In the past twelve months Josh Gondelman has released a comedy album called Physical Whisper, appeared on Conan to do a set of stand up, co-authored the book You Blew It! with Joe Berkowitz, and worked tirelessly behind the scenes as one of the many fearless and funny writers on Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. If reading that extensive list of accomplishments made you tired, consider this: Almost any given night of the week he is performing stand up live on a stage somewhere in New York City. Gondelman deserves every ounce of accolades he gets, not only because he is earnest and kind, but because he has worked tirelessly for each and every thing he’s earned. This kind of work ethic is no laughing matter.
When was the first time you remember making someone laugh? What happened?
Oh man, there’s this video my parents took of me at age two and a half or something telling a very long joke to my great aunt. It’s about a chicken checking out and returning library books. In the middle, I got distracted by a bug that was crawling by and had to be prompted to keep going. I think the joke got a little laugh, but it mostly came from: “Look at this little goober trying.” I’m not sure I’ve totally outgrown that kind of laugh yet.
What is the toughest part about being on the comedy scene in Brooklyn today? What is the best?
I think they’re the same thing which is that there are so many people who are so funny! So it’s challenging to carve out your own space, but it’s also exhilarating to be a part of this community where so many people are creating so much wonderful work.
Who do you find funny?
This question quickly becomes way too long a list. Usually when I have to say who makes me laugh, it is just a list of all my friends, like the ad-libs at the end of a rap song. At this point in my life, most of my close friends are comedians and funny writers, and all of those people make me laugh a lot. Plus there are the people I don’t know, who I just enjoy as a fan. It’s a nightmare. The worst problem one can have. I will say I am particularly excited for upcoming standup albums by my friends Dan Boulger and Aparna Nancherla. Also, Gary Gulman’s special that just came out is amazing. But now I have to stop or I’ll be here for hours naming people.
What was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but there is a 99% chance it was either at a song my fiance (the brilliant and lovely Maris Kreizman, whose book Slaughterhouse 90210: The Book is out now) was singing to our dog or the most recent iteration of some silly, long-running bit in the Last Week Tonight writers’ room.
To see 49 more of Brooklyn’s funniest people, click here.
Photo by Nicolas Maloof.