Ken Pisani is a television writer and producer, screenwriter, playwright, comic book author, novelist and a former cartoonist. (Ken needs to learn how to focus.) He is one of three finalists for the coveted Thurber Prize for American Humor for his debut novel AMP’D.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Chris D’Elia called in to chat about his new comedy special, “Man on Fire,” which premieres today (6/27/17) on Netflix. We discussed saying goodbye to a set of material, how promotion is part of the gig for a comedian, and how to best enjoy live comedy in a club.
Annabelle Gurwitch’s new book is “Wherever You Go, There They Are: Stories About My Family You Might Relate To.” We had a fun chat about the stories in the book (The Alabama Jewish Mafia! Bootleggers! Philanderers! THC smuggling!), assuming and or/wishing we were adopted, bringing back scrapbooking, and transcript tattoos.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Paula Poundstone called in to chat about her new book, “The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness.” We discussed the inspiration for the book, her approach to scientific methodology, and how we both have received the seal of approval from Dick Cavett!Follow @bigwakeupcall
Dylan Brody returned to the show to plug his one-man show “Dylan Brody’s Driving Hollywood.” Despite our prediction of uncomfortably awkward interview full of large pauses and overlapping dialogue, we had a fun and entertaining chat.
“Dylan Brody’s Driving Hollywood” is at the Apollo Studio Theatre (2540 N. Lincoln in Chicago) Wednesdays through Saturdays through May 20.
Legendary and influential comedian Robert Klein called in to talk about a new documentary, “Robert Klein Still Can’t Stop His Leg,” which premieres Friday night on Starz. We talked about the making of the film, his time at Second City, and what it’s like to be referred to as a legend.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Sam Tripoli called in to talk about his new comedy double album “Diabolical,” featuring one disc of storytelling and one where he says he completely bombed. We chatted about how political correctness can squash the free expression of ideas, the flowchart of comedy oppression, why no one heckles a TED Talk, and being chased by a police helicopter.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Todd Barry called in to talk about his new book “Thank You For Coming to Hattiesburg: One Comedian’s Tour of Not-Quite-the-Biggest Cities In The World.” We discussed meet-and-greets, tour merchandise, and having the gift/curse of the second sight.
Legendary and influential comedian Paul Provenza called into the show to talk about his appearance in the new documentary “Dying Laughing,” which features interviews with and chronicles the life of popular stand-up comedians. We also discussed how you can’t really rehearse a set in front of a mirror in the basement, insulted Dylan Brody, and talked about the misguided mindset of “Morning Zoo”-type radio hosts.
It was fun to catch up with Greg Proops after a two-year absence. His book, “The Smartest Book in the World” is now out on paperback. We discussed the revolutionary changes made in the new edition, why it’s necessary comedians to have a distinct point of view, and translating the spoken word to the written page. Plus: insulting fellow comedian Dylan Brody and his most disliked interview questions.