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I Have to Tell You Something, It’s Awesome

When word broke out around the office that Jessi Campbell was going to be interviewed at this week for Funny Title Here, the metaphorical panties of RooftopComedy dropped. Immediately. We love her, almost irrationally so around these parts, so it was a long time coming until Jessi graced us with her presence.

Paolo: Oh my God, we love you so much, why do you think people love you so much?
Jessi: It’s pretty simple, people love me because I’m awesome! I’m kidding! But seriously, I am.

No, I really appreciate the support you guys at Rooftop (the best website ever) give me. It feels really good to know people like what you do. I think people like me because I’m non-threatening. I tell jokes and I can’t throw a punch.

More more more with Jessi, after the jump!

I Know why the Caged Nerd Sings


When I first started working here at RooftopComedy back in January (time flies much?) and I first discovered Dan Telfer, it was an absolute joy, to say the least. Stuff about LOST, Battlestar Galactica, Voltron! He was in it! He was all about it! And he knew what he was talking about! I remember picking his Revenge of the nerds insults clip as a staff pick one week (the second time I picked him as a staff pick, mind you) and I called him the ‘Nelson Mandela of nerds.’ So it is with much excitement that I present you, the faithful reader, Chicago’s own, Dan Telfer.

Paolo: This past August you had a live reading for a spec script you wrote for The Office. What was it like to write that script, and how was the live reading?
Dan: Writing and performing are two things I am equally passionate about, and I get so excited to write with tight guidelines. So writing a script in a format for television was really difficult, but really inspiring. The live reading was equally exciting, as the cast was really good. Just some of the best improv, stand-up, and theater actors in town. It pretty much guaranteed that, when I watched the tape later, the script’s weaknesses would be apparent and I could punch it up all the better.

It’s incredibly difficult to get your script to look exactly like a shooting script for an actual television show, especially when nobody wants to pay you to do it yet. It goes against so many creative instincts staring at a formula and trying to put your meat on someone else’s skeleton, you can get really frustrated at first. Nothing feels better than mastering a form though- it’s like Kung Fu. If I ever make something of the experience this will sound a lot less stupid, but in the meantime I have no problem basking in glory of my little non-achievement. I spent countless hours on the little fucker.

More with Dan, after the jump! Also, does he love you the most?

Alex


Alex Stone is my age. We’re both twenty-two. Alex Stone does comedy, and I don’t. So that’s why he gets to be this week’s Funny Title Here interview-ee. Just throwing it out there.

Paolo: Aaliyah said that age ain’t nothing but a number. Do you think that it makes a difference or matters that you are twenty-two years and doing comedy?
Alex: Almost everyone that I meet in the comedy world tells me that it’s an advantage, a lot of comedians tell me that they wish they would have started when they were my age, and a lot of them use the term “head start”. I think I partly agree with that, because comedy does take time, you have to log the hours and work hard at it for a while before you see any real success. So I guess starting young does give me a “head start” in the sense that I will have been doing it for a while at a much younger age and I will, hopefully, start to see some of that success earlier too. But at the same time, I still have to be funny. I could have started doing stand up when I was ten and be a twelve year veteran right now, but if I’m not funny, that doesn’t really matter. I think the playing field is leveled by the fact that no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been doing it, when you step on stage you still have to make the audience laugh. Funny is funny no matter what the age, and if your funny long enough I feel you will see some sort of success in this industry eventually. Now some people would say that I’m just not jaded yet, and I would say that those people are probably right.

Actually I would say I think I do have a slight advantage, because if you are funny and you are young people seem to be a little more impressed. They will say things like ” Wow your were funny, and your only how old?” or ” Your funny for a kid your age!”, at times it seems as if people are almost shocked that they would find someone my age funny. That makes them notice and remember you though which is always important. Also being only twenty two, I don’t really have many responsibilities yet, in terms of like a family or a day job, so its more acceptable for me to be a struggling comedian right now, where as in a little while down the road it may not be. People aren’t really that attracted to the word “struggling” when it’s in front of whatever you do, for some reason.

The rest of the interview, after the jump!

A Handful of Bad Jokes and a Bottle of Cheap Whiskey


This week on Funny Title Here, Houston based comic Sam Demaris (who yes, was apart of Hurricane Ike) joins the ranks of prestigious comics who have been e-mailed by me to ask if they were up for being interviewed for the blog.

Paolo: It says in your bio that you performed for U.S. Army troops in Korea that you say was an honor that “you bet your ass I won’t forget.” Would you mind elaborating on that experience?
Sam: I’ve actually done a few military tours now but Korea was by far my favorite. The reason I consider it such an honor is because they actually presented me with 5 medals for excellence which I thought was crazy. Soldiers have to seriously bust their ass for these things and here I am with 5 of them for crackin’ a few jokes. For a second there, I wanted to add a Purple Heart to that collection, but unfortunately breaking a nail on a military base isn’t considered being wounded on the field of battle. In hindsight, I should have had a soldier shoot me in the foot. Last November I got to perform in Djibouti and Bahrain and next month, I’m going to Iraq to perform for our men and women over there. Maybe I can get that gunshot wound after all. Oh, the possibilities!

It’s for your own good you read the rest of the interview, after the jump! You just might get cake!

How to be Mediocre

This week on Funny Title Here, David Huntsberger is the interviewee. I am the interviewer. I don’t think I can do justice for David without screwing it up, so I’ll let the Austin Chronicle take it from here:

More fun than a barrel of Scopes Monkey Trials, David Huntsberger’s brand of stand-up straddles all things rascally and erudite. Taking audiences on a comic odyssey about evolution and de facto social Darwinism, the 26-year-old Huntsberger displays a distinctly Kubrickian view of humankind’s relationships with technology.

You can check out his RooftopComedy profile here, and also be sure to check out his personal site for comics, and lots of other wondrous doo-dads. And with that, presenting, David Huntsberger.

Paolo: Your Austin Chronicle article about you says that you used to substitute teach K – 12 graders. Is there a difference between substitute teaching and doing stand-up? Show your work.
David: Dealing with little kids is exactly like dealing with drunken adults. In both cases, teaching and comedy, you’re trying to do something nice for them, and mostly they just want to talk about girls and farts. The difference is in comedy you have amplified sound and can call them anything you’d like. And kids, you can ruin their future …which feels pretty good.

By clicking here, you are ensuring that you might not ruin a child’s life. The rest of David’s interview after the jump!

Turn Left Next Interview

This week on Funny Title Here, we have Linda Gambino, RooftopComedy superfan, who has stuff on the site dating back to 2006! She also was Funniest Person in Cincinnati in 2006. So hey now!

Paolo: You write a bunch of jokes talking about your daughters. How do they feel about that, does it embarrass them at all or anything? 
Linda: They make it so easy. For instance, a few weeks ago, I decided to clean my room and flip my mattress over. Lo and behold, I found wrist restraints tied on my iron headboard. Ummm- I live alone. I do not have a boyfriend. I have only seen wrist restraints in the porn pics I found on my ex’s computer. 

At first, I was disgusted. Who does THAT in their Mom’s bed??? Then, I was jealous, because I have no life and apparently, one of them does. And a freaky one at that.  No one has fessed up yet, but I will find out. And I will do a joke about it. FREAKS!   

My girls (aged 24, 22 & 20) used to be embarrassed when I would do jokes about them, but it’s all real life stuff and it is funny.  I also pay them if I use one of their premises, so they are always emailing me or texting me with stuff going on in their lives because they are poor college students and need money for beer and food. And leather.

The rest of Linda’s interview after the jump!

The Classy Broad’s Guide to Being a Complete Idiot: how I learned to stop worrying and love the moustache

Amber Preston loves mustaches, just graduated from the University of Minnesota, and tells jokes. A lot of jokes. She’s also this week’s interviewee for this week’s Funny Title Here. I’ll tell ya this, if I went to class with Amber Preston, I think I would’ve gone to class more often. Or would still be in school.

Paolo: You made it to the Regionals in our first National College Comedy Competition, what was that like?
Amber: The Rooftop Comedy Competition was a blast. I had returned to the University of Minnesota to finish up my degree after a short, i.e. several year break and was eligible for the contest. I was pretty much the old contestant, but it seemed like a good idea and who doesn’t love a chance to be 22 again?

Paolo: How did you get into comedy?
Amber: I’ve always enjoyed performing and fancied myself pretty decent with the tap shoes, show tunes and jazz hands. Unfortunately for the folks on Broadway I veered more towards the funny than the chorus line. I performed with an improv group in college and hated it. It was absolutely the worst experience and I am still nursing my “yes, and” wounds. I did, however, enjoy the challenge of making a room full of strangers laugh. So after attending many open mics as an audience member I finally wrote my 3 minutes of material and got on stage. I don’t know what I was expecting but people actually laughed and they let me come back and keep trying. As nerd-alert as it sounds I truly was hooked from the start. I’ve been writing and performing ever since.

Mustaches to bring to a desert island, and the rest of this interview, after the jump!

“A Peek Inside My Pubble” with Ryan Singer

This week on Funny Title Here, Dayton, Ohio’s own Ryan Singer is the one on deck fielding questions from this guy. Ryan has been on the site since 2006, so I’m pretty sure he likes us. In his own words, he is “…a comedian that has no big credits, no claim to fame, and absolutely no grasp on the real world. He is a cold, dark shell of a young man.” And with those words, I present to you, Ryan Singer.

Paolo: What happened in your life that forces you to stop yourself from watching Heroes on NBC? It’s an okay show, I mean I liked the first season better than the second one, but that’s just me.

Ryan: You just walked by me in a mall humming a really shitty song that was stuck in my head for a week and had just released itself from my brain hole. Now, that shitty song has jolted itself back into my mind device, torturing me, jeering me, taunting me.  I had forgotten all about that show until now.  Thank you.  Nothing ever happened until the last two or three episodes.  It was a show that milked and milked and never gave me a taste of real progress. What kills me is, I read an article where the creator said they weren’t and didn’t want to be a show like Lost that never had forward plot movement, only questions. That show is worse than Lost. I hate it. I hate it with the intensity of a thousand white suns.  Season One was excellent.

More with Ryan Singer rolling in shit, Bill Cosby, racist snacks, and the story of America, after the jump!

An Intimate, Sensual Moment with Mike Brody

This week on Funny Title Here, we’re in for an intimate, sensual moment with Mike Brody. I think he’s really great, ’cause he talks about ghosts and faux-hawks. But he photoshopped himself as a frickin’ centaur! (pictured right) How amazing is that? Seriously?

Paolo: You are performing paranormal themed material later this month at a retreat hosted by The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS), the people featured on Sci-Fi Channel’s Ghost Hunters. I think this is awesome, and I definitely want to know how your interest in the paranormal was piqued, also have you had any paranormal experiences?
Mike: I’ve been fascinated by things that frighten me my whole life. The big three are ghosts, aliens and sharks. Since the state I live in (Minnesota) is a good 2,000 miles from sea, and the other two might not even exist, it’s pretty clear that I am not a totally rational person. I fear the day that the ghost of an alien shark comes to get me. It’s possible! (I am also deathly afraid of spit, but that is a totally different story.) Anyway, so I had a life-long attraction to the paranormal and it was only natural that eventually I’d start writing about it in my act. Next thing you know, the organizers of the Ghost Hunters convention see my bit and I’m performing 30 minutes of jokes about ghosts and UFOs and chupacabras in a haunted mansion in the mountains of New Hampshire. It should be fun! Hopefully everybody can hear me through the tin-foil hats.

I have never had a paranormal experience that I’m aware of. It’s quite sad. But rumor has it that one of the old comedy clubs in the Twin Cities is haunted by an old open-miker. There was this old, old comedian who frequented the Minnesota Comedy Club in Maplewood. Real nice guy. Honest to god he looked just like a lawn-gnome. He was narcoleptic and usually just slept in the booth for the whole show. Then unfortunately, he passed away. According to a few employees, they still see him from time to time in his favorite booth sleeping.  Hopefully someone’s told his ghost that it’s a karaoke bar now.

In order to read the rest of the interview, one must click! After the jump!

A very special Nikki Glaser interview

This week’s Funny Title Here is brought to you by Paolo (in whose name I am posting because he is at home with food poisoning!) and fantastic comedienne Nikki Glaser. Nikki was “born in Cincinnati, grown in St. Louis, colleged in Kansas, and now living in LA.” She was also kind enough to take some time out of her day to answer a few questions of ours.

Paolo: According to your Myspace blog, you spent the summer teaching English to Korean-American 9th graders. How did you get roped into doing that and, is teaching really like the Edward James Olmos epic, Stand and Deliver? Do you think you made a difference at the end of the day, and do you think/know that they’ll make a biography film regarding your experience with these kids, a la Matthew Perry in The Ron Clark Story? Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds?
Nikki: I walked into this whole teaching experience with the dream of being exactly like Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds. Or Hilary Swank in Freedom Writers. But it turns out that I’m more a Debbie Kaye Letourneau from The True Hollywood Story. Kidding…
Although the other day, one of my students told me that I was the “tightest teacher in school.” I was like, how does he know!?

More with Nikki Glaser after the jump!