Jun 3, 2016
Brooklyn’s 50 Funniest People: Anna Drezen
After working as a hotel concierge for years, Anna Drezen decided to do something funny about it. With a friend who also worked in the industry, she wrote How May We Hate You? (May 2016, Potter Style) which is full of jokes about the terrible things tourists do, but could also be helpful if you’re a terrible tourist and would like to avoid the usual pitfalls.
Drezen has appeared in videos on CollegeHumor and BuzzFeed, and her writing has also been featured on BuzzFeed’s website. Currently, she is an editor and columnist at Cracked, as well as an Editor-At-Large for Reductress, where her headlines are usually terrifying, like ‘How To Use a Wire Hanger to Give Yourself a Mammogram,’ ‘Easy Ways to Clean Your Vibrator Once Every Month-ish,’ and ‘He Left Me for a Woman Who Uses Two Spaces After a Period’ (shiver). She has also performed at the UCB (where she co-hosts Open Michelle), the PIT, and is a regular panelist on WBUR’s You’re The Expert.
On Twitter, Drezen describes her body type as “tiny terrible German boy who’s scared off his governess AGAIN” (not true), and hopes her obituary doesn’t read “Woman Beheaded on Subway Platform After Leaning Over Too Far to See if Guy was Wearing Wedding Ring” (probably true).
When was the first time you remember making someone laugh? What happened?
I was in a cabin skit at sleepaway camp when I was 10 where we acted out a fable about a young Swiss girl getting lost on a mountain, and the whole town holds hands while walking up the mountain to find her. We named her Strudel and I did a vaguely Euro accent. The entire camp was laughing so, so hard. It was a really powerful feeling. I was a really shy kid, so it was like baptism by fire. I was warped by that experience. Pretty sure it was my peak.
What is the toughest part about being on the comedy scene in Brooklyn today? What is the best?
I think the best thing is also the toughest thing, where all the different comedy scenes are converging together. Like, improv and standup and sketch and video stuff and humor writing are so overlapped now, which I love, because I’ve always been someone who liked hopping between different things, and you get these cool weird creative performance and collaboration opportunities. But it’s also very hard to choose where to focus your energy. I think it’s easy to run yourself ragged and stay busy just to feel like you’re in motion without considering whether something is worth the investment of time and energy. I do a ton of checking in and evaluating about things that come in. It’s flattering to have options, but all the options can be confusing and exhausting.
Who do you find funny?
Maria Bamford, Janine Brito, Shalewa Sharpe, Ana Fabrega, Dan Chamberlain, Nicole Silverberg, Naomi Ekperigin, Josh Gondelman, Reductress writers, happy dogs, all of my friends, nice dogs.
What was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
I was recording an episode of Ten Ideas, the podcast I cohost with Taylor Moore. We discuss ten different concepts and/or inventions and do very stupid bits about them. Somehow we ended up doing a bit about a show called Chef Yumyumyum where the goal is to make something so delicious, the chef says his own name. It was so deeply dumb. Taylor decided the catchphrase would be “You are the weakest link. Fuck you!” I scream-laughed so hard I actually broke capillaries in my face under my eye. It was just so gleefully stupid.
What are your goals for your comedy career?
I would like to write and perform comedy on TV, and live, and internet, and have a dog.
And finally: What is your favorite knock-knock (or otherwise goofy) joke?
A blonde, a brunette, and a redhead are running from the cops, and hide out in a barn. The brunette hides in a horse stall, the redhead hides near the cows, and the blonde hides in a pile of potatoes. When the cops pass the horse stalls, the brunette says “Neigh, neigh.” They keep looking. When they look near the cows, the redhead says “Moo, moo.” They keep looking. When they get to the potatoes, the blonde says “Potato, potato.”
To see 49 more of Brooklyn’s funniest people, click here.
Photo by Nicolas Maloof.
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