An interview with Comedian/Writer, Josh Gondelman
Writer and Comedian, Josh Gondelman is co-author of the very funny Modern Seinfeld Twitter account. Tweeting for @SeinfeldToday along with Josh, is the very clever Jack Moore. With over half-a-million followers, the very popular page consists of Seinfeld related storylines, scenarios, jokes, conversations, and much more. The comic’s personal Twitter page is a humor spewing success as well, and was named one of 2012′s best by Paste Magazine.
Here’s a sampling from both:
I'm like the Al Capone of comedy. (Haven't filed my taxes yet.)
— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) April 9, 2013
I love Die Hard, but I most respect Bruce Willis for going bald in the public eye.
— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) April 8, 2013
Florida is like a rough draft of California.
— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) April 6, 2013
"They would have wanted it that way," would be a funny thing to say about arrangements at the Backstreet Boys' funeral.
— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) April 6, 2013
Kramer starts an ebay store, becomes obsessed, and starts selling Jerry's things. J:"Where's my toaster?" K:"You still wanted that?"
— Modern Seinfeld (@SeinfeldToday) April 5, 2013
George doubts the validity of a grocer's organic claims."He just puts a sticker on the regular fruit and BOOM! More expensive! It's a scam!"
— Modern Seinfeld (@SeinfeldToday) April 3, 2013
Jerry goes to Easter mass and dinner with his girlfriend. Her whole family looks at him whenever the Jews are mentioned.
— Modern Seinfeld (@SeinfeldToday) March 31, 2013
What three verbs best describe your personality?
Verbs? Okay! Hmm. I’ll go with Overschedule, Overestimate, and Overthink.
How do you deal with writer’s block? (Maybe a nice bowl of tomato soup….hold the goldfish)
I deal with writer’s block like Jason Terry or JR Smith deal with a slump. I just try to shoot my way out of it. It leads to me writing a ton of garbage for a while and then eventually getting back into a productive rhythm. If that doesn’t work, I try to do something different and interesting in life. Go to a museum or a zoo or something. Just to get out of my usual headspace.
What were you like as a child? Were you always so funny, or did your comedy develop later in life?
I was kind of a mainstream weirdo. I wasn’t all trench coats and industrial music, but I was kind of the Screech of my high school. A well-liked dork. I was class president, but mostly because half of the job was writing a funny skit for our school’s variety show every spring. Before that, there’s a video of me in front of my parents’ house telling a long and involved joke to my aunt and getting distracted by an ant halfway through. So I guess I’ve always been interested in comedy.
Are you a fan of child leashes?
Usually I’m not, but one time I saw one at the Grand Canyon, and I was like: “Yeah, that makes sense.”
Name the comedians/writers you enjoy.
Oh, man. There are too many to name. Some things and people that I’ve been enjoying recently are:
Emily Heller and Mark Normand’s recent sets on Conan. Myq Kaplan just shot an hour standup special, and that was great to watch. Alex Pappademas’s piece on Beck for Grantland. The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders. I liked Julie Klausner’s book, I Don’t Care About Your Band a bunch. I’m already excited for the last season of Breaking Bad and Starlee Kine’s recaps, if she does them again. The staff of Parks and Rec does such an amazing job being funny and also sincere. My two favorite books are The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and Infinite Jest, but I always shy away from starting new epic novels because I’m afraid of committing to them. Ahh! There are so many things. Sorry to go on and on. And everyone who likes dark comedy should listen to my friend Shawn Donovan’s standup album Few Mourn. He’s brilliant. There are a zillion more people I’d like to mention, but I feel like people won’t read a list of names of people that I love.
What is the number one item on your bucket list?
Most of my goals are work-related, so they’re pretty boring. One personal thing I’d like to achieve is to travel somewhere outside the United States where I can put my eleven years of Spanish class to use. I’d probably need to brush up, though, because I have real trouble describing the haircut I want to the Dominican barbers in my neighborhood.
Describe your comedic style using a fun acronym for J.O.S.H.
Jovial Overwritten Silliness Happening
Would you trade places with Betty White for a Day?
Sure! She’s much more successful, financially secure, and well-known than I am. Why not take that out for a spin? If it were forever, I’d probably decline. No offense to her, but I think I’ve got a little more time left on the clock.
What is your favorite Seinfeld quote?
“We’ve got no deal with [the squirrels]!” In contrast, of course, to the arrangement we as humans have with pigeons. I just love that George has these rules about how the world works and plays by them even when they make other people hate him.
What are some creative uses for a bicycle tire?
Junkyard hula hoop.
Next level hipster gauge earring.
Fashion model tire swing.
What qualities should every bathroom attendant posses?
I like a bathroom attendant who’s quiet and courteous but knows when to give you space. Like you see housewives from the 50’s portrayed on television.
New York City is great, right? What is your favorite thing to do in New York?
It’s so great! My favorite New York thing is being able to walk through the city late at night and buy pizza almost anywhere on the way to the train. I grew up in and around Boston, so the late night pizza and transit options are much more limited, so being here feels like complete freedom.