Today I interview the curly-haired half of the podcast Jordan, Jesse, Go! (and writer/host of the always-entertainment segment "Jordan Ranks America" on The Sound of Young America.) As a comedy performer and broadcaster, you can catch his work onstage in LA at the UCB Theatre or online/on TV with Fuel TV's The Daily Habit (his celebrity interviews are funnier, snappier and weirder than most others.) If you live in Chicago you can catch Jordan and his co-host, Jesse Thorn, live at Second City in April.
You do the podcast, you're a part of UCB, you go out on film auditions: what's your ultimate career goal?
I get really juiced every time I get asked to submit to SNL, Fallon, etc. I'd love to be in the writers room at a big-time comedy show. I really admire the careers of Brian Stack and Robert Smigel, two writers who also turn up in silly bits every now and then.
What's made you laugh out loud most recently?
I was in Las Vegas and saw a t-shirt that said "I Love Farting" and nothing else. Also, I thought the movie "Paul" was really funny.
Last year I sent my husband to MaxFunCon and I had absolutely no way of describing it to people who didn't know what it was: "It's like this radio show nerd convention thing at a summer camp." How do you describe it to people who don't know what it is?
It's like those John Mayer cruises but for comedy nerds. Also, less sex and more crafts.
What percentage of your celebrity interviews are actually uncomfortable versus staged to appear that way? (IE how often do your interviewees actually get what you're doing?)
Those interviews are usually fun-uncomfortable and not uncomfortable-uncomfortable. It seems like the interviewees appreciate the novelty, or at least they pretend to. Only a few people have ever been openly hostile. 98% of the time it's a lot of fun.
How much wiggle room are you given to riff and improv in those interviews, or do you have to lay out everything you plan on doing with the publicists?
Quite a lot actually. The studios that I work with know the drill by now, so they expect I'm going to show up in a man-baby outfit or something. If a studio has a problem with the goofing around they just don't ask you back.
Have you had many surprises in terms of an actor who you thought would be humorless but turned out to be cool, and vice-versa?
Nicolas Cage is awesome. He is totally aware that he's Nicholas Cage. He really seems to be having fun with this new "crazy guy" segment of his career. I'm a little embarrassed by how charmed I was by Dane Cook. I don't care for his comedy, but I walked out of the interview wishing we could be best friends. I can see how if you didn't care about funny jokes he would be your favorite comedian.
What, to you, is the best thing on the Internet right this very second?
I read The AV Club pretty obsessively and really enjoy the Slate Culture Gabfest podcast.
How much do you and Jesse take to heart feedback on JJGO? Do you keep track of who gets more comments on who's funnier?
Jesse answers the email and watches over the forum so he's a little more hip to that stuff than I am. I like to look on the forum at what people are saying, but I realize that if you're posting on the forum, you're probably a fan. I don't see too much negative feedback, but I don't look too hard. I love getting a nice "@" reply on twitter from a listener. Seriously makes it all worth it.
Who would you place on your All-Star team of best JJGO guests?
A toughie. There hasn't been a single guest that I haven't wanted to grab beers with after the show. It helps that we don't ask anyone we aren't fans of to come on the show. Top of my head, I've really loved goofing around with Sarah Vowell, Todd Levin and The Sklar Brothers. Everyone else too.
Are there any topics that you guys try not to touch on the show either because they've been done to death or just start fights?
Not really. I think all the conversations come from a personal place. Jesse is better about talking about his personal life. I'm better at talking about a cool movie I saw on Netflix Instant.
How does an average meetup go? Do you sort of feel like you're in a receiving line?
Holy shit the meetups are great. It's a party where I know everyone has an opinion about which "Blade" movie is the best and won't look at me weird for wanting to talk about Gears of War.
What are podcast fanboys and girls like? How are they different from comedy/music groupies?
They are usually wearing something they knitted themselves.
How is your sugarfree lifestyle going these days? What are you missing most right now?
I'm miserable, but feeling sexier. I'm kinky for pancakes right now. Seriously, I feel like they are this sexual fetish that I'm ashamed of. I've thought about pancakes more in these two sugar-free months than I have in the entire rest of my life combined.
What hair products do you use to maintain your curls?
I don't really have any brand loyalty. Right now I'm using Whole Foods' 365 shampoo. I probably won't re-buy it though because it seems to be causing excessive "poofy-ness"
I feel very self-conscious writing some semi-ironic interview questions for a person who does this professionally. Am I doing OK?
I'm enjoying myself. Don't worry about it. I wouldn't call the questions "ironic." Maybe more "cute."
What's the latest adorable thing your cat did?
Jump in backpack.
How does it feel to be the 277th person interviewed for Zulkey.com?
I feel like I can achieve anything. I will be following my dreams from now on.