When you are twins but the path you choose is different
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When you are twins but the path you choose is different
Caleb Hearon is a comedian, writer, and actor based in Los Angeles, California. He spoke with Funny Or Die over Zoom to discuss his career, the importance of representation in media, and masculinity in comedy.
Who, me? I grew up in Missouri in a really small town, and I always did this thing where I was like, “I’m conversationally funny, but I could not be a comedian,” and I told myself that for a long time. I went to school to study Socio Political Communication. I thought I would go to law school after that. A year or two into undergrad, I was like, probably not law school, maybe grad school of some other kind. Then I started doing improv on campus and I really liked it. I thought maybe I’d move to New York after college and do comedy at UCB, but a bunch of my friends from the college improv team started talking about moving to Chicago, so I moved to Chicago with them and started doing characters and sketch.
Yeah, I moved to Chicago right after college in 2017 and I just moved to LA this past summer.
It was so weird, dude. My roommate and I, Shelby Wolstein — also a brilliant comedian — drove out with our moms. We took a moving truck and both of our cars and drove across the country. It was crazy. Some places were taking [COVID] really seriously, some places weren’t. When we got to LA the city was on like a 2:00 PM curfew because of the demonstrations for Black Lives, which is obviously net positive, it was just a weird time to show up to the city.
No, I had been in Chicago for a couple years doing live shows, live improv, live stand up, sketch, and then, about a year ago I spent some time screen testing at SNL. It came up during that process that I should be doing online content. I maybe had 4,000 followers or something [on Twitter] and I tweeted about politics and stuff, but I was putting zero comedy videos out. But, before the pandemic even started, I didn’t get that job. Then it was like, okay, I’ll put comedy videos online. I’ve got stuff to make.
I started putting character videos on Twitter and it just went kind of crazy, it got a lot more attention than I expected. So I already had this new thing where a bunch of people were starting to know me for internet content, but that’s not the bulk of what I was doing or felt like my comedy was. There’s nothing wrong with exclusively doing digital content, but that wasn’t the biggest part of what I was doing. So trying to pivot that to, “Come to my live shows,” and figuring out how to harness the energy of digital to sell tickets and get people to come out was already something I was working through, and then the pandemic hit and it was like, this is what you have, this is what we’re doing. It was weird, but my followers just kept going up because everyone was turning to digital to be entertained and hear about what’s going on. Anybody who had even the tiniest head start or [was] making online comedy content immediately started doing better.
Thank you! What if I started crying? What if I started sobbing when you said that?
Completely embarrassing. No, but thank you. That’s very sweet. I appreciate it.
Sure. Yeah. It’s funny to me when something like that tweet gets a lot of attention because… I love academia, I like research, I loved writing papers in college, going to grad school would be very fun for me. So, I’m constantly fighting off the urge to tweet things that are kind of essay-ish because it’s not what I ultimately want to be doing. I enjoy it. But, ultimately I want to be a comedian. I want to make people laugh. But every time I tweet something like that, it does get a good response, and I’m always like, “Is that because I don’t do it as often?” Is it a break in form from a goofball who usually tweets out dumb shit, or is it that actually my voice in a way? I don’t know. But yeah, masculinity I think about all the time. I grew up gay in Missouri and it was not perfect, but I wasn’t worried about my family, I knew they were going to be cool.
The hardest thing for me about coming out was I was worried that I wouldn’t have any more male friends.
Male friendship has always been very important in my life and still is. And that’s not an image that you get a lot for gay men. You don’t see a lot of gay men that have male friends in media because we’re always the bitchy sidekick to whatever woman is on a shopping spree. Except Neighbors 2, I will say, had a very healthy and positive depiction of male friendship that included gay men.
I wasn’t out when I went to college and I joined a social fraternity and was in it all four years. I learned a lot more about the kind of macho masculine guys that I would have been so scared of had I not had that experience, and for good reason. A lot of times those dudes are dangerous, bad people. But, I also learned that a lot of the guys that posture are really, genuinely sweet guys who have depth and complexity, who are just replaying this trauma of being a man in our stupid, fucked up society. I watched a lot of guys come in as just huge assholes. I would meet these guys and be like, “You fucking suck, dude.” And then, through friendship and growth and learning, by the time we left, they were better guys, and so was I.
I think it’s really interesting, the effect that healthy male friendships have, telling your male friends that you love them, hugging each other, talking about relationships and the ways you feel about them and not just who you’re fucking.
Those things, and having those kinds of outlets, really aren’t available to a lot of straight men or a lot of traditionally masculine men. But when it becomes available, you see people start to break free and challenge those ideas around What Does It Mean To Be A Man? Can I be gay? Can I be sexually fluid? Can I talk about my feelings when I’m not just feeling angry, when I’m feeling other things? What does all of it mean? Breaking those molds requires some work, and some friendship that isn’t always available. Do you know what I mean?
Sure, yeah. On my development slate right now there’s not any projects that I think go straight to that point, but platonic male friendship is something I talk about all the time in tweets and I think it’s important. A lot of men are missing out on it. A lot of gay men are missing out on it for reasons that are not just that they don’t want it. I think a lot of straight men, a lot of macho dudes are missing out on good, healthy, deep male friendships and don’t realize it.
A lot of straight guys don’t even realize that they are deeply in love with their friends, and not romantically.
I think that’s a hacky trope that comes out of a truthful thing, which is that a lot of straight men have so much more love and reverence and respect for their friends than they do for women, which is a problem in its own right. But, they don’t realize it. They think, “Oh, that’s just my boys.” And it’s like, no, there is something so deep here, you’re only real with these people, and if you could understand that, conceptualize that… It’s social penetration theory. You know what I mean? If you would let other people, maybe the women that you’re dating or your mother, or just random women that you work with… If you would let other people who weren’t just your boys access your feelings in similar ways, you would be a less toxic person moving through the world.
But because so much of that’s just relegated to, “Oh, they’re my boys. Sometimes we get drunk and we talk about our feelings or whatever,” to this nothingness, then you can’t place it, understand it, and replicate it in other relationships. That’s why, I think, so many men who are traditionally masculine, which usually is associated with heterosexuality, can’t function in other relationships very healthily — because we’re just not talking about it very much. The men in my family are certainly not impeccable with emotion that isn’t anger. I think it’s just something that we all should be talking about.
And, I have a ton of guy friends who I don’t really see on screen.
There are a ton of straight guys, gay guys, queer men, people across the spectrum who are masculine, fem, and otherwise, and have very healthy relationships with different types of men, it’s just not portrayed. I think the people who make stuff assume that somebody who wants to sit down and watch a “boys comedy” or a “boys whatever”, doesn’t want to see certain things. That’s why I brought up Neighbors 2 with Seth Rogan and Dave Franco, Zac Efron, all those guys. I thought it was really brave and cool to make Dave Franco’s character gay, and for John Early to propose at the boys’ poker night. I thought it was a depiction of male friendship that was at once silly and macho and goofy, but also healthy and loving and supportive. I don’t see a lot of that and I don’t know why. So yeah, I do want to see more of it and I would love to be part of it.
Well, I will say too, I think men need to do the work for ourselves. When I say we need to love men, we need to give men the room to be loved, to be sad and to be upset and many things that aren’t just angry, I think that’s men’s job.
I think women and fem people in general have been doing that for long enough.
I’m always cautious about talking about stuff like that because I don’t want it to seem like I’m like, “Every fucked up, toxic, bad dude is just misunderstood and didn’t get enough hugs.” That really is not the case. Some people want to stay in that and they’re not looking for a way out of it. So, it goes both ways, I think.
You know, I want to do it all. I think it’s such a cop-out when people ask me, “What do you want to do?” I’m like, “Everything!” But I do. I think there are phases to that. I’m learning so much right now and I hope that I’ll have, if I’m lucky, a really long career of just learning all the time. Right now I’m learning how to write TV in my first TV writer’s room. I’m learning how to write a screenplay for an idea that I’m really excited about, I’m writing my own sketch show and hopefully I’ll get to do that. But, I consider myself first and foremost a writer, a performer. Eventually I’d like to direct and produce and I have kind of a Steve Carell, Jonah Hill desire to go and do dramatic movies that maybe people wouldn’t expect.
I want to do whatever I can be doing, but I think the most important thing is just learning each step of the way.
Right now, the big thing that I’m focusing on is learning how to write TV. Specifically, kind of a raunchy animated series. That’s a really fun way to learn because there are so few restrictions. We can kind of say whatever we want and there are no real world constraints because it’s animation. I hope that it’ll lend itself to whatever I do next, and just keep building towards the point where, if I get really, really lucky, I get to do whatever I want with people I like.
The show I’m writing on, Human Resources, will come out more than a year from now so that’s quite a ways away. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram and I’ll post stuff there as it comes. I’m starting to do some distanced live shows in LA, which is fun. And, hopefully, we’ll get to do that in other places soon too!
Oh, gosh, I don’t know how I could forget this but Shelby Wolstein and I are putting out a podcast soon. So, listen to that when it comes out and we’ll tweet about it. If you haven’t watched Righteous Gemstones on HBO, it’s fucking amazing. I’m in love with it.
If you know me, I watch everything A24 does cause I’m an A24 slut. And you can make that the headline.
I love 20th Century Women. I’ve been rewatching a lot of stuff like Something to Talk About and My Best Friend’s Wedding, old Julia Roberts movies. I find those very comforting right now.
Me saying I want to be like Diego Maradona
Mom thinking I want to be footballer
Dat thinking I want to do drugs
All the way back in 2018, we used our power to help better society as a whole and showcased the ultimate book that proves the alphabet is bullshit. Now, authors and purveyors of truth Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter, joined by illustrator-extraordinaire Bryce Gladfelter, are back with another extremely important work in their journey to show the world that
the English language is dumb as hell.
Assuming you’ve spent the last two years coming to grips with the fact that the ABC’s are a scam (if you haven’t, take your time, it’s a lot to process), you’re ready to move onto this next volume of mandatory reading, No Reading Allowed.
No Reading Allowed isn’t lying when it tells you right on the cover that it is “The WORST read-aloud book ever.” Well, I suppose it’s only the worst if you don’t like being deceived by words and having your brain scrambled by a picture book.
Of course you do. We all do! And you might be right, but you might not. What if what you heard was, “raining cats and dogs,” but what the actual phrase was is, “reigning cats and dogs”? Well now! Here you were imagining a day of bad weather when it was actually referring to a ruling pair of canine and feline monarchs! Don’t you feel silly?
As you SHOULD. The English language has gone on being ridiculous for far too long, and you and your children need to be prepared for whatever devious homonyms you encounter!
So to make sure you and yours are equipped for all the silly sound-the-same sentences out there, grab this super-serious manual and study it hard! Because what you think you heard there might just be that ewe herd, there.
Vaccine will not be enough to stop Pandemic: WHO CHIEF
@Pankaj Mishra – Washing hands not enough. Social distancing not enough. Now, vaccine not enough. Are you WHO or a WIFE? 🙁
First up salty wine: a delicious boozy cocktail that will help you get through this lonely, desperate holiday. All you need is a bottle of wine and a small glass of your own tears!
To get enough tears, just think for a moment about how you might never get to see your loved ones again, because the future is a pitch, black unknowable abyss. Pour the wine and then the tears into a glass. Shake it up and ta da, your sweet salty boozy drink is ready to jug.
Now let’s move on to side dishes. No Thanksgiving meal is complete without mashed potatoes. Generally mashed potatoes are made with potatoes, butter, cream, salt, and pepper, but this solo mashed potatoes recipe is a lot quicker. You need one raw potato and one large hammer. Put the potato on a table and hammer at it until it’s completely unrecognizable. Then put it into a coffee mug, add a little water, microwave for five minutes and voila, your mashed potato is served.
Every meal needs bread. For your solo Thanksgiving, why not bake a simple flat bread that will take you no time at all? It’s called letter to your family about how COVID is real. You just need a pen and a piece of paper. First preheat the oven to 450. Then take out your pen and write a letter to your parents who don’t think COVID is real to tell them it’s super irresponsible that they’re having a big Thanksgiving meal today with all of your family and they need to get tested. Then realize they’re not going to listen to you no matter what you say and put the letter in the oven for 10 minutes at 450. When it comes out, it will be a completely harmless pile of ash.
Now we’re at the main dish of our solo Thanksgiving celebration, the turkey. A whole Turkey is obviously too much for one person and even a single Turkey breast is pushing it. A much better turkey recipe for one is trash turkey. Trash Turkey only has one ingredient, desperation. All you need to do is go out in the alley behind your house on Thanksgiving night and listen to see which neighbor has a lot of people over, suggesting they cooked a big Thanksgiving feast. Then find their trash can and route through it until you find the Turkey remains. Grab them, then find a dark hidden place and tear off as much sweet Turkey flesh as possible with your teeth.
Finally, it’s not Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. So for dessert, take a handful of sugar, pour a bit of orange juice on it and then shove it down your wretched maw.
Hope these recipes helped you prepare for your solo holiday. Have a happy Thanksgiving!
Tamara Yajia, Grace Thomas & Darren Miller
Thanksgiving is definitely not a holiday known for its extremely elaborate decorations or fanciful costumes, but this year you could be the one to start a new tradition in your family or friend group. Or make everyone you enjoy Thanksgiving with severely uncomfortable and ask questions like, “You sure you’re okay?” But hey, either way it’s gonna be a memorable year.
Just when we thought that the hit 90’s sitcom Friends had finally exhausted it’s time in the spotlight and that we’d finally seen everything, the online retailer Firebox is here to prove us all wrong. For better or worse.
Remember the one where Monica wears that giant turkey with comically large sunglasses on her head for Thanksgiving? Of course you do. We all do. It’s all into our brains forever, and now you can pay homage to that particular episode in the most fitting way possible.
(It’s not a real turkey, don’t worry. Although you can still do this with a real turkey if you want to, we’re not gonna stop you, but we’re not gonna encourage it either.)
You can get this delectably chic(k), Thanksgiving-ready look on Firebox for $37.99, and the description promises to “guarantee accidental confessions of love” but I still think that’s a job best completed by too much Thanksgiving wine.
And, if you really, really want to, you can complete your turkey attire with this heated “huggable” stuffed Friends plush turkey.
Wait a minute, how do I plug a USB stick into this $2000 MacBook? Apple
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We receive tons of submissions every day from the community of comedy creators across the world. We review as many as we can, and are very excited to start featuring some of our favorites as Best Of The Web Nominees for YOU, the audience (hi), to vote on.
The winner will be crowned as a Best Of The Web Audience Pick (we’re extremely creative) and will receive lifelong glory, validation, immortality, fame, etc. etc. etc. But we need your help to make it happen! Vote!
If you think you can do better yourself, or if you want to nominate someone else’s video to be included in a future roundup, you can submit videos here.
These roundups will only feature submissions; if we find other great stuff elsewhere, we’ll write about it elsewhere! We have a whole website, actually. Check it out if you have time!
Here are the Best Of The Web Volume 4 Nominees!
Okay they are for sure listening.
For everyone who’s gained some weight during COVID, this song’s for you! Animation/music by Luba Magnus, and voiced by Meg MacKay. The video is funny, cute, body-positive, and sure to cheer you up 🙂
An Unforgettable insanely funny video about the vloggers phenomenon. It’s not just a shitty parody. watch til the end.
Made with a mix of live-action and stop motion, this is what happens when Quarantine finally gets to you.
Written by, Directed by, & Starring Ari Frenkel (Instagram)
Featuring the voices of Dave Murgittroyd, Angeliea Stark, Mike Millan, Joe Conti, Mike Liscio, Justin Anthony Long, Alissa Garcia, Karl Girolamo and Bonnie Golson.
E-mails, layoffs, and the apocalypse — employees working from home will send whatever it takes to cling onto their health insurance on The Circle Back, a spin-off parody of the hit Netflix reality-competition series. Created by Madeleine Daste Written by Anca Vlasan Featuring Boss – Madison Hatfield Senior Manager – Andrea Laing Marketing Rep – Heath Hancock Coordinator – Catherine Holly Sales Rep – Fray Forde HR Rep – Jonothon Mitchell Brought to you by Fishbrain Productions Some Blonde Girl Productions
Boss – Madison Hatfield
Senior Manager – Andrea Laing
Marketing Rep – Heath Hancock
Coordinator – Catherine Holly
Sales Rep – Fray Forde
HR Rep – Jonothon Mitchell
Brought to you by
Some Blonde Girl Productions
A famous scene between Tony and Carmella. The NY Times called it “disturbing”… The Boston Globe said “It tonally missed the mark”
A coma patient wakes from an 11-month-long coma in the year 2020 and has to be given the rundown on everything he missed.
Created by Blake Studwell (Youtube)
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Women: I hate my hair. No products work for me.
Men after using body wash as Shampoo
Tamara Yajia is an Argentinian comedian, writer, actress and musician. Originally from Buenos Aires, Tam moved to the United States as a teenager. After her family’s tourist visa expired, she spent some time undocumented and credits her past experiences and Latin heritage for helping find her voice as a comedian.
Her comedy, like the Funny Or Die series Telenovelas Are Hell, helps bring people together and is all about being yourself. She’s been hailed by Playboy as “one of the funniest women on Twitter.” Tam has written for Clickhole, The Cut, Merry Jane and Funny Or Die, and is best known for her Funny Or Die series ‘Me Llamo Alma’ and ‘Movie Mama” — where she gets drunk and watches a classic or cult movie she’s never seen before.
For resources to support a growing coalition of activists, leaders, and artists pushing for change like Tam, visit momentolatino.us
Think virtual Thanksgiving doesn’t actually involve food? Caught entirely unaware until your mom called you to ask if you were making her famous turkey pot pies? Well, then you have more in common with Sarah Michelle Gellar than you even realized!
Not wanting to let her mom down, even from afar, Sarah and her best friend, Shannen Doherty had to act quickly. Luckily, Kroger has them covered! Just a few simple taps and the fresh ingredients were on their way, and their moms didn’t even notice a thing (and Shannen may or may not have picked up an entire pie and ate it like a sandwich). Thanksgiving may be a little different this year, but some things never change.
Gandhi never actually said “be the change you want to see in the world” but a whole crop of inspirational posters in dental offices and coffee mugs have, and regardless of who coined that phrase, the sentiment is what matters. Getting involved and championing causes is so important. Causes that really, truly matter. Causes that will make the world a better place.
He’s played every type of character under the sun.
So it’s only logical that the next iconic role he takes on is a complex, tortured hero like Wolverine. It’s either that or Hamlet. And rather than wait for this guaranteed blockbuster to be made, a very proactive fan decided to take matters into his own hands and create a petition to speed things along.
As of this moment, the petition is about a thousand signatures short of it’s goal. But considering how incredibly amazing this idea is it shouldn’t take long to pass it.
Everyone, please, together we can make this happen. We NEED Danny DeVito Wolverine. We DESERVE Danny DeVito Wolverine. Sign the petition now and let’s make this beautiful dream a reality.
R E L A T E D
We know that Danny DeVito has what it takes to be the next Wolverine, but only Hugh Jackman can unite the mutants and put on the greatest show the world has ever seen, because Hugh Jackman is the Greatest Logan.
There are a lot of admirable Americans out there, but there is only one Danny DeVito. And I think that we all know he’s the one true king of American icons. Which is why we’re all so enthralled — no, dare I say, enamoured by him. That’s why there was even a petition to get him to play Wolverine, which, hey — what happened to that? I need this to happen, WE ALL need this to happen. But I digress.
DeVito has inspired more than just petitions, he’s now inspired art. In an academic institution, no less.
The subreddit /r/mildlyinteresting contains exactly that: Things that are mildly interesting. Although I take some issue with this particular post, because this isn’t simply “mildly interesting”. This is goddamn glorious.
At Mystery University in Unspecified City, a reddit user posted this most magnificent sight:
Like I said, I don’t know what city this is in or which university this is, but wherever it is, it deserves ALL THE FUNDING. Because what’s a better way to get young academic minds going than by encouraging this kind of art?!
Despite the time-crunch, Johnno and Michael decide they’re going to try completing all their resolutions in eight short hours.
Surprisingly, the duo is able to knock out a lot of their resolutions fairly quickly. However – because the boys are in a rush, they accidentally misread, “meet Rob at the bank” as “rob a bank” and accidentally commit a felony crime – whoopsies!
Will Johnno and Michael be able to resolve all their resolutions before the clock strikes midnight? How come stealing almost 200K in cash was enough to pay off Johnno’s debt, but not Michael’s? You’ll just have to watch the final episode of Johnno And Michael Try to find out!
Johnno: Johnno Wilson @johnnowilson
Michael: Michael Strassner @strasshola
Guy Fieri: Chris Riggi @chrisriggi
In this series, Johnno and Michael try things. The two aren’t always successful and (often) hilariously fail, but hey – at least they’re having fun!
Watch every episode of Johnno and Michael Try:
Today I went to toilet without my phone
There are 112 tiles in the bathroom