If you don’t know who Danny Zuker is, you should.
He’s an Emmy-award winning writer and co-Executive Producer for the hit series ‘Modern Family,” one of the best shows on television, in my humble opinion.
Every time I can get my hands on an interview of someone I respect in this business, I do, and I send out a quiet ‘thank you.’
It’s a chance to get another piece to the puzzle of success.
Each interview holds answers.
In my blog post, “Paralyzed By Analysis,” Princeton neuroscientist Dr. Sam Wang says, “If you want to know the answers to the secrets of how to be successful, look at someone who has been there, done that and do what they have done. It’s a glimpse into the future.”
So when I read this post on about Danny Zuker I don’t just enjoy the read, I get answers that help solve the problem of ‘how to succeed’ by paying close attention to what he says.
It’s a great comedian tip.
In this article I gleaned two important things:
- Get involved anyway you can in the business you love.
- Danny did it by producing videos when he was younger, then working as a Production Assistant which led to a writing job.
- Use Twitter to get your message out and develop a following.
- Mr. Zuker, too, had problems, just like me, understanding Twitter, but once you get it you have fun with it and the whole world has the opportunity to recognize you as funny. You also learn to really get your thoughts down to 140 characters to keep everything concise.
If you’re a comedian and you haven’t been getting out, getting your content online and getting on Twitter to promote and participate you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Each of these things give you goals, allows you express yourself and help you to reach out and connect with others.
It’s the new media and an important additional facet to the fascinating business we’re in.
Read the article, follow the advice.
Oh, and ‘Thank you’ Mr. Zuker!
Follow me on Twitter: @jokedoctor and follow the funny @DannyZuker
Well, I’ve been saying it for years… ‘Good Morning America and Elizabeth Vargas could use a good F*ck."
That would definitely help with the ratings! And what better person to deliver it than the always lovable, Tom Hanks. Yep, ‘THE’ Tom Hanks. The one that all of America adores.
He was making an appearance to pimp his new movie ‘Cloud Atlas,’ where he plays like 75 characters, (Awesome trailer, by the way).
Host Elizabeth Vargas asked him to do one of the characters from the movie.
Tom actually warned that it is mostly "swear words," but Tom is a man of action–and evidently fatigue–because he lit into the accent and within seven words BAM! The F-Bomb drops right dead center in the middle of G.M.A.’s morning broadcast!
All I have to say is that the entire Eastern time zone (viewing it live), needed one less cup of coffee to launch their day.
T.M.Z. and all subsequent broadcast points got the feed with the offending word bleeped out. (Watch the UNEDITED VERSION below).
And it even feels weird calling the word ‘offending.’ Tom Hanks can make anything sound charming.
Comedians deal with this dilemma all the time. On radio, on T.V., we’re asked to give the audience a slice of our act and once in a great while, there could be a slip-up.
Normally, I know exactly what I’m going to do when I appear on radio or T.V. I actually outline techniques for radio interviews for comedians. But I remember it happened to me while we were live on the radio. It was actually a comment about President Bush and I was in Arkansas. Who do you think got hecklers at the show that night?!
What do you do when you slip like that? You do exactly what Tom Hanks did. With charm and shock, apologize to the people who were listening and be sincere. Watch and learn because Tom Hanks teaches a valuable lesson.
America will forgive Tom Hanks and if you handle it right, the listeners or viewers will forgive you too.
Watch the video here:
Okay, when I said a chance to get on Conan, I didn’t actually mean get “on” Conan—I don’t know Conan personally, but from what I’ve heard, he’s a fairly private guy.
But you can get on his show… you know, the one on TBS…
Conan O’Brien and Ricky Gervais have teamed up to find the next comedy star!
That’s right! It’s an opportunity for you—and everyone else reading this blog—to record and submit 3 minutes of comedy.
See, Ricky has developed a new APP for the iPhone that allows you to say something into the phone and it tweets it automatically. He’s calling this app “Just sayin’.”
The contest is called the “Just Sayin’ Stand Up” contest and it’s happening right now; entries are open September 20th to October 21st with winners to be announced on November 7th. Wait—that’s my twins birthdays!
All you have to do is visit the contest site page, download the app to your iPhone and do your best 3 minutes.
Don’t have an iPhone—too bad!
No, wait! Come back! I was just kidding! If you don’t have an iPhone, you can still submit via a special portal on the Just Sayin’ website.
Are you still here? What are you waiting for?! Go get the app or submit via the portal and see if you can get your funny-ass on Conan!
Remember, it’s T.V. so it must be original, clean material and appropriate to air. No slanderous jokes, nothing that defames others… so, he’s taken all the fun out of it… it’s still a awesome opportunity!
So get over to the Just Sayin’ Comedy and submit your best three and best of luck!
Amateur Comedians Only!
Here’s something fun and it’s for amateurs only! That’s right. No professionals allowed to submit to this contest. This gives a beginning comedian an opportunity to get into a Nationally televised competition and get exposure completely free! But you have to get on it, because this deadline is quickly approaching! (July 12th, 2012).
So get your 2-minute video clip read and submit it to their comedy competition page. Be sure and read the rules and stuff to make sure you meet the requirements. It’s a typical contest for television. Here are the basics:
- Be clean
- All original material only
- Nothing controversial (judged by the network)
- Nothing offensive
- Nothing slanderous
- Nothing that defames others (Wow there goes my whole act!)
If you get selected, you get flown to New York City to be on the Today Show, which has around six million viewers! That’s a lot of exposure for one morning.
So get your set together and upload it to their site. Here’s the thing: you cannot submit a link to a video, you have to submit a file from your computer.
What Should I Submit?
It’s a two-minute contest so your material should get right to the point and have a laugh point every 18-20 seconds. It should have crystalized surprise so that the punch lines are tight and trigger laughs. Utilize some variation of a quick set up, punch and possibly an act-out. The submission doesn’t necessarily have to have a beginning, middle and end, but if you can make that happen in two minutes, go for it. These are just guidelines, of course so don’t let it stop you from submitting. I’ve seen some unexpected videos get chosen for these things. Just have fun!
So go submit to this comedy competition and Good luck!
I was wrong!
Many students have come up to me and asked, “Can I just put together a tape in my living room?” I’ve always said, “Absolutely not. You should never do that. Make sure shoot a tape that is in front of a live audience.”
Well comedian Jesse Popp proved me wrong. In this little quick interview, Jesse talks about doing comedy only three times before he shot a video of himself in his friend’s basement with three of his friends. “We set up a karaoke machine and a sheet against the wall, and one of my friends was holding a light up and at one point the lamp caught the sheet on fire and we had to do another take… I sent the tape into Comedy Central and it worked out I guess”
Jesse started in 2000 and since then, Jesse has appeared on several comedy shows including Conan, and Comedy Central’s “Half-Hour.”
The point is this: Even though it’s not recommended to send a tape out that you shot in your basement, never say “never.”
Sometimes the best choice is just to get it out there!