I’m mostly doing this so I know where I’m supposed to be over the next few months. I will likely add and reblog this several times, so you can tune out and wait for the rerun if you’d like. Here are some upcoming live opportunities.
9/16 Stand Up Comedy in Santa Monica: I’ll be doing what might be the last Unpopular Opinion show. Laurie Kilmartin and Dan St. Germain will also be performing and they’re both so funny I can’t stand it, but at least I can stand up (this has been an example of the kind of joke I won’t be doing).
9/24 Stand Up/Beatboxing/General Talking in Nashville, TN: Cracked is very briefly going on tour! We’ve put together a live show with our friends at CinemaSins and we want you to be there to see it!
9/26 LA Podfest: We’re doing a live podcast at god dammit 11pm the day after we god damn get home from god damn Nashville. That’ll be in Hollywood I guess.
10/15 Stand Up in Echo Park: No link to the show yet, but I’ll be doing a set at Echos Under Sunset, a venue that I absolutely hate. Am I done yet? Can I be done doing live sh-
10/18-10/19 Writing Workshop in New York: I’ll be talking about writing and jokes and writing jokes at The Pit on the 19th. The Humber Print Humor Seminar is a weekend-long workshop/lecture series with some pretty cool guest speakers (Larry Doyle!). Come watch me pretend I know what I’m talking about with McSweeneys’ Chris Monks and CollegeHumor’s Susanna Wolff (I’d also wager that Susanna and I will derail our panel to talk about our dogs). This is probably it.
10/31-11/2 Comikaze: Cracked is returning to Comikaze for the fourth year in a row to perform After Hours live! We’ll also be doing a Q&A. We’re doing a live podcast too. The schedule of events hasn’t been posted yet so I don’t know when we’re doing what, but we’re definitely going and will have a booth again so stop by and say “Meh.”
Anonymous said: Regarding the whole feminism debacle, don't you think that a website like Cracked should probably not take sides on issues like this and begin alienating fans?
[Speaking on behalf of myself and not Cracked-at-Large, the policies and shape of which are not under my sole jurisdiction.]
I’m not talking/thinking about every sub-faction of feminism and every misguided protest or action that has resulted from a misinterpretation OF feminism, because feminism is such a huge thing and, as Soren pointed out, not everyone is going to be getting it right, all the time. There will be feminist spin-off groups that don’t quite grasp the message, there will be groups that pervert and distort it for their own agenda, and there will be groups that go overboard and so on, but that is true of literally every movement (civil rights-related, political, religious or otherwise) in the history of time.
I’m by no means an expert, which is why I’m trying to learn, but what I think about when I talk about feminism is what I remember being articulated to me by my sisters-in-law and what I saw/see embodied by my Mom’s example (and my Dad’s, for that matter), and it’s a really simple and clear message to me: Equal political, economic and social rights for men and women. There are smaller and more specific aspects of this broader conversation that are a particular focus of mine (representation in fiction/pop culture, educating people to help make an America where a woman can walk down the street at night feeling exactly as safe as I do, every night of my freaking life [which is to say, very]), but the core remains the same: Equality where it doesn’t currently exist.
So, when you talk about “taking sides,” my knee-jerk response is, uh, what’s your side? I’m not trying to be glib here. I could be wrong but, according to my slow, caveman brain, if my side is equality for men and women then the other side must be inequality, right? And if that’s the case, then, no, I don’t feel any responsibility to give the other side representation in my writing. There’s the potential that in doing so I’ll be alienating readers that either want men to have more rights than women or women to have more rights than men, but that’s a risk I’m absolutely fine with.
avengethewindflower said: hey, I'm a massive fan and I have been for a while now and I was wondering if you could maybe give me some advice on writing dialogue between characters for comedy because I'm really kinda struggling, thanks and sorry about wasting your time.
Reeeeead a lot. I may have mentioned this before, but I was lucky because, in high school, our theater department had a really robust library of plays. Starting sometime in my Junior year I committed myself to reading a new one every single week for no reason other than I liked reading plays more than paying attention in certain classes. Plays are a great writer’s resource, especially if you’re struggling with dialogue.
I would also suggest trying some exercises where you write with a particular person in mind. If you’re writing a scene between two buddy cop characters, Jim and Megatron, for example and you can’t seem to wrap your head around making them sound real or fleshed out, just cast them (when I was writing Dan in Agents of Cracked, I was alternately writing for Jason Bateman or Tobias Funke).
Pretend Jim is going to be played by Michael Cera (who I’ve chosen because he’s got such a specific way of speaking). When Megatron asks Jim if he likes to party, nonexistent Jim might say “Sure” or “I like to party,” but Jim-as-Michael-Cera would say “Party? Oh, I mean, yeah, if you- I’m not exactly, I wouldn’t call myself a party…partysaurous, but, yeah, no yes. Yes. I’m party. I have partied. Yes.” It doesn’t matter that you probably won’t get Michael Cera to play this part (and it doesn’t matter if you’re writing a book where the “parts” aren’t played by ANYONE); what matters is now you have a character with a distinct voice.
Then just pick someone else for your voice inspiration for Megatron (could be a famous person or someone in your life whose cadence and mannerisms you know really well), and see what organically happens when two people with established voices do when stuck together in a specific situation. Michael Cera and Omar from The Wire are in a police car together, on a stakeout. What would they say to each other?
[white person voice] im colorblind. i dont see race.
I am literally colorblind and I still see race, because many people are many different races. So I’m told. Can’t really tell. (colorblind)
Hahah Cody’s legit colorblind though, hahaha.
Hey Cody what number is this?
Hahaha you can’t even tell that’s a number right there. It’s 29 you stupid joke.
Years ago I was listening to old interviews with young girls given during the height of Beatlemania and you can hear that, as they try to articulate what the Beatles mean to them, they start legitimately hyperventilating and freaking out and suddenly they can’t breathe and I remember thinking “Weird, I love the Beatles to bits and pieces but I can’t wrap my head around having such a real, physical reaction to a piece of music or art” and then Beyonce and Nicki Minaj dropped the Flawless remix and then Nicki put out the Anaconda video and now my fucking body is fucking changing.