Ashley Nicole Black is a writer and correspondent on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. She dropped out of a PhD program at Northwestern University to study comedy at The Second City. Thank God it worked out. This week Black spoke to me about four of her favorite tweets, plus the Congressional Black Caucus, unpunished celebrity rapists, and including tweets in packets.
My 401k is fifteen cans of soup.— Ashley Black (@ashleyn1cole) January 16, 2016
Black: This is my pinned tweet. I think a lot of millennials relate to it because we’re all broke af. I wrote this after I bought so much soup I didn’t have room for it in the cabinet. I used to be really poor, and now that I’m less poor I still occasionally freak out and buy a bunch of soup just in case. I don’t even like soup.
Do you ever use tweets to develop larger pieces?
I did back when I was writing more sketch comedy. Sometimes if a tweet got a lot of likes I’d develop it into a longer piece. But mostly I tweet ideas that benefit from brevity. And of course, now that I have a full time writing job, Twitter is for jokes that have already been rejected by my paying gig.
It’s weird how many news outlets are misspelling “rape” as “gave drugs for sex” — Ashley Black (@ashleyn1cole) July 6, 2015
I’m pretty sure this was about Bill Cosby. But who knows! There are so many unpunished famous rapists out there! I included this in my packet for the Full Frontal gig, because I wanted to make sure they knew what they were getting with me.
Was that your first time using Twitter to help you get a job?
This counts as my tweet right? I will NEVER STOP LAUGHING about Donald Trump asking April Ryan to set up a meeting between him and the Congressional Black Caucus. In one five second exchange he proved how little he knows about congress, the function of the press, and black people in general. I couldn’t have written it better.
How has the way you tweet changed over time?
I think I used to tweet without thinking that anyone was reading them. A lot of tweets about the salad I just ate. Now when I tweet I think, “Does this really need to be said to a large group of people?” And the answer is yes, even though sometimes I’m still tweeting about salad.
Do you tend to use Twitter to keep up with more comedy or non-comedy accounts? What are some of your favorite non-comedy accounts?
Most of the accounts I follow are either comedy or politics/news related. I follow an account that is run by a wolf that is pretending not to be a wolf. He’s very funny. Also, more than one account that is parents tweeting things their four year old has said. Four year olds are the funniest people in the world.
Is there a way to make the #Formation video my profile picture? What about my resume? My driver’s license? Business card? Eyebrows? — Ashley Black (@ashleyn1cole) February 6, 2016
This is my favorite tweet, and an accurate impression of how I felt the first time I heard Formation.
What are your favorite and least favorite things about Twitter?
I love Black Twitter. I love when the internet seizes on something and just mines it for every drop of fun and comedy available. And the thing I hate about Twitter is the opposite of that…. the way it so easily offers a platform for people who are too cowardly to be bullies in real life to bully without consequences.
Jenny Nelson lives, writes, and performs in Brooklyn.