Talking to Gary Richardson (@garyyesgary) About Writing Jokes and Twitter’s Power to Make Something Huge

Gary Richardson is a writer and performer having the time of his life in Brooklyn. He performs live around the city and encourages you to see him do live stuff if you can, but to find his internet stuff if you can’t. This week I talked with Richardson about three of his favorite tweets, how Twitter has changed for him over time, and trying to hide the excitement that comes from favs and RTs. He also told me his mom is retiring from the military this year, and to give it up for that.

Richardson: I truly love how so many tough-ass dudes are also dumb-ass dudes. I feel like the Internet is one of the only places I get to stick it to em, this was an attempt at that.

Who, if you can remember, are some of the first people you followed on Twitter, and did they have much of an impact on how you used it?

I think when I first started using Twitter regularly I was following mostly buddies and they were following me, so all of my tweets were basically in-jokes that nobody cared about.

Have you changed the way you use Twitter over time?

I think now I make jokes that aren’t super specific to, like, 12 people. I’m willing to bet that upwards of 35-40 people can enjoy my pithy commentary on life. Honestly, I think I used to put a weird amount of importance on Twitter, for some reason, and now that’s definitely not the case.

When I first moved to Brooklyn, people weren’t giving me the respect that I felt I deserved (considering my lengthy and amazing body of work). So I decided to stick it to em. Actually, I just dig it when people get self-righteous and indignant about the small ass things they do.

What are your favorite/least favorite things about Twitter?

My favorite thing about Twitter is seeing how many folks can quickly jump onto something and make it huge, be it RTs or blasting through a hashtag, it’s truly amazing (even though it’s often for straight up nefarious reasons). My least favorite thing about Twitter is probably how excited I get when someone favs or RTs something I do, because I talk a big game about not being into it, but Lord knows I get a lil hard when someone shows me some web-based love.

How true do you think your online voice is to your voice in real life and in other writing/performance projects?

I think it’s just about the same. I don’t draft tweets or anything so they are kinda just tossed up as I think them.

In your experience, what kinds of jokes work better on Twitter vs in real life?

I don’t think there are any specific jokes that work better on Twitter. It’s evident by the wide variety of hot tweets being laughed at right now. I guess you can’t just like pull a GIF up if you’re doing standup or something, but maybe there is? People are finding all sorts of ways to do cool shit. So, I guess what I’m saying is anything goes.

This was a thing that I thought of and wanted to put in a sketch or video or something, but I wasn’t working on anything at the time. :

Do you ever incorporate ideas from your tweets into other projects, or do you feel like once you tweet something it’s off limits for other work, and vice versa?

I don’t feel like it’s off limits at all. I haven’t done it yet, but I’m sure at some point I probably will. Who knows, I don’t think any joke is so damn good that I can’t think of another one for a different project though. So that being said, maybe I won’t ever do it and actually do think it’s off limits. I apologize for my lack of hard opinions on these things, but the web is wild as hell and the way I feel is always changing.

Jenny Nelson lives and writes in Brooklyn and works at Funny Or Die.

Talking to Gary Richardson (@garyyesgary) About […]