Tag Archives: Jerry Seinfeld

Ep. #242: Josh Gondelman

Josh Gondelman is a Peabody winning and Emmy nominated comedy writer, author, and stand-up comedian who currently lives in New York City, where he works as a writer on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Raised in Boston, Gondelman has also written for Billy on the Street and is the co-author of the Shorty Award-winning Modern Seinfeld Twitter account. Oh, and his own Twitter feed, @joshgondelman, was named the best account of 2015 by Paste Magazine. In summary, Josh Gondelman is very good at everything. This spring he’ll be appearing on Conan and Night Train with Wyatt Cenac to spread the word about Physical Whisper, his breathtakingly hilarious sophomore comedy album, which is out via Rooftop Comedy on March 18. Here, Josh and I discuss how well things are going, hanging out with his dog on off-days, how America is doing right now, how great Canada is doing right now, a golden or easy age of comedy, comedian versus citizen, the position Last Week Tonight with John Oliver took against the election news cycle and Donald Drumpf, the now crowded field of delivering fake news on television, everything is news, the making of and story behind Physical Whisper, when material is material, comedy peer support, how a second album by New York Josh Gondelman might relate to a first album by Boston Josh Gondelman, his style as a comedian and relationship with stand-up, Gary Gulman, becoming a more confident performer, his comedy nerd level, the Modern Seinfeld Twitter account that Josh co-writes, the way Seinfeld would name things, create a lexicon of its own with distinctive characters, and influence comedians, breaking down a Jerry Seinfeld joke, breaking down his own joke “The Entire Spectrum of Human Potential,” German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, when it hit him that this real life thing might be fodder for a bit, delayed realizations, downtime, balancing life and work, future plans, the album cut “Surprise!” and that was the end of a very nice conversation.

Related links: twitter.com/joshgondelman vishkhanna.com

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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. #94: David Heti

David Heti is a very funny comedian who once lived in Toronto and New York City and has just released his very first stand-up special, the intellectually stimulating and wickedly dark, It was ok, which is available now via davidheti.com. Last week David and I met for a chat at Sushi on Bloor in Toronto where we discussed the time he lived in Toronto and avoided sushi, whether he lives in New York, Ottawa, or Montreal, how to live and work, choosing an impassioned low-paying path even when you could’ve taken a well-paying, secure path instead, avoiding all animals, my definition of Passover, David becomes a religious guy here for a few minutes, how his family dynamic colours his impression of Passover festivities, the definition of It was okay, as it pertains to David’s new stand-up special, how he hyper-exaggerates his family life in his stand-up, my history of interviewing and eating with people and then sharing the results with the general public via podcasts, David calls me out on my rudeness/politeness only to have it all thrown back in his face, how David’s podcast I Have a Problem with David Heti works, how/when I eat and our work together on the fake talk show Long Night with Vish Khanna, David’s special someone, our food arrives and I snap a photo of David, how his mother processed his stand-up special, what we can actually learn about David from his comedy, how eating together tends to relax interview subjects, whether or not all of this ‘reality comedy’ by people like Louis CK and Marc Maron that people are raving about is really real or particularly better than someone like Jerry Seinfeld who “keeps his distance” in his act, the glory and recognition that comedians deserve, how David tends to antagonize or belittle his audience, how things get meta, how any buffoon can make someone laugh, the notion of shocking an audience with jokes, David’s history in stand-up and his artistic family and sister Sheila Heti, another pair of smart, comedic siblings I bring up for no apparent reason, David’s love for the work of Woody Allen but how most comedic enterprises fail to entertain him, the stuff he auditions for and whom or what he writes for, writing disposable topical jokes, late night talk shows, his future plans, which include teaching a comedy writing course at McGill and an eastern Canadian tour in support of It was okay, and then we paid the bill and wandered down a frigid Bloor Street during an hour-long blackout.

Related links: davidheti.com vishkhanna.com

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