When Jenn Tisdale responded to an interview request for this installment of Inside Jokes, she prefaced her answers with this: “Sorry for the delay. I’ve been busy and then sick and right now I may be dead, so these answers will be extraordinarily special.”
As you’ll soon discover, the answers are phenomenal and I sincerely hope Tisdale isn’t dead. I’ve seen some funny tweets from her in the last couple of days, so I can only assume she’s still alive. Either that, or Tisdale in zombie form is just as hilarious as the not-undead lady.
Tisdale does stand-up comedy mostly in and around the Baltimore-D.C. area, but comedy and improv have taken her many places, including a Los Angeles show where she met Rue McClanahan. Don’t think that’s a big deal or don’t know who Rue McClanahan is? Read on, learn a little bit about evolutionary psychology and don’t forget to check out The Best Tweet I Can Find In Five Minutes at the end of the interview. Enjoy.
TC: Gun to your head: Ghostbusters or The Goonies?
JT: Gun to my head, I’m going with Ghostbusters but it was really a tough call. Goonies invokes a certain sense of nostalgia and also an incredibly awkward crush on Sean Astin that lasted all the way through all three Lord of the Rings films. That’s at least 12 hours of inexplicable lust on my part.
Ghostbusters delivers more laughs, hands down. If I had to marry a fictional film character that wasn’t Marty McFly, I would choose Dr. Peter Venkman.
TC: You’re a fan of “The Golden Girls”, a 1980s sitcom featuring a character named Blanche Devereaux. I’m a firm believer that Blanche is a woefully underused name in today’s society. Where do you weigh in on this critical issue?
JT: Blanche Devereaux is such a stately name. One cannot be a Blanche in a four-floor walk-up in New York City. You have to be on a porch somewhere sipping a mint julep, fanning yourself, constantly discussing the fact that the South will rise again and, really, the Civil War could have gone either way.
True story, I once met Rue McClanahan (who played Blanche) at a Groundlings show in Los Angeles. I was so overcome with joy that I hug/cried on her for five minutes. I think we both got a lot out of that meeting.
TC: Stand-up seems to be more popular than ever. Any fear of oversaturation or is there room for all good comics to succeed?
JT: I think the real popularity happening with stand-up is the idea that more people, and I’m referring to non-comics, understand comedy. You find more folks at shows that are willing to take this bizarre journey with you, and they understand it. You can go out on a limb and take risks with the knowledge that it will be well-received more often than not. For that reason, I’m excited about doing stand-up now.
I worry more about having an original thought versus how many people are out there doing stand-up. The only way I know of to tackle that is to write from personal experience, which of course belongs to me only.
TC: Adam Carolla and some other “macho” male comics…I’m not even sure Carolla is still a comic, but, whatever. Some dudes in the public eye have said women aren’t funny. How did you react to that when it’s abundantly clear that women like Sarah Silverman, Maria Bamford, Tig Notaro, Morgan Murphy, Amy Schumer — the list goes on — are some of the funniest people alive?
JT: I don’t agree with the broad (pun!) idea that women aren’t funny, but I do acknowledge the fact that I have more guy friends than lady friends and the reason for that is I don’t normally find women funny.
I’ve read a lot about evolutionary psychology and there are several theories as to why men seem to be more amusing than women — the idea of peacocking for example — but I do see that there are more funny women in mainstream media today than there have been in the past.
I think another issue is that women aren’t as supportive of each other as men are, so we lack that “I’ll help you and you help me,” sort of feeling. Plus…periods! Gross.
TC: Your Twitter bio — one of my absolute favorites, by the way — reads: “I really like palindromes, but mostly I just like Xanax.” Is that something you come up with on the fly, did you spend days thinking about it or did you steal it from Adam Carolla since a woman couldn’t possibly be that funny?
JT: I’m pretty sure Adam Carolla is a woman.
Thanks for liking my bio. It came to me out of nowhere, much like a lot of my tweets and jokes. Also, I legitimately love Xanax, and as luck would have it, it’s a palindrome. That was just old -fashioned Jesus Wizard Sorcery.
TC: What is the most annoying thing about Facebook? I vote for the Happy Birthday wishes.
JT: The most annoying thing about Facebook is any passive-aggressive status update that is begging you to ask “What’s wrong? What’s going on in your life?” For God’s sake, just tell us. I will literally never ask that person what is going on. I mostly don’t care. On the other hand, I despise oversharing on Facebook. Get a diary.
TC: What was your worst on-stage moment?
JT: It happened at my first club gig. I was emceeing for a friend of mine. I was supposed to do 10 minutes and somehow fell through a wormhole. When I got out of it, I had somehow blown through the light and did 18 minutes. That is the worst thing you can do on stage, more time than you are allotted. It was awful. I’m a cryer, so that one really set me off.
Note: The first and third parenthetical phrases in the interview are mine, the middle one is Tisdale’s.
Here it is, The Best Tweet I Can Find In Five Minutes:
R.I.P. Foo Fighters. Now where are we supposed to get Nirvana songs with less intriguing vocals?
— Dan Ewen (@VaguelyFunnyDan) October 2, 2012
For a good time, follow @Castleberry74 or call one of those numbers you find on a bathroom stall in a dive bar or do both. Win-win.