John Roy is a comedian (Conan, The Tonight Show, Just for Laughs) and writer on comedy and pop culture. He wrote a book on how to do stand-up, the first of its kind to be published in China. He is currently a producer on Employees Only on iHeartRadio.

  1. the great bits
    Jim Gaffigan’s Most Popular Joke Is a Stand-up Master ClassYes, we’re referring to “Hot Pockets.”
  2. the great bits
    The Comedy Perfection of Richard Pryor’s ‘Heart Attacks’The legendary stand-up’s five-minute bit is a master class in vulnerability, physicality, and reckoning with death.
  3. routines
    The Comedy MaskA comedian’s suicide sets in motion a recognizable pattern of events and painful attempts to understand fellow performers’ despair.
  4. in memoriam
    The Unique Genius of Norm MacdonaldHe delivered jokes in a way no one else did before him.
  5. the great bits
    Jon Dore and Rory Scovel’s Fortunate Conan Double-BookingLooking back at the risky, innovative late-night stand-up set, ten years later.
  6. the great bits
    Nick Vatterott’s Late-Night Debut Brilliantly Tests the Audience’s ComfortRevisiting a 2010 Fallon set that’s a master class in manipulating tension.
  7. the great bits
    Norm Macdonald Delivered the First Great Set on CoronavirusBefore the comedy clubs closed, the stand-up pinpointed all our anxieties perfectly.
  8. the great bits
    The Musical Brilliance of John Mulaney’s Stand-upRevisiting one of the comedian’s best jokes, “The Salt and Pepper Diner.”
  9. the great bits
    Michelle Wolf Is a Master of the Period JokeRevisiting an excellent bit from the comedian’s 2017 HBO special.
  10. remembrances
    There Will Never Be Another Brody Stevens“I defy you to name another comedian, who when you saw him onstage, whether he was killing or bombing, made you as happy and proud to be a comedian.”
  11. the great bits
    In Maria Bamford’s Stand-up, Facing Nightmares Is Unusually FunNo comedian provides a more riveting portrayal of their own fear, doubt, and despair.
  12. the great bits
    Why Roy Wood Jr.’s ‘Black Patriotism’ Bit Is Olympic-Level Stand-up“Every time the comedy beach ball starts to lose altitude, Wood smacks it back into the sky.”
  13. the great bits
    The Great Bits: Paul F. Tompkins’s “Peanut Brittle”The writing in “Peanut Brittle” is as surprising as the subject matter.
  14. the great bits
    The Great Bits: Patton Oswalt’s ‘Steak’The best bits stay in your mind years after hundreds of other bits disappear. One such bit is Patton Oswalt’s ‘Steak’.
  15. Why Chicago Is the Best City in America for Young Standups A comedian I know just moved to Chicago after two years in Los Angeles. Hearing the news, another comic asked “Are they nuts? If you’re […]
  16. Why Standups Should Embrace, Not Revile, Improv “I hate improv.” Hang around standup comedians enough and you will hear it. This may be confusing. Many don’t know there’s a difference […]