Jeff Garlin is a comedian and actor who honed his chops in the 1980s with The Second City, alongside the likes of Stephen Colbert and Amy Sedaris. You know him from playing Larry David’s friend Jeff Greene on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, as well as playing the patriarch of the ABC sitcom family, The Goldbergs. You’ve heard his voice in such Pixar classics as Wall-E and Toy Story 3 and 4, and he has written and directed three feature films: I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With, Dealin’ With Idiots, and Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie. Garlin goes even deeper into his movie credits during his 2019 Netflix comedy special: Our Man In Chicago. But as he’ll tell you then and now, nothing is more fun than making it up as we go along, so let’s get to it!
Erik Rivera got heavily involved in comedy in the wake of 9/11 while studying at Pace University just blocks away from the World Trade Center. Rivera’s TV credits include performing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, his own hour special, “I’m No Expert,” as well as a season of reality TV with his wife on Oxygen, “Living With Funny.” In November 2019, Rivera stars in his own HBO half-hour special, “Super White.” He worked with Eva Longoria years ago trying to develop his life into a half-hour sitcom, and as he has Longoria still in his corner for another development deal in the making, Rivera sat down with me in his home in Burbank to talk about where his life and career have taken him, and might take him still. So let’s get to it!
Elliott Morgan is one of the members of The Valleyfolk, a crowd-funded Internet comedy troupe that won the inaugural season of NBC’s Bring The Funny in the summer of 2019, winning $250,000 and an invitation to perform at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal. That’s a long way from central Florida, where Morgan grew up and got married at a young age. Morgan grew up in comedy online thanks to a gig as one of the original members of SourceFed, a Google-funded YouTube channel that had more than 1.6 million subscribers when it stopped making videos in 2017. He talks to me about all of that, plus working on Hollywood Boulevard as a costumed character, releasing an early stand-up special on Vimeo, working with historic YouTube accounts and what it means to be a YouTuber now, and joking through his failed marriage on his second stand-up special, “Holy Shit,” which he released in October 2019 via Comedy Dynamics. There’s a lot to get to, so let’s get to it!
Celeste Barber had appeared on Australian television as a regular on the hospital soap opera All Saints in the late 2000s, but that wasn’t translating into fans or followers on social media. Then Barber decided she’d have fun re-creating the outrageous photo shoots of celebrities and models, and posted her results on Instagram with the hashtag #CelesteChallengeAccepted. Eight months after she took on that challenge in 2015, her hashtag and her Instagram account went viral. Fast forward to 2019, and Barber has published two books (one nonfiction and one for children), toured the US with a stage act, gained more than 6.1 million Instagram followers, and now filmed and released her first comedy special for Showtime, Celeste Barber: Challenge Accepted. I caught up with Celeste in Showtime’s offices in New York City, so let’s get to it!