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The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First

Last Things First asks comedians and funny performers about the historic lasts and firsts in their lives as their comedy careers have blossomed.
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Now displaying: March, 2023
Mar 29, 2023

Millions of people recognize Scott Rogowsky as the original host of HQ Trivia, the daily live trivia app that became massively popular in 2017 before fizzling out in 2019. CNN looked back on that phase of Rogowsky’s life in the 2023 documentary, Glitch: The Rise & Fall of HQ Trivia. But I first met Scott when he was barely out of college, one of the young upstarts in the downtown New York comedy scene in the late oughts. So we enjoyed a fun stroll down memory lane, as Rogowsky reflected with me on how his internship with The Onion led him down a path that included making viral videos with Playboy, a sports talk show with the future editor-in-chief of Vulture, to his own talk show, “Running Late with Scott Rogowsky,” all the way through HQ to his current life in southern California, where he runs his own vintage clothing and sports memorabilia shop, Quiz Daddy’s Closet, in Santa Monica.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Mar 22, 2023

Tara Schuster was a 25-year-old working at Comedy Central who’d worked her way up from interning at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to curating Jokes dot com when she hit an emotional rock bottom. She then began learning how to reparent herself, which she turned into her first book, “Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies.” She did that while rising to become a vice president of talent and development at Comedy Central, working on the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Key & Peele, Emmy-winning @midnight, Another Period, Detroiters, Hood Adjacent, and Lights Out with David Spade. When the pandemic hit and Comedy Central imploded, taking Schuster’s job with it, she found she needed to do more work healing herself — that’s the focus of her second book, “Glow in the F*cking Dark.” Schuster sat down with me to talk about her transition from comedy executive to self-care expert, and about how the work of healing is never truly finished.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Mar 8, 2023

Matt Knudsen is one of those character actors with a face you can’t quite place, which is why the memoir he’s writing is called, “Have I Seen You In Anything?” One of Knudsen’s first big breaks in show business was playing Jesus Christ as a therapist to Bryan Cranston’s character in Malcolm in the Middle. He has since been seen in episodes of Boston Legal, Big Love, Men of a Certain Age, Key & Peele, The League, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, NCIS, The Big Bang Theory, I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, and plenty of national TV commercials. Knudsen is one of the first faces you see, in fact, as a patient of Jason Segal’s in the new Apple TV+ series, Shrinking. As a comedian, Knudsen has released three albums, performed on Conan and The Late Late Show, and earned millions of views for his Dry Bar stand-up special, Good News. Knudsen invited me into his home near Los Angeles to talk about his early life in the merchant marines, how running marathons prepared him for the grueling world of show business, and more.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

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