Jo Firestone is a busy woman. On Running Late with Scott Rogowsky last year, Rogowsky had Firestone give one-sentence overviews of all the shows she’d created—there were sixteen. Firestone Success Academy was “A night-school-themed show that teaches people how to get an apartment and stuff;” Public Services was “A sewer-themed soap—” Firestone interrupted herself, “Now it’s really sounding so dumb!” With all due respect, we highly disagree. We’d binge-watch them all. Also host of Punderdome 3000, Firestone recently joined forces with fellow funny person Aparna Nancherla, for “Let’s Talk About Puberty,” a 70-style talk show about exactly that: puberty. This is the comedy we need.
When was the first time you remember making someone laugh? What happened?
I used to wear a back brace that covered my whole torso, and I’d do this trick where I’d lie down and let people stand on me. It was a pretty solid bit.
What is the toughest part about being on the comedy scene in Brooklyn today? What is the best?
There’s so many great people in the Brooklyn comedy scene, and it’s a blessing and a curse. Because it makes for some great shows and you get to be around very funny people all the time, but it also means you can’t just rest on your laurels, you gotta keep pushing yourself to be better and to keep up.
Who do you find funny?
What was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
One time I accidentally pranked fellow comedian Connor Ratliff. He was helping me out at an event I was doing where passers-by could pick up note cards with jokes on them and read them into a microphone. I had to leave, so he was manning it by himself. But I had forgotten to tell him there were all these dead baby jokes in the mix. And for some lord only knows reason, a lot of actual children were at this event, and they started reading the dead baby jokes out loud with their parents in the room, so the parents start to glare at Connor because he’s the only other adult in the room and it looked like he was the sick fuck who wrote these jokes and for children no less, and meanwhile he was completely shocked and caught off guard and definitely immediately upset with me. I tried to apologize but I couldn’t stop laughing. The whole situation was very unintentionally awful for Connor. Still apologizing to this day for that one.
What are your goals for your comedy career?
I’d like to get paid to make stuff with and for funny friends.
What is your favorite knock-knock (or otherwise goofy) joke?
It’s that one about the boogies: how do you make a tissue dance? You put a little boogie in it.
To see 49 more of Brooklyn’s funniest people, click here.
Photo by Nicolas Maloof.