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Posts tagged as interviews

Adjusting to America with Canada's Sweetheart Debra DiGiovanni

Her charmingly playful persona is coupled with brutal honesty and quick delivery. More than that, her stats are impressive: she's performed at Montreal's Just for Laughs festival nine times, been awarded the Best Female Comic at the Canadian Comedy Award three times, and made it to the top eight on Last Comic Standing. (To understand her personality quickly, watch the preview for her special, Single Awkward Female.)

With a recent move to Los Angeles, she's now sharing her comedy with American audiences. She returns to Canada to headline the Just for Laughs Road Show Tour in twelve Canadian cities.

I spoke with Debra in Toronto about the enduring [...]

Sara Schaefer on Coming Out of Her Chrysalis

Sara Schaefer has proven herself as a capable and talented comedian on nearly every front in comedy. Together with Nikki Glaser, she hosted Nikki & Sara Live on MTV, was the head blogger for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (for which she won the Emmy Award for Creative Achievement in Interactive Media), ran a successful three-year podcast, You Had to Be There, with Nikki Glaser, and has been producing a great new podcast, LIES, through Nerdist and WNYC.

All the while, between the jobs mentioned above and also working as a financial analyst at various law firms, Schaefer has been developing her standup. Her debut album, [...]

Watching 'Grown Ups 2' Every Week for a Year and Living to Talk About It

Allow me to introduce you to The Worst Idea of All Time, a podcast with a remarkably simple and twisted premise: two comedians watch and review Grown Ups 2 every week for a year. Yes, you read that correctly. Helmed by two standups from New Zealand, Guy Montgomery and Tim Batt, the podcast has become something of a sleeper hit, with over six hundred thousand total downloads, and an average of ten to twenty thousand downloads per episode. A shout-out from Paul Scheer brought the duo much of their early American notoriety, and since then the fan base has grown, largely it seems, from word of mouth. Ridiculous as the premise might [...]

Trevor Moore and That Awkward Conversation with Your Parents About Your Comedy

Trevor Moore, founding member of The Whitest Kids U' Know, returns to television at midnight on March 6th with a brand new one-hour Comedy Central musical special, High in Church. The show was recorded live at the Gramercy Theater in New York and incorporates a full band, backup singers, dancing girls and some truly hilarious music videos featuring Presidential cat assassinations, drunk texts and Moore and his pals accidentally tripping balls at a midnight mass. I talked to Moore about the special, his conservative upbringing, and the latest news on The Whitest Kids U' Know.

Indie Rock and Standup in Portland with The Thermals' Hutch Harris

Musicians are often thought of as self-serious crybabies, holding their craft to the highest imaginable standards and scoffing at anything that resembles fun. Often, that's not the case, however, as many musicians moonlight with comedic output, and vice versa. From follow-worthy Twitter accounts to viral videos and other projects, we're here to point out some of the most interesting crossovers between the worlds of music and comedy.

With 13 years of experience and six albums for labels like Sub Pop, Kill Rock Stars and Saddle Creek, there's no denying that The Thermals are an established indie rock institution. The Portland trio's blistering, punk-inflected musicianship and politically charged lyrics have made [...]

Putting It All Out There with Jamie Campbell

He might be one of the hardest working comedians in Chicago. An improviser, actor, standup, producer and all around good guy — seriously. Not only a fan, I’m a friend and was excited to talk to my buddy from the old stomping grounds, Jamie Campbell. He has a new album out, Tell Me You’re Proud Of Me, that’s killing it on Amazon and iTunes, a good sign that his move to Los Angeles is coming at just about the right time. We talked about his impending move, how our messed up childhoods make us better artists, and choosing to just jump into things.

First of all, congratulations on the [...]

Mo Welch on Larry Bird, Qweirdos and Laughter in the Dark

Whether she’s hosting The Mo Show, performing standup, making music videos, drawing her hilariously depressing cartoon, Barely Blair, or bringing her A-game on the basketball court onto the stage for the Larry Bird Variety Hour, the impossibly cool Mo Welch is constantly stretching the boundaries of her comedy and devising new ways to find the funny.

I got a chance to talk with Mo about the antics behind the making of her CBS sports special, Foul Ball, what it’s like to be Larry Bird, getting her start with The Grawlix, joining the Qweirdo community, and her unexpected moment of brilliance [...]

Derrick Beckles and the Art of Weirdness

Derrick Beckles has made his career out of pursuing the subversive and strange. Growing up in Canada, Beckles was inspired by the absurdity of infomercials and paid programming, eventually creating TV Carnage, a compilation of bad clips from public access shows and infomercials. In addition to creating these compilations, Beckles has directed several music videos, helped shape the humor in VICE, and is currently working on a sitcom called The Hopes in which Courtney Love plays his wife. I spoke with Beckles about his eclectic jobs, being accessible to mainstream audiences, and his current stint as host of Hot Package. The second season of the show airs every Friday at 12:30 a.m. [...]

Killing It with Adam Newman

Adam Newman's newest album, Killed, was just released on Rooftop Records. He's come a long way since the last record nearly five years ago, not only in comedy but also to distinguish himself from a certain viral video where he finds cocaine in a heckler's coat.

Having performed on the Late Show with David Letterman, released an album, Not for Horses in 2011 and with a Comedy Central Half Hour under his belt, he was itching to release the latest album. I spoke to Adam about the latest album and the downfalls of live tweeting. We agreed that material can sometimes fall in your lap, if people buy albums anymore [...]

Inside 'The Jack and Triumph Show' with Jack McBrayer

Playing the lovable but slightly creepy Kenneth the Page on NBC's 30 Rock from 2006-2013 brought Jack McBrayer to fame, but he's delivered that trademark sunny Georgian charm to tons of onscreen roles and television appearances. McBrayer has long served as a reliable supporting player on both the improv stage and television screen, but tonight he's the star alongside a brash plastic dog puppet with a flair for pop culture-grounded insults. The Jack and Triumph Show, a brand new Adult Swim series from the minds of Robert Smigel and Michael Koman, boasts perhaps the ultimate yin-yang comedy pair: Smigel's poop-obsessed Rottweiler Triumph the Insult Comic Dog is the perfect [...]

Being Dan Harmon and Being Okay With It

Dan Harmon has had a busy year. One year ago he premiered his documentary Harmontown at the SXSW festival in Austin, got rehired at Community, made a fifth season of Community, which was then canceled. Yahoo! bought the show, produced a sixth season, and it premieres today on Yahoo! Screen. He has accomplished an immense amount in a small period of time, but his work ethic comes from avoiding life's big question: Who am I?

I spoke to Harmon before his live Harmontown podcast taping at SXSW on pressure, perseverance, and an unhealthy work ethic.

Has your creative process been different this season? Did it change from writing for [...]

Talking with Will Forte About 'The Last Man on Earth,' 'Clone High,' and the 'MacGruber' Sequel

From his eight years on SNL to his roles on 30 Rock, Tim and Eric, and cult hit MacGruber, Will Forte has been one of comedy's most lovable bastions of gutsy weirdness of the past decade, and now he finally has a show all his own. The Last Man on Earth premiered last Sunday on Fox, and it centers on Forte and fellow 30 Rock alum Kristen Schaal as a pair of lonely, desperate apocalypse survivors who aren't exactly relieved to discover each other's existence. I recently spoke with Forte about developing his own show, what he's learned from working with co-creators Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and whether [...]

A Discussion About Philosophy and Spirituality with Eddie Pepitone

On his new full length comedy album, In Ruins, Eddie Pepitone lives up to his Bitter Buddha reputation with passionate diatribes on everything from the cost of war to his ongoing existential crisis. Like a well-caffeinated sidewalk preacher, Pepitone delivers his sermon with an improvisational flow that can only come from a seasoned mind full of too many competing ideas. He is a true comic philosopher, willing to hold himself up to the evils and tragedy that he sees in the world. I talked to Pepitone about his search for spirituality, the little joys in life and what he would like to see more of in standup comedy.

You're [...]

The Definitive Guide to One of the Greatest Prank Calls of All Time

In the pre-internet age, the best prank calls and underground videos were passed hand-to-hand on cassette and VHS tapes, creating a subculture among comedians and musicians who relied on them to punch up endless, aimless stretches of time on the road, backstage, or in hotel rooms.

The digital revolution has mostly wiped out those (formerly) viral methods of transmission, but it's also had the peculiar side effect of turning the material itself into artifact-worthy nostalgia. That helps explains why Chunklet Industries, the Atlanta-based purveyor of exquisitely snarky, aesthetically pleasing products such as Chunklet magazine (Full disclosure: I've written for Chunklet in the past) and numerous punk and indie-rock releases, decided [...]