Dana Gould is a stand-up comedian, writer and performer who wrote and performed on The Ben Stiller Show and spent eight years as writer and producer on The Simpsons. His stand-up special, I Know It’s Wrong, was one of the best specials of the 2010s decade. In 2016, Gould created the IFC comedy horror series, Stan Against Evil. In 2021, his latest project is a webseries called Hanging with Doctor Z, with Gould in the starring role as the Planet of the Apes character hosting a talk show with modern-day celebrities. Gould caught up with me over Zoom to talk about his love for performing as Dr. Z on multiple levels, how his message to the comedians at Just For Laughs Montreal in 2015 still resonates personally with him today, and more. So let’s get to it!
Erica Rhodes is an actress and comedian who got her start at the age of 10, performing on the nationally syndicated public radio hit, A Prairie Home Companion. Rhodes began her stand-up comedy career two decades later, inspired by a bad audition. But things have looked up for her since then. She has guest starred on such sitcoms as New Girl, Modern Family, and Veep, put out her first comedy album, and competed on the NBC series, Bring The Funny. Her first hour-long special, La Vie En Rhodes, is out now via Comedy Dynamics, filmed in the summer of 2020 in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl to an audience of 400 cars. Rhodes and I talked about the unique nature of adapting her hour for COVID-19 conditions, finding her voice, writing for Medium, and what she learned about herself in the past year, experiencing career highs and personal loss during the pandemic. So let’s get to it!
Maronzio Vance has appeared on Wanda Sykes: Wanda Does It, Jamie Foxx's Laffapolooza, Last Comic Standing, and The Tonight Show, and put out a half-hour special on Comedy Central, back when those credits seemed to mean something. Vance has released a double-album of comedy called 20, out on Blonde Medicine, laced with his understated style and cutting wit. The album’s title refers to the 20 years he has spent in Los Angeles since leaving his native North Carolina. We talk about how the pandemic has changed his hair, as well as his outlook on life and comedy, with words of wisdom from Patrice O’Neal, Katt Williams, Mike Birbiglia, Christopher Titus, Paul Mooney, Daniel Tosh, Arnez J, George Wallace and more — plus the backstory and potential future of his working relationship with basketball star Ron Artest. Or Metta World Peace. Or perhaps both of them? So let’s get to it!
Ester Steinberg started performing stand-up on the lunch tables of her high school in Tampa before attending NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. While living in Los Angeles before the pandemic, she produced and hosted a regular comedy show in the Kibitz Room of Canter’s Deli, co-starred in the Oxygen reality series Funny Girls, and got New Faces at Just For Laughs Montreal in 2015. She has since appeared in episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Adam Ruins Everything, and released a comedy album, “Hebrew School Dropout.” In 2021, she’s out with her first stand-up special, Burning Bush, filmed outside the Rose Bowl during the pandemic just weeks after she’d given birth to her first child. We talk all about that, how she managed to put together a new hour under quarantine, double standards for sexiness among comedians, and more. All roads lead to Rome, so let’s get to it!