Have you noticed Twitter influence your ability to tell jokes, for better or worse?
I think it’s been for better, or at least I hope so. I’ll have to see what my mom says.
Photo by Robyn Von Swank.
Jenny Nelson lives and writes in Brooklyn and works at Funny or Die.