Two Views On Political Correctness: John Cleese And Paul F. Tompkins

I’ve been sitting on these two videos for a while, not realizing that they totally go together. They are both about political correctness. So they go together. But they are opposing views. So I’m putting them together.

John Cleese thinks “we can’t have comedy and political correctness at the same time.”

Paul F. Tompkins thinks “political correctness keeps comedy fresh.”

There are more subtleties to their arguments than that. So, watch these videos because they are interesting and you’re a smart person who really likes watching interesting things! You can find more about the John Cleese video here. You can find a transcription of what Tompkins says in his video here. You can find nothing here.

I didn’t know what the big think (the people who made these videos) was before now, but it seems pretty cool. Here.

Not The Best Open Mic Nights In NYC

Time Out New York magazine came out with this list of all “the best open mic nights in New York City,” and, as many open mic comedians such as myself have noted, the list is not accurate. At all. Maybe it’s a marketing thing, but it’s mostly just a list of the biggest clubs in the city. Which, very obviously to comedians, are often some of the worst open mics in the city. The very first one listed, the Comedy Cellar, doesn’t even have open mics!

If you’re looking for good open mics check out or There are tons of great open mics where a bunch of better comics come to try out their stuff…and it’s usually the basement of some bar in Brooklyn, not all the best clubs in Manhattan. Maybe I’ll make a list of my favorite mics one day!

A couple of comics who host great mics made this video calling out Time Out NY for what they’ve done. Funny stuff.

A TedEd Video About How To Write Comedy

So this video starts out saying,

“Did you ever notice how many jokes start with “Did you ever notice?” And what’s the deal with “What’s the deal?” There’s a lot of funny to be found simply by noticing the ordinary, everyday things you don’t ordinarily notice every day.”

And I was like “Whoa! How did they know that this joke I’m working on right now starts out with ‘what’s the deal with dolphins?’ What are the chances?! This person must know a thing or two about comedy.”

Other things I noticed about this video:

  • it shares a lot of advice about asking questions, being specific, archetypes, surprise, mind mapping, observation vs. imagination, character, story, rule of 3, punch lines, and k words, but I feel like it leaves out the most important thing: get on stage
  • the bunny helps me follow along

The video is written and narrated by Cheri Steinkellner, an Emmy-award-winning comedy writer.

Mike Lawrence Comedy Advice

Here’s a fantastic, pretty brief list of advice from New York City comedian Mike Lawrence on starting out in New York.

I’ve seen Mike Lawrence performing all over New York. He still comes to open mics once in a while to try out new stuff even though he’s a working comic who writes for Inside Amy Schumer, which I think is cool. He takes it seriously.

Here’s a great Modern Comedian video about him, too.


Chris Gethard On Why He Stayed In NYC Instead Of Heading To L.A.

This is a fantastic piece in a series of articles that are being written about NYC and L.A. comedy this week in Vulture.

I know nothing about the comedy scene in L.A. (okay not nothing), but my sister does live there and I’ve visited several other times, too. And from what Gethard says about the two locations…well, I can’t help but agree with him. New York is awesome! I don’t like L.A. right now. Does that mean I’ll stay in NY forever like him? I donno. But I can certainly hop on board with the NY lovin’.

One thing I definitely don’t get about L.A. is that even though you abbreviate NYC like this: NYC, you abbreviate L.A. like this: L.A.. That doesn’t make any sense! Look how clunky those two periods look next to one another! I’m not even sure I did that right…either way, it’s confusing! Come on, L.A.! Efficiency! Take those gosh darn periods out of there. No one will confuse you with Louisiana. I don’t know why you’re insecure about that; you’re much more popular than LA.

Anyways, Chris Gethard is awesome. The way I remember how to spell his last name is that it spells “get hard.” There can’t be a cooler person than that! You can see more of him on The Chris Gethard Show on Fusion.

BTDubs, the picture of Gethard I used was taken at The Creek and the Cave, which I go to pretty much every day.

Jon Huck Loses His Pants – This Is Not Happening

I mentioned Ari Shaffir’s show This Is Not Happening a while back, but I never showed it in its true glory. It’s basically a story-telling show where comics get up and share stories centered on a particular theme.

I stumbled across this video of Jon Huck, a comedian I hadn’t heard of before, and it’s one of the funniest stories I’ve heard. It’s long, but it’s worth the wait. It just shows how awesome the show is, because you’ve got great, well-known comedians like Kyle Kinane, Joe Rogan, and Iliza Shlesinger who appear on the show, but you also have a lot of comics who most people haven’t heard of – and every single one of them are just fantastic stories.

I had to share this one because Huck makes a backhanded shoutout to Naperville, Illinois (my hometown neighbors!) and also because it’s a story about Oktoberfest and the half German in me came out and was like, “yeah!!!” You can follow Jon Huck on Twitter here.

Watch all the great stories here on YouTube.

“Meet Nick Vatterott” – Sketchpad Comedy

Remember Nick Vatterott? I posted about him a week or so ago. Well, I found this really cool site called Sketchpad Comedy which is focused on helping people with sketch comedy and is based in St. Louis. And, one of their first blog posts is an interview with Vatterott. And it’s pretty great.

It has a lot of great advice about how to get started writing and that sort of thing. It also has some awesome videos from Vatterott. One of those is the cold open sketch he wrote for the Critics’ Choice Awards (hosted by TJ Miller) and the other one is his Late Night With Jimmy Fallon appearance. The sketch was awesome, but I was even more impressed by his tight 5. The set he put together for Fallon was so well put together and memorable that it makes me want to get way better! I’ve attached those videos below.

One great piece of advice that Vatterott shares in the interview is…

“Be prepared for the things that you want, so that when they come your way you’re ready for them. Don’t blow you’re chance to be seen by a club owner by getting an audition when your not ready, when your comedy is still hit or miss. Wait to get the audition when you’re killing on a regular basis. You don’t want to do an audition just crossing your fingers hoping you get it, you want to destroy and walk off the stage leaving them with no choice but to book you.”

I’m looking forward to more from Sketchpad! Seems like a fun site with good people.

Sean Patton Is Great

This past Monday I went to Whiplash at UCB in Chelsea for the first time. It was an amazing show and all the comics killed. Sean Patton headlined the show, and I’m not sure that I’ve seen him perform before. He’s a totally different act than what I’m used to seeing and it was pretty refreshing. And Patton especially murdered.

Anyways, I’ve been sharing a lot of articles and such lately so I figured it was time to get some more videos going. Here’s a fun one.