The Year In Interviews

In 2013, we interviewed over 170 standups, writers, actors, directors, podcasters, and producers about their projects, how they got started in comedy, future plans, and whatever else is going on. Featuring people involved in SNLArrested Development, The Daily Show, The SimpsonsBob’s Burgers, The Best Show on WFMU, The Eric Andre Show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Community, The Office, The Chris Gethard Show, Key & Peele, and more, here’s a list of the funniest, most interesting, or most inspirational quotes from our interviews this year.

Eric Andre on doing The Eric Andre Show live: “We did the show at UCB, and they paired us up with some other show. The other show they paired us up with was really sassy. It was a musical show. It was like ‘Guys and Dolls Do Improv’ or something. So, half the audience was there for me, but half the audience was there for something really sassy and theatrical. I came out, and I had all these ceramics. I came out naked, and I just was like breaking all these ceramics. Everything exploding everywhere, I’m pouring milk all over myself. I ran out, and I came back naked, and I tackled one of the PAs into the desk. It was super crazy. People were fucking shocked. Just living in terror.”

Aziz Ansari on the evolution of his standup: “I’ve always got to talk about whatever’s going on in my life. So when you look at Buried Alive, what’s really starting to become a big thing in my life is, you know, seeing friends get married and have children and facing this whole fear of adulthood. Thinking like, “Oh man, is this what I’m supposed to be doing right now? What if I’m not ready to do it?” And that was kind of the germ that led to all the material. I think it’s just, you get the things going on in your life.”

Fred Armisen on leaving SNL: “It feels very natural, because I love SNL. I love Saturday Night Live, and I really feel like people who have left before me have always stayed with the show. They never really quite left, which is nice. Everyone kind of stays close.”

Scott Aukerman on Comedy Bang Bang season 1 vs. season 2: “Well, it’s later, definitely. It’s definitely like a year later.”

Ike Barinholtz on gaining weight to play Morgan on The Mindy Project: “So, yeah, I put on twenty-five pounds, which isn’t healthy. I basically did the opposite of Christian Bale in The Machinist, y’know. He just drank coffee and ran, and I just drank milkshakes and sat.”

Todd Barry: “I’m never surprised when someone says, “Oh, I’m moving to LA.” It’s just like, ‘Of course you are.’ It’s like moving to Brooklyn.”

Matt Besser: “‘Yes and’ is the most popular improv phrase. It might be a little misunderstood about how far to use it when creating the scene, and we talk about that a lot in the book. Non-improvisers would go, ‘Yeah, improv’s all about “yes and.” That’s what you do. You go up there, and you ‘yes and.’ That’s not really true. That’s how you start an organic scene, but we said in the book, if you’re gonna boil it down to two words, it would be, ‘If, then.’ If this unusual thing is true, then what else is true? It’s what takes you through a scene; what improv’s about.”

Mike Birbiglia on the title story of My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend: “And I didn’t tell that story for years, literally years after it happened. Not my friends or my girlfriend, my wife. No one, because I was so embarrassed. I was so embarrassed that I was like, ‘This is the most shameful thing that could happen to someone.’”

Amir Blumenfeld on CollegeHumor: “When we started there it was like fifteen people in an office, we weren’t even making original videos and now we have a production department that’s like fifty to eighty people and it’s a well-oiled machine with so many producers and directors and editors. It’s been kind of fun to watch CollegeHumor to go from a website that had no videos to one of the finest online production companies on the internet today.”

Loren Bouchard on if he’d ever do a show without Jon Benjamin: “God, no. God, no. I don’t know what – I hope I never have to know what that’s like.”

Maggie Carrey on writing The To-Do List: “I just used that point of view that I had as a teenage girl. A very type-A [girl] who was probably in every AP class possible, and I played a ton of sports. I feel like I was very accomplished but still totally boy crazy and also not getting anywhere with the boys. So, I took that point of view and then applied it to the story.”

Wyatt Cenac on starting in LA: “It was cool. It’s weird because I think comedy scenes, regardless of city, it almost feels like there’s a little bit of a high school-like system in that there are the people who all hit the town when you hit the town and you all kinda come up together. And then at some point, people move, they get jobs, they stop doing comedy, things change for them, whatever.”

Michael Che: “I was always feel like, on the road, the one thing I go to is honesty. Well, period. In any audience, the one thing you go to is honesty. How do you feel in that moment? You look out and if you feel nervous or out of place or uncomfortable, say it, because they see it too. And just put it out there.”

Deon Cole: “Believe in yourself. Go against the grain, look at things from other points of view, and put yourself in situations you wouldn’t normally be in. That’s how you come up with unique material.”

Rob Corddry on the ensemble nature his comedy: “I will credit the UCB with sort of creating that vibe. The first thing I learned in improv, the first level of class in 1997, was if you don’t worry about looking good and you make your partner look good, you will look good. And so, you just surround yourself with people that you like and get you and everything works out, really. And I’m so surprised that most people just haven’t done that up until now. It’s a simple thing.”

Rob Delaney on the themes in his memoir: “Well, we’ve all been through difficult things. If you survive to adulthood, then you have been through your own gauntlet. You’ve suffered. Nobody has a monopoly on that. The important thing is that we be honest about it. It’s not bad that you’re an alcoholic, it’s not bad if you suffer from depression. It’s not bad at all. But it would be bad if you didn’t tell the truth about it. That’s the real danger.”

Adam DeVine: “If you would have told the 10-year-old me that I’m doing half of the stuff that I’m doing today, I would probably freak out and cry and shit in the pool and then eat a ton of Kit-Kats because I was so excited. I was a fat kid who loved swimming and who also loved Kit-Kats.”

Katie Dippold on female friendship in movies: “I have the specific memory of being in college at a fraternity party holding a red cup and feeling like there has to be something funner than this, just waiting for some guy to talk to you. There has to be an adventure we can go on or something. And, especially today, there’s so much bullying of young females and just not being nice to each other. It feels like more movies about that female camaraderie could help that. If every girl grows up watching movies where they just have to find that husband, they’re gonna be competitive and shit on each other, and I just wish for less of that.”

Nathan Fielder: “Writing for other people, you have to learn to communicate something that’s funny on paper so that other people find it funny. My background is, I usually write and direct and make stuff for myself. So when I’m writing for myself, the only person who has to find the script funny is me. Writing for other people, they have to find it funny.”

Will Forte on his favorite SNL sketches that never made it to air: “And then there’s one I put up at the table read a million times called ‘Jenjamin Franklin.’ It’s this woman who is the spitting image of Benjamin Franklin, and this guy gets set up on this date with this woman and she’s like this real sexual creature but looks exactly like Benjamin Franklin, so we never got to do that, but Seth and I always talk about it.”

Megan Ganz on writing for Community vs. Modern Family: “Community definitely always had a feel of being like college, where it’s like, ‘Let’s band together and stay up all night to do this crazy thing!’ And this feels a lot more like a job, like a workplace — where you go in, you start working when you walk in, and you work until lunch, you have a lunch break, you come back and you start working again.”

Chris Gethard on the Comedy Central pilot for The Chris Gethard Show: “There’s something about the show that connects with a certain type of person in a way that I’m really blown away by and surprised by, but after a couple years I think it’s not arrogant to say that it’s real. So if we can not overthink this and we can do it in a way that reflects the stuff we’ve already been doing, and we can find that heart and put it in this new version of the medium, I feel like it really has the potential to connect with even more people in a really solid way. I think it’s going to surprise people.”

Ilana Glazer on moving from improv to Broad City: “But then at a certain point, we both wanted to make something that would last, that we could send a link to our parents and be like, ‘Hey, we’re doing something,’ rather than like, ‘This improv show I did was great!’ And then it came to a certain point where we thought, ‘Hey, we could do it about us.’”

Nikki Glaser on balancing a show and standup: “I try to take some nights off just so I can keep my sanity and stay on some kind of sleep schedule, but it’s kind of a obsessive compulsive behavior for me. I kind of need to go do standup.”

Dana Gould on the long build ups with no laughter in I Know It’s Wrong: “The fact that I start talking and there’s no joke, and it keeps going and there’s no joke. The silence comes from the confusion, like, ‘This isn’t supposed to be happening; we’re at a comedy club.’ Once you do that, it’s exciting when they realize you’re still in control of the situation. It’s just really fun as a performer, to experiment with the audiences and move the tone of the show.”

Bill Hader on Stefon: “If you went by the numbers, Stefon should not work as a character on SNL. It’s low energy. It’s weird. It’s more watching me behaving rather than having strong jokes. There’s no real jokes in a Stefon sketch. It’s just him listing things. It shouldn’t really work, [but] it’s the one thing I’ll be the most known for on the show.”

Tony Hale on Arrested Development season 4: “And we all also had huge faith in Mitch [Hurwitz]. Even if many times we would read the script and have no clue what’s going on, we just trusted that he had this massive puzzle in his head and it was gonna work out and it was gonna be hilarious.”

Jack Handey on “Jack Handey”: “The Jack Handey character, or what I call the Deep Thoughts character, is an insane idiot. It is the same as my real life.”

Chris Hardwick on his secret to positivity: “My secret is that if I let myself, I can become really negative. And I lived that way for a long time, and it didn’t work. So being happy, being positive, it’s a choice. The one thing that I’ll say about where we are as a culture now is that people for some reason think the negative stuff is more real than the positive, but it’s not. They inherently have no value other than the value that we put on them. And believe me, I’m a cynical comedian, but I just think there’s enough fucking negativity in the world.”

Will Hines: “So I think for promoting yourself, give yourself a label that people can describe you as and you’re comfortable with, a goal or direction or desire, and then just do stuff that you like and people hear about it.”

Anders Holm on Workaholics: “When we are writing stories, we’ve honed the rule to be, ‘What’s the stupidest thing to do to overcome the obstacle?’ But within the parameters of the characters. And they chase it.”

Pete Holmes on The Pete Holmes Show: “I’d really like to see what kind of audience we can grab. You’re talking about Big Terrific, you’re talking about a show in Williamsburg. I’d like to see if we can appeal to Williamsburgy part of every area. Not just like a hipster part, but people that really enjoy comedy, people that enjoy authentic, transparent comedy. People that want to see something different, and if we can appeal to each of those pockets in every state, then we’ll really have something.”

Glenn Howerton on keeping It’s Always Sunny surprising: “But the advantage that you have with a show that is, I guess, as old as ours, or as seasoned as ours, is that people do have a lot of expectations going in as to how the characters are going to behave in any given situation. So by averting those expectations, or doing the exact opposite of what you would think a character would do, it becomes a new way of surprising people and getting those big laughs. It’s just a different challenge.”

Mitch Hurwitz on Arrested Development and Netflix: “What I tried to do, I was like, let’s not be the first Netflix comedy that just does a little move. Let’s not just do that little, ‘Oh, the show didn’t end.’ Let’s just completely use the form. Let me think of everything that this form could let us do, and I think people are gonna find it that way. They’re gonna find that they can follow two different narratives at the same time. I think it’s gonna be interesting.”

Anthony Jeselnik: “I started out telling stories and doing what most comics do, and I got sick of that. I really didn’t like doing it, and I didn’t feel unique. I wanted to feel unique and then I saw B.J. Novak doing one-liners at a mic, and I thought, ‘Oh my god, you’re allowed to do that?’ It just seemed like Mitch Hedberg and Steven Wright were geniuses and I could never do that. But seeing someone at an open mic try out one-liners, I thought that’s all I want to do from here on out.”

Zach Kanin on SNL: “It’s really an amazing process and there are just so many people who are geniuses at so many things all working to realize what you wrote.”

Moshe Kasher: “I will say that, I, being a Jew, experience unease before I go onstage; and after I go onstage, and in general. But luckily the forty-five minutes to an hour that I’m onstage I usually forget everything else and I just press play.”

Kyle Kinane: If you want to be a comedian, do you love it enough to do it for free indefinitely? That was my thing. I’m willing to do it for free, forever. I quit a day job four years ago, and I’m still terrified – and I did it for ten years for free. Are you willing to do it for free forever, but also do it seriously – take it past the idea of it being a hobby? If you can answer that question with a yes and the talent and work ethic are there, you’ll make it. That’s my best guess.

Jen Kirkman on writing her first book: “Unlike a comedy album for me – I can never listen to a comedy album I’ve done; the minute it’s out there I always think of a better punchline – but I feel like with a book, you work so long and hard on it. I could always do better, but I think I’m satisfied enough that I’m not cringing, so that’s kind of cool.”

Nick Kroll on the sketch “Sex in the City for Dudes”: “And that’s the amazing thing about having your own show. You can insist on doing a completely ridiculous and pointless idea with your buddies and get it on TV.”

Lauren Lapkus on starting improv during high school: “I had always been funny in school, but I never got into any of the plays except for some sketch stuff. So it was a way for me to use my humor to take control of my own situation and not have to rely on what plays were being put on at school in order to perform. It also helped me open up as a person because I think I was more of a mean, sarcastic kind of funny, and improv allowed me to find a more positive way to express myself.”

Mike Lawrence: “If you have a great set and you just leave every time, it’s going to be a lot harder. It’s having the great set and talking to people afterwards and also just being somebody who people want to root for. Every show that somebody’s on is because somebody booked them – no one is on a sitcom because they hijacked their way on and they’re jumping in front of the cameras. Someone is booking them and paying them.”

Natasha Leggero on the idea for her webseries, Tubbin’ with Tash: “Well, I bought a hot tub, and I realized if I did a talk show in it, I would be able to write it off.”

Gabe Liedman on opening his album with a joke written the week prior: “What I was thinking is that, I didn’t want to go into autopilot. So, whatever trick I could up come up with to make sure I was paying attention was what I wanted to do. Because I, and I bet everyone else who taped too, could do their 30-minute set while thinking about something else, or asleep. But that’s not a good performance.”

Chris Lilley on making shows about teenagers: “Just that, it’s a time when you think you’re grown up and you think you’ve got it all worked out and you’re about to be launched into the world as an independent person, but you’re still bound by your family, your parents. Yeah, it is an interesting time.”

Keith Lucas on performing comedy with his brother Kenny: “We used to do the Woodshed open mics in Brooklyn. I think it was the second time we did it, and we got some laughs and I thought, ‘All right, it’s not as mysterious as I thought it was.’ You’ve gotta get up there and do work, get up there and just keep telling jokes, keep expanding the act, and once we did the Woodshed a bunch of times, it felt like we had something there. I didn’t think it was good at all, but I was like, ‘If we keep doing it, we’ll get better.’”

Kathleen Madigan: “You can sit here and say it was a smart joke, it was a well-written joke, or blah blah blah. But the bottom line is, it is instant results. Do they laugh or not?”

Al Madrigal on The Daily Show: “The only way you can do it is on the job, to just get out there and do those interviews. Sitting across from someone and having fun with them can pretty difficult, especially when they aren’t aware of what’s funny about the situation. So it’s a difficult gig. There’s nothing like it, and the only way to get good at it is to go out there and do it.”

Jason Mantzoukas on playing Rafi on The League: “Almost everybody else exists in the real world — or The League’s version of the real world — which is not too dissimilar. I think that’s what people love about this show: they see themselves and their buddies and their marriages reflected amongst these guys. But nobody has a reference point for psychopaths.”

Ken Marino on Bad Milo: “And you know, when you’re doing something with the Duplass guys, you know that they’re gonna kind of try to find the emotional thread of characters or through lines of characters in a much more real way than possibly other people working on ass demon movies. And so, the trick is, I wouldn’t have done the movie if it was just a monster coming out of my ass.”

Marc Maron: “I don’t know if I have some sort of PTSD from the last 10 years of my life, but I don’t find myself really thinking about what I deserve or what I don’t deserve. I do know that whatever’s happening for me now seems to be happening specifically because I am who I am. And that’s a good feeling. I can honestly say that I feel a little more comfortable with myself and a little less freaked out, and that what I’m doing is all in my control. And I always feel like I can do a little better, in terms of creativity and discipline and output. But do I deserve what I have? Yeah, I worked hard for a long time, and I had really sort of given up on any of this ever happening. So yeah, I’m very grateful that it has, and certainly I’ve worked hard for it.”

Jay Martel on recurring characters in Key & Peele: “It’s what most sketch shows lean on — recurring characters. We initially went out of our way not to have them recur because we wanted to be different. And both Jordan and Keegan are from MADtv, and they were interested in doing everything they could to distance themselves from that sort of show. But once we felt like we firmly established the show’s identity, then it was just too tempting not to bring certain characters back.”

T.J. Miller: “I just think it’s good to be a well-rounded person, so I think it’s also good to be a well-rounded comedian. They’re all just mediums of comedy, and I like doing comedy so much. And I think they all build each other. I think it’s interesting and challenging to do all those things.”

Eugene Mirman on how his act has changed: “I think that so much of it is either weird thoughts or anecdotal things that happen. It’s still that. I think I just recognize a lot more of ‘Oh, that will work’ or ‘that won’t work.’ I think once you do comedy for a while you just sort of figure out what works for you more, but a lot of it is the same sorts of things I’ve always done.”

Aparna Nancherla: “Usually, you need someone else to be like, ‘You’re funny.’ It’s hard to be like, on your own, ‘I’m a really funny person!’”

Mark Normand on going from day jobs to being a comedian: “Oh that was insane, especially because your self-esteem is so low when you’re working these jobs. I have jokes about how sad work is and all that – you feel so low, you’re like ‘I’m a janitor, I’m literally the guy who pushes a mop around.’ And then you go out at night and kill and go back to your job the next day and you’re that loser guy again.”

Mike O’Brien on SNL: “I can’t write something and say, ‘This is definitely the type of thing that’ll get on.’ It must be that it’s a moving target. It sometimes like, ‘I swear this would’ve gotten on a few months ago,’ and then the one I wrote for this week was an end-of-the-night, silly piece got on, and the one that was the most perfect, SNL-ish sketch I’ve ever written played to dead silence on Wednesday.”

Bob Odenkirk on often working with new talent: “I think it’s just because I like doing alternative things myself, so that’s where I find myself. I like seeing people experiment a little on stage, so that’s where I find myself performing and interacting is in those clubs and in those spaces, so you naturally run into people and they tend to be younger and they tend to be doing something unique.”

Erica Oyama on people missing the joke of Burning Love: “Every episode, there’s people confused by it or saying terrible things like, ‘This is why society is going down the toilet. ‘Cause these idiots.’ People get in fights on the comments because they’re the people who don’t get it, and there are other people who do get it who defend it. It’s entertaining to just scroll down through that, but it’s also scary.”

Paula Pell on SNL: “There’s been so many times where I’ll sit with an actor or sit with another writer on SNL, and we’re working for so many hours on something. It’s just like we’re trying to cure diabetes and it’s got such a sloggy feeling of detail and everyone’s so serious – which always cracks me up when people are super serious about comedy – and just so serious about trying to figure out the puzzle of it. Then, finally, it’s kind of like, ‘Maybe the reason this isn’t working is ‘cause it’s not a great idea. Maybe that’s why none of us are laughing.’ Then, we’ll just bail on it, and we’ll go eat some cold pizza, and we’ll come back and write something else for 10 minutes that gets in the show. We’ll do a bit while we’re eating the pizza out in the writers’ room, and then we’ll come back in and write that and it’ll be like the hit of the show. ‘Cause it had some joy and abandon in it, and it wasn’t like a fucking term paper.”

Chelsea Peretti on Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “You know, it’s crazy and I’m really, really happy it didn’t happen right out of college for me, because I feel like I know who I am so much more now than I did then. And I feel like I’m equipped to deal with a big crew and actors that are really experienced. And I feel like I have a certain confidence that comes from working really hard over the years and it feels great.”

DC Pierson: “Standups will say sometimes that writing jokes is like solving a math problem. It’s one thing to have funny idea, and it’s another to sit down and figure out how to execute it. Is it a commercial parody? A genre parody? What’s the lens through which we’re experiencing this idea? It’s almost like there is a right answer, like there is a best way to do a sketch. Even though it’s art and truly subjective, it feels like there is a very objective element to it. And that’s what I always liked about comedy, the empiricism of it. You either got a laugh or you didn’t.”

Colin Quinn: “Comedy nerds are the fucking blessing of my — I love it. It’s so weird, but it’s so funny. Everybody just fucking knows comedy, they know it better than me. My nephews and shit, they’re like, ‘That Gaffigan bit, that’s from his second special. Yeah, Bill Burr’s fucking third.’ And I’m like holy shit, they just know it. It’s great.”

June Diane Raphael on Ass Backwards: “It’s the thing I’m most proud of in my lifetime. I don’t mean to get corny about it, but it just means so much with me and Casey [Wilson] and it’s our baby. I feel like we’re giving birth this November. It was a very rough journey to get it made.”

Jim Rash on his films being set during vacations: “I’d say that vacation time is a very vulnerable area for people because we’re off on the road, yet generally we’re away from our comfort of our home where we’re in control. Our safety net is gone, and we expose ourselves, and I think that’s why a lot of people have amazing summer times that can easily link to a coming-of-age or a pivotal moment in their life because you really are at your most raw.”

Joan Rivers on if she’s ever worried about what she’s said about people: “I always feel my whole career is like I’m talking to friends; that’s how I do it. And so I just talk the way I would talk if you and I were sitting together and not saying, ‘Did you just say Lady Gaga?’ So I never worry about what I say about Julia Roberts because she’s never invited me over for dinner, so who cares? Too bad. Gee, Miley Cyrus doesn’t like me. Oh well, there goes that Christmas card.”

Ian Roberts on the epilogues of sketches on Key & Peele: “I’d say it’s a basic trick of ending a sketch is to take a left turn. And sometimes you change locations to take the left turn and sometimes you don’t. But that’s a good way to end a sketch, take a left turn at the 11th hour.”

Andy Samberg on The Lonely Island: “We prioritize the same things in terms of what we want out of the work we do together, so even if we have a small disagreement, it’s always disagreeing towards the same goal. It’s never, like, ‘I want this out of what we’re doing and I want this out of it.’ If it’s two different things, that’s when you get fucked. The thing that we actually want is the same end product. And it’s just the ebb and flow of getting there.”

Sara Schaefer on the blind selection process for Nikki and Sara Live writers: “I don’t know because we didn’t do it the other way, but I don’t know if we would’ve looked at these other four people so closely, because we wouldn’t have known who they were. We would’ve just looked at them and said, ‘I don’t know who that is. Next,’ and then moved on. We were able to compare people on an apples to apples level.”

Tom Scharpling on the end of The Best Show: “It was really special, and I think it’ll always be special no matter what the next thing that we do is. But I’m the one that’s still gotta figure out what that next thing is; I don’t have time to just sit and stare at what happens. Its like, we’ll figure something out. I’ve always thought of it — at the risk of sounding jerky — it’s like, we are the show. It’s not the microphones or not that studio; that wasn’t the show. Wherever we are, that’s where the show is. That’s what I want to focus on: getting the next version of the show going, in whatever form it happens.”

Paul Scheer on being married to someone in the industry: “I think the good thing about us not getting competitive is that June [Diane Raphael] and I never go out for the same parts. So if I were married to like, Rob Corddry, I think it would be a very competitive relationship.”

Michael Schur on writing/performing on The Office: “Pretty much every writer at some point appeared on the show in some way. That was so fun. It was really fun to feel like there was no division between the writers and the actors, which sometimes happens on TV shows. Sometimes on TV shows, the writing is done in LA and the shooting is in New York and the cast and the writers never even really meet. Greg explicitly wanted to remove that barrier, and we sort of took that spirit over to Parks and Rec.”

Amy Schumer on knowing she wanted to do comedy: “When I was five years old, I was in The Sound of Music and every time I walked on stage, everybody would laugh just because I was this dumb five-year-old. And then they’d laugh when I would say anything. I’d get upset that they were laughing and then the director explained to me that it’s a great thing to make everyone laugh. That moment stuck with me.”

Adam Scott on A.C.O.D.: “Making things with your friends is just the best possible scenario for making a movie or a TV show. It makes everything easier or more fun.”

Rory Scovel: “I come from a pretty big family and everybody played sports. Everyone is a smartass so I think that’s probably where my comedy comes from.”

Mike Scully on Parks and Recreation: “That cast, as far as I’m concerned, is the funniest cast on television. Amy Poehler is the funniest person on TV, period. The fact that she’s the nicest is a bonus. Amy sets a very positive tone every day and she works the most hours of all. I really think it is the happiest set in television right now. It’s fun to be there.”

Sarah Silverman on her special We Are Miracles: “I just always wanted to do a special in a super intimate room. I thought maybe it would feel like you’re part of this small crowd when watching it at home. But of course there is something to doing a special with a big crowd, with laughs washing over you and taking that time during laughs. But I thought if that is stripped away and you just hear this small group laughing or not laughing, it’s an experience you don’t usually see in a special. Just totally un-spectacle-ized. Who knows? It may be a huge mistake.”

Jenny Slate: “It’s always easiest for me when I work with a partner because I have my doubts fall away because I can see in their face whether or not I’m entertaining them or whether or not I’m making that connection. And when I’m working by myself, it’s just more of a — I wouldn’t even say ‘subdued’ — it’s just like a peaceful, slow dance towards the end.”

Jesse Thorn on podcasting: “Independent media is not a get-rich quick scheme. It’s really only worth doing if it’s something that you really believe in and that you would do for free. And then after that, I think you can and should try and figure out ways to make money.”

Matt Walsh: “Remember that the people that you come up with are eventually gonna be successful too. Like, your generation is with you now, and many of them will succeed. Just be nice, really.”

Teddy Wayne about starting as a writer: “In high school, I briefly thought about becoming a sitcom writer, and wrote a spec script for Seinfeld my senior year in which the characters had all sorts of Three’s Company-esque misunderstandings. To my surprise, NBC did not purchase it and make me a staff writer at eighteen.”

Henry Winkler on playing Barry Zuckerkorn: “Mitch [Hurwitz] let me improvise stealing one of the donuts, and then that action became one of the cornerstones of the character.”

The Year In Interviews