Hi reddit. I'm a comedian & writer. I’m a writer and regular on Chelsea Lately. You’ve seen me appear as a comedian on The Tonight Show, Conan,@Midnight and more. My book is called I Can Barely Take Care of Myself and my podcast is I Seem Fun.



Comments: 137 • Responses: 46  • Date: 

DudeExclamationPoint21 karma

Are you really that drunk during the Drunk History segments?

(PS- love you on the Pod F. Tompkast!)

JenKirkman27 karma

Come on dude. You know the answer. Drunk History AIN'T NO JOKE. It's the real deal. Yes. I am black out drunk.

I LOVED BEING on the Pod F. Tompkast. Nowadays Paul and I just hang out in real life and don't record it.

drnikki8 karma

When are you coming to my city? Do you have a website or anything?!

JenKirkman8 karma

I'm never going anywhere again and what is a website? :)

RetroHelix852 karma


drnikki1 karma

It's a troll of love, if that's even such a thing. I lovvvve her.

JenKirkman9 karma

I LOVVVVE YOU and you trolled well because I could tell it was a joke. xo

sillstaw7 karma

Do you have anything lined up for when "Chelsea Lately" ends?

JenKirkman17 karma

Oh of course. That's my sweet sweet writing job but my real life has always been stand-up comedy and I wasn't planning on being a writer forever anyway. i'll be touring in a major way, doing a comedy special, I'm writing my second book and I'll continue to try to take over television or the internet or just take a nap.

mespin1356 karma

Jen, Sad to see that you're still trapped in the internet. (Wait, Paul F Tompkins finally freed you?) Speaking of Paul F, you two tend to interact a lot on different Podcast and live shows. I don't think you've ever talked about how you two met?

JenKirkman6 karma

We did! The very first episode of the Pod F Tompkast was all about how we met. We met because we are both comedians so eventually we all meet ha but we met at the Montreal Comedy Festival in 1999 at the hotel bar where all the comedians convene. We hit it off right away and immediately began joking around. Although neither of us remembers what was so damn funny. Time/age/drunk xoxo

chrisneighbor6 karma



How's Ronnie and the Cutlass?

I need to get out there and play a round on the little slice of heaven that Ronnie has tended to.

Any chance you will be on the Crabfeast soon? I thoroughly enjoy every time you are on for the callbacks.

JenKirkman7 karma

I gotta make some time for my boys Jay and Ryan. I know they're always happy to see me. Maybe sometime in May or June I can sit down with them again.

Yeah get out on that course! Golf is fun and not just for corrupt politicians and Wall Street types! :)

Ronnie is doing great. That Cutlass is in a junkyard in the sky but in all of our hearts. My dad loves his new found celebrity so thanks for being "his fan." xoxo

speshalmon5 karma

Can you still not masturbate to Johnny Depp?

JenKirkman8 karma

ha ha still can't. :)

judokitten5 karma

What was your hangover like from Drunk History?

JenKirkman13 karma

The last one was the worst - because it was a 39 year old's hangover. The first DH I did, I was 33 and MAN WHAT A DIFFERENCE aging makes. PHEW. This one sucked. I went and did one of those fancy Hollywood intravenus vitamin/hydration drips the next day, drank bottles and bottles of coconut water and Gatorade. Ate a lot before bed after drinking. Took a lot of advil and still was hungover for about 48 hours.

ParappaTheRaptor5 karma

Jen, I know my life is a lot more fun when I am being silly, but I seem to get stuck in my head, and feel very anxious about making myself feel vulnerable or appear foolish.

I know from your appearances on the Todd Glass Show that you are a master of silliness, so I was wondering if you had any advice on how to let go and just goof around.

JenKirkman13 karma

I wish I knew how. I don't know how to NOT how which is why I was seen as a weirdo growing up. Mostly when I want to let go I just remind myself we are all going to die. No one is above humanity so why give a s*** what anyone else thinks of you and why waste your own time not being yourself? xoxo

mespin1354 karma

Are you going to even attempt to explain to your mom what an 'AMA' is?

JenKirkman7 karma

No. I just can't. Ha. She'll find it though. She's crafty. She figured out how to find my podcast!

cowboyjohnsontime4 karma

Jen, Jen, Jen!! If we build robots with artificial intelligence and they can replicate themselves and they're better then us in terms of logic and getting along do you think it'd be good if they became the predominant life forms on earth or are you team human all day?

JenKirkman8 karma

Man. I'm gonna say team human. ARGH that was tough to say.

bradysaysblerg4 karma

Hey Jen! I love everything you've ever done.

What is your favorite podcast to be a guest on?

Sidenote: I met you about a year ago in Brooklyn. I had gotten mugged the night before had no ID and you and your agent got me into your show at the Bellhouse. I've written about this before but I just wanted to say you made a really shitty day a lot less shitty. Just very thank you!

JenKirkman12 karma

Hey I remember you! I am so glad you came up to me and even more glad it worked out. I would have been ashamed if I couldn't have helped. My favorite podcast to guest on is probably Todd Glass's - he's just so fun to be around.

JohnnyRyde4 karma

What's the worst part about being a celeb on twitter: trolls, White Knights or people who think they're funny?

JenKirkman4 karma

People who think they're funny are the worst kind of people all around whether on the internet or not. They're always the bores that ruin parties. That's why I love comedians. We do not find ourselves funny.

heel24684 karma

What's your writing process like? Do you dedicate time to write down new material? Or do you prefer to improvise on stage to see where your set will go?

JenKirkman7 karma

I never sit down and write. Since the beginning I use the stage to write. Ideas come to me and I jot them down so I don't forget and I keep working it out on stage until it "comes to me" correctly and flies out of my mouth and I hone from there and I write everything down later so I don't forget it!

[deleted]3 karma


JenKirkman6 karma

Oh, JL's stenographer doesn't talk about her romantic life but it was on a see-saw in a park one night in her late twenties. That's all she will say. My favorite story line on After Lately was of course when I was supposed to be obsessed with Dave Grohl - teenaged me was dying that I got to act on TV with someone from Nirvana. And it to this day has people thinking that that was a TRUE thing and not a scripted thing which cracks me up.

I think any poem by Dorothy Parker best captures the FOUR MMMBEENZ experience.

LexisC3 karma

Hey Jen! One thing, i really really really love how you stand up for sexism in comedy. Two questions:

What comedians inspired you?


I've always wondered why Paul F. Tompkins calls you southie.

JenKirkman9 karma

Well! As explained I think in one of the Pod F Tompkast episodes (his former podcast - still available on iTunes) it's a sort of dig at me in a loving way because I lived in South Boston for a while during the filming and subsequent release of Good Will Hunting and sometimes I can get a little "Boston."

buster24163 karma

What is your funniest fart story?

JenKirkman3 karma

There has never, ever been a funny fart story. EVER.

Frajer3 karma

Hey Jen you do a great job on twitter of calling people out when they're being misogynist/dumb and I was wondering has anyone ever responded and been like "sorry my bad I'll be good now?"

JenKirkman7 karma

ABSOLUTELY. When I've been cool about it they have absolutely listened. When I've been a beeyotch they get even more mad. Imagine that. :)

mofitz2 karma

Hi Jen! How's Ronnie doing and when are you two finally going to make a joint appearance on The Crab Feast?

JenKirkman4 karma

Ronnie is great! I doubt he's going to make it out to CA to get on the Feast but I think that's best. He might take over! :) I do have him appear on my podcast "I SEEM FUN" (available on iTunes) and my favorite episode is called "Keeping up with the Kirkmans" he tells some funny storires. Check it out. Also thanks for asking. He loves his internet fame. xoxo

marqueemoon802 karma

Any plans for a new comedy album?

JenKirkman6 karma

I'm going to do a comedy special so that will be the "album" but i won't release it until I've toured most of the country with my current hour so people don't burn out on the material. So maybe 2015 it will come out.

TheBlackSpank2 karma

When is Todd Glass going to get it through his head that you will NOT sleep with him?

JenKirkman8 karma

You know, I thought he finally got it but I think he never will. He just texted me a pic of his tattoo.

KatPerson2 karma

Hi Jen! What do you have against cats?

JenKirkman12 karma

Nothing! I LOVE cats. Cats are my favorite animal. I just can't have one because I have NO time to deal with the potential mess. I'm home only one full week a month and my poor kitty would have no outdoor access or friends or love and I don't want to smell pee or cat food or find my cat dead or pay for medical bills. I keep my life SIMPLE. I just resent that whenever someone hears that a woman is single they assume instead of being a jet-setting badass who is boy crazy that she is lonely and at home petting at cat. When i'm lonely and at home -I go hardcore. I don't even have a cat to comfort me!

TheRussianCircus2 karma

Hi Jen, I absolutely love your podcast/stand up/book/everything. How do you choose which songs to play at the start of each episode? The songs always put me in a great mood. Also, if I can sneak one more question in... You guys wanna get out of here?

JenKirkman6 karma


I decide based on what was on my mind that day - if it has a secret message or if I know I can SORT OF hit the range. :)

kabensi2 karma

Which of the Founding Fathers is most likely to win a rap battle? If you need to be drunk to answer, please go ahead.

JenKirkman6 karma


Okay. Dead sober I will say Ben Franklin. Was he a founding father? Oh god. I don't even know. He just seems the most inventive and probably would be as well with his rhyme.

KatPerson2 karma

Ok, I thought of a serious question:

I always love your "Jennifah" tweets best. Any chance you'll do a larger "Shit My Parents Say" sort of project in the future?

JenKirkman6 karma

I would love to but it would be for free and out of love - so for now I'll keep just incorporating them into what I do with scripts, standup, books and my podcast.

PandoraBlackBox2 karma

Hello Jen, Thanks for the ama session

I luv the title of ur book I hope it is not ironic!

U seem to live many lives in // : which one do u like the most?

What s ths most exciting part of ur job...s?

Thanks First wave of questions ;-)

JenKirkman5 karma

It is not ironic but it's not entirely true. I take CRAZY good care of myself. My life is very structured and clean but I cannot take care of ONE MORE THING. ONE MORE THING and I will crumble like Jenga. Hence. No kids.

My favorite life is the one where I tour as a stand-up comedian.

thejives2 karma

The story you told about your podcast about the ghost in your childhood home was unfreaking believable. I know you tried to do that whole Boston-centric thing with the TV show, but I hope you'll keep that material in mind for future writing/projects. It's amazing, and as someone living in Massachusetts right now, I like it way more than some of the more cartoony Boston-based imitations out there.

JenKirkman7 karma

Boston as my home will always be an influence in everything I do! What I really want is Matt or Ben or Mahhhk to put me in one of their movies. I CAN DO THE ACCENT SO WELL. Dunkin Donuts 4eva xoxo

WplashHD2 karma

Paper or plastic?

JenKirkman4 karma

PAPER! (eyeroll)

TimIsWin1 karma

Hi Jen you're very funny. I always getting excited when I see that you're on things. Like Enjoy It or @midnight. Thanks for stopping by.

If you had a chance to change one thing about the culture of stand up what would it be?

If you had to choose between writing and performing which would you choose?

JenKirkman8 karma

I would always choose performing however I MUST write what I perform so I really can't choose between the two. WHAT THE HELL IS WITH THESE GOTCHA QUESTIONS? WHAT'S NEXT? WHAT NEWSPAPERS DO I READ? ????? :)

I don't have any thoughts on the culture of stand-up as there are so many cultures of stand-up. I'm a loner. I go, do my thing and leave. One thing I WOULD change is clubs letting already very drunk people into shows. It never ends well. I wish people would just get buzzed and not drunk at shows. xoxo

chrisk231 karma


JenKirkman3 karma

This is TOUGH for me because I hate farts, puke, balls, baseball and children. BUT what got me was that it was the high-falutin party - so I pick that one.

BongHits4Jeebus1 karma

how much do you love dick pics?

JenKirkman1 karma

Hmmm. Not that much. If it's a friendly dick that can be nice.

FixedBeat1 karma

Hey Jen! Can't wait to see you in Nashville! Was wondering --- (a) which decade do you think you should have been born in? (b) what city have you not been to that you would love to perform in? (c) who (dead or alive) do you wish was a fan?

fuck tha haterz

JenKirkman7 karma

HEYYYYYYYY! Well I can't do math that quickly but I wish I was born in whatever decade that would have allowed me to be in my 30's in the 70's. GOD I LOVE THE 70's. I have been to but not performed in places like the Dakotas so maybe that would be fun - see who comes to see me. I wish that Morrissey and Larry David were my fans.

sillstaw1 karma

How would you rate yourself as a player of the Leonard Maltin game?

JenKirkman7 karma

Um, what's THE WORST. Zero?

Kknowsbest1 karma

If they made a movie about your life, who would play you (other than yourself)?

JenKirkman6 karma

Damn it - now I can't even play me in my own movie??????


Well, some young hot shot can play me ages 1-20 something (and I'll be jealous of her youth) and then maybe the current me can be played by Winona since she did such a good job lip-syncing me in Drunk History

marqueemoon801 karma

When will there be a radio show/podcast with you and Paul F. Tompkins?

JenKirkman6 karma

No. I have my own podcast now - it is almost a year old! It's called "I Seem Fun" and it's on iTunes. Paul may bring his podcast back but now that I have my own - he probably won't do the conversation part with me in it. But we had a great time doing what we did and now - we're taking over the world!

latortura851 karma

First of all, thank you SO much for your book. It made me realize that NOPE, I don't really want kids. I only thought I would have them, just to get people to stop asking. ooo-OOO for the childless wonders of the world!

Not to be creepy but I recently had a dream that you were next to me on a flight and we played that magazine game to avoid having nervous breakdowns. What is the weirdest dream you've ever had involving a famous person?

JenKirkman8 karma

That's not creepy. That's a FUN dream. I am sure I have had dreams about famous people but I can't remember. But I know whenever I have I remember waking up IN LOVE with that person and liking them even more even though it was just a dream. They could go into a 7-11 and poop on the floor and I'd be like, "No. That's my friend. We were in a dream together. I love him/her."

OOOH OOOH to a child-free life - that works for you! xoxo

clothing51 karma

Jen, I'm an open mic-er in Greensboro, NC and a couple of years ago, I decided to record an hour. Leading up to that night, I probably listened to Self Help once a day for a month. The recording went really well, and Self help is still one of my favorite albums of any comic. My question is, what could I do to get you to perform at our small but awesome downtown club here in NC? Cause I'll do that. Whatever it is.

JenKirkman9 karma

Hello my dear, Thank you that is so nice of you. Well, my time is limited due to my full time job writing but next year I'll be touring more. Unfortunately as this is my living I would have to make some money to perform there and have my flights and hotels paid for. So that may be not possible. :( Otherwise I don't know! I guess I have no answer.

marqueemoon801 karma

Have you considered compiling the best rants from your podcast as a basis for a book?

JenKirkman7 karma

Hey there! Of course! I use my podcast as a way to kind of work out ideas for my upcoming projects whether stand-up or a book. I'm writing a second book (well not this very second) and it's going to be a lot about being okay with getting older, being single and what not. And I continue to rant on my podcast about things in my already written (and out now! :) book "I Can Barely Take Care of Myself."

improbablewobble1 karma

Hi Jen. Big fan. Two questions:

1) Is being an attractive woman a hindrance in your comedy career? (Not trying to passively blow sunshine up your skirt, just honestly curious.)

2) Will you record yourself reading my incredibly stupid fucking comment and post it?

Or don't. Whatever.

JenKirkman7 karma

Being an attractive woman has hindered nothing. I wasn't always attractive. I used to think I had to look like a guy so I cut all my hair off and wore tee-shirts on stage. So since I'm not traditional Giselle supermodel attractive - I'm your funky cute friend, it's not like it's impossible to believe I'm also funny. Never had an issue with audiences. No one was heckling "STOP MAKING ME LAUGH YOU ARE TOOO BEAUTIFUL!"

I won't record myself only because it takes too long and I got things to do!

PandoraBlackBox1 karma

You re a woman! Of course u know how to take care of urself! ;-)

With who do u wanna work someday?

What was the best advice u ve ever been given in ur entire career ?by whom?

If u were sent to a desert island what would be the 3things u ll take with u?

Second wave of questions ^

JenKirkman8 karma

I wanna work with Larry David someday.

Best advice was given to me by Louis CK back in 2004. He said, "Go everywhere. Play every kind of club. Make every kind of person laugh. Don't pander to what you think they want to hear or what they might think is funny. Be yourself and you'll attract people who relate to you."

savoytruffle1 karma

Do you think you're best known by a lot of people for that bit on Frederick Douglass on Drunk History? You are for me, but then I found your podcast and other stuff and it's all great!

Will you do another Drunk History in the upcoming season?

JenKirkman10 karma

I have no idea if I am or not! But I'm happy if that's the case! Just as long as people don't think I'm always black out drunk. I did a Drunk History for Comedy Central Season 1 about Mary Dyer (played by Winona Ryder) and yes, I recorded another DH for Season 2 (I filmed it back in November of 2013 - and I'm still hungover) and it should air this summer! It's funny! I think. I don't remember.

tonyopm1 karma

Hi Jen! What do you like to do to make yourself feel better when you're sad?

JenKirkman6 karma

Buying new clothes always makes me feel good. Or just going to bed early and reading and being quiet. Sometimes going out drinking with friends to blow off steam. Sometimes watching really bad TV and eating. Or playing dress up at home. Or driving and listening to music.

Sisiwakanamaru1 karma

What are the things that inspired you to write this book?

What is your favorite dessert?

JenKirkman4 karma

The book was inspired by the CRAAAAZZZZY amount of unsolicited "advice" and very invasive questions I constantly got as I got older (mostly from strangers) about why I don't have kids. I thought, "Hmm, if this is happening to me, it MUST be happening to other women and men." And I had some stuff about it in my stand-up and it always got a good crowd response.

Dessert - ice cream always. ALWAYS. Even if it hates me and gives me a stomach ache. And Zambuca (sp?)

JenKirkman5 karma

Also I'm not trying to sound all European but truly my favorite dessert is a cheese plate and a dessert wine.

purplewindex-6 karma

Hi Jen! Thanks for doing this AMA. I have to say, you are one of the few female comediennes that I find genuinely hilarious. I hope you come to Denver because I will totally be there. Will be buying your book today. Don't have a question, just thanks for being awesome!

JenKirkman11 karma

Darling, Please don't say female comedienne - it is both redundant and accidentally sexist. Female isn't a type of comedy. I am nothing like my female peers just like many men are nothing like their male peers. Comedy is usually broken down into types like story telling, one liners, personal, absurdist, etc. So please make this the last time you say that. And also ask yourself how many unfunny men you've seen. Basically A LOT OF COMEDIANS are unfunny and women don't have quite the exposure. So please try to readjust your thinking.

I literally was just in Denver TWICE in the past two months. I did four shows at the Denver Comedy Works and was just there last weekend opening for Chelsea Handler. So that means I won't be back until next year. Get on my email list so you never miss me again. jenkirkman.com love, Jen Go check out some super funny comics - of all genders. I promise your perspective will change. Hugs!

purplewindex-5 karma

Yeesh. Was just telling you that I am a fan and you jump down my throat. Not nice. :( Also, just moved to Denver and was hoping to catch you. So sorry I wasn't in town when you were here.

JenKirkman11 karma

I didn't jump down your throat. I was educating on you what was a sexist thing you said. Please try to understand you wouldn't write to a black person, "I don't normally think black people are funny." You are being defensive because you think I am scolding you but I am educating you so that you can not make the mistake of talking that way in public and letting you know that those comments do hurt my feelings because I am a woman and you are basically saying that I'm at an automatic disadvantage in comedy because I am a woman but you have decided that I've overcome it. I know it's hard to see my point of view - this usually happens when I try to explain the micro-aggressions of sexism to men. Men are usually more sensitive than women which is why it's hard for us to make any darn progress with trying to let you guys know when you should start to rethink your phrasing. I appreciate that you're a fan but all of that goes away when I see that within the compliment is a complete take down of my gender. I understand what you think you meant, and I took the time to try to help you a little bit see it differently. That is not jumping down your throat. I'm a really nice, but really smart person and I don't just let stuff about female comics buzz by me. Much love. Jen