Comments: 596 • Responses: 80  • Date: 

x30x121 karma

Which jokes do you find the easiest to write?

jayblackcomedy182 karma

None of them are easy. At least in the sense of "creating a bulletproof joke that works everywhere that is also original, succinct, and universal". Those are always hard to do, no matter what the style.

That said, if there was a lesser of the many comedy evils, I would say that I've been pretty good at analyzing my own relationships in a way that's pretty interesting. So, those are relatively easy compared with some of the other topics.

general_rouge49 karma

How do you pay close attention to things? Comedians/artists seem to offer some new insights on everyday events that is often inspiring or amusing.

jayblackcomedy138 karma

It's never been an issue. The little homunculus that sits on my forehead is always watching. The problem is more the opposite. How do I STOP noticing things and just enjoy myself?

joneSee64 karma

Homunculus reference. That's an upvote.

jayblackcomedy63 karma

Haha. Thanks! I might be America's leading "dropper of the word homunculus into common every day conversation". So, I'll take the upvote now, but, be warned: it happens a lot if you talk to me in my regular life.

keymaster163 karma

well congrats jayblackcomedy, i don't know who you are but i am now your life long devoted fan and i know everything about you, cheerio!

geeky not-famous famous people are hard to come by....

jayblackcomedy7 karma

A nice comment and a good use of "cheerio". This is a good day for me right here!

DemonTree0779 karma

Please tell me a joke?

jayblackcomedy105 karma

I think that /u/terriblejokebot did a much better job than I ever could at telling you a joke.

That said, nobody put his programming into a robot that can also roll the sleeves on a sports jacket up. Because... because that'll be the end of me!

TerribleJokeBot241 karma

*Rolls up sleeves*

I am a not a bot. I just have lots of free time since i'm unemployed. I wrote myself a bot that searches reddit for comments containing 'tell me a joke' and I reply to them. I'm not very creative, so I just use a short list of bad jokes. 'But why?', you might ask. Well... I have no idea. But it's fun, and people often like my jokes, and I like this 'job'.

jayblackcomedy124 karma

You have a sports jacket?

And you have a lot of time on your hand?

AND you get off on people laughing at you?



I mean, uh, hey man, cool. You should try comedy. More the merrier I always say.

(narrows eyes)

TerribleJokeBot96 karma

Ha, just kidding. Hopped onto my bot's account and saw this great opportunity.

jayblackcomedy64 karma

I've often dreamed of making a Life Model Decoy of myself so that I could go on the road to multiple places at once. We should get an MIT Robotics person in on this and then the three of us could make a Robo-Road-Comic.

To truly get the Road Comic experience, we'd need to find a way to make it masturbate 4 or 5 times a day, though. Maybe that's for V2.

TerribleJokeBot34 karma

Why would it need to masturbate daily!?

jayblackcomedy110 karma

I ask myself the same question. Multiple times a day.

dingus_chonus7 karma

Upvote for LMD reference

jayblackcomedy17 karma

Whenever it doesn't sound like something I'd do it's either a LMD or a Doombot.

dingus_chonus10 karma

I like that you like Marvel comics. I also like them. This is nice.

jayblackcomedy15 karma

I'm a big comic book fan in general; not just Marvel. DC. Image. Basically anything that makes me forget "reality".

PaulProv77 karma

When was the time you were the most afraid?

jayblackcomedy231 karma

Three answers to this, based on different kinds of fear:

  1. When I was 5, I fell out of bed and when I woke up, startled, I saw the shadow of my R2D2 bank looming over me in such a way that I thought, for sure, malevolent forces were finally going to eat me.

  2. A few years ago, I almost crashed a car in Detroit and died. Here's a long version of that story:


  1. About 30 minutes ago when I pressed "submit" on this AMA and opened myself up to reddit for evisceration.

aryst0krat178 karma

"Here's a long version of that story:" *links to Twitter*

Man, you really are a comedian!

jayblackcomedy29 karma

Haha! As soon as they have a microblogging platform that limits you to 70 characters or less, I'll switch over to that, I promise!

H0agh56 karma

So about the Adderall Gin combo, any other interesting mixes I should def try out some time?



jayblackcomedy69 karma

Baloney and peanut butter. Weird, but good. Trust me!

foxisloose28 karma

What do you think about current state of stand-up and comedy in general compared to the time you have seen something comedic for the first time?

jayblackcomedy59 karma

I think stand-up is in its second Renaissance and I'm really happy I get to be here for that.

(The three ages of stand-up, that I'm making up right now as we speak:

Pre-History (everything up to the late 70s)

Golden Age (80s -- which I know sounds funny to call a golden age as it had so much hacky bullshit in it, but it really was the time that stand-up became a REAL thing in people's minds and not just something that occurred for 8 minutes in between plate spinning acts on the Ed Sullivan show)

Alt Comedy (out of the ashes of the 80s rises a new generation with notebooks on stage and tattoos!)

The Internet Age (start with Dane Cook on MySpace and go right up to today, which I might be currently destroying with this AMA).

This is a really exciting time to be a stand-up. More people are interested in it than ever before and the distribution that's available digitally makes it crazy easy for people to get seen and heard.

DebDecatur00725 karma

Pretty cool about the movie. What's it about?

jayblackcomedy100 karma

It's about a good father who is in a bad marriage. He finds out that he's dying and can't deal with the fact that his wife will one day remarry and whoever that person is gets to be the new father of his daughter. So, to have a say in it, he decides to find his own replacement. He puts his wife on match.com without telling her and then goes about "dating" his potential replacements.

It's a really really sad movie with lots of funny moments. I don't want to call it a dramedy but I guess that's the best word for it!

JewsusChrist132 karma

Breaking Sad.

jayblackcomedy101 karma

That. That is a much better title/description. That...

I'm gonna need to sit down for a second.

BoringPersonAMA74 karma

You'll never be the wittiest person on Reddit, Jay. Don't beat yourself up.

jayblackcomedy5 karma

But beating myself up is what I do best!

BoringPersonAMA9 karma

Hey, cool. I've never been responded to before. I watched the flick, it was actually decent. Hopefully I'll see more from you.

jayblackcomedy8 karma

Thanks for watching!

nmjack4214 karma

I hate to break it to you, but that sounds like the plot from "The Love Boat" - Season 4, Episode 13 "The Successor" 1/10/1981

A woman (Florence Henderson), who believes she is cursed and will prematurely die, is determined to find her husband (Jeffery Tambor) a new mate.

Holy crap - youtube has everything... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNOiroEemaI#t=1233

jayblackcomedy9 karma

I don't want to say that my movie is exactly like this episode. But will say that I have some very powerful people making their way to Mr. Tambor and Ms. Henderson as we speak.

Very. Powerful. People.

In all seriousness, though, I wasn't aware of this. I'm not sure it makes much of a difference as we went in a slightly different direction, but I'm always happy to have my Love Boat knowledge expanded!

HiyoleX2 karma

Oh lord, Jesus. That's really sad :(

jayblackcomedy3 karma

This could be a review of either my movie or my prom video.

NOTE: there is no prom video. I didn't go. I went to see Pink Floyd on the Division Bell tour instead.

Now, lord Jesus, I'm sad too.

JeffRyan122 karma

Hypothetically, let's say someone borrowed your copy of a Neal Stephenson book back in 1998 and never gave it back. Are they obliged to buy you a new Neal Stephenson novel? Or another copy of that older book? This is a hypothetical.

jayblackcomedy25 karma

Wait, did I steal your Neal Stephenson book or did you steal mine?

ALSO, follow up question: why is Anathem the best Neal Stephenson book. Also, follow-up question: shut up, Anathem really is the best Neal Stephenson book.

JeffRyan121 karma

I stole In the Beginning Was the Command Line. I may have said I was borrowing it, but that was 17 years ago. Perfect crime.

jayblackcomedy20 karma

It's okay. I've divested myself of all physical media anyway. When the inevitable apocalypse comes and all the cloud computers are stripped for scrap metal to be used in weapons, I am gonna be so screwed on all the money I spent at Comixology.

Mr_Library4 karma

Nothing will replace SnowCrash for me....

jayblackcomedy15 karma

College me agrees with you. Me, right now, typing this Me? He is going to shake his head slowly, put a finger on your lips, and whisper "Anathem."

As it turns out? Me, right now, typing this Me is way super creepy.

FatMaul17 karma

Can you re-tell your experience seeing Star Wars: Episode 1 the first time?

jayblackcomedy31 karma

First: relevant username.

Second: I was there with a buddy who, at the time, was a little heavy and in full Darth Maul cosplay.

We were waiting in line and two teenage kids stopped, looked at my buddy, and one of them screamed: "Hey look, it's FAT MAUL!"

None of us knew at the time that it would the highlight of our evening.

cunttastic6 karma

Really? That story just happened by coincidence to be relevant to the username?

jayblackcomedy16 karma

No, I'm pretty sure that the person posting is my actual buddy who was there that day. I didn't want to give his name, though, because, well, this is reddit. God knows what you people would do with that information.

Ivoos00113 karma


jayblackcomedy11 karma

"Light" doxing? Feels like "mildly" poisonous.

7412374123697426917 karma

Hey Jay! After seeing you live, meeting you at the show, and then following you on twitter i'd say you're a pretty funny dude and it's pretty cool seeing you enjoying your success. With that out of the way I've got a couple of questions:

1) How would you describe your material in 5 words?

2) What do you miss most about teaching? Besides the lucrative pay of course...

3) Any chance of you coming to the Memphis area anytime soon?

4) What's your go-to drink that doesn't involve gin?

jayblackcomedy46 karma

Hey man! Thanks for the kind words!

1) Dirtier Seinfeld. Also: less successful.

2) The regularity of the schedule. Like Granpa Simpson once said about Johnny Unitas's haircut: the teacher's schedule is something you can set your watch by.

3) I don't have Memphis on the schedule right now -- my current tour takes me through the New England states (because that's where you want to be in the dead of winter). But I love Memphis and hope to be back there soon.

4) I'll take whiskey, neat. I don't like a lot of things to come between me and my booze.

Sn4tch17 karma

As a former Seneca student, graduated in 2006, I just want to say congrats. I don't think I ever had you as my english teacher as I had Mr. Nahill and Mrs. Hoy but I definitely knew of you with my close family ties to Mike Panarella. I totally look up to you as an entertainment professional (I am an Assistant Editor and hope to work in film and televsion as an editor one day). Keep up the kick ass work Jay, I love following your FB posts. And to keep this post in the thread; what was it that made you finally peace out and start your career? Also, know anyone in the industry looking for a hard working assistant editor?

Thanks, Kyle Crichton

jayblackcomedy17 karma

It's great to hear from you Kyle! Where are you based out of? Where are you doing your editing work?

And, anyone who is a former Seneca student is okay in my book. Especially one that compliments me!

lalliepop8 karma

Hi Jay! I think I missed your AMA and I really hope you see this, but I'm also a former Seneca student, as well. Class of 2012. I've heard great things about you from Mr. Nahill and Mr. Panarella, both former teachers of mine. Wish I could've had you as a teacher, but it was awesome to hear you do stand up at my freshman orientation at Rowan University where I go now. Congratulations on your success!

jayblackcomedy3 karma

Thanks man! I appreciate it!

Sn4tch7 karma

I live in NYC now, right now I am working on a PBS Frontline Documentary about Syria and ISIS.

Excited to see your movie, also Scott Wolf makes me think of that Double Dragon movie.

jayblackcomedy12 karma

Hey man, that's fantastic! So happy for you.

Although, it sounds like your job is a little less serious than mine. I mine a documentary about Syria and ISIS? Maybe you should look to do something IMPORTANT, like talk about your wiener in public...

Sn4tch3 karma

Haha. I definitely do not hate my job by any means, BUT talking about my wiener in public DOES sound enticing.

jayblackcomedy25 karma

It's harder than it looks.

(I'll just... I'll just let that sit there for a little bit...)

YogiBarelyThere10 karma

I noticed you charge $5 for your album. Is this following the entrepreneurial Louie CK?

jayblackcomedy15 karma

There are two for free. The $5 for the 3rd just seemed appropriate. Charging more than Louis CK for anything I do is too much...

thefatticuscat9 karma

What a fun person you are! (Warning: I'm feeling verbose.) I know others have said it already, but I really love your "hope, hard work, gin, and Adderall" cocktail. At 33- no ADD but a very talkative homunculus- I just started a teeny dose to reduce my anxiety by helping me focus. I can't freaking believe how well it gets along with my brain. Anyway. Better ask a question or the mods will delete!

I think your comment about noticing weird things is spot-on regarding humour; that seems to be a "main ingredient." I noted that you said jokes can be difficult to write. So that had me wondering- throughout your life, have you been a quick-witted "generally known as funny" type person? Or is your humour more slow and thoughtful- as in, more likely to surface during a sketch once you've processed things a bit?

jayblackcomedy21 karma

I've usually been the "funny guy" in my group -- even to the point of it being obnoxious. I literally can't turn my brain off. It's always humming and running and if I have an audience -- especially one that I think appreciates my thinking -- it can be non-stop.

Stand-up has actually turned down the dial on that need to be funny all the time, which is good, else I might not ever had made a human connection with someone.

The best way to put it is this: I like to play. More than anything else, I like the suggestion of a world that's slightly different than ours, then I like to go play with it.

I had dinner with a very famous comedian (whom I won't name because it would be name-dropping and while I'm not above that at all, I don't want to drag him into a conversation on my dumb AMA) and at some point I said, "Comedians are not class clowns. It's hard to be an observational comedian when there's a lampshade on your head".

To which he replied, instantly, "But an observational comic who always wears a lampshade on his head would be wonderful, wouldn't it?! 'WHY IS EVERYONE A SHADOW!?!"

And then we riffed for 20 minutes on this subject ("Have you ever noticed how the whole world is made of cobwebs!?") annoying everyone but ourselves.

That's what I'm like. Let's go play.

thefatticuscat3 karma

OMG I love it! Now I wanna hijack your AMA just to converse with you, but speaking of being obnoxious, I'll resist. :)

I see how the quick and the studied go hand-in-hand: off-the-cuff observations are the stuff of quick wit, but I suppose some thought must go into formal material- in the interest of presenting your most relatable commentary. As a clever girl, I can relate to those "magic moments" (as you mentioned with Famous Sir) where I and one other are playing off each other beautifully while others furrow their brows in disdain. That's the stuff right there...

Anyway! I'll phrase my last as a rhetorical question to preserve the 'integrity' of my comment for the mods. [ehem]: Should I check out your links? (Of course I shall! You needn't reply further. Good luck!!)

jayblackcomedy10 karma

Go ahead and hijack!

I'd agree with you -- that the studied stuff comes into the off-the-cuff observations. You're always thinking and considering and wondering about things.

And, on top of that, I'm a very, very, very, (very, very) verbal person. So, for me, a thought isn't "real" until it's spoken out loud.

So, someone will say something regarding, oh, I don't know, the movie Frozen, and I'll have had about 900 thoughts regarding it that are all fighting to get out. So it looks quick-witted, and I guess, in the moment of creation when the sentence is formed, there is a kind of quick wit there, but it's really the slow genesis of many hours of thinking about stupid shit no one else thinks about.

There's a certain kind of rush, though, when going back and forth with someone as "fast" as you. And those thoughts are being created together, with two left-of-field thinkers in the same room, than just by yourself in some hotel somewhere.

thefatticuscat2 karma

"A thought isn't 'real' until it's spoken out loud." -Holy hell, I'm glad my brain doesn't uphold me to that standard! I've got a very rich thought life, and if every one of them HAD to be verbalized, I'm quite sure I'd be put away.

You've also got me thinking now about that theory stating there's an element- not just of surprise, but also of discomfort- in all humour. Odd observations lend to that, as they catch people off-guard and force a new perspective. Which, lucky you, is often funny. Your "900 thoughts" had me thinking of the late Robin's delivery style- how he'd become a veritable machine gun of quips when he got going on a topic. I can see how the ADD-style brain create that sort of 'neurostorm.'

Indeed, feeding off of someone else's 'storm' is hilariously fun. And I think it stretches one's own style of humour, as we notice- "hey that thing they just did was funny. Imma remember that." Also, I like how becoming a comic let you channel your excess of comedic energy. As a social worker, I get to take care of people at work without driving away everyone in my personal life with unsolicited advice! It's important to give what you're good at "somewhere to live" in your life so it doesn't wander freely into unwelcoming territories. :)

jayblackcomedy4 karma

It's funny: The thing that makes us good at what we do is sometimes the same thing that annoys the people we love.

I'd agree with the idea that there's an element of discomfort in all humor. You create tension with your set-up (by asking a question or taking people down a path that makes them worried), then you relieve that tension with your punchline.

I think it's part of the reason I'm so worried about how quickly people are to voice their disagreement with certain jokes (or types of jokes). It's not that I'm against voicing disagreement, it's just that I think we have this tendency to immediately get angry at anything that makes us uncomfortable (at best -- at worst, that anger turn into a Tumblr campaign). The problem is that the immediate anger/Tumblr campaign makes it difficult for comedians to do their job. I have to make you uncomfortable if I'm eventually going to make you laugh.

So, on the one hand, I agree with the idea that people should voice their anger, but on the other hand, I think that they need to take a few heartbeats and let the comedian try to undo the tension they've created with a punchline. We shouldn't get a free-pass, but we should get a little more leeway than you'd give an average person you're just having a conversation with...


Judging by your mention of adderall, I'm guessing you suffer from ADD. If that's the case, does it help you make accommodations for kids in your classroom who have it?

jayblackcomedy16 karma

I'm not a teacher any more, and I wasn't diagnosed with ADD until long after I left teaching (had I had adderall back then, I'm sure I would have been better about paper work).

That said, now that I have some knowledge of what it feels like on and off the adderall for myself, I believe I would be better about accommodations if I could go back and teach again.


Honestly, it's good to hear that sentiment. As a high school student suffering from rather severe ADD, I've only just recently begun recieving the accommodations I need to perform at the same level as other students and you wouldn't believe the hoops I had to jump through to get them.

jayblackcomedy36 karma

I think that for a lot of teachers, it's hard to wrap their head around the idea that ADD is a mental problem rather than the attitude problem they think it is.

I've said this many times: our next real revolution is going to be the ethics of neurology. That is to say, changing our attitudes about the nature of people based on the knowledge we gain about the way the mind actually works...

kushmuir8 karma


jayblackcomedy9 karma

That it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Dip your toe while maintaining the day job. See what happens. You don't have to close the shop, sell the house, and buy a ticket for the west coast...

kushmuir2 karma


jayblackcomedy3 karma

For sure! I'm doing a week at the MGM in Vegas in May. Not QUITE Denver, but what the hell! It's your excuse to come out to Vegas!

TheJokersChild8 karma

So about that hope, gin, hard work and adderall: what proportions of each leads to the greatest success?

Also, how bad was/is common core, really? Is it the nightmare it looks like to someone who hasn't been in school for a while?

jayblackcomedy27 karma

Prior to show night it's 98% hard work, 1% adderall, 1% hope, and 0% gin.

On show night? It's pretty much all gin.

High school teaching is in a very precarious place right now for a lot of reasons, not least of which is that we don't have any easy way to evaluate our teachers. If we institute a national (or even a state) standard, then what we tend to do is evaluate how well the teacher teaches to the test. If we don't institute a standard, we run the risk of the students walking away with no helpful skills.

On top of all that, there's no real easy way to separate a "good" teacher from a "bad" one. There's a pragmatic answer (a teacher who gives you the most information) a utilitarian answer (a teacher who helps you make the most money when you graduate), a humanitarian answer (a teacher who helps you be the best person you can be) and so on and so on.

I don't know what the answer to that dilemma is. Which is maybe why it was so easy for me to leave teaching and get a job talking about my genitals in public...

HomemadeJambalaya8 karma

You sound like a great teacher. All the greats leave the profession eventually, it seems.

jayblackcomedy29 karma

It's interesting because teachers get vilified by the right wing at the same time they talk about how capitalism requires incentive for people to perform at their optimum. So why do we just assume teachers are people who don't deserve financial incentive? Makes no sense to me...

coldermilk6 karma

I remembered seeing you perform stand-up at Pratt Institute way back in 2007, there were maybe only a dozen people in attendance (not unusual for the typical turn-out there). I remembered you asked everyone to clap and cheer and ask for an encore.

I never saw a stand-up do something like that before, it was funny in a really strange sort of way, everyone had a fun time being sort of in on the meta joke. Have you ever tried that routine at a larger venue?

jayblackcomedy12 karma

I do that fake encore thing a lot. It's one of my favorite things to do. There are a lot of things I do in my act that I do "just for me" that I really enjoy when other people pick up on them.

Were you at the Pratt Institute in NYC? If so, I think I remember receiving second billing to the free pizza being offered, which I found hilarious...

Dr_thor5 karma

Do you ever miss being a teacher at Seneca? Never had you as a teacher but I was there when you were teaching, a lot of people loved you as a teacher.

jayblackcomedy6 karma

That means a lot to me. I miss the act of teaching; everything else (paperwork, etc.) wasn't as fun...

bluepinkblack4 karma

Jay, who are some of your favorite comedians of all time?

jayblackcomedy19 karma

Chris Rock is maybe the best of all time.

Greg Giraldo, who died, sadly, was about as good as they come.

And, though it's probably not a good idea to say it, the charges circling around Cosby don't undo just how amazing he was as a comedian.

YogiBarelyThere5 karma

Not Richard Pryor or George Carlin? Just who do you think you are, mister?

jayblackcomedy4 karma

Love both of them. But for me, personally, what I laugh at? The three I listed are the three best.

Others I love:

Bill Hicks Bob Marley Brian Scott McFadden Seinfeld John Pinnette Kevin Nealon Bobcat Goldthwait

JesusSavesAtWalMart4 karma

I recently discovered how unbelievably funny Bobcat Goldthwait is on Pandora Radio. Holy shit is he funnier than I ever would have guessed having only his performance in Police Academy to go by.

I've done standup, more to cross it off my bucket list than to really give it a go. The hardest thing for me was finding my voice. I say some hilarious shit in real life but rarely do I write it down and I when I'm writing I have trouble writing in my voice. Any advice on how to get there?

jayblackcomedy2 karma

I worked with Goldthwait in Cleveland. The man's an amazing standup. He should be rated much higher than he is. I think the "voice" thing he did hurt him after people got tired of/wanted more of the gimmick. But get past that and just go see the man live. He's fantastic!

And yes, the advice I have is to keep writing. Your voice will come out. It has to, eventually.

ladymagglz5 karma

Greg Giraldo was the best! Do you think God would let us exchange him for Dane Cook?

jayblackcomedy9 karma

Honestly? Worked with Dane in LA. I think he's been overrated so long people now underrate him. Better standup than people give credit for...

underwriter4 karma

Hey Jay, I saw you at Uncle Vinnie's in NJ a couple years back. You started the show by calling me out as the most handsome guy in the room. I believe this impressed the girl I had brought and further led to her mouthing my dong that night.

So thank you. Also you had a great set and I'm hoping to see you in Point Pleasant again?

jayblackcomedy3 karma

"Mouthing my dong" -- I believe if I write a book of self-published poetry, this will be the title. It kind of has to be the title, don't you think?

And I love Dino and I love that club. Nothing is on the books right now, but we'll work out a date soon. I'm usually there at least a few nights each summer!

tehgraarg3 karma

Jay. Do you still play D&D?

jayblackcomedy6 karma

I wish I did, but zero time. I was a committed DM and still credit my improv skills on stage from playing the game.

GigEmAggies123 karma

Were you the fun teacher? Also what did you teach? I'm gonna go ahead and guess physics, because physics teachers are usually pretty awesome.

jayblackcomedy6 karma

English teacher. And sometimes I was too fun. I wish I had had the adderall back then. I would have been better organized and more serious (when it was called for).

ThreshOP3 karma

Never thought I'd see Gloucester NJ on reddit. I actually work in Brooklawn, do you have any ties to Gloucester catholic by chance?

jayblackcomedy3 karma

No, I went to Eustace til everyone involved thought it was better I didn't. Graduated Cherokee a class of '94. Performing at Vitale's on the river tonight.

Zemule3 karma

There's been so much controversy lately on if women are funny. What's your take? Sorry if someone has asked this already, I know, I'm the worst.

EDIT: Second question: what advice to you give to aspiring comedians?

jayblackcomedy8 karma

Women are funny. Women comics are a different kind of funny, I think, because they can't work the road like men can. I mean, of course they CAN work the road, it's just that when you're stepping over a corpse in a Day's Inn in Beaumont, TX, it's easier to do when you're a guy than when you're a girl.

So I think a lot of women tend to move to NY or LA and they're comedic stylings adapt to those places. So, if you're someone who doesn't like that kind of comedy, you might not like female comics. Their ability and their comedic sensibilities are great and you've seen evidence of this all around you.

As for advice: get up on stage now. And then again, later. Never not get on stage. Be on stage all the time. Go! NOW! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!?!

meta_asfuck3 karma

I quit my job and wrote a TV movie > All things are possible.

Bit of a jump don't you think?

jayblackcomedy7 karma

Not really. I am currently generating poorly received pocket universes in my closet, Franklin Richards' style. All. Things. Possible!

Tesladog2 karma

I want to know if there a way that the use of vaccines can slow or even halt us or are immune system from evolving any further. Can you help me find maybe some research that has been done to theorize this or something that could lead me in the right direction like whom to ask about this?

jayblackcomedy8 karma

www.twitter.com/jennymccarthy is America's leading vaccine research scientist. Tweet at her for more information!

NarfSquared2 karma

I'm not famous, my t.v. debuts tonight?

I got this correct, right?

Where are the fucking famous people and informative people that do ama's without a fucking thing to push onto us? I don't watch tv dude, I don't even have cable.

jayblackcomedy5 karma

There's a fine line between having something to push and having the credibility to warrant an AMA. I figured my movie might be that credibility. But no biggie if you don't watch, I don't make any extra money from it: I'm just proud of it and want people to enjoy it!

NarfSquared1 karma

I like your attitude. I want you to have money, because you work for it. I selfishly picked you, out of a million, to dispose upon my anger. For that, I'm sorry personally. Overall, I'm just... sick of being sold shit. I hope you do well.

jayblackcomedy4 karma

Thanks man. And no worries. I used to write a column for AOL. Every once in a while they would make it the lead on the front page of their login screen. After 200+ comments from AOL dialup users? I lost my capacity to be Internet mad at anyone!

DapperFisticuffs2 karma

Why did you stop teaching?

jayblackcomedy8 karma

More money in standup. Also, I now drink on the job and wake up in the afternoon.

DapperFisticuffs2 karma

What is life without drinks and paperwork? Was it the system that drove you away? To me, your prior responses to others didn't seem like the kids were the problem (don't know why anyone would choose this line of work if they hated the kids).

jayblackcomedy4 karma

I loved the kids. Always. That was the easy part.

I think my dissatisfaction with teaching was a number of things.

1) I simply loved stand-up more. I think that's always the over-riding thing.

2) BUT, I felt like teaching was never gonna jive with my ambition. I wanted a bigger platform and no matter how good I was as a teacher, I didn't think I was going to get it.

3) I am not good with rules or paperwork. I'm not saying that I'm a bad ass, more an insouciant child, but there seemed to be more and more of it every year and that never sat well with me.

rezatdorsia912 karma

What was your first performance like? How did you get the courage to step onto the stage?

I was a member of the comedy club you lead during the first year of its existence at a certain south jersey high school. I've written some material (less than 5 minutes worth), and there are many local open mics in my neighborhood, but i find myself unable to get myself onto the stage. Probably because of a crippling fear of the response being absolute silence.

jayblackcomedy7 karma

My first performance actually went very well (at least as compared to the nightmare that I imagined it would be).

It was the next two years that of gigs that sucked.

Chris Rock once talked about the response he got for his N****** vs. Black People routine. He got booed off the stage the first time he did it.

He said it was the most freeing thing he ever had happen to him. That he had experienced the worst an audience had to offer and that he woke the next day alive and well. That the fear you have of the audience is really the fear you have of how you'll react to the audience's reaction. And you have control over that. You might not be able to make them laugh, but you don't have to let their lack of laughter affect you.

Where are you based? Come do some time at one of my gigs? I'll introduce you as a former student and really build you up. It'll be much easier than doing an open mic...

ddow132 karma

What was the hardest part of getting this far? And any tips for people tying to make it that behind intimidated by the overwhelming grind?

jayblackcomedy8 karma

I think the hardest part is not losing hope. Hollywood reminds me a lot of the Space Monkeys house from "Fight Club". You have to stand out in the rain for three days while someone shouts "we don't want you here!" before you get to do anything at all.

On top of that, you have relatives and friends asking what the hell you think you're doing, so it's easy to lose heart.

It's a war of attrition. It's winnable, but you have to realize that there's no one major battle that makes or breaks you... it's the little battles you fight every day with your own sense of failure that are the most key.

tictacballsack1 karma

Hey Jay! I'm 17 years old and looking to start being a comedian. I have yet to do my first show, but am seriously considering just going to a few open mics. What do you recommend first, a planned set, or improv?

jayblackcomedy1 karma

Planned set. Planned set. Planned set. And also: planned set.

TrainPokemon1 karma

How hard is it to get into stand up?

jayblackcomedy2 karma

Getting in to it is easy. Go to an open mic and just get up. The rest?

Listen, on that first night you'll get up there and the poison will either get into your system or it won't. If the latter you'll be fine. If the former... Everything in your life just got harder and better.

WildTurkey811 karma

Did your sense of humour help you teach?

jayblackcomedy2 karma

It probably did. Though some kids probably interpreted me being funny as me being uninterested in actually teaching. So it may have hindered too..:

WhatTheFuckIsTrue1 karma

I'm 19. Because of my age, I have a lot of ideals, so I'm deeply passionate about education. I also fucking love comedy, though. I preform in my college's comedy club. I have a feeling I'll follow a similar life path to you. Any tips?

jayblackcomedy2 karma

Move to LA when you graduate. You can teach there...

You'll have more opportunity, it's beautiful weather, and, until the water wars render it a Mad Max style death zone, the people are pleasant.

chameleonarchreactor1 karma

When you say full time stand-up comedian how many gigs did you do per week? Also what did you teach in high school? How did the idea for the movie come to you/develop? Ex. At first you had part of the plot but not all the pieces and developed the idea or?

jayblackcomedy4 karma

For gigs per week: www.jayblackcomedy.com has my full schedule. This week, I performed Monday, Wednesday, tonight, and tomorrow. Next week I'm performing in Atlantic City so it's Monday through Sunday. I tend to average four or five shows a week.

I taught English. Which I hate admitting on Reddit which means that my already-underwhelming grammar is even more scrutinized.

The movie came to my writing partner and I via our friend Brady Smith. He's married to Tiffani Amber Theissan and when they were pregnant with their first child, he was out of his gourd nervous about how he was going to take care of the baby. On top of that, he wondered, "What would happen if I died". The movie is kind of the reply to that question.

Most of our other screenplays are like that too-- answers to hypothetical questions.

fauxchicken1 karma

You should probably write a movie about my life... Just because I think it would be interesting... And stuff...

Good job!!! What are the results of these endevores money and career wise?

jayblackcomedy3 karma

Without getting into too much detail, I can safely say that I'm doing better than I did as a teacher, financially. I'm not sure if that says more about how I'm doing as a comedian and writer or about how much America values its educational system!

(And I'd be happy to write a movie about your life. Are you an American Sniper by any chance? I'm thinking movies about those could be lucrative...)

fauxchicken1 karma

I'm not a sniper, however I am a veteran!!! But I do IT, so it's not cool... sigh My life has some other cool things, though, just without long distance kill shots.

Are people recognizing you on the street?

jayblackcomedy3 karma

The movie hasn't premiered yet, so me getting recognized only happens very rarely (and usually when I stay overnight in a small town I performed in: people only remember your face long enough to say "hey, I know you!" if they see you 24 hours later or less).

Even after the movie premiers, I doubt I'll be recognized. One of the things that shields me from being too upset about criticism is that our own narcissism is so powerful that most people don't remember their own relatives, let alone some doofus they saw on a cable TV movie.

Well, wait, do you ever snipe in online shooting games? Maybe we have a pitch here: It's "American Sniper" meets "King of Kong" meets "Wreck-it-Ralph!"

fauxchicken1 karma

I don't :( I play ESO lol

I'm going to make a point of seeing your movie and remembering you, then I can tell everyone I had a Reddit conversation with you and you're going to write a movie about me.

jayblackcomedy3 karma

That works for me. Though now I'm thinking that the movie about you will be billed as "one man's amazing journey... to watch 'Meet My Valentine' on ION at 9 PM on February 6, 2015..."

It'll be like that movie about the friends trying to break in to see Phantom Menance before it airs, except without Jar Jar.

Srtbish1 karma

Choosing between Will Ferrell, Rosie O'Donnell, and Sarah Palin you have to marry one, fuck one, and kill one. Who gets what and why?

jayblackcomedy5 karma

This is too easy, I'm sorry to say.

You F Palin, marry Ferrell, and kill Rosie. There are no other acceptable answers.

please-dont-hurt-me1 karma

Do you, as a teacher, believe it's fair for children to not receive vaccinations against dangerous diseases due to their parent's beliefs?

(I've posted to one of your responses already, just writing here in case you don't reply to responses)

jayblackcomedy7 karma

I don't think it's fair, no. I think you should vaccinate your damn kids. I think that sending your kids to school without vaccinations is dangerous and dumb. We get so few real miracles on this planet and the elimination of diseases that killed our ancestors with ease, is one of the few things we can honestly use the world "miracle" on. So to spit in the face of that... it's monstrous, in my opinion.

amacebo1 karma

What was your approach/process for injecting humor into the script for Meet My Valentine?

jayblackcomedy3 karma

I think the approach was more toning down the humor in the script. Meaning that my bent is always comedy first and everything else second. So when we're doing something serious (or more serious than we're used to, like Meet My Valentine), what I had to do was evaluate all the stuff I was trying to throw in there that didn't quite fit the tone of the movie.

amacebo1 karma

One of my favorite dramedies is Steel Magnolias, and there’s a scene where the tension and weight of the situation is about to boil over, and then Olympia Dukakis’s character pushes Shirley MacLaine towards Sally Field and tells her to punch her. It was the perfect comedic release to an otherwise very emotionally intense scene. It’s this type of comedic relief that makes some of the more dramatic films so memorable and enjoyable. Were there any scenes in Meet My Valentine that functioned in a similar way?

jayblackcomedy1 karma

There's a scene, early on in the movie, where Scott's character, Tom, is telling my character, Mac, that he's dying and what his plan is. There's this long speech about all the things he's going to miss doing with his daughter, and the moment just hangs there for a long, long time...

And then my character stands up and does something very stupid. From what I'm told (I wasn't there - I was gigging), it killed at the screening. That everyone was just silent listening to the speech and that the comedy became that much more powerful because of the comedy that followed it...

Klttykat1 karma

Do u like cock?

jayblackcomedy3 karma

My own: wonderful.

Everyone else's: no real experience. But I'm not against them. I'm no one to judge...

Klttykat1 karma

Do u like vagina?

jayblackcomedy1 karma

Yes! It's been a big part of my life since birth!

SunnyFunnyGirl1 karma

If you could go back and do everything over, what would you change?

jayblackcomedy3 karma

Part of me wants to say "start stand-up sooner". I was married with a kind on the way when I left to be a full time comic. That limited me in a lot of ways to what I could and couldn't do in the entertainment industry.

To this day, I still live in South Jersey, so accomplishing things in the industry has been more difficult than I would have liked.

BUT, that said, I'm really happy with where I'm at professionally. I'm not really happy with where I'm at emotionally or personally, but that's brain chemistry and nothing is going to change that (unless medical science gets off its ass already!).

So, without sounding too cheesy, I'm not sure I would change anything. I got to be a father and a husband but I ALSO got to be a comedian and writer. And a lot of guys have to sacrifice one to have the other.

SunnyFunnyGirl1 karma

Would you want your child(ren) to follow in your footsteps?

jayblackcomedy4 karma

Adam Carolla has a great riff about kids "needing a motor" -- essentially that if something gets you out of bed every day and motoring to get work done, then that's a good thing (unless it's, you know, a motor for murdering people or something).

Life is hard, and being a comedian makes life only slightly harder. So, if they have a motor like I had a motor, then yes, I want them following in my footsteps. Better to wake up every day with energy and fail then to wake up every day miserable in your success.

SunnyFunnyGirl2 karma

Is it better to surround yourself with funny people or are regular people more unintentionally funny? Do you have many funny friends?

jayblackcomedy2 karma

Most of my friends are the people I work with -- that is, stand-up comedians. I don't know if one is better than the other. But at least, for me, the idea of hanging out with the funniest people in the world, getting to put the speed of their brains up against the speed of mine -- it makes going to work an adventure and a challenge and I love it. Almost as much as I love anything else in my business, it's getting to hang out with my friends...

SunnyFunnyGirl1 karma

Success: hard work or fate?

jayblackcomedy7 karma

Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny.

Hard work. Always.