Paula Poundstone started her comedy career in Boston in the late 1970s before taking her act and her life on the road to San Francisco. Poundstone broke through in a big way in 1984 when Robin Williams asked her to perform stand-up on the episode he guest hosted of Saturday Night Live. She would go on to film two comedy specials for HBO and one for Bravo, become the first woman to deliver the keynote address at the White House Correspondents Dinner back in 1992, write columns for five years in the 1990s for Mother Jones magazine, and become a fixture on the NPR quiz show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, where you can still hear her regularly. In 2017, she published her second book, The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search For Human Happiness. And in June 2018, Poundstone invited me into her home in Santa Monica to sit with her dog and many cats to see if we could find some more happiness to share. So let’s get to it!
This is a special edition of Last Things First, recorded live during Clusterfest 2018 in San Francisco. Comedy Central was kind enough to ask me to host a series of Clusterfest panels for the media that they called fireside chats. In this session, I welcomed Sasheer Zamata, Roy Wood Jr., and Mark Normand. We joked about whether comedians should ever apologize, about getting advice from comedians at the top of the ladder as you’re climbing it, and preparing for the next big thing in your careers. All that and more in this episode of The Comic’s Comic Presents Last Things First, so let’s get to it!
Romesh Ranganathan was a math teacher before devoting his life to stand-up comedy in 2012. Since then, he has found great success in the UK, nominated for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013, and with TV appearances on Live at the Apollo, many panel shows, and his own BBC series for two years, Asian Provocateur. For his next trick, Romesh came to America to see if he could duplicate his comedy success in the States and filmed it for a new TV series, Just Another Immigrant, which premieres in June 2018 on Showtime. Of course, he’s not just another immigrant, but he wanted to show us what it’d look like if he were, uprooting his wife, three kids, and Sri Lankan mother from West Sussex to Los Angeles. So let’s get to it!
This is a special edition of Last Things First, recorded live during Clusterfest 2018 in San Francisco. Comedy Central was kind enough to ask me to host a series of Clusterfest panels for the media that they called fireside chats. In this session, I welcomed Jim Jefferies, Rachel Feinstein, Nikki Glaser and Sam Morril, and we quickly got into the headlines of Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee making public apologies, whether comedians should ever have to apologize, and how comedians can work together. All that and more in this episode of The Comic’s Comic Presents Last Things First, so let’s get to it!
Nemr grew up in San Diego and then moved back with his family to Lebanon, where he almost singlehandedly introduced the Middle East to the idea of live stand-up comedy. He definitely introduced many American comedians to Middle Eastern audiences over the past decade and more, and he has since toured both there and here in the States as a headliner. You may have seen him on CNN and Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and NEMR put out his first American stand-up special, No Bombing in Beirut, in 2017 for Showtime. He sat down with me at ShowBriz Studios to talk about growing up in two completely different cultures and starting comedy scenes from scratch. So let’s get to it!