Bryan Yang is a stand-up comedian, writer, and technically an actor since he was in one commercial. He’s an alumnus of the 2018 NBC Late Night Writers Workshop, a two-time StandUp NBC Showcase semifinalist, and has been named a comic to watch by BuzzFeed.
This week, Yang talked with me about making memes, editing tweets, and writing funny reactions to the news.
This video was so funny to me because he didn’t know what to do with his arms, the other elected officials around him didn’t know what to do, and then he just had to keep talking about a thing he didn’t really know anything about. It brought me immediately back to fourth grade when I had to do a book report on one of the Boxcar Children books that I didn’t read. That’s the president, a guy who hasn’t read the book but has to do a book report almost every day.
How did you first get into comedy?
I got into comedy because I was really bad at school, and I discovered that it was the only thing I really loved doing. At 18 I went to my first open mic, and I’ve been doing stand-up ever since.
This meme is just fun as hell. I like to try and find a different take on these big viral memes, and when the Detective Pikachu trailer came out, I knew I had to do something with it because it was super weird. This is the fruit of that labor.
What comedy do you do outside of Twitter, and how are they related, if at all?
I do a lot of stand-up, dabbled in writing and performing sketch, and I’m getting into acting. Twitter is great for spitballing ideas, because the jokes don’t have to be as airtight as they need to be for stand-up. I think it also helps with getting my juices flowing for ideas that can be used for my act or a late-night packet.
Queer Eye is one of my favorite shows, and when I saw this still from Outlaw King, I was like “That dude looks like a hot Burger King.” This tweet came out of reverse-engineering that thought.
Do you prefer topical or evergreen tweets?
I like doing both, but I do topical tweets more often. I’m just naturally drawn to livetweeting awards shows and reacting to news as it happens. It’s also fun to try to think of something funny as soon as something happens in the news.
This captures what is probably my favorite thing to think and talk about; existing as a minority in predominantly white spaces. I’ve never had this exact conversation, but I’ve definitely told a white person about a time I’ve experienced racism and then they were like, “Oh yeah, one time they spelled my name wrong at Starbucks.”
If you could change anything about the site, what would it be?
You should definitely be able to edit tweets right? I’ve had to delete so many fire tweets that had a misspelling. Also I should be verified and have 100k followers.