I can't sit down and write jokes. I just flows in from some maddeningly elusive place. Believe me if i had an alaska in my brain i would drill baby drill and I'd cum right on Sarah's back while I was there.
I don’t go, “I’m gonna write a joke.” I just go through the world and see stuff. It’s like I exercised the part of my mind of noticing things, to the point where I’m now noticing things without even trying to notice them.
It comes to me. Part of my leaving the media on all day is a way of…my mind has trained itself to have a very sensitive system of radar about certain words, expressions, topics, and areas of discussion that come up. There are things that interest me more than others, and then there are things that jump out. There’s one thing I learned about the mind as a young man, when I quit school. I read a book - half of it, anyway - called Psycho-Cybernetics. The author said that the brain is a goal-seeking and problem-solving machine, and if you put into it the parameters of what it is you need or want or expect, and you feed it, it will do a lot of work without you even noticing. Because the brain doe...
Question: how do you organize and develop your material and various jokes? Do you have notebooks full of detailed notes and jokes, or do you just sketch them out and wing it on stage?
Answer: I believe in detailed notes and jokes, and also winging it onstage. But, not for your first open mic. For your first open mic, my advice to you would be to make sure you have what you're gonna do memorized, to the point that one of your friends can gently slap you across the face, and you'll still be able to get it out of your mouth.
Larry David and I discovered that we were both obsessed with superman and admired him and also found him very funny at the same time, so that is why he came up a lot. Are you related to the hot dog Kobayashi in Coney Island?
Nick and I came up with Too Much Tuna in five seconds with Jessi Klein about ten years ago at a restaurant on 6th avenue called French Roast. We got a plate with too much tuna and we said "this is too much tuna."
And you look at it, go, 'I don't see a dinosaur. I don't see a dinosaur. I don't see a dinosaur. Oh! Oh I see it.' That's what jokes are like. You look at life. You look at it the same way everybody else does. But for a comedian, every once in a while you see a dinosaur. You see a joke. You go: 'Hey, there's a joke there.'
If you ask yourself, `Is there anything I can do to get a laugh?’ you can find a lot of things.
And usually they’re things that other people have found. But if you take something that’s never going to work and you go, `Wow, I wonder if there’s any way I can get somebody to laugh at this?’ it’s a great challenge.
I think everyone gets tired of who they are, or their own brains sometimes. I think the important thing is to keep pushing through into unexplored territories - new ways to express ideas or new jokes. that's when I feel really good- hitting on something new.
plotting can be tough because you're never quite sure you're doing it right - it's usually kind of like an exploration. You try something, and figure out what it needs. For instance, one episode we were plotting last night, I felt like it was all things happening, and no emotional connection from our charaters. So we figured out what my own personal connection to the plot would be, and that actually helped us figure out the things that would happen more easily. It's also helpful if your characters can have opposite points of view about what's occuring.
To motivate, I would try to outline as much as you can before you ever start writing a line of dialogue. If you're having trouble plotting, ...
Those New No-No's come from such a deep dark angry place within me that I can just access it on the spot.
I usually search on the internet for gripes people have and then I'll write a few words on some paper and go from there. So definitely not off the dome. But it's fun to keep things open and loose though cuz Scott is so fun to goof around with
Our process is... we rarely ever start with lyrics... it often begins with us jamming (or jammin') on some riff and then we start singing a melody that fits the music... and whatever words come out that's 90% of what we go with. We got a rule that we can't revise lyrics cuz we think it's funny. DO YOU?!!!
All of my jokes happened to me. Sometimes I will change details (names or where I saw something happen - saying "someone I dated" instead of "my current boyfriend" etc) to protect people I have relationships with but the material is true.
The first time we did it, Fred just starting doing that voice ("Whaaaaaat are you doing here?!") and Kristen and I were like "What?" It was so funny. I hadn't heard him do it before. Man o man it made me laugh. Then it became a game of who could stretch out the vowels in their sentences the most. It got crazy.
Question: Peter and Nancy are my favorite characters on the show. What was the inspiration for Peter's pasta addiction and will they go anymore adventures like starting a B&B??
Answer: That came from a real dinner that Carrie and I had in Los Angeles. And we were looking at the menu, and we just thought "well obviously we can't order pasta, so I guess we have to order this." So we started talking about, why do we have to avoid pasta so much? So it was more that we were weighing the difference between the difference between enjoying life and really living, or ordering salmon.