Janine Brito is an LA-based standup comic best known for being a writer/performer and on-air correspondent on the FX series Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. Janine started doing standup comedy in St. Louis and has performed at clubs and theaters throughout the US, the UK, and Hong Kong. Recently Brito talked to me about three of her favorite tweets, plus Kate Winslet, describing gross things, and naps.
Brito: I’m gross. And I love describing gross things. I also love the word cunt, and I love anything that rails against the Real Housewives (Beverly Hills is my guilty pleasure) and the idea that women have to be crazy thin to be attractive. So this tweet was my opus.
Is there anything that grosses you out or that you deem too gross to put online?
The other day I tweeted “I call particularly heinous poops Law & Order: ShitVU’s.” and deleted it because I felt so ashamed. Not sure if it was grossness or that the tweet made me roll my eyes as I typed it. So maybe not too gross, but something I deem beneath me which is rare. Believe me, I eat Taco Bell weekly.
Does your family know about your Twitter/follow you, and do they ever talk to you about it?
I think the younger members of my family know about it. My little brother and niece follow me on there and we don’t talk about it but sometime’s I’ll tweet something incredibly crass or graphic then think “Whoops! Ah, they can probably handle it.” (Hi guys! I’m sorry I don’t call more but I love you!)
I love this joke because:
1) Everyone will always and forever be attracted to Kate Winslet, if you aren’t then you’re a blind monster with no taste whatsoever and 2) This tweet takes the modern saying of “so and so could get it” and runs with it in an almost vaudevillian way, which speaks to my love of Golden Girls (it’s the greatest sitcom ever written. Hands down. I will bare-knuckles fist fight you if you disagree).
I like the vaudeville comparison. Are there other kinds of performance you like to incorporate into your tweets?
I like putting dialogues and little action sequences in there, it’s like a tiny skit in 140 characters.
Are there any subjects you’ve found fit better on your Twitter vs. IRL performance, or vice versa?
My standup leans towards longer bits and stories so Twitter lets me make scratch the one-liner itch. And I think people let me be more extreme on Twitter. I think people would be freaked out if I was as crass or dark onstage in person because I look like an orphan librarian.
Like most comedians, I suffer from depression. We’re sad clowns who need your approval in the form of smiles and laughs and RTs and likes! Please love us! Please? PLEASE. Oh, we have fun here don’t we? This tweet probably came at a time I hadn’t showered in a while and was wondering what on Earth I’m doing with my life (aka. Monday-Thursday.) I’m happy I was able to come up with something from this funk that was cute and light and other people could hopefully relate to.
What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about Twitter?
My favorite thing about Twitter’s the excitement of being able to put something out into the world mere seconds after you think of it. Banter with your friends on the other side of the country’s super fun too. My least favorite thing is how a lot of the promo everyone has to do on there can make me feel like I’m “behind” career-wise. But that’s the nature of all social media, not just Twitter, and unhealthy thinking patterns I’m trying to shake.
Oh and I hate when people tweet picture of spiders because I have severe arachnophobia. It was maybe a bad idea to tell the internet that.
Jenny Nelson lives and writes in Brooklyn and works at Funny Or Die.