S01E10 Interview: Mikey Henley

podcastToday starts off with exposing our rap alter egos: K-Love Flavrum and Joel van Violence.

Then we introduce Mikey Henley! We get straight in to talking about the belt wearers and non-belt wearers of Islam and the Scots (kilts). And then we get on Worldwide Wrestling Federation. Are they competing with Cowboys for biggest belt buckle size (Mikey asks that).

We re-charge our “is comedy a science or art” conversation. Mikey is on the side of science. Kevin seems to agree because he compares comedy to the wonderful science of astrology. Astrology is a great science for getting to know someone, and so is religion. You know where you are with a Sagittarius or Gemini or the lion one or a Taurus or a Feces or an Aquarium.

We talk about Mikey‘s abrasive, embracive comedy! Then Kevin regales us with his story of making Madonna cry, not in Argentina, but in Atlanta. They talk Kabbalah, Lambada, lobotomies.

We finally talk about Mikey’s eclectic entertaining. His chief influence was Andy Kaufman. He might tell stories, be observational or use slapstick, even! He takes pages out of the book of comedy. The team takes the magic out of his “comic strip” bit.

Then we discuss a contest Mikey entered in which he wore underwear to advertise a particular brand of underwear. The host of this contest made fun of him. He told him he should be fatter, because fat is funny.

Then we talk on a new thing: mime comics! But clowns are a lot like that because there’s poor amplification at a circus.

We talk about Mikey’s goatee and how that helps his comedy. It has become his calling card. Kevin enlightens us as to what that means. This obviously spurs a conversation about vampires being the best house guests! They’re also funny like Leslie Nielson in Dracula: Dead and Loving It. They all do a Transylvanian accent.

They discuss calling cards in depth: Andy Kaufman – Blank stare. Aziz Ansari – being brown with a beard, big eyes. Jeff Dunham – blank stare and puppets. Kanye West – being crazy, sunglasses and being unpredictable and not even seeming like a comedian.

Joel shares the story of Sacha Baron Cohen knocking a lady off the stage at BAFTA. He received the Charlie Chaplin (of The Great Dictator) Award. Chaplin was the Teller (Penn and Teller) of the 1930s. Cohen knocked the first female star from Chaplin’s films right off the stage.

The parallel is drawn between that and when Kanye said Taylor Swift didn’t deserve to win that video, but Beyonce should’ve. And every takes that hilarious joke seriously. The whole North West fiasco is a hilarious joke! Add to that the controversial joke of the song: Black Jesus.

Maybe Jesus was white because he was a black man with skin bleached by the sun… like Michael Jackson.

Then we take the magic out of Mikey Henley’s “Slapstick” bit. We discuss if it’s easy to get audience members on stage. Joel wrote a play that opens in an ancient Socrates, Greek chorus play sort of way.

The conversation shifts to Medically Approved Marijuana that Mikey is approved for, medically. What is boggling, is that it will not heal Mikey. That’s the travesty of science! It can put a man on the moon, invade space and give a man a boner, but it can’t heal Mikey’s back. And now he needs to medicate for the REST of HIS LIFE?!! They can even heal baldness with a Chia Pet pill (not true, but a great Henley joke). No one should have to do the equivalent of chemotherapy for the rest of their life.

And then we do Rob Delaney‘s Tweets! Mikey Henley plays Operation with us!

The discussion turns to legalizing all drugs and Rob Ford the Prime Minister of Canada. He’s been compared to Chris Farley. He even has a bobblehead. Mikey is champagning Rob Ford for emperor of the drug nation!

Then we do COMEDY SOUP!

They discuss Mikey’s overall style of comedy. Joel gives us a peek into the honing of his craft. Kevin asks Mikey what the craziest curveball that was ever thrown at him. Joel makes sure he understands it’s not screwball comedy: Looney Tunes, Daffy Duck, Shawshank Redemption.

Then they touch on Sick Kidz for Sick Kids. This is a charity that Mikey is a part of which you can check out on Facebook. He’s giving back to the community, he’s literally healing with comedy. They’re on Twitter too!

Check out Mikey Henley on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube!

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Have a great week! Class dismissed.


S01E09 Tribute: Ricky Gervais

podcastThis podcast gets off to a great start with us reminding our students what we’re actually doing: taking the magic out of comedy. We take care to remind out listeners that we all could die every day and, most importantly, this year, so make the most of it!

We talk about what comedy is in a few rich metaphors from Lego to Music, citing Brian Wilson and his Sweet Vibrations being not unlike a good joke vibration: Rabbi walks into a bar, type joke.

That brings us to our tributee: Ricky Gervais! A chucklebucket!

We start by discussing how much he laughs constantly on his podcast and in other media. His podcast was so huge, which makes us wonder why our podcast hasn’t reached the Vatican in Rome?

This leads to a discussion about Ricky’s atheist philosophy. We discuss our views about absolutism and relativism and how closed minded Ricky is toward all the various religions, including science. Of course, we talk about the red frogs of the amazon which, Joel explains, may have actually been man-made and have nothing to do with science as seen in the documentary “Unnatural Histories” on the BBC.

We talk about Gervais’ great fame, even greater than He-Man currently.

Joel admits to being an Antagonist and Kevin explains that he’s an omni-theist, which is an expensive undertaking. We talk about the many religions in the Nation: Muslims, Jews, Christians, Children of Q, Children of Slew (based in the Hindu religion). These things are all important for stereotype jokes.

But could Ricky’s religion jokes just be a Sarah Silverman type rip-off which goes against what he even believes? Maybe he’s a subversive Christian. He just drinks, masking his pain and making fun of Karl Pilkington‘s round head.

Ricky Gervais is the Inspector Clouseau of comedy, the character written by Blake Edwards. Joel explains why, as Bugs Bunny says, he’s a maroon. His shows Extras, Derek, Life’s Too Short, stupid twitter pictures, saying stupid things about Mike Birbiglia… he’s a bumbling idiot.

But he did do something good: The Office. It’s a story of David Scott working at Wornham Mufflin, selling paper. What a brilliant concept! Selling paper? Sticky Tack maybe, but PAPER!? Nobody buys paper. It was as brilliant as when ER came on the scene in the 90s. And there is another show in America which all takes place in a paper company with Steven Carrell.

Oh, and we compare him to the Inspector Gadget.

The conversation turns to Derek. A show that parodies Rosie O’Donnell‘s retard movie. Not Matilda or Harriet the Spy, but Riding the Bus with my Sister.

Rosie is like Nike pumps, never out of style, swinging on vines like Curious George. She had her own talk show and even on Curb Your Enthusiasm, with Larry David. She was also in Fatal Instinct.

They reveal the industry term they could’ve used in Tropic Thunder:don’t go full Rosie” (instead of the line Robert Downy Jr. said). Or when the girl in Precious went fat black Rosie. Or What’s Eating Gilbert’s Grape where Leonardo DiCaprio went young white Rosie, with the mom character being Jabba the Hutt Rosie.

This week’s assignment: Write us a joke on Facebook that might be difficult to understand if you’re not IN on it.

And then we do “what if“: What if Ricky Gervais were a detective? Would we still have an Evan Almighty? Or Bruce Almighty for that matter? Or Anchorman 1 or 2? Or the Get Smart remake? This question leads to the whole WikiLeaks story because of bumbling American spies.

Should Julia Louis-Dreyfus be in Mary Almighty? Or should it be Jennifer Aniston? That’s just a final little quiz.

Remember Alan Alda said, “if it bends it’s funny, if it breaks it’s not funny, it’s maudlin“.

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Have a great week! Class dismissed.


S01E08.5 Extra Credit: Ylvis – Massachusetts


We talk about the song Massachusetts and break it down line by line. Enjoy!
(You can DOWNLOAD the song on iTunes, LIKE them on Facebook and watch the video below).

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Have a great week! Class dismissed.


S01E08 Interview: Jonny Clark

podcastOur first interview episode of the year is with Jonny Clark! He is a zany, alternative comic with a love of prop comedy. After doing a “here’s Jonny” throwback to the Johnny Carson show, we get right into it.

Jonny didn’t always do the Carrot Tip type thing with props (beach ball bicycles for instance). He actually started his journey of self discovery as “X-Rated”, a very filthy comic. People often don’t get very dirty jokes because they can be too filthy which their minds aren’t capable of grasping.

We get right into Jonny’s specific comedy routines. Joel describes what he saw Jonny perform as Jonny describes why it was funny. From being introduced as Rob Jeremy, coming out as a clown, carrying an empty pizza box to stripping to a superhero outfit, we discover that Jonny is rather avant-garde.

Jonny does things on stage which, simply, are not currently done. Yucko the Clown is the only known comedian who has ever dressed as a clown on stage and Jason Alexander is the only comedian/comedy actor who has ever dressed as a super here (super Jew) on stage (at the Just for Laughs comedy festival).

We get a sneak peek into Jonny’s future by discussing his Clown Mach II joke which involves a police office, a blow horn and a clown in a trunk. This puts one in mind of the classic contortionist clowns in a car.

As you might expect, when talking about physical comedy, Miley Cyrus is brought up. How brilliant she was evolving from Hannah Montana into a Gene Simmons-like comedian who, in a stroke of genius, promoted herself at the MTV Music Awards in a Beetlejuice costume. This may backfire because it turned people like Jonny on enough to jack-off to her.

Jonny does explain that Carrot Tip is not an influence of his even though, as we explain, he’s the Steve Jobs of comedy if Steve Jobs did comedy and was alive.

Then we break down Jonny’s famous birthday party cake bit. After that, he takes a moment to share his sure fire hit jokes which will win every time. Pay attention students. One of them even shares the name of the hit film Horrible Bosses!

They go into detail with his joke “Furry Friends” which isn’t about Homeward Bound. It’s actually about sex people called Furries. He describes a sex act with Minnie and Mickey Mouse of Disney fame. He even talks about Donald Duck in one of the alternative punchlines. They breakdown the comedy being found in the anipamorphesizing of the animals. This devolves into a brief discussion of cartoon porn involving Homer and Marge Simpson or an Orc and a Wood Elf from World of Warcraft.

Then we do Mike Birbiglia’s tweet, but since he’s not that great, we are now doing it with a better tweeter: Ron Delaney!


Then we walk about Jonny’s real job: photonics. He talks about the documentary Visions of the Future. They ask if this technology is alien. Jonny describes himself as if he’s in the Matrix or in the film Surrogate. Revolutions, black holes, Stephen Hawking, planet earth, the concept of time, different dimensions: This is what the conversation becomes.

We discuss how delicious pizza can be.

Then we do Comedy Soup and Jonny nails it!

As he prepares his joke, Joel and Kevin talk about the education system: reading, writing and arithmetic and science.

After the soup they talk OXO cubes, bouillabaisse and MSG. MSG actually causes Alzheimer’s, Jonny enlightens us.

Then we describe Jonny’s first joke involving a box.

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Have a great week! Class dismissed.


S01E07 Tribute: Bill Cosby

podcastWe start by teaching about surprise in comedy (breaking the dialogism) to our students.

We get right into to talking about our tributee because we learned from our mistake on the Sarah Silverman episode, to stop taking so much time NOT talking about them. Today we tributize a true, classic legend Bill Cosby!

We talk about his penchant for talking about simple things like family and friends. Even if you’re lost in the mall, that can be funny.

Then Joel breaks the dialogism by confusing Bill Cosby for Bing Crosby. But he doesn’t stick to the joke because it’s too silly. Kevin mentions the hard C and K sounds again and they wonder if the “R” in “Crosby” softens the comedy of the “C”.

Right off the top contest: If a consonant follows a hard C or K, does that soften it? Do some consonants not soften it (in a comedy way)?

We talk The Cosby Show which featured the incredible Madeline Kahn. We figure she’d be a huge fan of our show because she has a great comedy sensibility. They talk her career with Mel Brooks and in What’s Up Doc with Barbara Streisand. Babs is a comedian, singer and everything else (booty not with-standing).

Then they wonder which was The Bill Cosby Show and just The Cosby Show. Which one was Madeline in? She actually took voice lessons. And they speak of the amazing way she said “Howard” in What’s up doc (show clip).

She died of ovarian cancer, it was such a loss, but The Cosby Show did a tribute episode.

They continue talking about Madeline which evolves into Young Frankenstein and then Gene Wilder. What a genius of comedy! He created the true Willy Wonka personification from the Chocolate Factory, something Johnny Depp couldn’t do. That was probably Tim Burton’s fault. Wilder was as funny as Steve Martin‘s wild and crazy guy! Other Wilder films: Funny About Baby, The Producers, Hear No Evil/See No Evil and Blazing Saddles.

They talk more about Madeline Kahn and her “I’m so tired” performance.

Then they discuss how brilliant Mel Brooks is with his period pieces: Blazing Saddles and Spaceballs (future period). He’s Gandalf the White, not Gandolf the Grey: He’s a wizard of comedy. Thank you Mel!

Then they get into the meat of the lesson discussing “long form comedy”, the Star Wars joke, Lord of the Funny (Rings), Back to the Funny (Future), Terminator of Comedy, Funny (Fast) Furious Five or just funny franchise. They share metaphors to help the students understand what long form comedy is.

The question arises, WHEN does comedy come from? Childhood, prepubescence, adolescence, teenage years and early twenties?


That’s when Bill Cosby’s signature SIT DOWN comedy is brought up. Sitting in a cigar with a big ole leather chair in his mouth. As if we’re right there in his living room (metaphorically, atmospherically). This is a lesson Mike Birbiglia took to heart, he also doesn’t try in a similar way.

Then, as we often do, we get deep and discuss Bill Cosby on Spy vs Spy and ask “Did he ever grow up from that”? Why does he only talk about himself as a kid? How has Birbiglia matured so much. Why does Bill wear those sweaters? Does he suffer from those artistic quirks as the consummate professional he is?

And we chastise those comedians who just make fun of Bill’s pudding pops because he’s as 2 dimensional as Tony the Tiger who is the Tiger in your tank, the Eye of the Tiger and the tiger upper cut in street fighter two.

Then they get into short form comedy. Steven Wright is the perfect example of short form comedy. They nail a couple of his most famous jokes. Concise one liners. They also mention Mitch Hepberg, the modern Wright. He was always so high on drugs that he was addicted to. But we don’t celebrate drugs on the podcast.

Then we talk about Eddie Murphy and his 80s stand-up. Bill wasn’t a big Eddie Murphy fan because Eddie Murphy was vulgar. Joel compares Madeline Khan to David Bowie. Yes, irreverency is funny, but George Carlin already broke down those barriers of swears with his dated “7 words you can’t say on television” bit. It’s old news. There’s no need for swears any more.

It’s only now that Murphy is doing timeless family comedy with the Klumps, Pluto Nash, the Klumps 2 (Getting Klumpy!!). Whereas his old stuff has a date stamped on it. It’s no longer current. It’s no Dr. Dolittle. Rex Harrison would agree! What Rex did with Dr. Dolittle was way better than what Murphy did with RAW.

This week’s other contest: Try your own long form comedy, post it on our page, email us. Write us a long form comedy joke. Tweet it in many different tweets and we may read it!

And then we introduce a new segment: What if?! We contemplate “what if” Bill Cosby was something else. What do the boys come out with?

USE YOUR IMAGINATION! Picture yourself in Cancún, watching the buffalo, whales, Super Bowl or bufferfloat.

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Have a great week! Class dismissed.