The Comedy Issue Made Me Laugh 17 Times
Phoebe Robinson reveals her celeb crush, Matt Buechele shares a flirty game, and Samantha Irby finds hats for big heads. (It's like an orange on a toothpick.)
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Did you know toddlers laugh 400 times a day, on average? How freaking cute is that? Whenever someone makes me laugh, I immediately feel close to them. My college boyfriend was hilarious, and when we broke up, he said, earnestly, “Remember me as funny.” So sweet.
My kids also crack me up. The other day, Anton asked me to try on a pair of glasses in a store. I put them on and turned to him, smiling. His response: “Okay, thanks. I would recommend you NOT wear those.”
When I discovered the podcast 2 Dope Queens, I immediately fell in love with Phoebe Robinson’s razor-sharp, irreverent humor. Next I devoured her essay collection Please Don’t Sit On My Bed in Your Outside Clothes. And, most recently, she kicked off a nationwide Messy AF comedy tour to a sold-out crowd in L.A. “I hope people like my new hour; I think it’s the best I’ve done,” she told me on the phone. “I’ve gotten to a place where I don’t drive myself cuckoo bananas over every set. If audiences see you’re having a good time, they will also have a good time.” Here are four things Phoebe swears by…
Celeb crush: Earlier this year, I was really into Pedro Pascal. We were all being so extra with it, where he’d show a kneecap and we’d be like, we’re ready to f*ck you!!! And I was like, what are we doing guys? I feel like we’ve all calmed down a little bit, but I still adore him, forever and always.
Novel: In 2020, I launched Tiny Reparations Books to publish more diverse voices. The heist novel Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li was an instant New York Times bestseller. When we told her, Grace was so excited and genuinely touched. I’m glad to say that Tiny Reparations has a great amount of respect in the industry and people are really digging what we’re doing.
TV shows: The fifth season of Project Greenlight [a reality show about female filmmakers directing their first feature with mentors like Issa Rae] was riveting, chaotic and stressful. Loved it. Sex and the City is also canon for me, and I can quote full episodes of Martin because I watched it so much as a kid.
Best buy this year: My apartment. Can I say that? Is that trash? Who am I, Gwyneth Paltrow?!! But many people don’t realize that stand up is SO HARD to break into. It’s a damn journey no matter how you slice it. I started in 2008 and wasn’t really making a living until 2017. That’s nine years. All those nights I was taking the $1 bus from Boston at one in the morning, and I had those humbling experiences where you’re broke and going to housing court. So, when I got to a point where I could buy an apartment, it felt like such a major achievement. New York is tough, and there are times when you think your dreams won’t come true — so I feel really proud of myself for sticking it out.
Thank you, Phoebe! We love you.
(Photos of Phoebe by Kathryn Page.)
Comedian and songwriter Matt Buechele makes hilarious Instagram reels about everything from the secret to a great dinner with friends to strict Airbnb hosts. And it doesn’t hurt that, as one Cup of Jo reader put it, he’s “the perfect Sleepy Boy.” Here are four things Matt enjoyed lately…
Game: At our age, it’s difficult to pull out a game at night that has tokens and dice and boards and cards. But if you want to play something fun and quick, you can't beat Codenames. It’s word play, so it’s more about your relationship with the people in the room. It's not an aphrodisiac, exactly, but it is flirty! You're like, oh, okay, we think the same way, and that's exciting to get on the same wavelength.
Movie: I just re-watched Meet the Parents. Have you seen it since 2000? Something I realized is that we don't get that genre anymore — yes, it's comedy, but the specific genre is man has the worst fucking weekend of his life, and it’s so, so funny. Robert De Niro is so good. It's also 90 minutes, so it's over in no time, and you're like, wow, that was jam-packed.
Book: Lorrie Moore’s new novel — I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home — was INCREDIBLE. It’s short, so you'll fly through it. It's about a guy visiting his older brother in hospice, and it's so goddamn funny and powerful but also heartfelt. The writing is really, really sharp and made me want to observe better.
Travel: I like to think I'm pretty quick, but I just traveled to Ireland, and people there, it's a different level of bullshitting. It's very humbling. One night at a pub, we met this older guy, John, who was just killing us. You're only catching every third word because the accent’s so thick, but you follow the sing-song-y rhythm. It was like nonstop joke joke joke joke joke joke about his family, his town, his upbringing. Then the next day my parents, my partner, and I were walking around Dublin, and guess who we run into, wearing the exact same outfit — John. He immediately comes up and goes, ‘Matt!’ and then turns to my mother and says, ‘I’ve heard so much about you!’ I was like, these people are on a different level of kindness. He was like, Omg it's the mother of Matt!
Thank you so much, Matt. We love all you do.
(Top portrait by Troy Hallahan.)
Samantha Irby’s newslettermakes us laugh every time. The essays in her latest book, Quietly Hostile, touch on everything from writing for the Sex and the City reboot to watching videos of “whales doing whale shit.” She lives in Michigan with her wife and two teenage stepchildren, and when she emailed me this morning, the subject line was, “I took some hash gummies don’t judge!!!!"
One of the best things about Samantha is how she’s unapologetic about liking what she likes. When a friend teased her for recommending a strip mall, instead of getting defensive, she doubled down and said: “I like it! I like it a lot!” Samantha encourages everyone to employ the tactic: "You can use ‘I like it!’ (the exclamation point is necessary) any time freaks question a regular-ass thing you enjoy, and it’ll swipe their legs out from under them every single time, and you can stand over their quivering body with your subpar tastes and laugh your face off." On that note, Samantha shares four things she's into…
Movie: Boomerang. Eddie Murphy is so effortlessly funny and watchable, but this movie also stars Martin Lawrence? And David Alan Grier??? Three comedic geniuses in one movie!!! I’m in a deep '90s rom-com phase, and it’s a perfect slice of oversized-suit and mushroom haircut nostalgia.
Recipe: I make themushroom marsala bake like every other week! It’s so good. Deb is a magician for real!
Hat: Beanies from Big Hat Store Dot Com!!!! I have a neon orange, cherry red, and navy one. Truly the best in the business for those of us with enormous noggins.
Sleep: Here’s my gold sleep recipe: ICE COLD ROOM + multiple fans blowing directly on me, a white noise machine creating a wall of sound right next to my head, a firm mattress, a gel pillow, and, most important, a nightgown with sleeves!! I don’t care about much, but nothing beats having your arms covered while your butt kinda hangs out during the night!!!!
You’re the best, Samantha!
(Opening photo by Eva Blue.)
“Whenever someone tells me they’re expecting their first baby and they’re nervous, I tell them the following: ‘Oh my goodness, that’s wonderful. I am so happy for you. Listen, of course you’re nervous but here’s the deal: you’re ready for all the bad stuff. You’ve been very tired before. You’ve been in pain before. You’ve been worried about money before. You’ve felt like an incapable moron before. So you’ll be fine with the difficult parts! You’re already a pro. What you’re NOT ready for is the wonderful parts. NOTHING can prepare you for how amazing this will be. There is no practice for that.’ ”
― Rob Delaney, A Heart That Works
(Photo from Rob Delaney.)
Five Fun Things I Noticed With My Sister and Dad. We took a road trip, stayed in a pretty hotel, and watched Frasier reruns.
Five Downsizers Show Us Their Smaller Homes. The good, the bad, and the importance of noise-canceling headphones.
Brown Butter Almond-Apple Cake. Just happens to be gluten free.
My Favorite Fall Outfits Are Black and White. Plus, a red lip.
What makes you laugh? Specifically, what’s your favorite rom-com of all time? I’d love to hear. Next week, my twin sister Lucy and I will be talking about dating, and, you guys, she has the funniest horror story. Have a relaxing weekend, and don't forget Mindy Kaling's advice: “Sometimes you just have to put on lipgloss and pretend to be psyched.”