Shana Gohd Likes to Keep the Bots Around

Shana Gohd. Photo: Seannie Bryan/Courtesy of Shana Gohd

Shana Gohd is a comedy writer based in Los Angeles. She’s worked on various shows for NBC, Comedy Central, TBS, and Hulu as a staffer, and her writing for Harper’s Bazaar, Splitsider, and Bustle can be found on her website. This week, Gohd talked with me about her target audience, her favorite comedians, and her preferred tweeting style.

My parents should be lauded for how often they still take the time to earnestly help me, despite my obnoxious lifelong habit of purposefully misconstruing their advice to be “funny.” Their patience with me is unparalleled and appreciated.

How would you describe your voice on Twitter?
Muttered under my breath.

I constantly hear these two grand, generalized commitments made and I live for the audacity of anyone aspiring to solve their problems this way. I’ll be especially supportive if the person is my friend — do whatever you want; you are invincible and I worship you!

Who, in your mind, is your ideal target audience?
A “Children of Divorce” and “People Who Love Costco” crossover.

Whenever someone attempts to assert authority by telling me I have to do something, it significantly decreases the likelihood that I will do it. For some reason, in my mind, this movie is six hours long and is accompanied by essay prompts about its themes and political timeliness. However pure and good-willed the intention behind the recommendation for this movie may be, turns out, it’s not hard to steer the night back toward watching Clue for the 45th time.

Who are some of your comedy inspirations?
My friends, comedians Mitra Jouhari and Lolly Adefope, are two of the funniest people I’ve ever met. I’m a massive fan of Megan Amram, of course. I really admire Lisa Hanawalt and Issa Rae, two women incredibly skilled at conveying their voices through writing. The Coen Brothers. Larry David is my primary inspiration; in my house growing up, we’d put on either Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm every single night during dinner. Amy and David Sedaris together have my favorite breadth of comedy work.

Like many other delusional, greedy Americans, I’m obsessed with the idea of becoming a game show contestant. Despite my characteristically low self-confidence, I am convinced I’d succeed at almost any of them. I dream of the chance to stand before an audience of rabid tourists in Simi Valley, shouting otherwise useless knowledge into a pencil-dick microphone. During a recent afternoon hunt for fast cash, I came across a Craigslist post by the company that produces some of my favorite game shows, seeking lively contestants. The rejection came as no surprise, for on-camera I tend to read as deadly.

Do you prefer topical or evergreen tweets?
Evergreen. My tweets are typically born from overthinking everything for far too long, not boding well for topical tweets.

How has the way you tweet changed over time?
I don’t spontaneously tweet as often as I used to. Now I pretty much only stick to jokes from my drafts. I’ll log on from time to time, make myself write a bunch of tweets, and then save them to my drafts so I can post regularly. I like to keep the bots around.

Karen Chee is a Brooklyn-based comedian who writes for The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, and Shondaland, among other cool websites.

Shana Gohd Likes to Keep the Bots Around