Carl Bennett, known on Twitter as @Carl_Bnntt, uses the platform to address a lot of different topics. For instance, he shares his knowledge of fine art, opines about the world's obsession with sports, and never shies away from addressing mortality. When asked for information for a bio, Bennett simply responded he “has no family (deceased) to speak of and distributes Storage Wars revisionist literature.” Bennett also showed me three of his favorite tweets and told me a bit more about them, and we talked about the kinds of people he interacts with on Twitter and how tweeting can serve as a reminder of human error.
Bennett: It took almost 24 years to write this but I feel that it efficiently pays tribute to all the wonderful memories I have of my dead cousin. He was more than just an arm sticking out of a leaf pile; he was my cousin, and he had a name. READ MORE
Jason Roeder lives in Chicago and is the senior editor of The Onion, previously having worked as a staff/senior writer at The Onion and as a writer/producer for AdultSwim.com. Roeder has also written, edited, and co-written several books and contributed to places like The New Yorker, McSweeney's, and more. Recently I got the chance to ask Roeder about three of his favorite tweets, and he talked to me about introversion, cashiers, and remembering exactly where he's tweeted stuff before.
Roeder: I kind of envy people who know all their neighbors because I'm an introvert who will delay leaving my apartment if I hear someone across the hall leaving at the same time. You know, instead of just saying hello or introducing myself like a person that isn't instinctively terrified of other humans. READ MORE
Anne T. Donahue is a writer and comedian from Ontario, Canada. She’s written about pop culture and feminism for a wide variety of publications including The A.V. Club, Death & Taxes, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, and Hello Giggles. She’s also written for the CTV sitcom Spun Out, hosts the weekly podcast Bevs With Anne, and co-created the web series Women at Work. Recently, Donahue showed me three of her favorite tweets and told me about how much she likes award-show Twitter, what she has in common with Drake, and why she stopped @-replying Zachary Quinto.
Donahue: Terry Richardson is pop culture's real-life equivalent to Voldemort. But then again, that is also insulting to Voldemort. And I don't think any actor we can trust wants to play Terry Richardson. READ MORE
Veronica Osorio is a comedian, writer, and actress raised in Venezuela and living in New York City. She performs regularly at the UCB Theater in New York with her Maude team (212), and she’s made and starred in a variety of web series and videos that you can find on her Youtube channel. On Twitter, Osorio writes under the handle @vaov. I recently spoke with Osorio about three of her favorite tweets plus capitalizing on trends, reading tweets out loud in a person's voice, and naps.
Osorio: Well, I tried everything to get my boyfriend to look away from this game in which he is a band of bugs swarming around or some crap, and he wouldn't. I showed him my best sexy dances and made little noises and bigger noises… nothing! Eventually, I thought if he was ignoring me so I feel like I got a free pass to tweet about it. He saw it later and I think he thought it was funny and got the message… not that he applies it. READ MORE
Zach Broussard is an actor and stand-up comedian living in Los Angeles. In the past, Broussard's performed both stand-up and sketch regularly at the UCB Theater in New York and has created and appeared in several web series. This week I talked to Broussard about topical jokes, collaborating on Twitter, and two of his tweets that he turned into relatively grand presentations. Stay tuned for a good Borat joke, too!
Broussard: I came up with this one a few weeks before 4/20 landed on Easter. But since the amount of topical jokes can get overwhelming, I wanted to give mine a leg up. So, for about 10 days, I teased the tweet, wrote dramatic Facebook posts, and hosted a make-shift AMA about the tweet. I constantly reminded people that tweets are free, so it didn't cost them anything to check it out on Twitter.com. It was completely shameless (and pointless) but people got into it! We even reached 420 retweets, a goal I just sort of made up at some point. READ MORE
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.
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. READ MORE
Cole Escola is a writer and performer living in New York City. He created and starred in the sketch show Jeffery & Cole Casserole on the Logo network and can be seen performing live around New York as part of his comedy duo with Jeffery Self, in solo shows, and more, at places including Joe’s Pub and The Duplex. On Twitter, @ColeEscola's posts include musings on New York City and pop culture as well as fictional facts and wordplay that shed light on other topics. I recently talked to Escola about three of his favorite tweets and the arguments for putting a joke in a tweet and for saving it for a live show.
Escola: I don't have much to say about this tweet except that I have a lot of bad memories. READ MORE
Molly Hodgdon lives in Vermont. She’s currently in grad school studying criminology and is a contributing writer for Rifftrax. On Twitter, Hodgdon goes by the name Molly Manglewood, or simply @undeadmolly. Her tweets meld the macabre with observational humor and silliness. I recently asked Hodgdon to elaborate a bit on three of her favorite tweets, and she spoke with me about her pet turtle, her reasons for adopting a pseudonym, and the importance of conversation on Twitter.
Hodgdon: I like jokes that take a familiar phrase and give it a new twist or meaning. I've always liked this tweet because it does that in a way that is representative of the elements I love in humor. I like things that are dark and macabre but also extremely silly. Cannibalism and infanticide aren't funny, but that's the point. Some things are so inconceivably terrible that we use humor to cope with the idea of them existing, make them less threatening to our psyches. It's an important theme to me because I'm a grad student in criminology, so I have to read and write about a lot of terrible things. Humor helps me to manage the low-grade vicarious trauma of that. READ MORE
Alyssa Stonoha goes to college in New York City. She writes for the Livia Scott Sketch Program at UCB Chelsea in New York and performs at UCB and around town with her improv team Black Sabbath. Perhaps most notably, Stonoha appears semi-regularly on everyone's favorite public access late night program The Chris Gethard Show and even guest hosted an episode-long tribute to Beyonce in April 2013 when Gethard was out of town. On Twitter, Stonoha (@astonoha) is aggressive, smart, and uniquely funny, and she talked to me this week about some characters she likes to tweet as, how Twitter has changed for her in the years she's been on it, and why it's fun to tweet as a teenage misandrist.
Stonoha: This is a really great in-between for my tweets, or just my personality in general, because I tend to say things that are boy-crazy and also very aggressively misandrist. Even when I improvise, and obviously nothing is pre-planned, I almost always end up playing a teenaged girl and/or an aggressive, scary person. I like the crossroads of weird aggression and teen girls because I like to assert my dominance over the rest of the population as a teen girl. Teen girls are smart and intense and are looked down upon by people because people are actually afraid of us and of what teen girls would do if we all knew how much power we truly have. READ MORE
Avery Monsen is a writer, illustrator, and actor living in Los Angeles. He illustrated and co-wrote the book All My Friends Are Dead, wrote for the third season of Billy on the Street, and has performed at UCB in New York. And, as mentioned in a recent article on this site about the short-format comedy of Instagram and Vine, another thing about Monsen is that he’s really good at Vine. I recently talked with Monsen about three of his favorite tweets, what it’s like being on Vine, and the kinds of dumb things that people post and like on Twitter.
Monsen: I love that we’re living in a time where we can come up with a stupid idea, make it, and share it with thousands of strangers, all within a few minutes. For example: I thought it’d be funny to Photoshop pictures of celebrities riding bikes so it’d look like they were riding delicious Subway sandwiches. That’s a stupid idea, yes. I made "Usher Rides A Meatball Sub," "Owen Wilson Rides A Bacon, Egg & Cheese On Flatbread” and then got bored and stopped. Classic comedy Rule of Twos. READ MORE
@SamuelMoen just finished his master's in architecture at Harvard but says he didn't mean to. “Aside from Twitter,” Moen, who lives in Boston, told me, “my only major creative outlets are writing brutally honest Craigslist furniture ads and writing approximately one paragraph of a million spec script ideas and then going to get Sour Patch Kids and eating them until my tongue turns raw and sheds.” I asked Moen to expand upon three of his tweets, and he talked to me about the “summer camp friends” you meet on Twitter, favorite themes to explore and revisit in his tweets, and the kinds of jokes that work better online (all of them).
Moen: The idea of CrossFit appeals to me because I have always loved flipping over tractor tires. But what CrossFit doesn't offer is immediate catharsis. So, why not haul a fridge or a broken water heater out to the old quarry and just throw them off the side and hear that satisfying crunch of metal. It's also an excellent core and shoulder workout.
How did you first get into Twitter, and have you noticed the way you use it change over time?
Like many, I wanted a venue to complain and Twitter was supposed to be that. But you end up being followed by more strangers than friends and most of your friends don't really get Twitter anyway. So instead you stand in awe at people like Rob Delaney who can say whatever they want and it's funny and they access a level of immediate gratification that you lack. Eventually, you can access this, too, only to realize that you never needed it to begin with, Wizard of Oz style. But if anything it teaches you to look for humor in the unusual. The usual has been done and only people who like to say "bazinga" are going to laugh at a joke about comic sans. READ MORE
Hope Cantwell is a legal assistant and teacher living in Nashville, Tennessee. She’s been published in Vice and when I spoke with her recently she told me she welcomes any opportunity to write and is starting a free local paper with friends in Nashville. Cantwell, who tweets under the handle @hopiecan, also shared that she was voted wittiest out of her graduating high school class of 84 students, and she talked to me about three of her tweets, the first people she remembers following, and why she’s drawn to tweeting fake names and wordplay.
Cantwell: Most of the crap I tweet is rooted in my reaction or feelings about an experience (how droll!). With this one, I stopped in a coffee shop I'd never visited before and was feeling out of place and flustered. It's one of those places with just regulars, you know? And they're camped out in their usual spots with their Peter Nappi boots propped up on the table for everyone to see while they switch back and forth between reading The Stranger and The Nashville Scene. It was crowded and I just didn't know where or how to be, so while I was waiting I imagined the sort of person who would enter that environment, deem themselves the least pretentious person in that space, then proceed to call that space a kaffeehaus. And that thought cracked me up. Any time I can tweet the word "haus" I seize the opportunity. READ MORE
Originally from Britain and now located in New York, Siobhan Thompson performs and writes for the UCBNY Maude team Alamo, hosts and writes for BBC Ameria’s Anglophenia web series, and has appeared on various TV shows. On Twitter, Thompson goes by the handle @vornietom and has built up a delightful feed that ranges from flippant responses to trotted-out political conversations, adaptations of poems from elementary school, and well-constructed emoji landscapes. I recently asked Thompson to share three of her favorite tweets, and we talked about topical vs. standalone tweets, beauty tips for everyone, and where diving beyond people’s consciousness for a joke can go right or wrong.
Thompson: My general rule when talking about Twitter is "don't talk about a tweet for longer than the actual tweet", so this is very off my meticulously constructed personal brand. Like all very cool people, I take personal branding very seriously. Wait. No. Not my personal brand. Myself. I take myself very seriously. Gosh, there goes my silly little lady head getting all confused.
This is about as serious as I can get on the "are women funny" debate, because it's such a patently silly pseudoconversation that clickbait-driven hacks love to write about. It's so dumb. I also very much enjoy writing in the style of a 1970's faux Indian meditation guru, and do so whenever possible. Also also, I go through, like, so many hair ties. Where do they go? Is somebody taking them? It's impossible to know. I would read a blog post about missing hair ties in a heartbeat. It'd be much more relevant to my life than a thinkpiece on how Sarah Silverman's poop jokes are off-putting and unattractive. READ MORE
Melissa Broder (@MelissaBroder) is a poet living in LA. She is the author of three poetry collections, Scarecrone, Meat Heart, and When You Say One Thing But Meet Your Mother, and her work has been published in a variety of blogs and magazines. Outside of her poetry, Broder is very active on Twitter, and her feed is dark, existential, and very funny all at once. I recently got Broder to expand on three of her favorite tweets, and she talked to me about her tweet editor, her visit with a shaman, and being teen girls' hero.
Broder: I like this tweet, because other people liked it and when other people like my stuff it gives me a false sense of wholeness. I tweeted this impulsively, from the heart, rather than running it by my twitter editor first.
The tweet is based on an experience I had with an NYC shaman a few years ago when I realized that what I thought was anxiety my whole life actually had deep depression underneath. The shaman said the 'core passage' between my heart and neck was clogged with foreign beings. She guided me into my 'core passage' and I found bats. I'm not sure if they were real or if I was just trying to visualize something to make her feel like I was 'doing the work' and to validate how much she charged, but metaphorically it made deep sense. READ MORE