In this episode of “Going Out With Jake Cornell,” host and former NYC hospitality pro Jake Cornell chats with actress, writer, podcast host, and comedian Alise Morales. The two reminisce over their earlier early social media days on MySpace and Facebook, deliberate on the essential “Going Out Top,” and decide on the best spot at any party when going out. Tune in to learn more.
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Jake Cornell: For the listeners, this is my dear friend Alise Morales. Alise is a comedian in New York. She is a voice actress. She is a screen actress. She is a star on the internet in many ways and on screen in many ways. But most of our interactions have been going out in a way that is mixed with comedy. So it’s a perfect person to have on the pod. I’ve run into you many a time, but you and I have never crafted a night out together.
Alise Morales: That’s so true.
J: I hate that I chose the verb craft.
A: No, I love it. And it is what it is. You’ve gone out with my dear friend Bailey. You guys have crafted a night together before.
J: Bailey and I had our first date night recently, which is always a very fun thing for me with a friend, which you and I are due for. You run into each other at bars a million times and it’s just doing the thing of being like, “OK, one on one, we’re going out and we’re having a night.” Bailey and I just had that and it was so good.
A: Yeah, I’ve been trying to do that more. I have been trying to do the thing where I actually follow through on getting drinks.
A: It’s fantastic. It’s wonderful. I’ve had amazing drinks.
J: Thank you for bringing that up because I have a pet peeve, which is I hate people of our age, especially in the comedy world, who think it’s a personality trait to be like, “I’m never actually going to hang out with anyone.” Or they hate hanging out with people. Hating going out is different because I respect someone who’s like, “I can’t handle bars. It’s not my vibe.” I totally respect that. But people who say, “I’m going to get coffee with you,” but never actually do it, that’s not a personality.
A: OK, so you’re flaky, I guess.
J: I will tell people all the time, if I run into someone like at a show or even doing this show, I’ll be like, “We should have a drink sometime, we should grab dinner sometime.” I do genuinely mean that. I’m not just saying that in this fake L.A. way that I think people think is cool to be.
A: What’s the point of us being in New York? If we’re going to be playing that game, I’ll move to L.A. if I want to tell people I’m going to get fake drinks with them.
J: It’s so true.
A: Wow. That is so true. I think in comedy, especially when we were first coming up, there was the nerd culture of it all. I always remember Katie Ruth talking about a time she was in an improv class and the teacher was like, “Well, we’re all improvisers, we hate parties.” And Katie was like, “Well, I actually like parties. I really enjoy going to a friend’s party.”
J: I know it’s so true. It’s such a thing in the comedy community of people who are like, “I actually hate people.” No, you hate feeling vulnerable.
A: Well, that’s kind of a problem because you’re in entertainment. You need to find a way to like some people in some way. That doesn’t mean that you have to be going to parties all the time, but you could get drinks with friends. You could have dinner parties at your house. So there’s a lot of stuff.
J: Right. Because this is the thing, going out and socializing is customizable. And that leads me to the question of the show, which is, what does going out mean to you?
A: Wow. That’s a beautiful question. What it means to me is that I’m putting on an outfit. Number one, I’m obviously leaving my house. I have an evening planned for myself, usually involving one or two other people. Definitely, the clothes are a big factor. I feel like I’ve seen a lot of stuff on Twitter recently about the “Going Out Top.”
J: What’s your top for the night out?
A: I felt like the Going Out Top was a big staple of my early 20s.
J: Hold on, one question. Is there a chance that your mike is your AirPods? Because I feel like it keeps going in and out.
A: Let me see. Hold on.
J: So much better. We were talking and I was loving the conversation, but there’s no way her mic sounds this bad. You’re holding a very nice-looking mike. And I was like, I don’t want to call her out and then have her be like, “No, this is what my mic sounds like.”
A: What do you mean, this? I spent $10,000 on this.
J: And this, listener, if you’re a good friend, is why you have to call out and say, “Hey, I think something’s wrong.”
A: It’s like telling someone they have lipstick on their teeth.
J: It’s like the time that Sarah Grace Welburn and I were on a commercial shoot, and we had just broken for lunch. The entire cast was a bunch of New York comedians. I hope you don’t mind me telling this story on the podcast. And we’re standing there waiting for them to start filming again. We’re on set. They’re about to start shooting again. And I’m going, “Does Sarah Grace have a beauty mark I’ve never noticed. Or is there Nutella on her face?”
A: Oh no.
J: I could not bring myself to ask for like five minutes and right before the cameras start rolling, God bless, Kiko was like, “Sarah Grace, there’s something on your face.” They go, “Wait, Sarah Grace, do you have a beauty mark?” And she goes, “What’s?” And then she’s like, “No, there’s f*cking Nutella on my face. And no one had said anything.” We almost shot the commercial with continuity. She would have suddenly had a beauty mark that was dead-ass Nutella. I feel really bad because I’ve been staring at it for 10 minutes and didn’t know whether or not I should say something.
A: I don’t even know what to say about that. That would have been really bad to have to reshoot everything.
J: We had not shot that much before lunch, they probably would have been like, “OK, we’re going to keep the Nutella and just go back and reshoot the first three scenes.”
A: Everyone’s like, “Have you seen that commercial where Sarah Grace has a beauty mark for some reason?”
J: And they’d be like, “Yeah, it’s edible.” I want to go back before Mic Gate 2021 happens. We were talking about the Going Out Top. New Yorkers have a Going Out Top that all girls are wearing. Four years ago, I could picture that Going Out Top so perfectly. And I wonder if you can agree with me. It was a shoulder-less blue-cropped, maybe gingham print with a puffy sleeve. Do you know what I’m talking about? Dropped shoulders exposed at the collarbone, puffy sleeves starting at the bicep, and then cropped tube top.
A: That is exactly correct. When I think of the Going Out Top, there is one I have from my late college Going Out Top, into my beginning of being in New York in 2012. And she was a halter top with a deep V and then there was that glitter on it where it’s going to come off constantly.
J: Like you can’t go missing because you will be tracked.
A: It’s an endless amount. It’s kind of odd that the shirt never stops. It had an empire waist top to it.
J: How are you saying it was peplum?
A: It was low cut and it was shiny. And if I was going to hit the town, you were going to see me in that top.
J: I like that. I am someone who gets clothing-obsessed because I’m not good at shopping. I’m not someone who is blessed with having a body shape that is what mainstream clothes are made for. I’m a little bit broader in the shoulder and I’m just not the proportions that the Gap thinks a human is. So when I find a piece of clothing that I like to wear and that I feel good in, I would prefer if it was socially acceptable to wear it four days a week.
A: The cartoon character model. I’ve got one outfit that is working and I don’t understand why I can’t have a closet full of this outfit.
J: I’m so tempted. I really respect Matt Rubino. Matt Rubino was like, “I wear black jeans and I have V-necks in three colors and that’s what I wear.” And I really envy that because now, especially as I’m doing more and more live comedy and these shows are getting goddamn photographed, I have to vary my outfits. This is hard.
A: You either have to choose to never vary them and just do them as Rubino does and be like, “You’re going to see me in black pants and three different color shirts.”
J: I will say, I feel like it’s a little bit of a male privilege thing. There’s more of a pressure for a woman to change her outfit every time. Not that it’s real.
A: Yes. I think for women, you either have to be an “I don’t care girl,” and I’m doing like jeans and a flannel, or you have to be like, “I am a fashion model in addition to your comedian for this evening.”
J: Or you’re the comedian who’s so psychotically hot that they also then just do it in workout gear and it’s Lululemon comedy.
A: Yeah, that’s a place I haven’t gone.
J: I respect it all.
A: I’ve been “not caring” girl, and “I’m wearing a ball gown to the show” girl, but I can’t do the athleisure.
J: I have never dressed up for a comedy show because I don’t feel my best in formal wear. I went to a wedding this weekend and I’m not at my best in a suit. It’s not where I feel my best. I do like wearing a fun outfit for a show. I don’t want to do formal, but I do like fun.
A: I do love you bringing back the male comedian who just wears a suit.
J: I mean, that would be something.
A: John Mulaney is the only one.
J: To be fair, and this is just speaking to my personal taste, if I was at a show and a comedian entered the stage earnestly wearing a suit and it wasn’t part of the bit, I would be inclined to go to the bathroom. I’d be like, “This is going to be the set I’m skipping.”
A: I am laughing, thinking about certain venues getting on stages.
J: Yeah, I know.
A: In the back of Friends and Lovers, being like, “I’m in a suit.” One time my fancy uncle who’s a psychiatrist and has a cane with a silver fox on it, he follows me on social media. So he decided to surprise me by coming to one of my shows when I was in New York.
J: A theme on this show that we’ve been talking about is that you can’t surprise comedians at a show. It’s literally not acceptable.
A: I’ll tell you if it’s going to be a good one or what the deal is.
J: Thank you.
A: So my uncle with his friend, two Gucci suits, walks into Muchmore’s. For anyone listening who doesn’t know, Muchmore’s is a hole in the wall that has a painting of a sexual tentacle squid painting.
J: No shade to Muchmore’s because I have nothing but love for it. But just for context, becoming a comedian in NYC is like a Monopoly game. Muchmore’s is like the first purple square on the board. It’s your first stop. There’s no shade to it because you have to do it, that is where your first-ever shows are going to be and like it is ramshackle as f*ck. It’s a fun time but it’s so antithetical to a Gucci suit.
A: Muchmore’s is the opposite of a Gucci suit.
J: Totally, truly.
A: I felt so bad because, like, there was this younger girl on the show. I think it was one of her first shows and she got really nervous and she came up to me and she was like, “I think the industry is here.” No, that’s my uncle and his friend.
J: That is so funny, Alise. I’m f*cking dying.
A: It was insane. It was so crazy.
J: Oh, that’s perfect. Another reason I wanted you on this show is that we talk about going out a lot on the show. And a lot of times that leads to drinking. What do you like to drink when you go out? If you don’t want to talk about this, we don’t have to. But I would identify you as a weed queen.
J: An absolute weed queen. I am not a weed king. I dabble. But it is strictly an in-the-home experience for me and I can’t leave the house, unfortunately. I can maybe go to the store and that’s sort of my max out. Or the beach, the beach is the one exception. I’m curious, as someone who is a weed queen, how that ties into going out for you. Just talk me through it because I’m fascinated and I want to talk to a pro.
A: I am definitely a weed queen. I’m someone who smokes a lot. It depends on if I bring the vape pen out with me. But as of late, it’s been a yes.
J: Recently we’ve been leaning towards yes.
A: Yeah, she’s been coming with me everywhere. Here’s the thing. I also used to be a cigarette smoker, and I dabble every once in a while. I have an oral fixation, thumbsucker to cigarette smoker to weed queen, where we’re moving along the line.
J: Yeah, the evolutions.
A: So for me, I love to bring the vape pen out. Obviously, Covid complicates this situation. But usually with weed, it’s a shareable moment with people. Being able to step out and smoke something varies the energy.
J: It’s the best part about cigarettes for sure. There’s no question.
A: Yeah, that’s the hardest. Quitting smoking, the issue was never being at home or in my day-to-day life. It was always as soon as I tasted one sip of alcohol, all I wanted to do was be on the back porch at the bar, smoking. That’s my favorite place to be at the bar or party.
J: I’m going to tell you this right now. Any time I see any sort of headline that says, “We put a robot on Pluto,” or something like that, I’m like, “Why the f*ck have we not invented a healthy cigarette?” I don’t think it should be this hard. We made the vaccine in six months. Can someone make a goddamn healthy cigarette? It would be so good for everyone. I’m not craving nicotine. I’m sure part of it is that I’m craving nicotine. I’m not denying that it’s addictive. I’m not craving tar. I’m craving going outside and a different change of pace. We’re all smoking a thing. There’s a ritual that is energetically important. Just make a healthy cigarette.
A: My question regarding the healthy cigarette, what are American Spirits? Isn’t this the premise of American Spirits? They still have all that. They’re not healthy.
J: How can it be healthier that this one cigarette lasts a calendar hour? Smoking American Spirits takes so f*cking long. I don’t believe this is healthier. If anything, I believe it’s worse. It takes so long to smoke one. I’ve never finished one in my life.
A: Never. I don’t think anyone ever has.
J: OK, I know I am advocating for the healthy cigarette right now and I understand that is probably possible. But I will say I was offered a brand deal to do an ad for vapable vitamins, and I did want to report them to the F.B.I. You can’t vape vitamins. You’re not doing this. I will pay you to not have my name anywhere near this thing before I promote this.
A: But sometimes I do lie awake at night thinking about what we’re going to find out about vaping. Every generation has something. Back in the day, they used to put radium on watch faces, and had ladies’ hands falling off. I’m vaping.
J: I was talking one time to my grandfather about smoking. My grandfather is 85. He was like, “Yeah, there was a period of time when I was younger where everyone was smoking and there was no official word on whether or not it was healthy.” But common sense would have told you it was unhealthy because nothing about it is indicative of it being healthy. And then he was like, “But I waited until the surgeon general was like, ‘No, objectively, this is horrible for you.’ And then I stopped.” I feel like that’s where we’re at with vaping. No one is saying this is healthy. It’s for sure bad. But some people are just waiting for the official, “Here’s what it is, here’s how it goes down.”
A: I’m going to show you something. And I know this is a podcast and it’s not a visual medium.
J: We can describe it.
A: I got a vape recently and the oil in it started looking like this. This isn’t good, right?
J: As someone who went to the University of Vermont, this is transportive to me. I’m seeing a dark resin oil caked inside of a vape in a way that makes me feel like I am in a sophomore dorm.
A: Yeah, I just don’t think that this is right.
J: Yeah. I’m going to say you’re at a place in your life where that can go in the garbage.
A: I did pull it out of my garbage.
J: Knowing where you are in your life, you’re married, you’re successful, I don’t think we need that in you.
A: I don’t need to smoke vape oil that’s curdling. I don’t know what that is. OK, good. I think I made the right decision about whatever was in that cartridge. I did smoke half of it.
J: When did weed become a part of your life?
A: I smoked weed for the first time in high school, but it was not a big part of my life. In general, in high school, I would dabble in troublemaking. But I was way too afraid of actually getting into any trouble.
J: You’re from Delaware, right?
A: I’m from northern Virginia, but I went to Delaware.
J: But you’re from northern Virginia?
J: OK, similar vibes.
J: Did your high school have the opportunity to go out and be a partier, and you were abstaining from it? Or was it just not the vibe of your high school?
A: I would say the amount of partying was typical for a public high school. Starting my junior year, I engaged in some partying because we did have a friend whose parents left town often. So we did start partying at Stephen’s house — shout out, Stephen. That was where drinking came into my life and we would buy this stupid alcohol. I remember we used to always get Everclear.
J: Not necessary.
A: You’re all 17. You can get drunk off three or four beers. There’s really no need for you to buy shoe polish and drink it. But that’s what we were doing. I have pictures that used to be up on Facebook that are now in a private album that only I can see from high school. It’s literally us in this dude’s basement. We’re wearing costumes. At one point, we’re all in the shower, we’re rolling around. This is crazy.
J: See, you’re officially cool. I went to a lame high school, and I love it. God bless. I’ve been on Alise’s podcast, “The Roast of Your Teenage Self.” It’s a fantastic podcast that you should check out if you want to really hear about my high school experience. But I will say, my high school was lame in the sense that partying was not a thing. I moved from Rhode Island to Vermont, and I had a lot of Rhode Island friends. That was a similar vibe. I would look at their Facebook albums and be like, “OK, see this is that sh*t I want to be doing. I want to be drinking Everclear and rolling around in a shower.” No, I don’t. But I thought I did.
A: Number one, I remember this party where we drank Everclear and then I smoked weed and did that for the first time. I immediately felt horrible. And I remember I was sitting in a rolly chair, and my friend Ryan just spun me really slowly and I vomited all over everything. Wyatt, this one dude who was always causing problems at all of our parties, he actually took the heat off me because I vomited outside. It was very easy to figure out the situation. He vomited inside on a coffee table that had glass under it, and the vomit got under the glass.
J: Oh, absolutely not.
A: At another party with him one time he got really messed up and so we locked him upstairs. We were, “Wyatt you’re done. We put you upstairs.” And the next thing we knew, we’re all partying and we see him coming down the terrace.
J: He was coming out the window.
A: Climbing out the window. I wonder where he is now?
J: I feel like those are the moments when you, as a teenager look up and are like, “Oh, this is why they say teenagers shouldn’t drink.” There’s now vomit under the glass table.
A: This is how people die drinking. You lock one person upstairs who, first of all, probably has alcohol poisoning.
J: And maybe needs access to water.
A: Never check on him.
J: Why would they?
A: Just let him crawl out the window.
J: God bless. Then weed came in later in life for you?
A: Yeah. So I smoked a little bit in high school, but I was just too nervous under the watchful eye of my parents to possess weed or be high around them.
J: We’ve seen the “Seventh Heaven” episode.
A: Once I got to college, it was off to the races. I became a weed queen starting in my freshman year. My really close friend Tyler and I would always go on these walks and smoke. We got elected to run our whole government, which is very funny. We got in really big trouble because we were visibly high at the ice cream social.
J: Let’s say someone’s having a birthday party at a bar and we’re all going, are you smoking before you go?
A: I’m kind of always puffing on my pen. I’m not going to sit down and smoke at this time. I guess what I’m saying is I’m always high. I’m actually not on this podcast because of the weird situation with my cartridge. That’s the first time I’ve ever been like, “You know what? This is too dangerous to smoke.”
J: And that really tells you something.
J: So what was the evolution from drinking like? I feel like now when I see you, I feel like you have good taste. I see you at a nice restaurant. I see you at a good bar. I see you having a cocktail. So we’ve evolved from Everclear and weed and a spinny chair.
J: I’m sure that’s happened over the years of doing comedy in New York and being here and whatnot. What are the things we like now?
A: Well, first of all, I turned 30 in the pandemic. Beautiful. I became a married person. I do feel like my life and the way I look at socializing has changed a lot since when I first moved to New York. I was going out all the time and I was having parties at my house all the time and doing all that stuff. Now what I love is a dinner party moment, drinks at a nice restaurant moment. I love to host people and I keep f*cking trying to host people. Literally every time I try to have people over they’re like, “Actually, the pandemic is worse.”
J: Alise is hosting a party, there’s a new variant.
A: Alise is planning a party. So we’re going to drop the new variant right before she’s already bought all the cheese.
J: That’s how I know you’re a good host, if you bought cheese.
A: I tried to have a holiday party.
J: I was going to go.
A: Everyone was invited. It was going to be great because that’s what I like a little bit more now. Then Omicron happened and I was like, “I can’t have this holiday party because I’m going to look bad.”
J: I had one event the Omicron weekend; I just got one e-mail that was like, “LOL, this isn’t happening.”
A: It was me.
J: If you thought the party was happening, you’re joking.
A: I was like, “OK, we’re not having a party.” But we did still have two of our friends over the night the party was going to be. I did buy all of that cheese.
J: The weekend where it really tried to blow up, my friends were also going to have a big holiday party and they got exposed. The entire house that was hosting the party got exposed. People got exposed and maybe have it. And that happened, I would say 10 minutes after Nate and I finished making the Alison Roman Banana pudding. It’s a banana pudding recipe that serves 16 or 20, it’s an absolutely ludicrous amount of banana pudding. We were like, “OK, well, I guess we might as well try it now that I’m not bringing it to the party.” I had one bite. It was so delicious. This needs to get out of house right the f*ck now. I put it in Tupperware and I walked it to the house of the people who are supposed to have the party and I put it through their window. Passing banana pudding through the window, being like, “Take this and eat it. I can’t do this.”
A: Also for the party, I baked a cake. Now I’ve got a whole damn cake. And it was great. And I did eat the cake and I didn’t give it to anybody.
J: This is what’s hard about a party getting canceled as you get older. Going to a party when you’re younger is an offensive experience. I’m bringing my own alcohol that I’m hiding behind a couch somewhere. I need to figure out where I’m stuffing my coat so it doesn’t get stolen.
A: There is no toilet paper.
J: Soap is a joke. Nothing good is happening. You probably don’t know the host’s name. It’s a very offensive experience. And then as you get older, parties become collaborative. Someone’s bringing the dessert, someone’s bringing the wine. I genuinely like the company of every person here. I don’t have a mortal enemy attending.
A: Oh, my God. I can hear everybody. I’m definitely that person who, as soon as I turned 30, I was like, “I have to only be in places where I can hear everything.” I was considering going to that pop-punk festival or whatever that they just announced called “When We Were Young.”
J: I thought of you specifically when I saw the poster.
A: It seems geared toward me, but then it’s put on by the same people who did Astroworld. I think these motherf*ckers need to pay their legal bills. So now they are squeezing the stone of the pop-punk community. They are tricking us into giving them the money to pay for their legal fees. That’s my conspiracy, is that they invented this whole festival because they said, who misses a lot of bands and has disposable income?
J: It’s kids who grew up on Long Island.
J: You’re 100 percent right. There’s no question that’s what it is.
A: And I don’t appreciate it because I was really looking at it and I would like to see Avril Lavigne and Taking Back Sunday and all my old friends.
J: The new Avril Lavigne song is really good. I do have to just say that, I have been listening to it a lot.
A: She’s such an interesting figure for all 2000s pop girls, because she was like the anti-one.
J: Exactly. She had a tie on and she had hair with no highlights. It was natural brown.
A: At one point she had the pin-straight blond hair and the underside was black.
J: Yeah, I do think that was the second album.
A: I thought that was so cool. I brought a picture of her to my hairstylist and was like, “Please make me look like Avril Lavigne.” And she was like, “You are Hispanic, your hair will never get to do this. It will never look like you.”
J: Did you have a moment where your hair was bleached to an orange decimation?
A: Oh, absolutely I did. I have a picture of it. I did the front bang, and then it was all yellow bleach in the front. It was the look of my high school career. I would fully line my eyes. Then I had the bang in front and it was completely yellow bleach. I remember my high school boyfriend taking a picture of me with it, looking into the camera. I still have that picture because it was my favorite picture of me for so long. I remember just being like “I nailed this one.”
J: You were a MySpace queen.
A: I was. I used to do competitions on MySpace. Did you know that that was a thing?
J: No. What are you talking about?
A: Here’s how it would work. Someone would set up a profile that was specifically for the competition. Then there would be different categories like best hair, best kiss, best emo. You would message the account and tell them the picture that you wanted to be put into the competition.
J: Was this with people that you knew from high school?
A: No, this is was nationwide.
J: You were up against Tila Tequila.
A: Yes, Tila Tequila! You were up against all the emo teenagers of the world. You would put your picture in and then they would add it as one of their profile images and people would comment on who they wanted to win. And whichever picture got the most comments was the winner in that category. I did this often.
J: Did you win?
A: Yeah, baby. I got Best Hair for the blond. And I got Best Kiss one time for a black and white picture of me and my boyfriend kissing that my friend took for her photography class.
J: That is awful but wonderful.
A: I’ve never met another person who knows what the f*ck I’m talking about.
J: That was dark web. That’s so crazy. I remember being so obsessed, and this was more Facebook era than MySpace era, with the branding of your nights out or the branding of a party via the album upload. The picture that you painted by uploading an album, or the narrative you wrote in your mind by looking at someone else’s album — the power that had.
A: Looking at your social media profiles through the eyes of another.
J: A mock stalk. We’d text each other in college at peak Facebook and say, “Hey, can you just do a quick mock stalk on my page and give me thoughts?” That was a thing people did.
A: It’s amazing. I love that term, the mock stalk. I remember Facebook used to have this thing where you could view your profile from the outside.
J: View as a friend. You could type in, “View my profile as Alise Morales.”
A: Right, yes.
J: Well, don’t talk about this. I’m actually writing a whole thing about this right now. The children don’t know the old Facebook features. Me having grown up in a place where I couldn’t go out, I didn’t have a going out life because I was 16 and lived in the woods. More like 14. But people don’t know that the original Facebook search engine had more power than the Hubble Space Telescope. I was closeted teen trying to find other gay people in Vermont. Do you know on “Criminal Minds” when they cut to the girl in the chair and she has all the info on the computer? I was the girl in the chair. I was the girl on the chair at all times. I had looked at the Facebook profile of every queer male in the state of Vermont. Because you could do a search engine that was like, “I’m looking for people within 60 miles of me in the state of Vermont who have put on their profile ‘male interested in male,'” and then just look at every single one. It was a database. Facebook was still operating as a database of people to look through. It wasn’t about connecting with friends as much as it was a database.
A: I have never stalked to the degree that I would stalk on Facebook. There was a guy that I had a very tumultuous relationship with.
J: It was a different time.
A: I was always blocking him.
J: Oh, sure.
A: But because I’m psychotic and I still wanted to know if he was liking other girls’ photos — oh, my God. This is so sad — I would look at the photos of a girl that I thought that maybe he was talking to, and I would count the likes and see if there was one more like than the number I counted. Then I knew he liked it. It’s really, really, really bad. I don’t know why he’s so turned off by me.
J: I always felt like my internet presence was lacking. I’ve never been to a party where someone just had a digital camera and took all the photos. The older I get, the more I’m like, I don’t think that actually organically ever existed. That was the lesson I needed to learn. The highly photographed nights out are not the ones.
A: The best nights I’ve had are ones where I don’t remember anything.
J: OK, Alise, that’s actually a huge issue.
A: Every Saturday you don’t remember anything. Me and my old roommate Ian, back in the day in 2014 or 2015, we had a really big New Year’s party and there is not one photo of any of them.
J: This was before we were friends, so. But I knew who you were. There were no photos of those parties, and I would hear about them every year and for years to follow. The Alise Morales/Ian Griffin Adams New Year’s Eve parties were legendary in the New York comedy scene.
A: Here’s a back story to that. The whole reason I had the party is the guy who I used to count likes, he had recently broken up with me and I did not want to go to the UCB party. So I was like, “I’m actually going to throw my own party that everyone else will come to except for him.”
J: The likes were post-high school? This was you in New York?
A: Baby, I was a 24-year-old woman. This is someone who you know, that I was doing this to.
J: I need to know who.
A: I’m going to put it in the chat.
J: This is so good. This was my saddest relationship. I was so in love with this person, and he barely gave one sh*t about me.
J: Facebook drove us insane. Facebook plus being a burgeoning teen/young adult who was starting to go out and craft your own social life. Who do I like to hang out with? What do I like to do with my free time? Who are my friends? What’s my circle? That, with Facebook staring back at you, pushed us to a level of insanity. Obviously social media is more endemic now. I’m going to say this, but then I realized that the way the kids are using it is so different. I was flying back from Nashville this weekend. I was there for a wedding. And the girl next to me was probably 21 and was just on Snapchat the whole time in a way that really welcomed me to look at her phone as in-flight entertainment. Oh, damn, this girl’s using Snapchat the way we used to use Facebook. Everything is documented. There are posts. She’s looking at other people’s stories and then messaging people being like, “Did you see that Alise was out with Jonah or whatever.” I was fascinated by it. Because nothing expired on Facebook, everything was always up. Whereas now, stories go away. A lot of your posts go away. People don’t post on main as much. It’s much more about the present moment. But Facebook was a complete catch-all. You felt like you had a lame weekend and then you saw that someone that you kind of know had gone to a party that you weren’t invited to and you’re like, “Wait, what was happening?” And then you see a person tagged in the photos that you’re like, “Who is this person that was at this party that all my friends were at and I don’t know this person?” You then click on that person’s profile. Well, now there’s years worth of information that you can start to go down because no one had their settings in private. And that could take up hours of your life. Suddenly you have lost your f*cking mind and you’re counting likes.
A: I do feel like the kids of today, I don’t think they understand the way we used to just put it all out there. When we’re talking about these albums of photos, it’s hundreds of photos of the same thing.
J: It wasn’t that you take six photos and then pick the best one. You’d post the six.
A: Yeah, exactly. You’re posting every single thing that you shot a photo of with zero editing at all.
J: It truly was zero editing. Zero thought about what’s happening in the background, how other people look in this. I remember in college, going through other people who I barely knew but I knew they’d been at the same party as me, going through their albums to see if there were images of me in the background.
A: That’s the other thing of the lawlessness of tagging. You would put up an album of 100 photos of someone partying and then tag them in all of it. No matter what, even just in the background. When I finally like got off Facebook, it was because of the sheer volume of stuff about me that is on this page. I actually cannot go through and curate it and bring it down or do anything. It’s just too much and I have to shut the whole thing down.
J: It’s so vulnerable. I remember one time in my freshman year of college, we were all sitting in the lounge and we found this one kid’s old MySpace. We just started ripping him to shreds because it was such a humiliating MySpace page. Very quietly, I was like, “Is my MySpace still up?” And it was and I did not know the password and I can’t delete it. I wrote the longest email to MySpace corporate being like, “This needs to be taken down.” I think my “about me” said that I was looking for a band, looking for a lead singer. I’m not a singer. I have no musical skills. What does that mean? What was I talking about?
A: My MySpace bio said, “If you want to know me, f*cking know me.”
J: Of course it did. That’s perfect.
A: I think that’s a good bio.
J: That’s the kind of MySpace bio I would have read and been like, “F*ck, I wish I had thought of that.”
A: I learned to code to make my MySpace all crazy.
J: Same. HTML.
A: Don’t remember a single thing now.
J: It’s funny now, because I have no desire to post my nights out or my partying on the internet. I have truly no inclination. I’ll post the restaurants I go to for dinner. And I want to touch you at restaurants, because I’m curious about what you like. So put a pin in that. I’ll post the restaurants I like that I go to on my Instagram to promote them. Because I love them and I want to support them. Same with the bars occasionally. But if I have a photo of us holding drinks or a video of us doing shots, I have no inclination to document any of that anymore. No judgment to anyone. But it’s just so funny how much I was dying when I was younger. It was not even about going out at that point. Unfortunately, I’m realizing that It was about creating content.
A: It’s also about letting people know that you went out.
J: Well, that’s what it actually was, the social signaling. It was about saying, “I’m cool, I have a life. I know what’s up.”
A: The only thing I really feel compelled to document is if I’m on an active vacation. OK, well, I’m on vacation, so I’ll take pictures of this. I don’t feel compelled to take pictures when going out or during dinners with friends.
J: If I see a friend who I haven’t seen in a while, maybe we’ll take a photo together. Every once in a while, I love a photo. But even when I’m taking photos, I’m not posting them.
A: Yeah, I don’t always post them at this point. Before stories, Instagram was just all about going to out. I go through and archive a lot.
J: When we hang up on this interview, I literally might go and do that now. Because my friend texted me the other day and said that pre-Instagram posts that don’t make sense anymore are up. In a way that’s humiliating. There’s a box of cereal that I bought. Why is that up? I need to archive this.
A: I took a picture of a sock and put a filter on it and was like, “Whoa.” I’ll keep a couple because they’re my “I moved to New York” post.
J: Sure, totally.
A: But for the most part, all of this has got to go. The filters.
J: Oh my God. That’s the funniest thing, is to go back and be like, “Why is this filtered within an inch of its f*cking life?” This doesn’t even look like a photo.
A: Why did I think that that blue one looked so good?
J: It’s so indicative of the time because we didn’t think it would be totally opaque. This is a bad Photoshop hack job to make this look like it was taken on a Kodak camera in 1997. No one believes that. We all know that that’s not what is happening. This looks ridiculous.
A: It also sucks because sometimes you’ll have a picture from that time that you actually like, but the only version you have has a weird border on it.
J: And I have photos on my Instagram that are tied to really, really funny stories that aren’t even pretty photos. They’re photos I took to document something very funny that happened. Tell me why this photo of a sandwich that has a funny story behind it has six filters on it. That’s insane. Why?
A: Why. It was a bleak time.
J: It was. It was actually so bleak. In that way, stories freed us. And we were so anti-stories when it started. What else are you doing now?
A: If I’m going to post something to main, it’s almost 100 percent a promotional post. Here’s the thing. On my Instagram, I have a lot of followers from posting tweets and some videos and stuff like that. So a lot of times if I try to post something nice about my actual self, I’ll just lose 25 followers.
J: Oh, yeah, absolutely. They hate when you’re a real person.
A: I posted that I got a puppy. I’ve never lost more followers in my life.
J: I know, that’s crazy.
A: People are like, “Wait, you’re not a meme account?” And then they just unfollow you. OK, well, this sucks. I’m not a meme account. And I want to tell people about my really cute puppy.
J: You’re going to gain followers for the people that actually care about it. You don’t want to curate yourself to like what people want because then you’ll live in hell.
A: It’s so funny to think about someone being like, “Puppy, unfollow.”
J: Absolutely not. Two questions about restaurants. Have you worked in them? Tell me what you like.
A: I have worked in restaurants. In high school, I was the hostess at Glory Days Grill in the Fox Mill Shopping Center, which did have a smoking section inside.
J: Wait, get this. I was at the Nashville Airport. If you live in Nashville, I’m truly sorry, and I did like Nashville. The Nashville Airport is the ugliest airport I’ve ever been in in my life. Worst airport I’ve ever been to in my life. There’s a smoking lounge inside the airport where you can buy cigarettes and vapes and cigars and smoke them indoors.
J: I was floored.
A: That’s insane. But I guess smokers have to travel, you know? But Glory Days had a smoking section, and it was not even sectioned off from other things. There was just a low divider to be like “The smoking sections over here.” And then people would yell at me about it and I’m like, “I can’t vote.” If you want to change the laws in Virginia about smoking, you’re an adult.
J: I know this is gross, but I’ve always loved the smell of cigarettes. I think because my aunt smoked when I was younger. So it reminds me of going over to my aunt’s house for a holiday. When I was a kid, there were still smoking and non-smoking sections. There was one Italian restaurant in my hometown, and upstairs was nonsmoking and downstairs was smoking.
A: That’s so funny because all this smoke rises.
J: It was a joke. In retrospect, it was so funny. I’m not joking, I was probably 8 years old and my family would rock up to the restaurant and get to the host and be like, “Table for four.” The hostess would be like, “Smoking or non-smoking.” And I’d be like, “Please can we smoke?” I was begging to sit in the smoking section because it just felt cooler and sexier and it smelt better to me. My mom was like, “You can’t ask for that.” I did not understand the optics of this kid fiending.
A: You’re like one of those kids whose picture will go viral of them smoking 10 packs a day.
J: That’s me.
A: So I worked at Glory Days Grill. That was my big time in the restaurant industry and that is when I started smoking cigarettes.
J: I love that.
A: The Pink Camel No. 9.
J: You are the second guest. Tefi Pessoa also said Camel No. 9s were her sh*t.
A: Camel knows what it’s doing and they’ve been doing it for a long time.
J: Oh, yeah.
A: They’re trying to get kids to smoke.
J: They’d put them in Happy Meals if they were allowed to.
A: Our mascot is just a cartoon. Don’t worry about it. No, this box of pink cigarettes isn’t for teen girls. I briefly worked at a sushi restaurant in college and was fired because I was actually a really bad server.
J: At least you tried.
A: As far as restaurants that I like now, I’m in love with all cuisines. I’ll eat any food. I’m not very picky at all. So it’s really all about ambiance for me. If we’ve got the low lighting, kind of a little rustic Tuscan vibe.
J: Tell me some spots in New York that you love.
A: So I love Pilar.
J: If you wake up hung over on the weekend or you’re just wanting a heavy meal, the Cuban sandwich at Pilar is incredible.
A: And they’ve got great croquettes. It’s just all good over there.
J: They also have mint lemonade that’s so good. It’s like a virgin Mojito. If I’m on a walk in the summer, I’ll just stop in there and get one to-go.
A: It’s not too far from me. That’s me and Danny’s go-to dinner spot. We have a recent one in Bed-Stuy. It’s called Santa Panza, and it’s a pizza place.
J: My boyfriend just went there and said it was really good. I have not been yet.
A: It’s along Broadway. So walking on Broadway in Brooklyn is one of the least pleasant experiences. You walk in and it’s a beautiful oasis and it’s really nice. It’s got a backyard. Danny and I went there for New Year’s. And then I’m also really getting into Win Son.
J: I haven’t been to Win Son, the restaurant, yet. But I’ve been to Win Son Bakery for dinner and had the burger. It’s an Unreal burger. Also, the pricing at Win Son Bakery is shockingly competitive. This is not an expensive night out.
J: I haven’t been to Win Son and I’m dying to go. But Win Son Sun Bakery is great. And these are two restaurants that are catty-cornered to each other in East Williamsburg. I highly recommend the burger at Win Son Bakery, it is so good.
A: They are right near where BCC does their show so you could take it to the show.
J: There’s a great bar over there called Duck Duck if you just want a chill drink. Those are some of my East Williamsburg recommendations. If you want ambiance and want a Bed-Stuy restaurant, I just found this place called Eugene & Co. I went there with my friend Gabby.
J: We should go.
A: Maybe that’ll be our hang.
J: It has a very gorgeous, sexy room. It’s low lighting.
A: I love a gorgeous, sexy room.
J: Gorgeous, sexy room. There’s a banquette that wraps around the whole wall. It looks good there. We went and the food was f*cking delicious. I’m so excited this place opened and Gabby was like, “I think it’s been here for a while.” There’s no way I would have known about it. It’s so good and so nice and so close to my house. When we were leaving, I was like, “So when did you guys open?” And the guy was like, “Eight years ago.” And I was like, “Oh.”
A: So the entire time I’ve been to New York. Amazing.
J: You’ve been here longer than me. OK, absolutely incredible. But we should go to Eugene & Co.
A: I am very into that.
J: You can cook, right?
A: Yeah. That’s something that’s been more in the pandemic. I learned to cook and I like to cook.
J: I love to cook also. I’m not saying I’m like a chef, but I can cook a good dinner. So ambiance does have major points for me. I want to have fun in the room and feel like it’s a good and sexy vibe.
A: Yes. I really do want the restaurant to have a sexy energy.
J: Sexy is my favorite. Of the things to describe a restaurant, sexy is my No. 1.
A: Here’s another recommendation if you’re going to like, see theater, because Danny and I went to see “Little Shop of Horrors” and we went to this place before called Kashkaval Garden. That was really, really good. It was Mediterranean food. If you’re going to see a show, they give you a little discount.
J: OK, love that. And I’ll give my theater recommendation if you’re in Midtown for drinks after the show. They hadn’t reopened post-pandemic yet, but I’m hoping they do soon; Lillie’s Victorian. Do you know this bar? It’s on 49th or 51st and it is this gorgeous giant bar that’s Victorian-themed and has 17-foot ceilings and these huge mirrors behind the wall. And it’s so nice because, even when it gets crowded, the ceilings are so high and it’s such a beautiful, sexy room that it doesn’t feel crowded. It doesn’t feel stuffy, and it’s just great.
A: All I want is to feel like a Victorian.
J: They also have a location in Union Square that is open for sure. If you are looking in either of those areas, check it out.
A: I love that. I always want to feel like I’m Rose from “Titanic.”
J: Absolutely. I feel like we’ve touched on a lot here today. We’ve gone through social media, we’ve gone through high school parties. We’ve gone through college. We’ve really done it. We’ve been cigarette smokers going out. We’ve been a weed smoker. We’ve been doing it all. What’s a pro move, just to give the listener one pro move to wrap it up? A pro move for going out. What’s a move in terms of being a weed queen on the town? What do you highly recommend?
A: Pandemic aside, I do think having a little weed on you is offerable to the people that are at the party. I don’t know how we reassess that for pandemic times.
J: Just bring a Purell wipe for between hits. It’s fine.
A: And that’s science. Or you do the lighter on the mouthpiece, that’s science.
J: Oh, that’s science.
A: That’s absolutely science. I do think having a little something to offer to the outside people is good. My favorite part of the party is being outside with the smokers. And if you have a little something, then you’re going to be making some friends.
J: The best party is in the smoking section. And that is a hard truth. If it upsets you, I’m sorry.
A: That’s why little Jake was like, “Put us in the smoking section.”
J: Put us in the smoking section.
Thank you so much for listening to “Going Out With Jake Cornell.” If you could please go and rate and review us on whatever you’re listening to this on, that would be really gorgeous for me in a huge way, so thank you.
And now, for some credits. “Going Out With Jake Cornell” is recorded in New York City and is produced by Keith Beavers and Katie Brown. The music you’re hearing is by Darbi Cicci. The cover art you’re probably looking at was photographed by M. Cooper and designed by Danielle Grinberg. And a special shout-out to VinePair co-founders Adam Teeter and Josh Malin for making all of this possible.