Monica Heisey (@monicaheisey) is a writer and comedian from Toronto who has written for publications including The Hairpin, VICE, Gawker, The Toast, Rookie, Playboy, and more. Her upcoming collection of humor essays, short stories, drawings, and poems, entitled I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better, comes out in Spring 2015. Recently Heisey told me about three of her favorite tweets, and we talked about what you get from reading jokes, the British MP named Ed Balls, and how much she dreads talking about the Internet in person.
Heisey: I thought I was going to be uncomfortable talking about my own Twitter account, and for the most part I really am, but I truly love Sharkira. This is hands down my favorite thing I have ever tweeted, probably all the more so because the response was tepid at best. I'm very scared of sharks but very emotionally invested in the music of Shakira, so this is a nice marriage of anxiety and joy, wrought from my favorite composition strategy, "Tell a joke in person a few times and have it fail terribly, then throw it up on Twitter and bask in the people's moderate enthusiasm." READ MORE
Dana Bell is a Los Angeles-based comedian who recently moved from Washington, DC after a summer in Yellowstone National Park. She has performed at Bentzen Ball, D.C.'s comedy festival. Bell is on Twitter as @DanaCBell, where you can find her thoughts on pop culture, descriptions of funny visuals, and things that are appropriate to write in all caps. Recently I spoke with Bell about three of her favorite tweets, the visual aspect of her jokes, and the Illuminati.
Bell: I have a real soft spot for all caps tweets. This is one of the few tweets I've also tried reworking for standup. I like the image of little sperms packing up the Subaru, realizing the value of adult friendship, maybe one of them deciding they're not going to sperm law school just because their dad wants them to. This fact really made me relate to sperm a lot more, and I hope it did the same for some other people too. READ MORE
Julia Davidovich is a writer living in LA. She co-authored the book Stats Canada: Satire on a National Scale, and together with her friend Zoe Klar (@madamezooble), Davidovich runs Lady Parts Mag, whose website launching next year will feature parody Cosmopolitan magazine style articles to accompany their parody Cosmopolitan magazine covers. This week I talked to Davidovich about three of her favorite things she's ever tweeted. In our discussion we covered, among other topics, tweeting as part of a series, McRibs, and musician Mark McGrath.
I just wanted to display a very sarcastic statement about Charles Manson deserving this ridiculous marriage. Amazingly I received exactly zero backlash and across the board people understood it was a joke, and thank goodness, because I will be marrying Charles Manson in a simple Synagogue ceremony next year. READ MORE
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