Tag Archives: Jay Leno

Ep. #213: Cameron Esposito

Cameron Esposito is a gifted and hilarious comedian and actress who originally hails from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a beloved figure who reveals much about her personal life in her stand-up, often discussing the fact that she’s a lesbian and covering various aspects and concerns pertaining to the LGBTQ community. In fact, her 2014 stand-up record Same Sex Symbol delved deeply into such topics and was acclaimed as one of the best and smartest comedy albums of the year. Now based in Los Angeles, Esposito is an in-demand performer who has appeared on TV shows like @midnight, Conan, Maron, Drunk History, and she will soon be voicing a character on the Cartoon Network’s We Bare Bears. This December Esposito is marrying Rhea Butcher and taping her first special, a mere two days apart. She’s touring North America in the next while, including shows at the Comedy Bar in Toronto between September 10th and 12th and Comedy Mix in Vancouver between October 1st and 3rd. Here, Cameron and I discuss being prepared and winging it, the new multi-faceted face of comedy, Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, career longevity, stand-up is the end and not a means to an end, Jay Leno’s stand-up, villainy and heroism, the Late Night wars, David Letterman’s likability, Costco, taping a special and getting married only days apart, a wedding planner, collective memory banks, how ‘merica’s doing, regionalism, Sick Kids Hospital, bullying, Donald Trump and immigration and the LGBTQ, Mexicans, alienating America’s fastest growing voting demographic, distracting the world from racism against black people by being racist towards Mexicans, figuring Trump out, women’s roles in this upcoming election, why we think Jon Stewart left The Daily Show, social media, topical humour, talking about yourself without feeling pigeonholed, inspiring others, Hari Kondabolu, the book of autobiographical essays she’s working on, the “Fighter Pilot” bit, and that was that.     

Related links: cameronesposito.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #187: Mike Sacks on David Letterman

Mike Sacks is a respected journalist and humour writer whose work has appeared in many of America’s top periodicals. He’s a member of the editorial staff at Vanity Fair and has written three books including two acclaimed and mind-blowing interview collections, 2009’s And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Humor Writers About Their Craft and 2014’s Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers. With David Letterman’s retirement as a TV talk show host imminent, it seemed like a good time to gain more insight about what this means for comedy so here, Mike and I discuss Brooklyn and My Little Pony, attending one of the last tapings of the Late Show with David Letterman, growing up with Dave, watching and taping Letterman as a kid and then reciting his jokes to other kids, observing Reese Witherspoon and fakery, encountering Letterman after the taping, the end of an era and connecting with someone, real time and in the moment with great TV, attending a Letterman taping and seeing all the behind-the-scenes stuff, Norm Macdonald’s amazing tribute to Dave this past Friday night, Letterman’s impact on comedy and kids who watched him and acted and spoke like him, a Letterman bias, Merrill Markoe’s tremendous role on Late Night with David Letterman, Dave admitting that he’s been outta the loop the last few years, coasting, NBC to CBS, Letterman’s stunt-free power and great interviewing skills, Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert, silence and listening, how the world of comedy views Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon, subversive comedy lives on the radio and in podcasts, Scharpling, Wurster, and the Best Show, 12:35 AM versus 11:35 PM, Leno’s edginess, Conan O’Brien was pushing the envelope even on the Tonight Show, the tempering of Letterman’s show at CBS, the resilience of the late night TV talk show format, tradition, the dullness of certain interviews as opposed to real talk, Letterman says he might do a podcast, what will happen to TV and comedy when Letterman leaves, youthification, historical comedy, the greatness of Poking a Dead Frog, writing a crime book and/or collaborating on a comedian’s memoir, not chasing a Letterman interview, the Harry Shearer versus The Simpsons fiasco, Letterman’s final episodes feature Tom Hanks, Eddie Vedder, Bill Murray, and Bob Dylan, predicting what the final episode will consist of, anyone can do anything but not everyone can do everything, @michaelbsacks, and that’s all kids.

Related links: michaelsacks.com vishkhanna.com

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