Ep. 27 - Audrie Marsh Doesn’t Believe in Morning People

Dan sits down with Pennsylvania comic Audrie Marsh to discuss a number of interesting topics for comedy: the relationship between punching up and using self-deprecating humor, the experience of bombing during a long set, and encountering audiences who you don’t like. Dan also shares an experience from his recent trip to San Francisco where he nearly died - well, that’s a bit overdramatic, but he did see a knife fight almost break out right next to him at the public library.

Dan’s life is just full of trauma these days, as he is working on a joke based on another recent experience in which someone left a very unpleasant delivery waiting for him at the entrance to his apartment. Dan and Audrie discuss the limits of doing a long joke about poop. Meanwhile, Audrie is working on jokes about morning people, specifically, the fact that morning people can’t possibly exist. She also shares a one-liner about “lesbian bed death,” which is a new concept to Dan. Dan talks about helping his mom write an autobiography, and Audrie cracks Dan up with a story about her mom misunderstanding a very basic corny joke.

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Ep. 26 - Davion Williams Gets Herpes from a Klondike Bar

Dan and Davion are sworn enemies in the Baltimore comedy scene, but have agreed to set aside their differences for an hour for the sake of joke writing. Dan wants the public to know that this episode could easily have been called “Davion Williams Has No Interest in Sex” but he decided that would be too mean. Davion wants to write a joke about why sex has nothing to offer that he can’t already get from self-pleasuring, and Dan suggests that this could open the door to a very funny bit in which Davion mocks himself. Dan and Davion also work on a joke meant to parody a common but annoying trope of comedy open mics.

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Ep. 25 - Tyler Sonnichsen Likes a Little Conspiracy in His Coffee

Tyler Sonnichsen wants to write a joke about a local coffee shop, but is worried the humor itself might be too local. He and Dan consider ways to broaden the joke, focusing on one unusual character who can always be found in a specific coffee shop that Tyler frequents. Meanwhile, Dan is determined to write a joke based on an oddly-named wifi network that he encountered.

Tyler is a Knoxville-based stand-up comedian who just recorded an album called Modern Life Is Awesome. He talks about how he wound up in Tennessee and why he likes it as a home based for his comedy career. Dan reveals that he once saw a very upsetting comedy show in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, featuring a redneck character played by an aspiring preacher. It is Dan’s hope that he will one day interview this man on the podcast.

Dan wants to write a joke about a wifi network he discovered called The Glory Hole, but knows that there needs to be more to the joke than a simple throwaway line. Tyler points out that the network might not be a silly name but might actually belong to a nearby business. But then he highlights another more religious direction to take the joke in, and Dan loves it. On the other hand, Tyler is working on a joke about a coffee shop with bad wifi due to one patron’s daily habit of watching conspiracy theory videos there on his computer all day. Dan wonders why the patron has not been asked to leave, and suggests that perhaps he actually owns the coffee shop. This raises a number of possible directions for Tyler’s joke about the conspiracy theorist’s backstory and his continuing role in the arts scene of eastern Tennessee. Tyler and Dan also work on a joke about brand loyalty.

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Ep. 24 - Mary Romeo’s Identity Gets Stolen

Mary Romeo finds inspiration for a joke in a story about being taken in by an internet scam - but the full account plays out a bit like a Lifetime Original Movie, probably with a name like “Every Mother’s Worst Fear.” Meanwhile Dan remembers an odd experience involving a panel about comedy etiquette.

Mary originally hails from the Harrisburg comedy scene, but is currently pursuing her dreams in Los Angeles. And like everyone who pursues their dreams in Los Angeles, she has concerns about the food. She and Dan discuss the difficulties of being crowd worked by other comedians. Mary talks about why she moved to LA, and about the many logistical difficulties involved.

Dan digs into his file of old jokes that never worked and finds one idea based on a time he sat through a panel discussion about comedy etiquette wherein one of the audience members loudly clipped his nails. Mary wants to write a joke about scammy websites, but in the process shares a story about being taken in by a scam that severely stresses Dan out. They see potential for comedy in the idea of building some sort of ongoing relationship between Mary and the scammer. Dan also wants to write a joke about being in ambulances as a sick form of entertainment.

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Ep. 23 - Garrett Harvest Is a Taurus

How do you go on a rant about astrology without alienating people in the audience who are likely to believe in it? That is the challenge facing this week’s guest, Garrett Harvest. Meanwhile, Dan seems determined to outdo himself by bringing you the worst jokes he’s ever written.

Garrett has been working on establishing himself as a comedic force in the Baltimore comedy scene, having come a long way from his origins of telling a joke about tacos. (Shout out to Taco Bell, which Garrett hates but Dan loves!) Dan and Garrett agree that one key to good comedy is having a life outside of comedy, since that is where the best comedic inspiration takes place. They also talk about how setting goals in comedy and putting in the work almost guarantees that you will get better at what you’re doing.

Dan shares a terrible joke with Garrett about a mouse with a human ear growing out of its back. Is it possible that there is a good joke here? Perhaps in the hands of a better comedian, but unfortunately in Dan’s hands it’s complete garbage. Garrett wants to go on a rant about astrology, but (obviously) in a way that’s funny. For some reason, telling the audience they’re a bunch of idiots doesn’t seem to do the trick. However, he and Dan explore some ways to make the bit enjoyable, even in the event that the initial joke lands with a thud. Dan shares a couple other jokes, one about old ladies, and another about being born with part of his face missing.

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Ep. 22 - Rose Vineshank Is Making an Honest Living

Dan and Rose work through a slew of corny jokes to get to a couple more promising jokes, including Rose's joke about why working as a dominatrix is arguably more honest work than what people typically mean when they talk about making an honest living. There is also some discussion about cow insemination, making this the most educational episode ever. Enjoy!

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Ep. 21 - Jordan Levine Presents a Chunk of Milk

I know what you’re thinking: ANOTHER milk joke? God it seems like every comedian out there is doing nothing but milk jokes. Amirite? Nevertheless Jordan is determined to put a unique spin on the genre of milk-related comedy. Meanwhile Dan is getting caught up in bathroom stall drama.

Jordan Levine is a man of many talents, though as an improv artist he is currently between troupes. He discusses the development of his world-famous opening catchphrase, much to Dan’s delight. The two reminisce about working on a bad joke together at an open mic. They talk about using comedy to make a point, and about how important it is to put effort into performing no matter how small the audience is.

Dan shares a brand new, completely untested joke idea about becoming invested in the drama of comments written inside bathroom stalls, and he and Jordan consider the bathroom stall as perhaps the least nuanced form of political discourse. Then Jordan shares a whole string of milk jokes, and Dan finds the bit to be solid, though he offers some ideas on a cow-related bit. Afterward, Dan and Jordan discuss a listener-submitted joke about why weed is better than booze.

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Ep. 20 - Kiragu Beauttah Teaches Comedy

Is it possible to appeal to Tyler Perry in exploring common ground between white and black people? Kiragu thinks so, although he explores different ideas for which white political leader Perry most reflects. Meanwhile, Dan is trying to add a new element to an old, well-established joke in his act.

Kiragu teaches comedy to students at Frederick Douglass High School, and has some fascinating things to say about what that entails. Dan shares an email from another comic regarding a joke discussed in a previous podcast, which involves an old academic article based on a very odd scientific experiment. This leads Kiragu to reflect on his comedy, which is an attempt to speak his truth to white audiences in the hopes of disrupting problematic white narratives.

Dan recently hosted a weekend at a club, where the headliner suggested some ideas for expanding one of his jokes. It is an old bit involving Dan’s dad volunteering some strange jokes for Dan’s act. Dan wants to come up with a way to cap the bit off by giving his dad an equally strange joke idea in return. Meanwhile, Kiragu wants to bring his own personal narrative more into his act, and he and Dan discuss some ways to build on a joke about a funny argument with his wife. They also talk about Tyler Perry, and Kiragu makes a surprising analogy between Perry and a certain political leader.

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Ep. 19 - The Mike Moran Episode, with the Director’s Commentary

Mike is a music snob who won’t listen to anything past Now That’s What I Call Music 14, but what else would a person like that be snobbish about? And how do you make it funny? Mike knows there is something there, and just wants to figure out what it is. Meanwhile, Dan is looking for a good way to misdirect the audience about his new living situation.

Dan has been a fan of Mike’s comedy since becoming a comic himself, and swears he once heard Mike do a joke about sequels and Mountain Dew: Code Red, although Mike doesn’t remember working on the bit. Dan and Mike talk about being identified as one-liner comics, even while explaining why they don’t feel the label is entirely accurate. Mike and Dan talk about the “satanic panic” and Dan reveals just how sheltered of a fundamentalist setting he grew up in, much to Mike’s delight.

Dan is trying to write a joke about moving into a new apartment, but its current form doesn’t strike Mike as particularly good. But Mike does suggest a punchline that Dan likes. Meanwhile, Mike has a joke about listening to Jock Jams on vinyl that isn’t getting the laugh he wants, but he and Dan kick around some ideas until they stumble into the concept of treating a terrible movie as an arthouse cinematic masterpiece. This leads into the further absurdity of growing to appreciate an extremely low-quality direct-to-video cartoon, because the director’s commentary was just so amazing.

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Ep. 18 - Christine Ferrera Gives Sports Teams a Better Name

How do you take a fun idea for getting rid of offensive team names in sports, and turn it into a workable bit for the stage? Christine’s joke is in its early stages of development, but it definitely seems to hold a lot of potential for good comedy. Meanwhile, Dan is still talking about hipsters.

Christine talks about her pathway to comedy through the world of performance art, and chronicles a fascinating letter correspondence that she shared with Starbucks for about a decade. Dan and Christine talk about things they’ve learned from meeting or observing some of their favorite comedians: Michael Ian Black (whom Christine recently opened for), Maria Bamford, Janeane Garofalo, and Hari Kondabolu.

Dan is desperately looking for a way to improve his joke about hipsters in the afterlife, but the final product is still a long way off. Christine is horrified that the Washington Reds***s have still not changed their name, which is, after all, a racial slur. Her suggestion is to rename the teams based on systemic problems related to their regions. Dan loves the joke, but it is missing a crucial piece in order to work onstage. Dan and Christine discuss the idea of turning these concepts into mascots. Christine shares a joke she is working on about new country music, and this turns into a whole discussion about how to skewer white privilege as white performers. Inevitably, Lena Dunham becomes a prominent topic in the conversation.

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