A Comedian’s Notebook 2.0 Is Now Live At acomediansnotebook.com!

Yup, that’s right: this blog is now old hat. Cuz I have a new hat. And that new hat is acomediansnotebook.com – it fits very well, you can wear it for almost any occasion, and the hat doubles as a stand up comedy blog. It’s pretty! It’s better! Go there!

Facts About The New Site/Hats

  • fewer/better articles always out on Tuesdays
  • awesome comedian guest writers
  • original art by multitalented comedians
  • fancy design
  • can wear it on your head (only applies to hats)

The first new article is live right now! It’s real cool…it’s called What Your Microphone Grip Says About You. Oh my gosh is it funny!

I’m still keeping this site around at stumelton.wordpress.com and maybe even as stumelton.com …but I’m not going to be updating anything here. SO if you want to stay up to date on everything new, like the Facebook page, follow the Twitter, or join the mailing list! But most importantly, go read what new stuff I’ve got on the new site! You can tell how cool it is by my new logo. Wow, what a great day!


What I Learned From Seeing Mike Birbiglia’s ‘Thank God For Jokes’ Three Times

About a month ago, I made my way down to the Lynn Redgrave Theater on Bleecker Street to see Mike Birbiglia’s one man show, Thank God For Jokes. It was awesome. Birbiglia was fantastic as always and I got a glimpse of some other comedians like John Mulaney and a chunk of the cast of The League hanging out in the lobby of the small theater before and after the show. Continue reading “What I Learned From Seeing Mike Birbiglia’s ‘Thank God For Jokes’ Three Times”

Did You Know? I Run A Comedy Show

Dear people of the internet,

I’m excited for this month’s edition of the show I co-host, Night Cheese. I made a website for it. Check it out…join the mailing list…or don’t. I don’t care. I just like that the website kind of looks like cheese and I wanted to show that off. I clearly have an eye for design.



Being Silly and Being Real: How Writing Comedy On The East And West Coasts Made Me Funnier

I’ve been thinking a lot about how my stand up has changed since I did comedy back in college on the West coast, and so I wrote this thing about one of my old jokes that I ended up adapting after coming to New York City. Before I say anything else, I want to point out that my experience in comedy is limited. I did relatively minimal comedy before coming to New York and I’ve been here for just over half a year. So, in terms of the East/West differences I’m writing about, they only come from my limited personal experiences, which I suppose could have been different for anyone.

Continue reading “Being Silly and Being Real: How Writing Comedy On The East And West Coasts Made Me Funnier”

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.

The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy – Vulture

So, NO! I haven’t had the time to read and watch all of this because it takes freaking forever. But, I think that looking at the history of comedy is really cool and this timeline is a great synopsis of some things that helped shape it.

Looking at the really old stuff is especially useful for me because I know very little about it. That’s for sure. There’s stand up, sketches, TV shows, cartoons, pretty much any comedy thing you can think of in this timeline and it all has a little blurb about what makes it important to comedy.

Some of the choices are a little selective (i.e. one single line from a movie). And I don’t agree with all of the choices being that influential. And I also can think of other things I’d put on my timeline that aren’t on this one. BUT that’s what makes it fun!

Tons of great video and audio clips to accompany this article, so CLICK THIS LINK AND FRIGGIN READ IT! I’m using a lot of caps lock today.

Here’s who put it together, by the way:

“The list was put together by Vulture senior editor Jesse David Fox; New York senior editor Christopher Bonanos; comedians Wayne Federman, Phoebe Robinson, Halle Kiefer, and Rebecca O’Neal; comedy historians Yael Kohen (author of We Killed) and Kliph Nesteroff (author of The Comedians); and journalists Elise Czajkowski, Matthew Love, Katla McGlynn, Ramsey Ess, Dan Reilly, Jenny Jaffe, Lucas Kavner, and The Guardian’s Dave Schilling. (Fox, Bonanos, Keifer, O’Neal, Czajkowski, Love, McGlynn, Ess, Reilly, Jaffe, Kavner, and Schilling wrote the blurbs.)”

So Apparently You Can Be On Trial For Telling Offensive Jokes In Canada

Well this one is pretty shocking to me. I didn’t take it seriously for a second, but apparently this Canadian comedian Mike Ward is on trial for making fun of a disabled guy in his act? Which, to me, is absolutely crazy!

So I think what’s happening is that Jeremy Gabriel is trying to get Ward to stop telling this joke about him, stop doing comedy, and even get him fined for telling the joke. AND Gabriel wants $80,000 from Ward for the damages. Seriously?! Gabriel says that the joke made him contemplate suicide. Ward’s argument is obviously: “Hey, but free speech!” It takes me right back to reading about Lenny Bruce and his struggle against the law in the U.S. for telling (at the time) very scandalous jokes.

I’m just very confused…to me this is such a ridiculous non-issue. Is this a weird P.C. thing? Is Canada really that different from the U.S.? Can you really claim that someone’s joke was so bad that it caused you “emotional pain and suffering? Yeeesh.

Weird, but very interesting. Here’s some more info from a Quebec newspaper if you’re curious.

Oh, and I didn’t even mentioned it yet because it didn’t seem important at all, but from what I understand, this is the essence of the joke that Ward told: 1) Gabriel has a syndrome that disfigured his face 2) he got tons of perhaps unwarranted media attention because he got to sing for the Pope 3) Ward defended Gabriel at first for getting this media attention, but now five years later Gabriel hasn’t died yet, making Ward look bad.

Silly, right?

What’s Up With Dolphins?!

What’s up with dolphins?! Right?!?!? Are we on board with this? You better get on board cuz we’re on the dolphin hating boat and we’re going for a ride.

Why do so many people like dolphins? Huh?!

Especially, like, 6-12 year old girls.

Dolphins dominate the school supplies of 6-12 year old girls! Why?!

I wonder if they tried other animals first. Like, they put a gopher on a folder and it didn’t sell. So they put it on an orange background, but the gopher/orange combination didn’t work. And then they tried a dolphin with pink and for whatever reason it totally worked, even though dolphins are basically the gopher of the sea.

Do you think the school supply people were pissed when the naked mole rat worked out for Kim Possible? They were all like, “We tried that in the 90’s and nobody bought it!”

Do you think dolphins are obsessed with 6-12 year old girls? Like pedophilic dolphins? I DON’T THINK SO. Girls are weird! And friggin’ creepy. You should never like an animal that much.




…don’t even get me started on horses…

Neigh?! NEIGH?!?!

Why are you making that sound? Why must you whinny? YOU ARE NOT A POOH! Are you confused? There is only one animal who can winnie and it is a fictional gender questionable bear named Pooh.

You have hooves. Which are basically the closest to shoes that feet can get. But then you’re like “Oh no, I need special ‘horse shoes,’ which can only be used for 1) my feet or 2) a silly game that cowboys and weird old smelly men play.” You’re not special, horse. You don’t need special shoes.

What’s so great about horses?! Come on little girls, get a grip!




…don’t even get me started on unicorns

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 badslava.com or freemicsnyc.com. 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.

“What You Need To Know About Riffing” – Steve Roye

I found this article when I was looking up the definition of “riffing” for a project and I think it’s pretty funny. Although some of it is true, it basically says “riffing is a surefire formula for disaster and don’t try it, but some professionals are good at it though.” Hmm…how do you think professionals got good at riffing?

You think they just one day woke up and did it well? Doesn’t make any sense – riffing is the same as any other skill in comedy. You just have to get up there and try stuff. Sometimes it doesn’t work. So you try something different. It doesn’t mean “you should never riff unless you’re a professional.”

I did some further research on Steve Roy and I found this hilarious article he wrote about how his “Killer Stand-Up Comedy System” is NOT a scam. If you have to write a post about how your “system” definitely is not a scam (so don’t worry) I feel like that’s pretty…telling.

If you want a good, free online course for comedy check out John Roy’s free online comedy class. Steve Roye even sounds like a ripoff on John Roy! Look I know nothing about the guy so maybe he is legit, but regardless I find this stuff fun.