Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

with Jesse David Fox

Good One: A Podcast About Jokes is a podcast about - well - jokes, and the people who tell them. Each week, a comedian will play one of their jokes and then break it down with Vulture.com Senior Editor Jesse David Fox.

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    Jesse talks to comedian Sebastian Maniscalco about the creation of one of his most well-known jokes, “Doorbell”. Not only does Sebastian have a new Netflix special out, but at the time of the interview he was days away from headlining a weekend of stand-up shows at Madison Square Garden. Listen to how Sebastian refined his act-outs, and how nostalgia and disbelief came to shape his comedy. Watch Sebastian’s act outs to get a full picture of "Doorbell".Check out the interior of Sebastian and wife Lana Gomez’s house. Watch Sebastian’s new standup special “Stay Hungry” on Netflix.

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    Welcome back to Good One. We missed you dearly. For our Season 5 premiere, comedian, actress, and improviser Nicole Byer invited Jesse over to talk about the opening jokes of her new Netflix special, Aggressively Adorable. For more Nicole check out Comedians of the World and Nailed It! on Netflix and listen to her on What the Tuck? A RuPaul's Drag Race Podcast and Why Won't You Date Me? wherever you listen to podcasts.

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    With all of his standup specials, records, and multiple roles in TV and film, Sinbad has no shortage of material to dissect. But when Jesse reached out to to ask what joke Sinbad wanted to discuss on the podcast, Sinbad didn’t want to pick one. Why? Because he doesn’t write his act in the way that most other comedians do. Sinbad will build an entire routine from a fleeting thought in the moment while he’s on-stage—and it will change the course of the performance in an instant. Jesse and Sinbad trace his style back to its roots, and Jesse also gets closure on a Sinbad question he’s been holding onto for a long time. This week's episode is sponsored by Mack Weldon! For 20% off your first order, visit mackweldon.com and enter promo code GOODONE at checkout!

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    Years before creating and starring in the show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rachel Bloom wrote and performed a musical sketch about a young actress’s obsession with Space Jam, the 1996 animated and live-action crossover starring Michael Jordan and a bunch of Looney Tunes. Jesse and Rachel talk about the compromise she made between musical theater and sketch comedy. Along the way they discuss the importance of nailing down a premise when writing, how rhyming can ruin a joke’s potential, and most importantly, why Space Jam? Watch Rachel’s “Space Jam” here, and read along with the lyrics below. “Space Jam” Lyrics I'VE NEVER FOUND A TRUE CALLING I WOULDN'T CALL THEATER MY LIFE FROM VOCATION TO VOCATION LOCATION TO LOCATION I'M JUST LOOKING FOR SOMETHING ENTHRALLING. (spoken) It's true. I'VE NEVER HAD MY OWN "THING" UNREMARKABLE: A COMMUNISTS' DREAM. BUT THERE IS ONE MOVIE THAT'S JUST SO DAMN GROOVY IT GIVES ME A REASON TO SING. AND THAT IS THE MOVIE SPACE JAM! OH MY GOD I LOVE THE MOVIE SPACE JAM! HAS ANYONE ELSE HERE SEEN SPACE JAM?! ALLOW ME TO DESCRIBE THE PLOT OF SPACE JAM! THE SETTING IS CIRCA 1996 AN INNOCENT AGE, I RECALL. MICHAEL JORDAN GOT HIMSELF IN A FIX 'CAUSE NOW HE PLAYS MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL. MEANWHILE, ON A PLANET FAR OFF IN SPACE SOME CARTOON ALIENS HAVE AN AMUSEMENT PARK BUSINESS IS BAD, THEY'RE GONNA SHUT DOWN THE PLACE TILL THE ALIEN CEO HAS A GENIUS SPARK! (spoken) He's voiced by Danny DeVito. THE PLAN IS TO KIDNAP THE LOONEY TUNES WHO IN THIS FILM ARE SELF-AWARE AND HAVE FREE WILL AND ONCE THE ALIENS KIDNAP THE LOONEY TUNES THEY'LL ENSLAVE THEM TO CREATE A COMEDY MILL! (spoken) Now at this point, you're probably like, "What do cartoon aliens kidnapping Looney Tunes have to do with Michael Jordan?" Well that's the magic of- SPACE JAM! MUCH MORE HAPPENS IN THE MOVIE SPACE JAM! AREN'T YOU STARTING TO GET EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED WITH SPACE JAM?! RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU WANNA HEAR MORE ABOUT SPACE JAM! ZACH (V.O.) I'd actually prefer if you stopped. RACHEL Oh, come on! ZACH (V.O.) I want to hear about something EMOTIONAL. RACHEL Ok, fine. I'll talk about the time I came out of the closet instead, ok? ZACH (V.O.) Uh, yeah, that'd be great. RACHEL Ok. Well, when I first realized I was gay, I thought that no girl would ever- (singing again) SO THESE TINY CARTOON ALIENS GO TO LOONEY TUNE LAND/ AND GET LAUGHED AT 'CAUSE THEY'RE SO SMALL/ HA HA HA! ZACH (V.O.) OK, that's not what I meant... RACHEL THE LOONEY TUNES WANNA DEFEND THEMSELVES SO THEY CHALLENGE THEM TO A GAME OF BASKETBALL BUT THEN THE ALIENS TO GO A BASKETBALL GAME TO STEAL THE TALENTS OF THE PLAYERS IN THE NBA AND THEN THEY BECOME MONSTERS- NO- MONSTARS! WHICH MAKES THE LOONEY TUNES DESPERATE IN A MAJOR WAY! (spoken) And then, one day Michael Jordan is playing golf with Larry Bird and Bill Murray and he gets sucked down a golf hole. And this is when you're like "Oh man, this movie just got intense. I might have to leave the theater it's so intense!" And when Michael Jordan gets to Looney Tunes Land, he's surprisingly calm for what just happened to him, dubious really, because he just says, "What are you guys doing here?" SO THE LOONEY TUNES TELL MICHAEL THAT THEY'RE GONNA BE SLAVES UNLESS HE HELPS THEM WIN MICHAEL AGREES LIKE THE MENSCH HE IS AND SO THEY START PRACTICIN' FOR THE- ZACH (V.O.) Stop! Stop! RACHEL What? ZACH (V.O.) You're just singing the plot of the movie Space Jam! RACHEL It's really important to me! ZACH (V.O.) Yes, but why? Why is "Space Jam" so important to you? RACHEL WHEN I WAS 5 MY DADDY LEFT AND MY MOMMA WAS ADDICTED TO COKE SO I JOINED A GROUP OF RUNAWAY KIDS WHO WERE JUST AS SAD AND BROKE. THEN ONE NIGHT, THIS BOY NAMED JAKE GAVE ME MY FIRST KISS. BUT THE DAY AFTER THAT, HE DIED OF AIDS MAKING ME ASSOCIATE SICKNESS WITH BLISS. AFTER GOING ON A 3 DAY METH BINGE I DECIDED TO KILL MYSELF WHEN SUDDENLY, LIKE AN ANGEL, LIKE A BEACON I SAW THE POSTER FOR "SPACE JAM." AND THAT'S WHEN I REALIZED: IF LOONEY TUNES CAN PLAY BASKETBALL WHO SAYS I CAN'T QUIT DRUGS? IF TINY ALIENS CAN BE LARGE AND SCARY THEN I CAN PUT MYSELF BACK TOGETHER. EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE IN "SPACE JAM" SO EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR ME. I WAS ABOUT TO JUMP IN FRONT OF A TRAIN. WHEN "SPACE JAM" ENDED MY PAIN.

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    Laurie Kilmartin is a stand-up comedian and writer for Conan. She's also cohost of the podcast The Jackie and Laurie Show along with comedian Jackie Kashian. Laurie discusses the formation of her 2017 Conan set, finding a new muse 20-years into her career, and how to know when to inform the audience that “Domingo” is Spanish for “Sunday”. Read Laurie’s tweet about joke transitions here.

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    Mike Birbiglia cemented his style of comedic storytelling in specials like Sleepwalk With Me, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, and Thank God For Jokes. He’s also the writer and director of Don’t Think Twice and the movie adaptation of Sleepwalk With Me. Now, his latest show, The New One, is running on Broadway. In this episode, we’re talking about an earlier one of Mike’s jokes—his Celebrity Golf story, from the album My Secret Public Journal Live. Mike describes how he identifies moments from his life that become his jokes, how to align with an audience, and the inherent error that has to exist in a piece of art.

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    Kenan Thompson and collaborator Bryan Tucker have been working on SNL together for years. In August 2017, they debuted Kenan’s take on NBA personality Lavar Ball. It went over so well that the impression returned for three additional Weekend Updates. Jesse asks Kenan and Bryan about how they come up with their best work that spans 16 seasons of SNL.

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    Comedian Max Silvestri and writer Leah Beckmann have been together for seven years. They have a dog. For years Max hosted the New York alt-comedy showcase Big Terrific, which Leah had been to a couple of times before approaching Max on the subway to say hi. Fast forward to today, when Jesse sits down with the couple to discuss what it’s like to be written about as a significant other, the vetting process for relationship jokes, and why buttholes work when assholes don’t. Watch Max on Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup and see his work on Big Mouth. Read and watch Leah’s work on The Cut, Gawker, and Cartoon Network’s Summer Camp Island.

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    Nikki Glaser asserted herself as a ruthless and talented roaster at Comedy Central's Roast of Rob Lowe in 2016, so it was no surprise that she was invited back for Bruce Willis in 2018. Nikki walks Jesse through the roast process from start to finish, explaining the massive undertaking that is writing effective insults.

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    Jesse and Chris Gethard discuss the transition from improviser to stand-up comedian, and then dissect the quintessential “Gethard Joke.” Chris recounts wrapping The Chris Gethard Show, his ambitious HBO special Career Suicide, and what’s problematic about applying the idea of “swim at your own risk” to live comedy.

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    Comedian, actress, and author Phoebe Robinson (2 Dope Queens, You Can’t Touch My Hair, Ibiza) talks Jesse through getting a swimming lesson from Julia Roberts on the Adriatic sea—what she calls one of her life’s “Non-Trash Moments” in her forthcoming book Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay. Phoebe explains her writing process, along with her love for abbreviations, typos, and mixed metaphors.

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    In the Season 4 premiere of Good One, Nick Kroll discusses the difference between shame and guilt and how both concepts factor into writing a show like Big Mouth, which returned October 5th for its second season on Netflix.

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    In the season finale of Good One, Jesse and Aparna Nancherla (Just Putting It Out There, Comedy Central's Corporate, Netflix's The Standups) discuss how depression and anxiety came to be a part of her act, how her jokes about mental health have been received over time, and the inherent stress of interacting with babies.

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    Jesse talks to Will about the Last Man on Earth’s final scene, the show’s journey, and what would have come next if the show hadn't been cancelled. Recorded live in Montreal at the 2018 Just for Laughs Festival.

  • Good One: A Podcast About Jokes

    New York based Naomi Ekperigin is quickly becoming an influential voice in modern comedy. She’s worked as a staff writer for Broad City and Great News, and was listed as one of the "20 Comedians You Should and Will Know" by Vulture. Jesse talks to Naomi about a joke from her most recent set on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Learn how Naomi crafted her tight 5 for late night, how she writes comedy conversationally, and the application process behind booking a spot on Seth Meyers.