7 Questions with Jena Kingsley

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by Ryan Meehan

Jena Kingsley was born and raised in New York City. She attributes everything she knows about comedy to a loving yet dysfunctional family. Her name is pronounced Jena, like Jameson, but only one N. Her parents spelled it wrong. Most recently Jena has made her mark internationally with her pranks on unsuspecting New Yorkers. The media has called her pranks “Genius” and “Brilliant.” Perez Hilton called her “one bold and funny lady.” She released three viral prank videos in a row (“Are You On The List”, a Starbucks Prank where she posed as a Starbucks Bouncer, and “No Selfie Zone”, where she set up no selfie zones in NYC subject to fine, and “Social Media in Real Life” where she tries out the things we do on social media on unsuspecting New Yorkers) both garnering major international media attention landing her on CNN, TIME, MTV, ABC, The Today Show, USA Today, AdWeek, Perez Hilton and more.  In sixth grade she won an award for writing excellence, which of course means nothing now. She is the writer/creator of the popular blog “Darcy Dates” and she also blogs for the Huffington Post. She is a regular guest of “Huffington Post Live” and Sirius XM. She has written for The New York Observer, New York Post, XOJane, HowAboutWe, BeautyBlitz.com and others.  She made her television debut appearance doing stand up in 2015 on “Live From Gotham” on AXS-TV. Her stand up appearances include The Stand, Gotham Comedy Club, Levity Live, Caroline’s Comedy Club, Governors, Stand Up New York and others. She also recently appeared at The New York Comedy Festival, and she’s my guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading

10 Questions with Tim Dillon

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by Ryan Meehan

Tim Dillon is a New York based comedian and writer. He has been featured in the New York Comedy Festival, performed on Gotham Comedy Live on AXS-TV, and was recently on of the Top 100 finalists on Season 9 of Last Comic Standing. He co-hosts “Stewed:  A Comedy Food Podcast” with Mike Recine on Cave Comedy Radio. He is also a regular on the hit comedy podcast “Keith and the Girl”, and you can break out the placenta biscuits because he’s also my guest today in 10 questions.

RM:  What made you initially want to try your hand at stand-up comedy? What was so exhilarating about that first time on stage which made you want to get up and do it again?

TD:  I always enjoyed making people laugh, whether it was people at the crack house I hung out at when I was 13 or kids at school. I was too much of a pussy to try comedy until I was 25. By that time I had sobered up, came out of the closet, and was pretty much financially ruined. I was a juror on a murder trial and during the trial one of the jurors said “You have a talent for making people laugh. Try standup comedy”, and a week later I did. The first time I did it went somewhat decently and it was a thrill to be doing something I had always wanted to do. I knew I wasn’t going to stop.

RM:  What is so special about the atmosphere at The Creek and the Cave that makes it such a good venue for comics to work? When it comes to the comfort level inside that club, how does that room compare to a majority of the other places in the five boroughs that host live comedy shows?

TD:  Rebecca Trent – the owner of the Creek – has worked her ass off to make that place a home for many comics. Other than giving us stage time she cooks big dinners on Thanksgiving and Christmas for people who can’t afford to go home. She holds fundraisers to raise money for comics who have fallen on hard times. So there’s that aspect that makes it special. As far as shows, I’ve run one there for three plus years, there’s an intimacy to that room that’s perfect for crafting new jokes, riffing, and working on stuff.

RM:  In what ways has your joke writing process evolved since you first started doing this? Has your ability to process funny things so that they will eventually become a bit used on stage sped up a great deal, or do you typically try to break it down repeatedly in order to find out the best way to present that premise to a crowd?

TD:  My style has evolved greatly. I used to never riff or talk to the crowd, and now those are some of my favorite things to do. I love to take a bit and try to find what’s funny about it in a larger context than just the joke I’m telling. If an audience likes the joke, I try to just talk to them and see where I can go with it. As far as how I process funny things and present them, I usually try to go to the stage with an idea at an open mic or a show and see what’s there. I will maybe write a few words or phrases on a paper before I go up there but I generally find a funny angle by talking.

RM:  You appeared as a panelist on the cult late night show “Red Eye with Tom Shillue”, and shortly thereafter had your comments about one of the stories re-aired on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”…Could you tell us a little bit about the sequence of events which followed that appearance; and what was the most bizarre email or social networking message you received afterwards?

TD:  That was hilarious. Essentially I went on Red Eye and said that I believed the Obama tears were a political move. He’s an adult, and adults choose when to cry. I’m not saying he wasn’t sad but you choose when to let it go. Presidents I’m sure have very few tears left and the ones they do are used strategically. The next day a friend called me and told me I was on the Daily Show. They portrayed me like a legitimate correspondent and my dad called me and said “Wow, it makes you see how everything is fake!” But most people said I looked good being the face of evil. Next day on Grindr a guy said I was a psychopath. So that was fun:  To see how one thing you say can lead to some random guy not blowing you.

RM:  I read an interesting Tweet about you by fellow comic Andy Sandford which read “@TimJDillon just horrified this crowd into laughing. Terrible person but a great comedian.”…Do you ever feel in order to get the response you want from certain audiences that sometimes you have to come off as someone who is genuinely shitty to other people? Would you consider yourself to be a nice guy most of the time, or do you feel that you are a prick a lot more often than the average person?

TD:  It’s a great quote. I love Andy. I’m not a prick to people, never genuinely shitty.  I’m opinionated and I’m obnoxious. Maybe I am a prick? I’ve always worked shitty jobs and never really had money that wasn’t like pretend money so I think people expect you to be quiet and depressed and not have opinions. I also don’t blame rich people for the fact that I chose to pursue a career that doesn’t pay right away. I think people expect gay guys to behave a certain way and believe certain things and I challenge that perception. Like if you asked someone to describe a gay guy it wouldn’t be a guy with a stain on his shirt on the Staten Island ferry talking about how Rick Santorum has some good points. I think I give people an opportunity to hate a gay guy and that’s beautiful.

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RM:  Other than Andy, who are some of the other comics in the New York City area that you seem to get along with well? Why do you think you gravitate towards individuals like that; and how have those people helped you become a better comedian?

TD:  The guys I really like and learn from are people like Mike Lawrence, Dan Saint Germain, Jared Logan, Dan Soder, Yannis Pappas, Amber Nelson, Janelle James, Mike Recine, Jeffrey Joseph, Chris Gethard, and many others  Being around comics of that caliber makes you work harder. They’re also good people.

RM:  You do a podcast on Cave Comedy Radio with Mike Recine called “Stewed” where you discuss food and comedy related issues…Let’s say for the sake of discussion that I have a hundred bucks in my pocket to spend on sauce. Why should I buy Mike’s; and what’s the most important element to an authentic Italian dining experience?

TD:  Why should you buy Mike’s sauce? It’s a great sauce. It’s homemade. He’s a small business. He’ll deliver it to you. It’s only made one person very sick. (joke!) As far as the most important ingredient in an authentic. Italian dining experience, I think it would be a great pasta. It’s the language of Italian food. It’s how chefs communicate their sauces and their shellfish and their ragout. As I’m typing that cunty answer I am scraping Taco Bell cheese out of the box the Mexican pizza came in. I am also naked.

RM:  I saw a picture you posted online of yourself and Sarah Tollemache where you had the words “Cum Pig” in large black lettering scrawled across your chest. What were the two of you working on, and when do you think we’ll be able to see it?

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TD:  Oh, we were just having lunch. No, I’m working on a video that will be out soon. I think it’s funny. Sarah let us shoot in a restaurant where she knows the owner. I actually put a hole in the wall doing a fall and had to apologize profusely to the owner. I felt terrible and offered to pay for the damage. I wanted the owner to know I was taking it seriously. And then I uploaded a picture that said “Cum pig.”

RM:  Staying on that topic, you seem to be someone who would be interested in doing more acting…I know improv isn’t your thing, but what other avenues within the realm of acting do you think you’d be perfect for but just haven’t had the opportunity to work yet?

TD:  I’d like to become a better actor. I was an actor as a little kid. And I’m working on things now that help me build that muscle.  If comedy doesn’t work I think I would make a good tent preacher or a corrupt small town politician. I’ll go back in the closet and maybe have a few kids. I’d build us a compound. I think I could inspire people to join a cult. So that’s acting too…I think. I make fun of improv, but some of the people who do it are very talented and some should be put in the ISIS flame cage. Remember that from the video a few months ago? The flame cage?

RM:  When you look at stand-up comedy as a whole, what are some of the things that you are optimistic about headed towards the future? Is there anything out there that you could potentially see being a threat to the industry which feels kind of unsettling as someone who is pursuing comedy as a career?

TD:  I’m positive about comedy. I think people will always need to laugh. I think the platforms will change. Comedians are going to have to evolve. I don’t think there are any guarantees on the career side of things. I think it’ll be a constant battle. I think finding peace with that battle is the biggest thing. Finding happiness outside of your career seems to be key, staying healthy, staying sane and being a good person. I have no personal interest in any of that.

RM:  What’s up next for you in the remainder of 2016 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?

TD:  2016 is gonna be a big year for me. I have a stroke planned. But in career news me and Mike Recine will keep doing Stewed our food podcast on cave comedy radio. We’re also going to do a live show where comics do bits about food. I’m gonna keep releasing videos and if you like some of my rants I have a Tumblr now that no one reads at Www.timdillontalks.com. And again if none of it works, I will move back in with my mother Cher.

Tim on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/tim.dillon.737

Tim on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TimJDillon

Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.

Meehan

This video of Joe List and Mark Normand going to the museum is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time

I usually don’t write short pieces like this with no content, but this was something I feel like I have to share as a comedy fan. Joe List and Mark Normand went to the museum on the campus of Fordham University in The Bronx, and hilarity ensued as one might expect. You have to really hand it to the tour guide for being able to put up with these guys, and this is the most one-liners I’ve ever heard get stuffed into four minutes. I can’t even put this one into words, you just have to watch it.

Radio J-Dub, Volume 34 – “Too Soon” Jokes, Supermarket Gambling, and the Oscars

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In today’s episode, you’re going to find out some soccer mom thinks 30 years is still “too soon” for jokes, how a supermarket made the childhood J-Dub a degenerate gambler, and brutally honest breakdown of the self-serving butt-loafs calling for a boycott of the Academy Awards.  Again, you don’t want to miss this.!

BONUS:  The Bruce Burns lifeattitudes blog J-Dub references can be found here. 

DOUBLE BONUS: In case you didn’t know that WWE legend Kamala, The Ugandan Giant was also a recording artist, than get ready to head down a serious YouTube wormhole.

You can listen, subscribe, or download the podcast here, and it can also be found on most I-phone, Android, and Windows Phone podcast apps simply by searching “Radio JDub.”

NOTE: We are on the lookout for podcast contributors and guest columnists.  All reasonable ideas will be considered, but we are really interested in people…

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10 Questions with Tory Devon Smith

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Photo by Lesley Bryce

by Ryan Meehan

Actor Tory Devon Smith was born and raised in the foster care system in Bakersfield, California. He began performing in church and in 3rd grade, received the lead in a Christmas-themed school play. In 2003,  Tory was accepted into the California State Summer School of the Arts at Cal Arts in Valencia, CA. Smith went on to win multiple awards, including the Fullerton High School Theater Festival award in Men’s Contemporary Dramatic Monologue; the first in his high school’s history. After attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles on a full-ride scholarship as a Theater Major with a minor in Dance, Smith began pursuing his dream of working in the film and television industry. His past film and television credits include: ‘Black & White’, ‘Othello’, ‘Lifesaver’, and ‘Los Feliz, 90027’. Tory can next be seen recurring in the new Netflix series, ‘The Get Down’. Set in 1970s New York City, the series — a long-time passion project for Baz Luhrmann — revolves around a ragtag crew of South Bronx teenagers who are wild in the streets — nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them, except one another. The series is a mythical interpretation of the beginning of hip-hop in Brooklyn, New York. Smith plays Little Wolf, who is described as an outrageous, “Joe Pesci from Goodfellas” type of character. The series is expected to be released in Fall 2016. Smith can be seen as a regular alongside Brandy Norwood in BET’s new show ‘Zoe Ever After’ for an upcoming feature. ‘Zoe Ever After’ centers on Zoe Moon (Norwood), a newly single mom stepping out of the shadow of her famous boxer ex-husband Gemini Moon (Dorian Missick) while trying to balance dating, motherhood, a complicated relationship with her ex and finally fulfilling her career dream of starting a cosmetics line. Smith plays her stylish, fun loving assistant, Valenté. ‘Zoe Ever After’ comes from executive producers Debra Martin Chase, Danny Rose and Scooter Braun and is set to premiere in January 2016. We are honored to have Tory Devon Smith as our guest today in 10 questions.  Continue reading