Rank #1: John Mulaney's One Hundred Million Dollars
May 21 2018
Rank #2: Gary Gulman's Trader Joe's
The joke is about an experience Gary had at Trader Joe’s, but it’s way, waaaaaaaay bigger than that. Gary takes his audience through TJ’s snack selection and into Narnia, making companions of old women on the Upper West Side, finally culminating in a rumination on the nature of New Yorkers and taking a stand when injustice rears its ugly head.
Jesse and Gary dissect this joke from start to finish, picking apart word choice down to the syllable. Gary reflects on the inciting incident, as well as how his mental illness plays a part in the whole thing.
Also included: someone finally tells Jesse how his tweets could be better.
For all of Gary’s tips, follow Gary on Twitter, and catch him live on the The Great Depresh Tour when he’s in your city.
Mar 25 2019
Rank #3: Nate Bargatze's Dead Horse
Nate talks to Jesse about how he balances punchlines with a conversational joke-telling style, and what actually happened to make him want to turn a dead horse into a joke. They also touch on Nate's father being a clown and magician, and how that upbringing gave Nate the specific ability to make extraordinary and fantastic parts of life seem...regular.
Also included: Nate's best heckler.
Follow Nate on Twitter.
Sep 02 2019
Rank #4: Mike Birbiglia’s Celebrity Golf
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.
Nov 19 2018
Rank #5: Community Reunion Panel (BONUS)
The cast and creators of the hit show Community talk about their favorite episodes and moments from the series. Jim raps, Danny does the Batman voice, everyone talks about Chevy and Donald, there was a scene that got cut where Shirley was supposed to poop in a drawer? Everyone gushes about the fun and hard work that went into the show, on camera behind the scenes. A story about being on the set of War of the Worlds gets repeated a couple times. It's great.
Also included: movie?
This panel was recorded on November 10th, 2019.
Nov 11 2019
Rank #6: Anthony Jeselnik's Three Flights
While the interview is based around a specific joke from Anthony's latest special Fire in the Maternity Ward, Jesse walks Anthony through his past jokes that deal with the same subject matter. The two also touch on Anthony's persona and regard (or disregard) for his audience, as well as the unanticipated changes he's made to his act due to current events.
Also included: a very large audience applauds in an adjacent auditorium, and it's definitely not because John Mulaney is onstage in said auditorium.
Jul 01 2019
Rank #7: Kristen Schaal and Her Singing, Dancing Bird
Feb 27 2017
Rank #8: Kevin Hart's Kids Walk in on Him Having Sex
Jesse takes a trip to Atlanta to speak with Kevin just before the release of his newest stand-up special Irresponsible. They discuss the show's opener, a story about when Kevin's kids caught him having sex. Kevin explains how his jokes go from from small clubs to arenas.
The conversation also touches on some of the controversy surrounding his comedy, as well as the high expectations he's striving to execute at his level of fame.
Also included: potpourri.
Watch “Irresponsible” on Netflix on April 2nd, along with all of Kevin’s other specials.
Follow Kevin on Twitter.
Special thanks to DonTaé Hodge for engineering this episode.
Apr 01 2019
Rank #9: What It's Like to Write Jokes for Barack Obama
Apr 17 2017
Rank #10: Nicole Byer's Fat Jokes
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.
Jan 14 2019
Rank #11: Maria Bamford Wants You to Know How Much Money She Makes (Rerun)
A lot of people tell us we should talk to Maria Bamford, and you know what? They're right. They're so right that we're re-airing the episode she was on two years ago. The interview focuses on the commencement speech she gave at the University of Minnesota—her alma mater—in which she discussed the negotiations that took place to arrive at her fee for said speech, along with a long list of the mistakes she'd made in her life. Maria talks frankly about her financial status, and how to deal with being lowballed. The conversation also touches on Maria's relationship with her audience, the evolution of her specials, and how her struggle with unwanted thoughts affected her comedy. This episode is one of the most detailed looks at the business side of comedy, and is a must listen for anyone who's ever needed to negotiate their monetary worth in any field. Also included: a fart noise. Watch the speech here. Follow Maria on Twitter and Instagram, and check out her live dates on her website. This episode originally aired on October 27th, 2017.
Nov 04 2019
Rank #12: Kyle Kinane Wakes Up in the Morning and Believes in Himself
Apr 03 2017
Rank #13: Bill Burr's Definition of Bravery
Jan 01 2018
Rank #14: The Lonely Island's Jose & Mark
Also included: Andy's Beetlejuice impression.
Get tickets for The Lonely Island's summer tour. Seriously. Go find tickets right now!
Watch The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience on Netflix, and listen to the accompanying album wherever you get your music.
Read Jesse's piece on The Lonely Island's first-ever show here.
Jun 06 2019
Rank #15: Pete Holmes’s Green Eggs and Ham
Jan 22 2018
Rank #16: Aparna Nancherla’s Anxiety
Aug 05 2018
Rank #17: Seth Meyers's Juan Likes Rice and Chicken
Also included: Seth is unable to make Jesse’s tweets any better than they already are.
Season 3 of Documentary Now! starts February 20th, airing Wednesdays on IFC at 11p EST
Late Night With Seth Meyers airs weeknights on NBC at 12:35/11:35c
Follow Seth on Twitter
Feb 18 2019
Rank #18: Gilbert Gottfried's The Aristocrats
This one's marked explicit for a reason, folks.
You'll hear Gilbert's personal history with the joke, along with his retelling of his set the night of the Hugh Hefner roast, where he launched this joke into the public eye. Jesse asks Gilbert about the evolution of his onstage persona and his relationship with audiences.
Also included: Jesse's Bubbe's favorite joke, and Gilbert's shortest version of "The Aristocrats".
Follow Gilbert on Twitter and listen to Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Sep 09 2019
Rank #19: Party Down Reunion Panel (BONUS)
Jesse talks with the show's creators and stars about what went into casting the show, and then runs through their favorite episodes and moments.
Everyone talks about how much they got paid, Megan has a wig, Martin talks about "playing" with other actors, and the panel agrees that while there probably won't be a movie, there's bound to be new Party Down coming down the line at some point.
Also included: Woah. I can't believe he showed up for this.
This episode was recorded on November 10th, 2019.
Nov 25 2019
Rank #20: Paul Scheer and Human Giant's "Illusionators"
Mar 13 2017