Dana Bell is a Los Angeles-based comedian who recently moved from Washington, DC after a summer in Yellowstone National Park. She has performed at Bentzen Ball, D.C.’s comedy festival. Bell is on Twitter as @DanaCBell, where you can find her thoughts on pop culture, descriptions of funny visuals, and things that are appropriate to write in all caps. Recently I spoke with Bell about three of her favorite tweets, the visual aspect of her jokes, and the Illuminati.
Bell: I have a real soft spot for all caps tweets. This is one of the few tweets I’ve also tried reworking for standup. I like the image of little sperms packing up the Subaru, realizing the value of adult friendship, maybe one of them deciding they’re not going to sperm law school just because their dad wants them to. This fact really made me relate to sperm a lot more, and I hope it did the same for some other people too.
What draws you to all-caps tweets?
If it’s an all caps tweet it’s basically involuntary. I’m just so dang excited about my dumb thought that I gotta hold down shift while I hit all the letters. Just hitting the letters is not enough. Definitely will not be hitting the caps lock key because I’m a very good typist and I like to show off. I had another that was like DRESS PANTS? WHATS NEXT, SHIRT SHOES!?? which is in a pretty similar vein, and which I also still think is great. So if you see a tweet like that, just know that I love it and I want you to know about it.
If not for standup, do you ever try expanding on tweets for any other writing or projects?
I’ve written a couple sketches based on tweets that haven’t gone anywhere yet. I wrote one about a talk show on a city bus and started planning it with some friends in DC. We had it mostly worked out except the logistics of actually filming on a bus, but then I ended up going to work in Yellowstone as a bartender over the summer, so it never went anywhere. Now I’m back in civilization so hopefully I can pick it up back up again. The sperm one would probably work great as a movie and I think would be a great Pixar vehicle.
Do you have strong visuals for a lot of your tweets?
I try to. I think I rely on pictures a lot in my tweets, and pictures are definitely a visual thing. The good thing about Twitter is it lets you know when your visuals don’t work out–when you see something really clearly in your head but it doesn’t come across in the tweet. It’s real helpful in that way.
I like this tweet because it insults a beloved imaginary character, which I like to do as much as possible. Turns out a lot of people agreed, so yeah, I would say I’m pretty brave for taking on this topic.
How important to you are followers’ reactions when you’re using Twitter?
Their reactions are the only things that matter to me. On and off the website.
I very badly want to join the Illuminati. I love dumb puzzles and conspiracies, and apparently the Illuminati are the best in the biz. If anyone from the Illuminati is reading this, please hire me to plant clues as I am unemployed and really need a job.
The Illuminati seems like a really good subject for tweets since people are obsessed with it. Are there other subjects that you find particularly good to tweet about?
Tweeting about any conspiracy theory is always fun. JFK, chemtrails, lizard people, you name it. Also dicks and balls and vaginas are good topics. When in doubt, put ‘em in there. If you can combine them, so much the better. But really any topic is good as long as you’re tweeting from your heart/genitals.
Jenny Nelson lives and writes in Brooklyn and works at Funny or Die.