Quinta Brunson took classes at The Second City in Chicago and Los Angeles and was performing with iOWest when she first found success not onstage but online, thanks to a 2013 Tumblr video, followed by a series of shorts she made for Instagram known as “He Got Money” or “The Girl Who’s Never Been on a Nice Date.” A gig with Buzzfeed followed suit, where she developed, wrote and starred in series for Facebook Watch, YouTube and Go90. Brunson has appeared on shows on ABC, The CW and Comedy Central, writes and provides a voice on Adult Swim’s Lazor Wulf, and had a deal to develop a sitcom for CBS with Jermaine Fowler and Larry Wilmore in 2018. That fell through, but in doing so, opened the door for Brunson to join the cast of HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show. Brunson sat down with me to talk about the first season on HBO and what’s to come. So let’s get to it!
Julio Torres described himself as a Space Prince before casting himself as a Chocolate Prince in the surreal bilingual TV series, Los Espookys, which he co-created, co-wrote and co-stars in for HBO. Originally from El Salvador, Torres first moved to New York City to study at The New School. After his funny friends helped him with his immigration process, he joined the most American of comedy institutions, Saturday Night Live, as a writer, known for his distinctive short films that have filled us in on “Wells For Boys,” the font Papyrus, and the inner thoughts of a sink. Torres animates even more objects in his first solo comedy special, “My Favorite Shapes,” which premieres on HBO in August 2019. I had only a few minutes of alone time with Julio at HBO headquarters, so let’s get to it!
After performing a half-hour stand-up special on Comedy Central and writing a book on depression, what came next for comedian Jacqueline Novak would bring her to her knees. So to speak. The actress Natasha Lyonne has presented Novak in her first Off-Broadway show, “Get On Your Knees,” currently enjoying a limited run in the summer of 2019 at the Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village. It’s billed as “the most high-brow show about blow jobs you’ll ever see,” and it’s directed by the comedian and actor John Early, who also cast Novak in his own Netflix special. I sat down with Jacqueline at the Cherry Lane before one of her shows to talk about her place in the Georgetown University comedy community (which includes her show’s executive producer, Mike Birbiglia, her producer Mike Lavoie, as well Nick Kroll and John Mulaney) and how I hope to see her film and distribute “Get On Your Knees” to schools across America. So let’s get to it!