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Good One: A Podcast About Jokes is a podcast about - well - jokes, and the people who tell them. Each week, a comedian will play one of their jokes and then break it down with Vulture.com Senior Editor Jesse David Fox.
Danny McBride's The Righteous Gemstones’s Opening Scene
Danny McBride walks Jesse through the opening scene of his new HBO series The Righteous Gemstones. Along the way, they also touch on the first scenes of his other series and films, including Eastbound & Down, The Foot Fist Way, and Vice Principals.
Danny talks about where he wanted to go after Vice Principals ended, as well as the research that went into creating a show about Christian megachurches and superstar preachers. Jesse also asks Danny about how he constructs his antiheroes, and the different ways he utilizes the writers rooms on each of his projects.
Also included: dick symbolism.
The Righteous Gemstones premieres August 18th on HBO.
Follow Danny on Instagram.
|Aug 19, 2019|
Russian Doll's 22 Death Scenes
This week we're looking at the greatest joke of all: death. More specifically, the twenty-two deaths that occur over the course of the Netflix series Russian Doll.
Jesse talks to Leslye Headland, the show's co-creator, writer and director, about the protagonist Nadia's (Natasha Lyonne) journey episode-by-episode, and the significance behind each death she experiences. The show uses death to explore overcoming trauma and self-destructive behaviors under a deeply dark yet comedic veil.
Just a heads-up, this episode's going to spoil the entire plot of the show. So if you haven't seen it yet, we're recommending you go watch the show now.
Also included: Natasha Lyonne says "cockroach" funny.
You can watch Vulture's supercut of all of Russian Doll's death scenes here.
|Aug 12, 2019|
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Catskills Set
Jesse speaks to Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, the creators and co-writers of the tv-show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Despite the titular Mrs. Maisel being a fictional comedian, Jesse wants to know where she might draw her material from, and how she might write and perform comedy within the context of the show. Jesse asks Amy and Daniel about Mrs. Maisel's creation, and how they go about writing and pulling off a realistic standup performance.
Also included: the parallels between Mrs. Maisel and Breaking Bad.
|Aug 05, 2019|
Emily Heller's Workout Clothes
Comedian, writer and actor Emily Heller talks to Jesse about a joke from both her album Pasta and her Comedy Central standup special Ice Thickeners. Despite being recorded about six months apart, her delivery and wording is almost exactly the same in each version.
Jesse and Emily go over her meticulousness and handling of tropes, as well as the writing retreats she employs to develop new material. Ultimately, the two get around to discussing how Emily actually hasn't done stand-up for some time due to her work in writing for television--namely HBO's Barry.
Also included: riding hairy shoulders to the moon.
|Jul 29, 2019|
Late Night Writers Panel (LA)
Jesse once again dives into the world of Late Night television, hosting another panel of writers at NeueHouse in Los Angeles.
While the writers answer Jesse's questions about their starts in Late Night and their daily routines, a good chunk of the conversation involves the guests grilling one another on how their shows function, comparing their processes for pitching, writing and producing.
Jesse asks the writers how they maintain their individual voices when writing for their respective hosts, what it's like to write in the current political climate, and for advice for aspiring writers.
Also included: Jesse once again needs to know what Late Night writers eat for lunch.
This panel includes:
|Jul 22, 2019|
James Adomian's Gay Villains
Comedian, actor, and impressionist James Adomian talks to Jesse about a joke from his first album Low Hangin Fruit about the gay villain archetype portrayed in Disney films, and many other forms of media. James recounts how the joke snowballed from one impression to many, and eventually became his closer.
James also reflects on gay comedy and where it stands today, and how he balances gay material within the context of his entire set.
Listen to James on his podcast The Underculture.
|Jul 15, 2019|
Amanda Seales's Catcalling
Amanda Seales does a lot. Besides being an actress, poet, musician, DJ, lecturer and activist, she's also a great comedian.
Jesse and Amanda talk about her natural progression into comedy after being a prominent figure in all other forms of media, and a joke about catcalling from her 2019 HBO special I Be Knowin'.
While the joke itself stems directly from Amanda's experience, it took shape after her appearance on a CNN panel in which a white male panelist asserted that catcalling is a compliment. Jesse looks at the differences between the joke as it appears on her special and the version in her Late Night with Seth Meyers appearance, highlighting Amanda's ability to adjust her material on the fly.
Also included: Amanda's first-ever time performing comedy on-stage.
|Jul 08, 2019|
Anthony Jeselnik's Three Flights
Join Jesse as he interviews Anthony Jeselnik in front of an audience at Clusterfest in San Francisco.
While the interview is based around a specific joke from Anthony's latest special Fire in the Maternity Ward, Jesse walks Anthony through his past jokes that deal with the same subject matter. The two also touch on Anthony's persona and regard (or disregard) for his audience, as well as the unanticipated changes he's made to his act due to current events.
Also included: a very large audience applauds in an adjacent auditorium, and it's definitely not because John Mulaney is onstage in said auditorium.
|Jul 01, 2019|
Desus & Mero's EGOT Quest
Daniel "Desus Nice" Baker and Joel "The Kid Mero" Martinez make up the Bronx-born comedy duo Deus & Mero.
The two met in high school and reconnected on Twitter. From 2013-2014 they cohosted their podcast Desus vs Mero, then went on to appear on MTV's Guy Code in 2015. Around the same time they launched their current podcast Bodega Boys, which propelled them towards their own TV show, first on VICE and most recently on Showtime.
Jesse charts their careers to understand what sets them apart from other Late Night television personalities, examining their roots as well as how their definition of authenticity affects their comedy.
Also included: puns.
|Jun 24, 2019|
Late Night Writers Panel (NY)
Jesse talks to a panel of writers from NYC's Late Night TV shows. Recorded in front of an audience in conjunction with 92Y Talks, the guests guide Jesse through a day in the life of a Late Night TV writer. The group shares how they got started, their career landmarks, and advice for aspiring comedy writers.
Also included: what Late Night writers eat for lunch.
The panel includes:
|Jun 17, 2019|
Joel Kim Booster's Gay Dads
Comedian Joel Kim Booster talks to Jesse about the evolution of his late night sets and career, focusing in partiuclar on his January 2019 performance on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
Joel addresses Asian and gay stereotypes as they've appeared in comedy, as well as why he adopts a "hot idiot" persona onstage despite only being one of those two things. (He's hot, not an idiot.)
Follow Joel Kim Booster on Twitter and watch Joel on NBC's Sunnyside, Thursday nights this fall.
|Jun 10, 2019|
The Lonely Island's Jose & Mark
Akiva Schaffer and Andy Samberg of The Lonely Island talk to Jesse about a track off of their newest release, The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, a "visual poem" about the imagined rap careers of former Oakland Athletics sluggers Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco. The two frappers talk writing lyrics and music, the work they're producing now, and the difference between being dumb and being dumb on purpose.
Also included: Andy's Beetlejuice impression.
Get tickets for The Lonely Island's summer tour. Seriously. Go find tickets right now!
Watch The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience on Netflix, and listen to the accompanying album wherever you get your music.
Read Jesse's piece on The Lonely Island's first-ever show here.
|Jun 06, 2019|
James Corden's Crosswalk the Musical
James Corden is the host of The Late Late Show on CBS. He and Jesse walk through the history of one of the show's recurring segments, Crosswalk the Musical which is...well...a musical in a crosswalk.
Initially a performance of Grease in front of The Late Late Show's Los Angeles studios, the segment spread to the streets of London and New York City and featured hit musicals like The Sound of Music, Hair, and Beauty and the Beast, to name a few.
James recounts some behind the scenes stories and talks about the spirit of The Late Late Show.
Follow James on Twitter and watch him on The Late Late Show weeknights at 12:37a/11:37pC on CBS
Also included: Late Late Show Head Writer Ian Karmel looks back on pitching Crosswalk the Musical.
|Jun 03, 2019|
Beth Stelling's Wet 'n Wild
In Good One's Season 6 premiere, comedian Beth Stelling breaks down a joke from her first album Sweet Beth.
The joke is about a trip Beth took to the Florida water park Wet 'n Wild with her father and siblings. Beth points out what she likes and doesn't like about the joke, and how her performance of it changed since recording the album.
Beth talks about the specificity of her worda and the shorthand on her set-lists.
Also included: Beth sings.
Catch Beth live by checking out the dates on her website.
Follow Beth on Twitter @bethstelling
|May 27, 2019|
(BONUS) Happy Endings Reunion
What miracle is this? Audio once forgotten and buried within the darkest recesses of Vulture's dungeons has found its way back to the light.
Jesse hosts a live panel with the stars and creators of the cult-classic TV show Happy Endings.
Recorded live at the 2016 Brooklyn Vulturefest, this panel features creator David Caspe and showrunner Jonathan Groff, along with the cast members:
The panel guests go through their favorite episodes, the show's beginnings, and what went into making the most memorable scenes of the series.
Also included: hypothetical storylines for a Happy Endings revival.
Stream Happy Endings on Hulu or wherever else you get TV.
|May 20, 2019|
(BONUS) Clone High Reunion
Jesse leads a live panel discussion with the cast and creators of the cult-classic MTV animated series Clone High.
The show itself, co-created by Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Bill Lawrence, was about a high school filled with clones of famous historical figures. Despite its cancelation after only one season, the show had a cast list full of up-and-comers and established stars of its time, including Will Forte, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Michael MacDonald, Christa Miller, Nicole Sullivan, Donald Faison, Neil Flynn, Andy Dick, Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, Jack Black, Tom Green, Michael J. Fox, Mandy Moore, Marilyn Manson...the list will go on forever if I keep typing.
Recorded live at Vulturefest in 2017, the live panel included:
Watch Clone High wherever you can legally download TV shows. There are a lot of great clips on YouTube, too.
|May 13, 2019|
(BONUS) Catherine Cohen's Dreams
Here's another bonus episode as we lead up to our Season 6 premiere!
Jesse interviews comedian Catherine Cohen live at Union Hall in Brooklyn, following a musical tribute to her totally normal and not-at-all-bizarre dreams.
Follow Catherine on Twitter.
|May 06, 2019|
(BONUS) Las Culturistas's I Don't Think So, Honey!
This week we're going back to the 2018 Brooklyn Podcast Festival for a short interview Jesse did with Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang, AKA Las Culturistas.
Matt and Bowen each demonstrate an "I Don't Think So, Honey!" or their cathartic, one-minute cultural rant turned art form.
Listen to Las Culturistas wherever you get podcasts.
|Apr 15, 2019|
Kevin Hart's Kids Walk in on Him Having Sex
Good One Season 5 comes to a close with another superstar comedian, Kevin Hart.
Jesse takes a trip to Atlanta to speak with Kevin just before the release of his newest stand-up special Irresponsible. They discuss the show's opener, a story about when Kevin's kids caught him having sex. Kevin explains how his jokes go from from small clubs to arenas.
The conversation also touches on some of the controversy surrounding his comedy, as well as the high expectations he's striving to execute at his level of fame.
Also included: potpourri.
Watch “Irresponsible” on Netflix on April 2nd, along with all of Kevin’s other specials.
Follow Kevin on Twitter.
Special thanks to DonTaé Hodge for engineering this episode.
|Apr 01, 2019|
Gary Gulman's Trader Joe's
Jesse finally sits down with Gary Gulman to talk about a joke from his 2016 special It’s About Time.
The joke is about an experience Gary had at Trader Joe’s, but it’s way, waaaaaaaay bigger than that. Gary takes his audience through TJ’s snack selection and into Narnia, making companions of old women on the Upper West Side, finally culminating in a rumination on the nature of New Yorkers and taking a stand when injustice rears its ugly head.
Jesse and Gary dissect this joke from start to finish, picking apart word choice down to the syllable. Gary reflects on the inciting incident, as well as how his mental illness plays a part in the whole thing.
Also included: someone finally tells Jesse how his tweets could be better.
|Mar 25, 2019|
The Good Place Writers Panel
In Fall 2018, we recorded a live panel discussion with the writers of The Good Place at Vulturefest LA. Moderated by Marc Evan Jackson, the panel guests reveal what comedy inspired them, how their writers room was formed, and offer advice to aspiring writers.
Listen to The Good Place: The Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.
Follow [most of] the panel on Twitter:
|Mar 18, 2019|
Rhea Butcher's Flight Attendants and Lyft Drivers
Jesse speaks to standup comic, actor, and writer Rhea Butcher about two versions of their joke about being misgendered.
The first iteration comes from Rhea's album Butcher, and the second was performed on one of Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson's 2 Dope Queens HBO specials.
Rhea goes over the similarities and differences between each telling, along with how their identity and experiences shaped the joke's evolution.
|Mar 11, 2019|
Lil Rel’s Can I Have, I Want
Jesse speaks with actor, comedian, writer and producer Lil Rel Howery live at Vulturefest in October 2018.
The conversation centers around a joke Rel told on Martin Lawrence's 1st Amendment Stand Up in 2010, and ties into material from his 2015 stand-up special RELevent.
Rel discusses family, his hometown Chicago, and the comedians that shaped him, like Bernie Mac and Robin Harris.
Watch Rel in Rel on FOX.
Follow Rel on Twitter.
|Mar 04, 2019|
The Lucas Brothers' History of Western Philosophy
Kenny and Keith Lucas, aka comedy duo The Lucas Brothers, sit down with Jesse to discuss a joke-in-progress about Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy.
The two reflect on their relationship as brothers, identical twins, writing partners, travel companions, and performers while musing on the intersection of comedy and philosophy.
Watch the Lucas Brothers' special on Netflix.
|Feb 25, 2019|
Seth Meyers's Juan Likes Rice and Chicken
Jesse’s back in the Late Night with Seth Meyers conference room with—wait for it—Seth Meyers! While there's plenty to talk about, the conversation centers around Seth writing the Documentary Now! episode Juan Likes Rice and Chicken. The two touch on Seth's parodies from when he was Head Writer at Saturday Night Live, along with his semi-autobiographical ties to Juan and Arturo.
Also included: Seth is unable to make Jesse’s tweets any better than they already are.
Season 3 of Documentary Now! starts February 20th, airing Wednesdays on IFC at 11p EST
Late Night With Seth Meyers airs weeknights on NBC at 12:35/11:35c
|Feb 18, 2019|
Ray Romano's Son Joe
Ray Romano sits down with Jesse to talk about his new Netflix special, Right Here, Around the Corner. The two go over Ray’s jokes about his son Joe, why he continues to see his family as a source of new material, and what made the Comedy Cellar the right place to tape his new special.
Also, Ray does an impression of an impression of Ray Romano.
|Feb 11, 2019|
Saturday Night Live's Totino's Ad Trilogy
It’s sequel time! Sort of.
On a Good One episode from way back in the year 2018, Jesse asked Vanessa Bayer about Saturday Night Live's series of ad parodies for Totino’s pizza rolls. What started as a take on gender stereotypes in advertising evolved over the next two years into a surreal X-Files promo, and ultimately a triumphant, French romance film trailer.
Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider are the former SNL head writers behind the Totino’s Trilogy. Jesse talks to them about the evolution of Vanessa’s nameless character, and draws parallels to Chris and Sarah’s new series The Other Two.
Highly recommended: watching the Totino’s Ad Trilogy.
Follow Chris on Twitter!
Sarah never uses Twitter.
Watch Chris and Sarah's show The Other Two on Comedy Central, Thursdays at 10:30/9:30c
|Feb 04, 2019|
Julie Klausner's Roast Beef Sandwich
Jesse talks to actor, comedian, writer, and friend Julie Klausner about a seemingly random joke from her Hulu series Difficult People. Recorded live at Union Hall in Brooklyn, the two talk about equal treatment of male and female genitalia in comedy, Julie’s writing process on Difficult People, and much, much, much more.
ALSO: a super secret surprise guest.
ALSO ALSO: get ready to find out if your favorite sketch comedians are dogs or cats.
|Jan 28, 2019|
Sebastian Maniscalco's Doorbell
Jesse talks to comedian Sebastian Maniscalco about the creation of one of his most well-known jokes, “Doorbell”. Not only does Sebastian have a new Netflix special out, but at the time of the interview he was days away from headlining a weekend of stand-up shows at Madison Square Garden. Listen to how Sebastian refined his act-outs, and how nostalgia and disbelief came to shape his comedy.
|Jan 21, 2019|
Nicole Byer's Fat Jokes
Welcome back to Good One. We missed you dearly.
For our Season 5 premiere, comedian, actress, and improviser Nicole Byer invited Jesse over to talk about the opening jokes of her new Netflix special, Aggressively Adorable.
|Jan 14, 2019|
Sinbad Doesn’t Write Jokes
With all of his standup specials, records, and multiple roles in TV and film, Sinbad has no shortage of material to dissect. But when Jesse reached out to to ask what joke Sinbad wanted to discuss on the podcast, Sinbad didn’t want to pick one. Why? Because he doesn’t write his act in the way that most other comedians do. Sinbad will build an entire routine from a fleeting thought in the moment while he’s on-stage—and it will change the course of the performance in an instant.
Jesse and Sinbad trace his style back to its roots, and Jesse also gets closure on a Sinbad question he’s been holding onto for a long time.
This week's episode is sponsored by Mack Weldon! For 20% off your first order, visit mackweldon.com and enter promo code GOODONE at checkout!
|Dec 10, 2018|
Rachel Bloom’s Space Jam
Years before creating and starring in the show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rachel Bloom wrote and performed a musical sketch about a young actress’s obsession with Space Jam, the 1996 animated and live-action crossover starring Michael Jordan and a bunch of Looney Tunes.
Jesse and Rachel talk about the compromise she made between musical theater and sketch comedy. Along the way they discuss the importance of nailing down a premise when writing, how rhyming can ruin a joke’s potential, and most importantly, why Space Jam?
Watch Rachel’s “Space Jam” here, and read along with the lyrics below.
“Space Jam” Lyrics
I'VE NEVER FOUND A TRUE CALLING
I WOULDN'T CALL THEATER MY LIFE
FROM VOCATION TO VOCATION
LOCATION TO LOCATION
I'M JUST LOOKING FOR SOMETHING ENTHRALLING.
(spoken) It's true.
I'VE NEVER HAD MY OWN "THING"
UNREMARKABLE: A COMMUNISTS' DREAM.
BUT THERE IS ONE MOVIE
THAT'S JUST SO DAMN GROOVY
IT GIVES ME A REASON TO SING.
AND THAT IS THE MOVIE
OH MY GOD I LOVE THE MOVIE SPACE JAM!
HAS ANYONE ELSE HERE SEEN SPACE JAM?!
ALLOW ME TO DESCRIBE THE PLOT OF SPACE JAM!
THE SETTING IS CIRCA 1996
AN INNOCENT AGE, I RECALL.
MICHAEL JORDAN GOT HIMSELF IN A FIX
'CAUSE NOW HE PLAYS MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL.
MEANWHILE, ON A PLANET FAR OFF IN SPACE
SOME CARTOON ALIENS HAVE AN AMUSEMENT PARK
BUSINESS IS BAD, THEY'RE GONNA SHUT DOWN THE PLACE
TILL THE ALIEN CEO HAS A GENIUS SPARK!
(spoken) He's voiced by Danny DeVito.
THE PLAN IS TO KIDNAP THE LOONEY TUNES
WHO IN THIS FILM ARE SELF-AWARE AND HAVE FREE WILL
AND ONCE THE ALIENS KIDNAP THE LOONEY TUNES
THEY'LL ENSLAVE THEM TO CREATE A COMEDY MILL!
(spoken) Now at this point, you're probably like, "What do cartoon aliens kidnapping Looney Tunes have to do with Michael Jordan?" Well that's the magic of-
MUCH MORE HAPPENS IN THE MOVIE SPACE JAM!
AREN'T YOU STARTING TO GET EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED WITH SPACE JAM?!
RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU WANNA HEAR MORE ABOUT SPACE JAM!
I'd actually prefer if you stopped.
Oh, come on!
I want to hear about something EMOTIONAL.
Ok, fine. I'll talk about the time I came out of the closet instead, ok?
Uh, yeah, that'd be great.
Ok. Well, when I first realized I was gay, I thought that no girl would ever-
SO THESE TINY CARTOON ALIENS GO TO LOONEY TUNE LAND/
AND GET LAUGHED AT 'CAUSE THEY'RE SO SMALL/
HA HA HA!
OK, that's not what I meant...
THE LOONEY TUNES WANNA DEFEND THEMSELVES
SO THEY CHALLENGE THEM TO A GAME OF BASKETBALL
BUT THEN THE ALIENS TO GO A BASKETBALL GAME
TO STEAL THE TALENTS OF THE PLAYERS IN THE NBA
AND THEN THEY BECOME MONSTERS- NO- MONSTARS!
WHICH MAKES THE LOONEY TUNES DESPERATE IN A MAJOR WAY!
(spoken) And then, one day Michael Jordan is playing golf with Larry Bird and Bill Murray and he gets sucked down a golf hole. And this is when you're like "Oh man, this movie just got intense. I might have to leave the theater it's so intense!" And when Michael Jordan gets to Looney Tunes Land, he's surprisingly calm for what just happened to him, dubious really, because he just says, "What are you guys doing here?"
SO THE LOONEY TUNES TELL MICHAEL THAT THEY'RE GONNA BE SLAVES
UNLESS HE HELPS THEM WIN
MICHAEL AGREES LIKE THE MENSCH HE IS
AND SO THEY START PRACTICIN'
You're just singing the plot of the movie Space Jam!
It's really important to me!
Yes, but why? Why is "Space Jam" so important to you?
WHEN I WAS 5 MY DADDY LEFT
AND MY MOMMA WAS ADDICTED TO COKE
SO I JOINED A GROUP OF RUNAWAY KIDS
WHO WERE JUST AS SAD AND BROKE.
THEN ONE NIGHT, THIS BOY NAMED JAKE
GAVE ME MY FIRST KISS.
BUT THE DAY AFTER THAT, HE DIED OF AIDS
MAKING ME ASSOCIATE SICKNESS WITH BLISS.
AFTER GOING ON A 3 DAY METH BINGE
I DECIDED TO KILL MYSELF
WHEN SUDDENLY, LIKE AN ANGEL, LIKE A BEACON
I SAW THE POSTER FOR "SPACE JAM."
AND THAT'S WHEN I REALIZED:
IF LOONEY TUNES CAN PLAY BASKETBALL
WHO SAYS I CAN'T QUIT DRUGS?
IF TINY ALIENS CAN BE LARGE AND SCARY
THEN I CAN PUT MYSELF BACK TOGETHER.
EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE IN "SPACE JAM"
SO EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR ME.
I WAS ABOUT TO JUMP IN FRONT OF A TRAIN.
WHEN "SPACE JAM" ENDED MY PAIN.
|Dec 03, 2018|
Laurie Kilmartin’s Conan Set
Laurie Kilmartin is a stand-up comedian and writer for Conan. She's also cohost of the podcast The Jackie and Laurie Show along with comedian Jackie Kashian.
Laurie discusses the formation of her 2017 Conan set, finding a new muse 20-years into her career, and how to know when to inform the audience that “Domingo” is Spanish for “Sunday”.
Read Laurie’s tweet about joke transitions here.
|Nov 26, 2018|
Mike Birbiglia’s Celebrity Golf
Mike Birbiglia cemented his style of comedic storytelling in specials like Sleepwalk With Me, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, and Thank God For Jokes. He’s also the writer and director of Don’t Think Twice and the movie adaptation of Sleepwalk With Me. Now, his latest show, The New One, is running on Broadway.
In this episode, we’re talking about an earlier one of Mike’s jokes—his Celebrity Golf story, from the album My Secret Public Journal Live. Mike describes how he identifies moments from his life that become his jokes, how to align with an audience, and the inherent error that has to exist in a piece of art.
|Nov 19, 2018|
Kenan Thompson’s Lavar Ball Impression
Kenan Thompson and collaborator Bryan Tucker have been working on SNL together for years. In August 2017, they debuted Kenan’s take on NBA personality Lavar Ball. It went over so well that the impression returned for three additional Weekend Updates. Jesse asks Kenan and Bryan about how they come up with their best work that spans 16 seasons of SNL.
|Nov 12, 2018|
Max Silvestri Tells Leah Beckmann's Upstate Cabin Story
Comedian Max Silvestri and writer Leah Beckmann have been together for seven years. They have a dog.
For years Max hosted the New York alt-comedy showcase Big Terrific, which Leah had been to a couple of times before approaching Max on the subway to say hi. Fast forward to today, when Jesse sits down with the couple to discuss what it’s like to be written about as a significant other, the vetting process for relationship jokes, and why buttholes work when assholes don’t.
Watch Max on Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup and see his work on Big Mouth. Read and watch Leah’s work on The Cut, Gawker, and Cartoon Network’s Summer Camp Island.
|Nov 05, 2018|
Nikki Glaser Roasts Bruce Willis
Nikki Glaser asserted herself as a ruthless and talented roaster at Comedy Central's Roast of Rob Lowe in 2016, so it was no surprise that she was invited back for Bruce Willis in 2018. Nikki walks Jesse through the roast process from start to finish, explaining the massive undertaking that is writing effective insults.
|Oct 29, 2018|
Chris Gethard’s Mother’s Day
Jesse and Chris Gethard discuss the transition from improviser to stand-up comedian, and then dissect the quintessential “Gethard Joke.” Chris recounts wrapping The Chris Gethard Show, his ambitious HBO special Career Suicide, and what’s problematic about applying the idea of “swim at your own risk” to live comedy.
|Oct 22, 2018|
Phoebe Robinson’s Julia Roberts Swimming Lesson
Comedian, actress, and author Phoebe Robinson (2 Dope Queens, You Can’t Touch My Hair, Ibiza) talks Jesse through getting a swimming lesson from Julia Roberts on the Adriatic sea—what she calls one of her life’s “Non-Trash Moments” in her forthcoming book Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay. Phoebe explains her writing process, along with her love for abbreviations, typos, and mixed metaphors.
|Oct 15, 2018|
Nick Kroll’s Big Mouth Shame-Filled Dirty Talk
In the Season 4 premiere of Good One, Nick Kroll discusses the difference between shame and guilt and how both concepts factor into writing a show like Big Mouth, which returned October 5th for its second season on Netflix.
|Oct 08, 2018|
Aparna Nancherla’s Anxiety
In the season finale of Good One, Jesse and Aparna Nancherla (Just Putting It Out There, Comedy Central's Corporate, Netflix's The Standups) discuss how depression and anxiety came to be a part of her act, how her jokes about mental health have been received over time, and the inherent stress of interacting with babies.
|Aug 05, 2018|
Will Forte's The Last Man on Earth Ending
Jesse talks to Will about the Last Man on Earth’s final scene, the show’s journey, and what would have come next if the show hadn't been cancelled. Recorded live in Montreal at the 2018 Just for Laughs Festival.
|Jul 30, 2018|
Naomi Ekperigin's First Late Night Set
New York based Naomi Ekperigin is quickly becoming an influential voice in modern comedy. She’s worked as a staff writer for Broad City and Great News, and was listed as one of the "20 Comedians You Should and Will Know" by Vulture.
Jesse talks to Naomi about a joke from her most recent set on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Learn how Naomi crafted her tight 5 for late night, how she writes comedy conversationally, and the application process behind booking a spot on Seth Meyers.
|Jul 23, 2018|
Reggie Watts Comes Up with a New Song
Reggie Watts doesn't write jokes. With nothing but a microphone and some looping pedals, he crafts one-of-a-kind musical improv comedy. So on this special episode of Good One, Reggie improvises a song in the studio and we break down his process. He explains his love for improv over scripted comedy, his passion for science and technology, and shares his experiences making music on different drugs and psychedelics.
|Jul 16, 2018|
Vanessa Bayer's Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy
Vanessa Bayer stops in to discuss the creation of her character Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy. She talks about her formative years of comedy, Judaism, and how the process of writing a subtle and specific character evolved each time Jacob returned.
|Jul 09, 2018|
Bo Burnham's Can't Handle This
This week Bo Burnham, writer and director of the feature Eight Grade, was interviewed live at Vulturefest. Vulture senior editor Jesse David Fox and Bo discuss his auto-tuned rant that closed out Burnham's Netflix special titled 'Make Happy.' They dissect Bo's relationship to audience, comedy, authenticity and performance- and how that informed his vision as he makes his directorial debut.
This week's episode is brought to you by Spotify!
|Jul 02, 2018|
Jimmy Fallon's Do Not Play
Jimmy Fallon drops by to talk about his bit 'Do Not Play,' sharing songs so bad that you just have to listen to them. Fallon discusses finding his calling with the Tonight Show, a variety show and an institution, with the mission of putting a smile on your face before bed. He delves into the value of a silly bit inside of a show like his and reflects on his career, now and for the next twenty years.
This episode is brought to you by Spotify!
|Jun 25, 2018|
Patton Oswalt's Polish Woman of Doom
Patton Oswalt talks about the process of writing comedy in the face of real and personal tragedy. Oswalt's passion for crafting jokes, turns of phrase, and the way in which he talks about the world were thrown into intense perspective as he dealt with the loss of his wife, and the responsibility to care for his also grieving daughter.
|Jun 18, 2018|
Trevor Noah’s Daily Show
In a special edition of Good One recorded live at Clusterfest, host Jesse David Fox discusses the process of creating the Daily Show with a panel of writers including Trevor Noah, Dulce Sloan, Michael Costa, Desi Lydic, Ronny Chang, Roy Wood Jr.
This week's episode is sponsored by Spotify!
|Jun 11, 2018|
David Cross's Squagels
David Cross breaks down a joke from early in his career about the fast casual chain COSI's attempt to make the bagel 'cool.' He discusses balancing material between the silly, serious, and political, as well his his relationship to the South.
|Jun 04, 2018|
Cameron Esposito's Rape Joke
Cameron Esposito discusses a joke about the misrepresentation of sexual assault in popular culture. In this interview with Jesse David Fox, Cameron speaks to the challenge of sharing her own experience, drawing the audience in, and creating a space to perform the kind of material that confronts through humor.
|May 28, 2018|
John Mulaney's One Hundred Million Dollars
Welcome to season 3 of Good One! Kid Gorgeous a.k.a. John Mulaney stops by to break down a joke in defense of financiers. John shares how he found his stride in an 'old timey' voice, expands on his fascination with OJ Simpson, and talks about how working on Oh Hello influenced his writing style.
|May 21, 2018|
Pete Holmes’s Green Eggs and Ham
Jesse David Fox talks to Pete Holmes about a joke from his 2016 special Faces & Sounds. They talk about Pete's "spidey sense" as a comedian, why anger can be a great cue, and more.
|Jan 22, 2018|
Wyatt Cenac's Black History Month
In this live taped episode of Good One, Jesse talks to Wyatt Cenac about his Black History Month joke, which appears on his last album, Furry Dumb Fighter. Hear about Wyatt's writing process, why he often uses comic books as a source of material, and how he feels about including the n-word in his work.
|Jan 15, 2018|
Natasha Leggero’s Burning Man
In this episode, Jesse David Fox and Natasha Leggero deconstruct a joke from her 2015 Comedy Central special. They talk about Burning Man, her process of trial and error, and how her persona has evolved over time.
|Jan 08, 2018|
Bill Burr's Definition of Bravery
In this live taped episode of Good One, Jesse talks to Bill Burr about a joke from his most recent special Walk Your Way Out. Hear how a trip to India helped shape that joke, what Bill thinks about doing characters, and how he manages his relationship with offended audience members.
|Jan 01, 2018|
Eugene Mirman's Portsmouth, New Hampshire Complaint Letter
In this live taped episode of Good One from the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, Jesse speaks with Eugene Mirman about his joke -- which is a real letter published in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire summer guide.
|Dec 18, 2017|
Paul Feig's Spy Knife Fight
In this live episode of Good One from Vulture Festival LA, Jesse speaks with Paul Feig about a fight scene from his movie Spy, why he works best with women and the trials of editing a film.
|Dec 11, 2017|
Saturday Night Live's "Wells for Boys"
Jesse David Fox talks to Julio Torres and Jeremy Beiler, the writers behind the Saturday Night Live sketch “Wells for Boys.” In this episode, you'll hear how it came together, how it was received in the studio, and whether political art is the only art that matters.
|Dec 04, 2017|
Jeff Garlin Refuses to Pick a Joke
Jesse sits with Jeff Garlin for a somewhat flipped version of Good One. Jeff didn’t feel he’d be a right fit for the show as he's not one for dissecting his process. Hear why that is, why he thinks Eddie Murphy is the Babe Ruth of standup, and about making the latest season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
|Nov 27, 2017|
Roy Wood Jr.'s Black Patriotism
In this live taped episode of Good One, Jesse speaks with Roy Wood Jr. about his joke about black patriotism and his deliberate style.
|Nov 20, 2017|
Will Forte's MacGruber Sex Scenes
Jesse speaks with Will Forte about what it was like to make the sex scenes in MacGruber (the SNL Macgyver parody turned '80s action movie) movie.
|Nov 13, 2017|
Why Thor: Ragnorok Is So Damn Funny
Jesse David Fox talks to Taika Waititi about making Thor: Ragnorak and how a $200 million budget couldn't stop him from embracing his inner six-year-old.
|Nov 06, 2017|
Ron Funches's "F*ck Linda" Neck Tattoo
Jesse David Fox sits down with Ron Funches to discuss his “f*ck Linda” joke, which he wrote towards the beginning of his stand-up career -- and later told on Conan. They talk about the art of cursing, the stigma of laughing at your own jokes, and his evolution as a comedian.
|Oct 30, 2017|
Maria Bamford Wants You to Know How Much Money She Makes
Jesse David Fox talks to Maria Bamford about the commencement speech she gave at her alma mater the University of Minnesota. And about money, a lot about money.
|Oct 23, 2017|
Tim Minchin's "Stuck"
Tim Minchin created the music for the musical Groundhog Day. He joins Jesse David Fox to talk about the musical and about one song in particular called "Stuck." Plus he plays a us little keyboard.
|Jun 05, 2017|
In this proto-episode of Good One, hear the interview with Jerry Seinfeld that inspired this whole thing.
|May 15, 2017|
Moshe Kasher's Personal Hell (It's Heaven)
Jesse David Fox and Moshe Kasher deconstruct a joke about heaven from Moshe's 2013 Live From Oakland special-- It's a bit that's evolved over time, as he first tried a much shorter version of the joke on his 2009 album. They talk about religion, Moshe's new show Problematic on Comedy Central, and how he mastered the art of "highbrow-lowbrow."
|May 08, 2017|
John Early's Wedding Toast
Jesse David Fox and John Early recorded a special, live episode of Good One during SXSW at TBS's In Search Of Pop-Up. John picked a scene from his episode of Characters on Netflix, in which he is giving a wedding toast and hijacks the room for way too long. He breaks down why he chose to play this type of character, why he loves upstate New York, and closes with he next best impersonation. (His best is Britney.)
|May 01, 2017|
Dear White People's Shonda Rhimes Parody
Jesse David Fox sits down with Justin Simien, the director of the movie Dear White People and creator of the new TV show premiering on Netflix this month. They talk about a scene from the first episode in which a group of students are gathering to watch Defamation a parody of Shonda Rhimes' Scandal. Simien offers thoughts on his process, the benefits of adapting the movie to television and how the show fits into today's political landscape.
|Apr 24, 2017|
What It's Like to Write Jokes for Barack Obama
David Litt is the former senior presidential speechwriter for President Obama and he wrote his jokes, too. On this Good One, Litt shares about what it's like to write for the former president, why Obama is pretty good at delivering jokes and how they finally managed to incorporate Keegan-Michael Key's character of Luther, Obama's anger translater, into the White House Correspondence dinner.
|Apr 17, 2017|
Horatio Sanz's Don's Apothecary Sketch
Horatio Sanz debuted his "Don's Apothecary" sketch during his fifth year on SNL. He sits down with Jesse David Fox to talk about the inspiration for the sketch, his SNL days and why he sometimes laughs at his own jokes.
|Apr 10, 2017|
Kyle Kinane Wakes Up in the Morning and Believes in Himself
Jesse David Fox and Kyle Kinane talk about a joke from Kyle's 2010 special Death of the Party and how it was so pivotal in his stand-up career. And we highly recommend staying for this laughning round.
|Apr 03, 2017|
Jen Kirkman's Street Harassment Closer
Jen Kirkman closes her Netflix special Just Keep Livin' with a joke about street harassment. She and Jesse David Fox talk about how she conceived and composed this multi-layered piece.
|Mar 27, 2017|
Tig Notaro's Taylor Dayne Story
Jesse David Fox and Tig Notaro sit down at her house to talk about her Taylor Dayne story, her noteworthy performances of it, including on Conan andThis American Life, and her many run-ins with Taylor Dayne.
|Mar 20, 2017|
Paul Scheer and Human Giant's "Illusionators"
Paul Scheer explains the inspiration behind creating the sketch series "The Illusionators," which appeared on MTV's Human Giant. Scheer created the show with Aziz Ansari, Rob Huebel, and Jason Woliner. Plus, hear the story about how Paul and Aziz encountered Criss Angel at a Las Vegas club.
|Mar 13, 2017|
Weird Al Yankovic's "Word Crimes"
Weird Al Yankovic explains his parody process and the story behind creating "Word Crimes."
|Mar 06, 2017|
Kristen Schaal and Her Singing, Dancing Bird
Kristen Schaal joins Jesse David Fox to talk about the origins of one of her earliest jokes Dancing Bird. She shares why she often uses animals in her comedy and what it was like to break out as a stand-up comic using conceptual bits.
|Feb 27, 2017|
Neal Brennan's White Guy Being Called the N-Word While Feeding a Horse Joke
Host Jesse David Fox and Neal Brennan talk about a joke Neal wrote for Half Baked and how it's representative of his early career writing for the Chapelle's Show, and Neal shares about his new stand-up special on Netflix 3 Mics.
|Feb 20, 2017|
Jim Gaffigan and His Good Looking Newscasters Joke
Jesse David Fox sits down with Jim Gaffigan to break down a joke from Jim’s Netflix special Cinco about newscasters and how they’re so good looking.
|Feb 13, 2017|
Vulture presents Good One: A Podcast About Jokes— it's about jokes and the people who tell them. Guests include Jim Gaffigan, Kristen Schaal, Paul Feig, Neal Brennan and Paul Scheer. Hosted by Vulture Senior Editor Jesse David Fox, the first episode premieres February 13.
|Feb 06, 2017|