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Let's Talk About Sets!


The "science" & craft of stand-up comedy. A playful podcast by comics in NYC.


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The "science" & craft of stand-up comedy. A playful podcast by comics in NYC.




Episode 058 PAIN – Patrick Holbert: “Who is doing the emotional lifting?”

The delightful charm monster, Patrick Holbert, joins us to pick away at PAIN in stand-up comedy. We talk about how pain is the source of much of stand-up, both physical and emotional, and how usually the audience needs to know that the pain is ultimately “ok” in order to laugh. We cover generational pain, the occupational hazards of talking about pain, how to refocus personal pain onto a “shared” experience rather than just making it about you, and how Patrick went about talking about his painful experiences the first time. It’s a fun talk with old friends about a major element of comedy as a whole, and stand-up in particular, which we trace through a few key bits from Patrick’s own material and a seminal late night set by Gary Gulman.


Episode 057 GAY SHIT – Jay Jurden: “Perform for the audience you have”

The "illustrious" Jay Jurden gayly talks about gay humor and also humor about gayness in this episode where we examine the relationship between stand-up comedy, homosexuality, and homophobia, tracing a path from Richard Pryor to the present.


Episode 056 MORALITY – Roy Wood Jr: “It’s fun to juggle dynamite”

The Daily Show's Roy Wood Jr. examines MORALITY in the context of stand-up comedy and gives real advice to young comics. Some of the best parts of the interview are at the end where we talk about the road, how Roy worked the system to get ahead, the way he organizes his material, and when gives advice to inexperienced comics.


Episode 055 CALLBACKS – LeClerc Andre: “Instant in-jokes”

NBC's Bring The Funny & Fallon alum, LeClerc Andre, explains CALLBACKS in stand-up comedy via jokes by Patrice O'Neal, Moshe Kasher, and LeClerc himself.


Episode 054 CLEAN (2 of 2) – Steven Rogers: “Mastery: when you’re such a genius, you’re an idiot”

In this second part of our CLEAN comedy interview of the pathologically nice Steven Rogers, we jump right into great material. We listen, laugh, and geek out over it through the lens of everything we explored about clean comedy in part one, so if you haven’t listened to the first installment, do that now. The bits we picked are fantastic–you’ll get some legendary Ray Romano, a taste of the genius Finish comic, Ismo Leikola, and some early hilarity from the brilliant buffoon that is Nate Bargatze. And we listen to Steven's appearance on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert! The episode touches on about how clean comedians get creative with curse-substitutes, how clean can be just making the audience fill in the filth themselves, “I know I look like” jokes, clean comedy and irony, logical absurdity, ya know, more things.


Episode 053 CLEAN (1 of 2) – Steven Rogers: “It’s a safe bet”

It’s hard to say whether Steven Rogers is nicer than he is funny or vice-a-versa, but with Stephen Colbert and Brian Regan giving him their official thumbs up, the formula works. Steven will hate this description, but he’s so neighborly, let’s call him stand-up’s young Mr. Rogers. As such, Mr. Rogers, Jr., joins us to discuss CLEAN as it relates to stand-up comedy, and we get some great insights as Steven shares his experiences of opening for Brian Regan and doing The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.


Episode 052 PRESENCE – Bret Raybould: “Don’t give a fuck if this goes well”

The way-too-likable, philosophically funny comic, Bret Raybould, explores the role of PRESENCE in stand-up from a makeshift recording studio inside Bret's private plane. We break this topic down into "being present" and "stage presence", touching on the stages of learning, flow state, body language, not giving a fuck, and knowing your act. Bret tells us how dealt successfully with following SNL's Leslie Jones after she brought down the house. We dig into these aspects of presence and a lot more via bits by Brody Stevens, Patrice O'Neal, and Dane Cook. All this while we eat gold-crusted caviar off the backs of Bret's devoted team of silent manservants.


Episode 051 COMEDIC STORYTELLING YES AGAIN – Jeff Simmermon: “Building a gobstopper from the inside out”

The loquacious, award-winning raconteur and NYC stand-up comic, Jeff Simmermon, hopped on the mic for the show's second foray into COMEDIC STORYTELLING using the principles he has taught and written about. This episode features his own published material and a story by Gastor Almonte from Comedy Central's "This Is Not Happening"


Episode 050 CONTRAST – Usama Siddiquee: “Contrast is the basis of all humor”

Former NYC comedy wunderkind, now a full grown rocket-to-the-top funny manchild, Usama Siddiquee, returns to the show to explore the central pillar of laughter, CONTRAST, through killer bits by Nate Bargatze, Andrew Schulz, and Demetri Martin.


Episode 049 FAMILY – Jackie Kashian: “Be a whole person”

Hilarious comedy legend, Jackie Kashian, explains how to joke about FAMILY in stand-up via bits from her 4 albums, incl. #1 best seller, "I Am Not The Hero Of This Story"


Episode 048 THE SETUP – Geoffrey Asmus: “A master of trickery”

Undeniably funny, whitely awkward Geoffrey Asmus joins us to explore THE SETUP in stand-up comedy. Like most things in life, most of the work goes into setting up. If the punchline is the slide, and the setup is the stairs to the top. What is a setup? How can you rework a setup to fix a joke? And even more comedy nerd questions! We also have a great time listening to and frog-dissecting material from two opposite ends of the stand-up spectrum: Rodney Dangerfield and Ari Shaffir.


Episode 047 JOKE THEORY PT. 2 – Harrison Greenbaum: “The secret algorithm of comedy”

Harrison Greenbaum shows how he actually applies all his theories from part 1 of JOKE THEORY to his stand-up writing and performance. We go step-by-step through some of his best material, laughing and geeking out the whole way. It's fucking awesome, so just listen to it. But make sure you've heard part 1 first, ok? (I'm so cranky, I've been working through technical fuckery on this second half for days.)


Episode 046 JOKE THEORY PT. 1 – Harrison Greenbaum: “Is it true, is it new, is it you?”

The magically funny, super accomplished, and hyper-analytical Comedy Cellar comic, Harrison Greenbaum, delivers a masterclass on JOKE THEORY! He enthusiastically shares his favorite joke theories he's learned from others, and he generously outlines his own original theories. These are, truly, some of the best and most actionable approaches to jokes we've ever heard!


Episode 045 COURAGE – Brian Enck: “You have no option but to succeed”

Nationally touring, Brooklyn based comic Brian Enck examines COURAGE in stand-up comedy. It takes courage to start and to keep going. It takes courages to speak your "truth" or to speak candidly about your flaws, mistakes, or personal weirdness. It takes courage to look the fool. Yet it's that vulnerability that can yield some of the most powerfully funny comedy experiences. What are some tricks performers use to get the courage to act despite those fears? We cover this and a lot more via bits by Dave Chappelle, Tig Nataro, Brian Enck, and Jeff McBride.


Episode 044 CONFIDENCE – Sally Ann Hall: “My patronus is a vulva”

NYC comedian, actor, & writer Sally Ann Hall explores the role of CONFIDENCE in stand-up comedy & and life via bits by Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, and Mike Birbiglia. This one's a delicious ear treat!


Episode 043 ANECDOTES – Kate Willett: “Just let me be an idiot”

Newly-minted Netflix "specialist" Kate Willett gets down and dirty with us on stand-up ANECDOTES. Anecdotes are distinct from storytelling, usually lacking the storytelling framework--beginning, middle, and end. They're "pointless." There's no emotional journey. Lives are not changed by an anecdotal incident. Yet these flimsy, insubstantial retellings of inconsequential events are the backbone of a lot of the best stand-up comedy. We explore this and more via bits by Brian Regan, Maria Bamford, and Kate herself.


Episode 042 SELF-DEPRECATION – Jacob Williams: “That compliment really hurt my feelings”

Jacob Williams (MTV's Wild 'N Out, Colbert, America's Got Talent, & a lot more) KILLED it in this episode! We absolutely could not stay on topic, and so what? This conversation was UNDENIABLY funny! Between all the goofing around, we hit every angle we could think of on SELF-DEPRECATION in stand-up comedy via bits by Adam Sandler, Demetri Martin, Tom Segura, David Cross, and Jacob Williams himself.


Episode 041 PACING – Joe Zimmerman: “It has to be 3x funnier than it is them learning”

Fresh from a set on the Late Late Show with James Corden and just two days after dropping his new Comedy Central Records album, “Innocence,” the highly credited and ridiculously funny Joe Zimmerman graced us with a wide-ranging discussion loosely focused on PACING in stand-up comedy. Also of note, Joe responded to John Mulaney’s fervent public wish that he could steal one of Joe’s bits.


Episode 040 PERSPECTIVE – Dan Perlman: “Don’t stop with the anecdote–keep going”

Award-winning comedy writer and stand-up comic, Dan Perlman, shares his perspective on PERSPECTIVE in stand-up comedy by geeking out with us on great material from Roy Wood Jr., Joe Rogan, and John Mulaney.


Episode 39 THE ROOM – Norlex Belma: “I know you, now listen to these jokes”

Carolines Breakout Artist Series headliner, Norlex Belma, breaks down THE ROOM in stand-up comedy. When comedians talk about the room, they're referring to a lot of performance parameters: the feel of the crowd, the kind of venue, the demographics, the kind of comedy scene, and the setup of the performance space itself, plus a lot about how he constructed his hour. Lots of comedy craft!