Sarah Pappalardo

Sarah Pappalardo (left, smoldering) is the co-founder of Reductress, the first and only satirical women’s magazine. Reductress is a hilarious website conceived, developed, and run by Sarah and her co-everything, Beth Newell. Sarah tells Writers’ Bloc all about how she and Beth took an idea and made it into an actual product, and trust me, there’s more to it than meets the eye. So it’s good that you’ll mainly be using your ears from here on out. We also get into a welcome and substantive conversation about women in comedy and some of the challenges they face that aren’t always understood or even recognized by their male associates. It’s long overdue on Writers’ Bloc and I think you’re going to enjoy hearing it.

Sarah has also produced a small handful of documentary shorts, including Reverence , which was featured in IFC Theater’s DOCNYC this year. And she’s written several plays including Cold, which was produced at the Plays and Players Theater last summer in Philadelphia. I hope you’ll be as pleased with this episode as I am. And, as usual, if not – your money back. (WINK!)

Now get to listenin’! Or, if it suits you better, you can listen on iTunes. See if I care!

Feel free to get in touch: @WritersBlocPod and writersblocpodcast@gmail.com

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Matthew Diffee

diffee_200Matthew Diffee is a very funny man and an excellent artist, which makes him perfectly suited for the world of cartooning. Matt has been contributing cartoons to The New Yorker since 1999 and he now has a fantastically entertaining book out called “Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People.” We start, as usual, at the beginning, discussing the mutual love of art and comedy that eventually “drew” Matt to cartooning. (See what I did there?) Matt talks about an early attempt at stand-up comedy that proved he could write jokes, but didn’t seem equally capable of telling them, so he made the adjustment. We find out what influenced his decision to pursue cartooning and how he eventually landed a contract with the The New Yorker. It’s worth noting that Matt is also the editor of volumes one and two of “The Rejection Collection: Cartoons You Never Saw and Never Will See in The New Yorker” and is the recipient of the 2013 National Cartoonist Society’s Silver Reuben Award for single panel cartooning. But for now, he’s simply “Writers’ Bloc Podcast Guest #48”. Listen on iTunes.

Feel free to get in touch: @WritersBlocPod and writersblocpodcast@gmail.com

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Arthur Meyer

meyer_200Arthur Meyer is a writer and performer on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and the proud co-author of the fake menu “FUDS,” which he, Dan Klein, and Kelly Hudson lovingly crafted into the book, “FUDS: A Complete Encyclofoodia“.

Arthur and I somehow manage to shove aside the obvious sexual tension and get to know each other on a personal and professional level. We talk about early jobs, performing in clubs, and stalking major league umpires – all the usual stuff. But most importantly, Arthur gives us some quality first-hand knowledge of what it takes to get a book not only written, but actually published. It ain’t easy, but if that’s your goal, hopefully this episode will help you accomplish that.

In addition to his Tonight Show job, Arthur continues to write and perform with the sketch comedy groups Pangea 3000 and Two Fun Men, but his biggest credit will always be as a member of the three-sibling Wilmette, Illinois living room-based sketch comedy show “Meyer Kids’ Night”, performed to his parents weekly. (Sorry. No link to that one.) Listen on iTunes. Feel free to get in touch: @WritersBlocPod and writersblocpodcast@gmail.com

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Ted Alexandro

alexandro_200In an earlier phase of his life, Ted Alexandro was a music teacher, an experience he used to help co-create the web series “Teacher’s Lounge,” which recently won best Best New Comedy Web Series at the Cynopsis Awards. Ted and I talk almost exclusively about creating the web series and what it takes to bring a project like this together on both the creative side as well as the business side. Ted got his start writing and performing sketches with his writing and performing partner, Hollis James. One of their earlier short films,”Nobody’s Dummy: The Horace and Huey Story“, wasn’t nominated for an Academy Award, but admit it, that would be pretty awesome if it had been. Time Out New York called Ted “One of the top comedians working today”. He has appeared on David Letterman multiple times, Conan, Jimmy Kimmel, The View; he’s taped two half-hour specials on Comedy Central, and made this great appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Ted is also serious about the business side of show business and was the driving force behind the New York Comedians Coalition, which successfully negotiated a pay raise with the notoriously under-paying New York comedy clubs. Pencils ready, everyone. It’s Ted Time. Listen on iTunes. Feel free to get in touch: @WritersBlocPod and writersblocpodcast@gmail.com

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Jessi Klein

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Jessi Klein is the executive producer and head writer for Inside Amy Schumer, which is all an intelligent BlocHead such as yourself should need to know to just go ahead and start listening. She was also a development executive at Comedy Central, which means she knows the business as well as the creative side of comedy writing and she’s got a few thoughts about that that are well worth hearing… so just go ahead and start listening. Jessi also wrote for SNL for a short time (we don’t talk about that) and several other shows (which we also don’t talk about), mainly because we’re busy the whole time talking about her influences, her journey to comedy writing, and, of course, Inside Amy Schumer — which is hilarious… so just go ahead and start listening. This episode was taped live at Fontana’s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan as part of New York Podfest 2015. If you missed it this year, look for it in 2016. As Podfests go, it’s definitely one of the best. And don’t miss Season 3 of Inside Amy Schumer starting April 21st. Now will ya just go ahead and start listening already?! Jeesh!! Listen on iTunes.

Feel free to get in touch: @WritersBlocPod and writersblocpodcast@gmail.com

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Eric Drysdale

drysdale_140Eric Drysdale (pictured, left) is a man of many talents not the least of which is the writing of materials suitable for inclusion in the category of televised comedy/variety. On Thursday, December 18th Eric and his co-scribes ended their long run writing for The Colbert Report on Comedy Central and with any luck he’ll will soon be employed at the network that for some odd reason has a weird eye as its logo. Eric’s life in comedy began at an early age. He seemed destined for creating comedy in one form or another and he’s fortunately been able to test those waters in many forms. From movies shot on film as a teenager to an actual paid comedy writing job for a Canadian TV show just one year out of high school to a European “walkabout” to The Daily Show and then to Colbert, Eric’s journey has been long, exciting and fruitful. And now he’s a guest on Writers’ Bloc! Talk about moving up!! I’m happy to have him as a friend and thrilled to have him as a guest on the podcast. You’re going to like what you hear. Listen on iTunes.

Feel free to get in touch: @WritersBlocPod and writersblocpodcast@gmail.com

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Doug Abeles

abeles_200Doug Abeles is one of the cockiest comedy writers in the business, or more accurately, whatever the opposite of “cockiest” is. Those of you in your late 20’s or later might be inspired to hear that Doug is a successful, Emmy Award-winning comedy writer who didn’t even start trying to get into the business until his early 30’s. And even then, he still had to go through the ups and downs common to the life of pretty much any comedy writer. But he made it through! He made it through the rain! Glory be to persistence!! Doug and I talk about getting your foot in the door by submitting jokes to your favorite shows, moving out to L.A. to work on a show that lets you go after just 5 weeks, and bouncing back from that letdown to find more work. Eventually, Doug landed at Saturday Night Live where he wrote for the Weekend Update segment for 10 years. He shares some great stories about that experience including an extremely unusual “meeting” with Norm Macdonald . Like every episode of Writers’ Bloc, this one has it all! Listen on iTunes.

Feel free to get in touch: @WritersBlocPod and writersblocpodcast@gmail.com

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Hugh Moore

moore_200Hugh Moore and I met in (undisclosed year) and hadn’t seen each other for (undisclosed number of) years, so I was thrilled to find out he was not only working but also willing to talk to me about it. His latest gig has him writing for a new sketch show called Friends of the People that will air on Tru TV starting in October. Hugh shares that experience with me, as well as what it’s been like for him to chase work and find work and then chase work again and find work again and then chase work yet again and find work yet again. He hustles. That’s what he does. And, equally as important, he’s talented and fun to be around. Hugh’s resume varies wildly including stints at Chocolate News, Wild ‘N Out, Vibe, Best Damn Sports Show, and now Friends of the People, as well as the cartoon Black Dynamite on Adult Swim. He’s also a great comic and performer who often appears on the show’s he writes for, including one particularly funny bit he did on Vibe called Shy Tony. We talk about all of this in between almost constant and highly entertaining reminiscing. Listen on iTunes.

Feel free to get in touch: @WritersBlocPod and writersblocpodcast@gmail.com

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Jason Ross

ross_200Jason Ross is a writer for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, but here’s the rub – he lives in L.A. even though the show tapes in New York City. What what?! We discuss how a writer living 3000 miles away from what you would imagine would be his office can, 1 – do his job, and 2 – get his job. Both answers are great stories. Before moving to L.A., Jason spent 11 years writing for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and he shares what made him finally pack it up and head west. We talk about taking meetings in L.A. (do the words “seduced and abandoned” mean anything to you?) and what it’s like to pitch an idea without realizing the studio you’re pitching it to is already working on a “very similar project”. Lesson: they have very little interest in an idea they already have. Jason also offers up some very interesting insight on the writing process in general and we close it out with a laugh-filled discussion of his wide range of early comedy influences. Lend me your ears, BlocHeads! I swear I’ll give them back. Listen on iTunes.

Feel free to get in touch: @WritersBlocPod and writersblocpodcast@gmail.com

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Chris Regan

regan_200Chris Regan is a comedy writer who won five Emmys during his seven seasons on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He talks about leaving a lucrative (potential) career in advertising to chase a very potentially un-lucrative career in comedy writing. It turned out well. We talk about the early days at TDS and what it’s like to leave a secure, high-profile job in entertainment because you’re pretty sure you’ve got something else going on that it turns out you actually don’t really have going on. Then we move on to how you bounce back from that. Short answer: hard work and talent. Chris currently writes for Fox’s long-running animated hit Family Guy. He previously worked on The Jeselnik Offensive, The Burn with Jeff Ross, and Lopez Tonight. He also contributed to the best-selling book “America: The Book,” wrote the book “Mass Historia: 365 Days of Historical Facts and (Mostly) Fictions” and he co-authored the humor book “Shatner Rules” with William Shatner. He recently had the great honor of delivering the commencement address at the Ithaca College Class of 2014 graduation ceremony. Listen on iTunes.

Feel free to get in touch: @WritersBlocPod and writersblocpodcast@gmail.com