This week, Jake goes out with comedian and actress Hannah Pilkes. The two discuss pup play, bombing during standup shows, whip-its, throwing up, and more.
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Jake Cornell: Absolutely heaven. How are you?
Hannah Pilkes: I’m good. I just had like a vicious coughing attack-
J: I saw.
H: -because I inhaled a piece of lint that was sort of lodged in my inhaler. Besides that, I’m good. It was fun to dress autumnal today.
J: Yes. The green, is it a turtleneck?
H: It’s a green turtleneck.
J: It looked incredible.
H: Thank you.
J: I can’t wear turtlenecks and so—
H: Really, why?
J: I just think I’m a little too broad and I don’t think I have the right ratio of neck length to shoulder width for it.
H: Interesting, you know what I think that it might be? It might be one of those things that you’ve dubbed so that the outside eye would not– I feel like you would look great in turtlenecks, but again, I can’t for example–
J: I haven’t tried one on in probably a decade.
H: Well, there you go.
H: Just try one. I mean, like you said yourself, people are hot in sweaters. Maybe–
J: People are hot in sweaters.
H: I think a turtleneck is very hot because it really makes me wonder what’s underneath there.
H: A neck?
J: Well, actually something’s happening this winter, where I’m — I hate the cold. I always complain about the cold. I’m a summer boy. Normally, I’m not this cold this early. I’m struggling this — it’s not even winter yet I’m–
H: Well, it was abrupt.
J: It was abrupt and it was harsh and I normally have a little bit more constitution about me, but I was really f*cking cold. I’m a little bit nervous, so I’m thinking maybe I lean into a sweater scarf moment.
H: A sweater scarf. It’s also been really confusing because the world’s on fire. You can’t tease me with a 70-degree night and then the next day have the harshest day of winter. It cut through you. The night before I was dancing on a rooftop and I knew, I thought, this is bad. I know this is bad.
J: What rooftop were you dancing on?
H: Oh, it was a really weird roof. Greg and I, my husband, whoa, husband.
J: There you go.
H: I haven’t said that a lot.
H: Thank you. We were like, let’s just be spontaneous. It was a three-story place. They played reggaeton on the first floor, hip hop on the second floor and the third floor was just all hookah and it was the craziest looking place. I mean, it was just-
J: Where was it?
H: Lower East Side. I loved the energy there. It was so — and we were like, we have to be outside because tomorrow it’s over.
J: Tomorrow it’s over.
H: So we really tried to soak it up for as long as we could.
J: Absolutely, did you do any of the New York Comedy Fest parties? Did you go to any of the parties?
H: Did you?
J: I went to my agency’s party and that’s it. It was fun, I feel like the industry people go to all the parties more than the talent.
H: I really didn’t even know that was a thing and I did four shows. I mean, not my — I did one of my own.
J: I did three shows too. Well, I did three shows, but I feel like all my friends who are managing through were like, “I’m so tired,” and I was like, what’s happening? Because I don’t feel like New York Comedy Fest like a thing on my end. I do shows.
H: 1000 percent, I also don’t think they promote that stuff really to the performers. I think that that is for all the people to schmooze with each other that are going to the shows.
J: Yes. I think so.
H: I mean, maybe this is bad on my end, but I wasn’t like, I have to invite industry to my New York Comedy Festival. I just didn’t think to.
J: I do not, no. That’s not really-
H: Not because of New York Comedy Fest or anything, I’m not good at that stuff. I’m not-
H: I’m like, they’ll find me. They’ll follow the win.
J: Also, if I know who’s in the audience, I’ll do bad.
H: That’s very true.
J: I’ll do bad.
H: It has to be a surprise that a very important person was there.
J: Lord knows that’s happened to me, but I prefer it to be a surprise or if someone tells me they’re going, I say, no, they’re not, and I put the message away.
H: It’s so true. I wish that I could do showcases and not know they were showcases.
J: That like if JFL was a secret and you just-
H: Oh, yes. If JFL was just in a backyard, I would’ve gotten JFL 10 years ago.
J: Yes, absolutely.
H: It was just for my close friends and that’s actually — I’m disproving my point because a lot of people can be funny in the backyard. I think the whole point is that you have to be funny in a showcase setting and evidently I cave under pressure.
J: I’ve only seen you ever thrive.
H: Yes, because you haven’t been at a showcase, babe.
J: I bombed mine, don’t worry.
H: What is that?
J: What is that? For me, I hate being — I don’t like the feeling of competition among performers. I don’t want to be at a show being like, you and you and not being like, you and you.
H: You know what? You’re so right. I mean that’s really why I love the New York Comedy scene so much is that as soon as I got here, I felt really welcomed with open arms and it felt really tons of camaraderie and everyone just hanging out and supporting each other and all just feeling like peers. I think it’s inherently–
J: Do you feel less like that in L.A.?
H: It doesn’t feel less like that. I just was there for so many years that there was a built-in community. Here I was completely fish out of water, had done comedy, but didn’t know what were the cool rooms and everyone was like, “Hop on my show.” I think it goes against what we’re all programmed to want to do that, to pit us against each other in that way. That’s the industry side that we don’t want to have to deal with.
J: Yes, 100 percent. That’s so true. Wait, okay, so you moved to New York a year ago.
H: A year and a half ago, yes, but it’s been a lot of back and forth.
J: It’s been a lot of back and forth. Were you much of a going outer in L.A.?
H: My 20s were going out a lot. I really liked to go out. I still like to go out but-
J: Yes, we’ve had very-
H: Yes, in Edinburgh and — my 20s, I mean, I’m 30 now. I love to drink, not to get f*cked up, but I love the taste of a good cocktail. I love a good wine and I love a flirty cocktail at a flirty fun place. I’m an ambiance b*tch.
J: That place was huge for me.
H: When you introduced me to that, I’m like, this is where we should have been the whole time. A guilty thing that I do is I’m so a person of convenience that I would– even though I’m an ambiance slut, I’ll end up at the place on the corner that’s just whatever because I can walk to it.
J: It’s so funny because I actually feel like some of the most — I think I learned a lot about myself as an actor in Edinburgh, but I also think what some of the most valuable things I learned about Edinburgh or learned while I was in Edinburgh were about myself as a person. I realized how central it is to me. Do you remember how I was obsessed with that place, Kates?
J: I realized, “Oh, it’s actually really central to me as a person to have a coffee shop or a place to go where I know the people who work there and I can get a smile and a treat for myself and start my day that way.” That’s actually paramount to my mental health. I just moved and we’re working on it.
H: You found that immediately.
J: Immediately, and it’s like I had to.
H: I love that you know that about yourself because I think a lot of — I think that I need that. I’m super ADD and I’m super — especially as someone that’s going back and forth a lot, I think what would’ve made my experience more rooted and grounded would’ve been to seek out the places that are my staples.
J: Yes. I don’t think I found Kates until the second or third week. Then I was like, well, I have to come here every morning and that’s what’s going to make me feel better. It did.
H: Yes. It’s like your anchor.
J: Then House of the Gods. I think that’s what it was called House of the Gods.
H: That’s this was so sheek.
J: That was the third or fourth week that I found that and I was like, well, I need to come here at least once a week. Grounding, nice, not quite — completely separate from the festival and just you and one other person at a cute sheek little table getting Martinis. I needed that.
H: Totally. I seek out friendships like that though. I seek out the person that will introduce me to the cool thing because if it’s up to me, the number of birthdays that I have panicked, caved under pressure, and invited people to a black hole where nobody can sit.
J: Wait, when was your birthday this year?
H: Case in point. I don’t even remember what it was called, but it was someplace where no one could sit. It was so crowded. Everyone was in the dark. I got there and I was like, this is a big- — and everyone was an acquaintance at that point too. It’s not like-
J: You’re going to die. After my show on Saturday, my solo show — this was so f*cking funny. I hope they don’t listen to this. After my solo show on Saturday, I went out with Melissa and Millie for a quick drink. Millie was like, “Oh, my friends are having a birthday party at this bar.” It’s two stand-ups who I’m friendly with. It was a bunch of comedians for a birthday party. We walk up to the bar and I — I did not fully understand at the beginning that we were going to that bar because of the comedians are having a birthday party there, it’s also just the nearest bar to — My show was at the Tiny Cupboard and this bar is near the Tiny Cupboard and it’s the only bar I know in that area. I was like, oh yes, let’s just go there. That’s the bar I know. We walk there. What I knew about that bar that I don’t think Melissa or Millie knew was that this bar is a pup bar for gay men who are into latex and pup play.
H: What’s pup play?
J: Can you Google pup play and get the actual definition?
H: Is it bad that I don’t know what pup play is?
J: No. It’s new on the scene. Well, no, I think it’s doing for a while but it’s getting big.
H: Because I’m thinking dogs.
J: Yes. It is gay men who pretend to be-
H: Like a furry.
J: But it’s leather. Can you Google — I want Hannah to get the images too. There’s not fur. It’s less mascots.
H: More hide.
J: They’re these hard leather dog masks. Do you have them pulled up?
H: Oh, wow.
J: That is what we’re working with.
J: Do you see this? And then-
H: Is that person super dominant?
J: No, I think they pretend to be like the other guy’s dog and they’ll nozzle and sometimes walk around on leashes and I think sometimes they’ll also sometimes both be a dog and it’s rough housing the way dogs rough house.
H: Got it. Very primal, but also, I’m your pet, do what you want with me kind of thing.
J: There’s training, obedience elements to it. I think I have no personal draw to it, but no judgment of it.
H: Can I ask how new — is there a marketing team behind the pup kink? Do you know what I mean? It’s new, it’s newly emerging. I’m sure it’s been around, but how do we get introduced to these new-
J: That’s actually such a good question. I think the internet is so huge for that, but I don’t know-
H: I bet TikTok had something to do with it.
J: What I would be curious about is what the — I don’t know that pup play is new. I just think it might be newly popular.
J: I’m sure it’s been around at least the ’90s or ’80s, I would guess, but I’m like, what are the actual new kinks? Do you know what I mean?
H: I would argue in straight culture, there’s no kinks. I don’t partake.
J: No. There are kinks. There’s guys who like to watch their wives get f*cked.
J: That’s a big one.
H: Is that a kink?
J: I would say, yes.
H: Anything that’s like a sub saying that you could Google within a porn site, I guess, is a kink.
J: Yes. I guess once something becomes widespread enough, it is no longer a kink, but you have to remember where New York pilled. That would still shock the f*ck out of someone in Kansas.
H: Oh, 1000 percent. I imagine in L.A. there’s plenty of pup places.
J: Yes. Anyway, so we get to this bar.
H: You get to this place.
J: It is filled to the gills with men in full latex body suits and/or dressed as leather dogs.
J: Nuzzling on each other, making out with each other, rubbing each other on top of this thing. I’m like, God bless it. Melissa is also in full-body latex, just coincidentally. Literally, she was like, well, I matched. It was actually so f*cking funny.
H: That is the least surprising thing I’ve ever heard. She’s always on the pulse. She’s the most cosmopolitan person I’ve ever met.
J: Look at me two tables in the middle of this reserved for these two standup comics’ names.
H: God bless them.
J: They have no idea that this is what this bar is. I know that. I know these two people don’t.
H: Oh, they haven’t gotten there yet. That is so funny.
J: I’m staying until five minutes after they arrive. Then I have plans and I watched one of the standups get there and he was like, “I didn’t know it was going to be this.” He was like, “Yes I don’t know what to do.” I was like, God bless.
H: Did they stay?
J: I don’t know. I actually need to text Millie and get the follow-up, but I thought it was.
H: I thought they might’ve chosen that either because that was their thing.
J: He gets there and he was like, “I don’t think we were told this was happening.” Millie goes, maybe it’s just ending. He goes, “No, I asked. They said it’s just starting.”
H: You know what? I hope they stayed at least a while.
J: I hope that they didn’t — unfortunately, I do think a birthday party full of comedians will kill literally any sexual vibe.
H: That’s the only thing is-
J: I want the pups to have their pup play party.
H: Totally, and then the comics to have their bits time.
J: I feel it’s easier to relocate one of those groups than another. Let’s get the comics to a new bar, is my thought.
H: Also, if the comics become the majority, then they’re making fun of the thing. If there’s just a couple of them, then they have to embrace what’s happening.
J: Or they’ll get mauled.
H: Yes, exactly.
J: That was a really joyous experience.
J: I think I’ve now witnessed one of the best-
H: I would absolutely have something like that happen where it’s — which is funny because I have such an obsessive personality when it comes to getting an Airbnb. I will find the most perfect, gorgeous accommodations for myself. I have chosen my iconic places for trips.
J: When you did your little post-Edinburgh-
H: Oh, I found this carriage house in the middle of the countryside, but I think when it suddenly is about a group of people, I panic. It’s like you’re in charge of the iPod. Pretend we also have iPods. You’re in charge of the music, in the passenger seat. Then I’m like, have I ever once listened to a good song? I think that’s what happens.
J: Did that make planning your wedding f*cking hell?
H: No, because again, this is for us. If there’s one place that I’m — If we’re going to spend any money, it’s going to be a reflection of because inviting everybody to come to a bar, it’s no spot off my back. If I had to put money behind a party, it’s going to be my aesthetic, which is Jim Henson Fever Dream.
J: Yes, and you nailed your wedding. It was-
H: Horny Jim Henson meets “The Great.”
J: Yes, and it went flawlessly. You nailed it.
H: It was great.
J: I’m so happy for you with that.
H: Yes, I know what my taste is. Especially when I’m in — I think I would do really well with having places that are comforting to me like a good cafe or a good — but my ADD will actually fight against that and I will never go to the same place and I’ll go to 20 cafes in a week. Even though it would probably be really grounding.
J: I didn’t realize that ADD affected — I don’t think I have ADD, I feel like Instagram is constantly telling me that I’m autistic and have ADHD or not Instagram, TikTok, but I don’t think I am ADD, but I thought ADD was losing track of specific finite tasks. I didn’t realize it would affect not going to the same place twice, but I guess it can infiltrate everything.
H: I think I have this gorgeous cocktail of ADD and anxiety and a little peppering of depression that I think causes me to act impulsively and erratically sometimes. Actually, what my brain thrives off of is a fundamental routine, but it’s hard for me in like the line of work we do where we’re traveling a ton, where I constantly have to redefine what home is. I think that’s when it all runs a muck, but when I can get into a good pattern is when I do best. The problem is that’s just not how my creativity goes.
The coal strikes hot at 11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. is when I’m like, guess I have to write now It sucks.
J: I am realizing that it takes — I need five hours of downtime for 20 minutes of work. I need to walk around doing nothing for five hours to have 20 minutes where it all hits and I write the whole thing in 25 minutes.
H: Oh, yes. I know and there’s such judgment around that, even though the thing got done regardless that it’s like, why could I not have-
J: I know for a fact that if I had sat in front of the computer for all five of those hours and cranked something out, word by word being like, you have to write this, it would’ve been bad.
H: Oh, 1000 percent.
J: I think that’s why I’m saying it right now is because I’m trying to — that is the process. That is my process.
H: Everyone’s is different. Do you know how many times I’ve Googled people that are famous that sleep late sometimes so that I’m like, okay, well, if Robert Downey Jr. slept till 10:00 that one time, then I’m okay. What a random person to site. Well, and you know what I would argue? Have you ever been in a strictly corporate job?
H: I don’t know, but I imagine if I had my computer monitor and I had to do these three tasks, but there’s also Google and online shopping and all these things, I bet that’s happening all the time.
J: 100 percent. I think a lot of it-
H: Where they’re doing a Wordle while they’re-
J: Yes. I think that a lot of that’s happening. I can’t imagine there’s not, I don’t think that — Charlie Barwin said, he was like, it takes eight hours a day. You’re at the office eight hours a day to do two hours of work.
J: Maybe that wasn’t an original quote, maybe that’s just a corporatism, but I would have to imagine that’s what it is.
H: Well, also something like coming up with a joke or writing material or a pitch or a script or whatever, it’s not like an A to B thing. You’re having to conceptualize, think of something, choose the best, revise it later. The amount of times I’ve — just revision is, there’s nothing to me more exhausting than revision of something because I hate-
J: Oh, I’m opposite.
H: Really? You like doing that?
J: I think the most exhaustive part is the initial synthesis.
H: Interesting. I think I can easier get something on the page than I can revisit it and rewrite it.
J: I’ll rewrite it 10 times once it’s written, but writing on the blank page, I feel like I’m on fire in a bad way.
J: I hate it.
H: Okay. What do you think that is? Is it the perfectionism in you, or?
J: I think it’s the perfectionism, the fear that it’s bad, and also — yes. Immediately I struggle with thinking too big picture too fast and too far down the line, too fast. When I’m just — which is I think why, honestly, I think that’s why TikTok was initially so huge for me because it was literally just idea to video. That’s it and there was no longer game involved. Whereas when you’re writing a script, you can’t actually be thinking about production when you write it. Do you know what I mean?
H: Oh, it’s so funny. When I was making videos all the time, I couldn’t possibly be writing the other stuff at the same time. I’ve learned about my brain that it’s one or the other. I love the immediacy of the online stuff, but then there’s not the same feeling of writing a script or writing something from start to finish, revising it and–
J: Yes. That’s why I wasn’t making videos for so long, is because I was working on scripts and now that I have scripts due, I’m making videos again to distract myself.
H: I know that this cycle continues.
J: It’s so bad.
H: Oh, yes. I really identify with that feeling though.
J: I know. Wait, do you feel that having that ADD, do you think that has affected how you go out or were going out in your 20s?
H: Oh, 1000 percent in ways that I didn’t know until I went to therapy in my late 20s to combat some of the things I would do.
J: Did you not go to therapy until your late 20s?
H: I was in and out. I had eating things when I was much younger and was very involved in therapy then and god bless it, it saved me for sure, and then I think I was like, I’m good. Then it was like, no, but the last couple years I really re-devoted myself to it. I mean maybe peak end of lockdown feeling I’d like to address some of these things that have just been dormant and then would pop up randomly. Like erratic behavior or acting impulsively, which apparently are super ADD things to do.
H: With going out and stuff, I think not knowing when to call it or being really — sitting for two hours and not getting ready, and then showing up an hour late to a thing. I was like, “Oh sh*t, you can’t — this isn’t cute anymore.” When you’re 25 and you’re just like, “I’m a little pixie.” Everyone’s like, “It’s okay. Once she’s here, she’s the best.” I was like, I don’t want to be that person. Also just like being able to have the foresight to check in with yourself, like, oh, tomorrow’s a big day. I don’t need to — I feel judgment, making better judgment didn’t come to me naturally with the ADD stuff. I think in therapy it was forward thinking a bit more, planning a bit more, and as it pertains to going out, being like, okay, you can’t have a late night tonight. You just physically can’t. You’re someone that needs a sh*t ton of sleep. I really do. I need nine to ten hours of sleep. It sucks. I wouldn’t always get that, but I am groggy as f*ck without it. I’ve always been that way.
J: How did you get through Scotland? That must’ve been crazy.
H: When I’m going on adrenaline and coffees and whatever, I’m okay, but I still got decent — I would just sleep into the afternoon.
J: I guess that’s actually true. I was sleeping eight hours, but I was sleeping from 4:00 to 2:00 or something crazy.
H: Yes, something crazy. If anything I thrived in an environment like that because everybody had my sleep schedule for the first time.
J: Yes, that’s actually true. My sleep schedule was so crazy there.
H: Oh, everyone’s was. It’s just because you can’t shut your brain down when everyone is ending at different times and then we all want to process it together.
J: You’re processing one pint of adrenaline every day, and then also f*cking — the sun doesn’t go down until 11 o’clock, so you’re-
H: Right. I know. You’re like, why would I go home?
J: You’re like, should we get dinner? It sounds like it’s 1:00 a.m.
H: I do best with a treat system. If I’ve had a hard day of work and if you’re doing a show every day, I’m like, well, I need an Aperol Spritz to wind down.
J: If the show wasn’t incredible the way I was sprinting for a beer. I was like, I need a treat.
H: If the show was incredible, I’m like, and I also need that beer because I did that thing.
J: It wasn’t even fiending for alcohol, it was my treat.
H: Oh, no. A treat. It’s the social element. My ADD, I’m also a deep extrovert. Going out is important to me. I need those dinners to check in with people and I need — I really get my energy. My energy source is a lot of my external, is other people, which I get that from doing shows a lot of the time. I also really like my one-on-one time going out with people where I can-
J: So essential.
H: Getting older, the one-on-one has become — I might favor that over the group setting more often than not.
J: Same or a three person-
H: Three or four. A nice intimate dinner that — sure, let’s all have a lot of drinks, but it’s not that I want to drink less now, it’s just that I do get overwhelmed in an enormous party setting. I’m like, where do I even begin?
J: I know, and something I’ve noticed is I think I’ve started unconsciously drinking a little bit more than I should be or want to in group settings because I am finding them a little more overwhelming as I get older. I was really — at my birthday party, I really did not drink that much until the end. I was drunk by the end of the night. I was out for six hours. At the first bar, everyone was asking to buy me a drink and I was like, no. I would have one alcoholic drink and then two or three club sodas and then another drink because I was like, I want to enjoy this party, and I was like, why is this so much more fun than normally when I’m at like big group parties at bars then often find it overwhelming. I’m like, oh, it’s the vicious cycle of fighting overwhelming, so chugging a drink and then totally being drunk and finding it over — and just ultimately not enjoying it.
H: I think with age, what I’ve learned is I love to drink and drinking is not going to be the thing that’s going to quell my social anxiety. It’s the thing that is lovely and I enjoy, but I have to get right with myself and be — honestly, I would say weed’s probably better for that if someone wants to have a hit of weed if they feel really socially anxious. That hasn’t worked for me because it puts me towards paranoia, but I think I just have to get really clear before I go into — even going to your birthday, you and Marcia’s, I was like, these are a lot of people I don’t know. I want to make sure that I’m open and receptive and I’m actually going to make sure I don’t drink a lot going into tonight because I think that’ll make me flounder even more. I don’t think going out younger, you don’t think about that and you assume that the remedy is just to get wasted and then it never is or you have a fun surprise night, but you’re reckless.
J: Yes. Even if you think you did, you never had a fun night because you got trashed.
H: There’s no way.
J: Yes. That was was such a thing I thought about when we were in Scotland was — because maybe it’s when and how I go out in New York, but the way you see people sitting out on the street at 8:00 p.m. in Edinburgh, so f*cked up and people were getting so f*cked up and I was like, wow. I hope I never look like that. I also just would look at people and be like, I actually know for a literal fact I haven’t been that drunk in six years and that’s crazy that people get that drunk. So f*cked up.
H: For someone that really likes to drink, after shows, we had people that would offer to buy us beers and then we’d end up chatting with them for a few hours and they would get offended at, I don’t know, round three of a pint of beer where I’m like, I’m good. They’re like, “Well, no. This is the Scottish way. Have another beer.” Then I’m miserable and uncomfortable and bloated and full. They even put my love of drinking to sh*t. I don’t think I like to binge drink. I don’t like shots anymore. Even at my own wedding, I had one shot at the end of the night, and I was like, this feels a little gratuitous right now. I don’t know that I ever was like, yes shots girl, but I do think I wanted to feel more unencumbered and freer in my body when I was younger, and I think that’s what made me want to have shots, and get silly.
J: The only time I really remember doing shots in a way that I was like, shots, was when I was underage, freshman year of college where part of the whole night out was making sure you had access to alcohol because you’re underage and where was it coming from. If you were doing shots, it’s like, well I know this is going to get the job done. You know what I mean?
H: Yes. I was the source of alcohol in high school. I had a fake ID.
J: Oh, huge.
H: That I got from a man that went by Rabbi. He wasn’t a Rabbi, but he went by Rabbi.
J: Wait, walk me through the process of getting this fake ID.
H: Oh man. I can’t say any of these people’s names. I wonder if this person’s in jail now. My still best friend who just had a kid is now obviously not ended up with this person from freshman year, this person that she was dating that had the biggest house I’ve ever seen his connect was Rabbi. We went over to his mansion and gave 200 dollars to Rabbi, and this fake ID, I used it for four years. It was legit, it looked good. I think it was a New York one too.
J: Was it a photo of you?
J: You were how old?
H: I got it when I was 14 and I was the supplier for parties. What’s insane is that I-
J: 14-year-olds look so young, so the photos must have looked insane.
H: I was already six feet. I’ve always been five 10 or five 11. I guess I had that going for me, but I have a round baby face, but it’s just insane that I get nervous for auditions, but I would confidently walk into a wine and spirits at age 14 and get Captain Morgan and a Bankers. How crazy is that?
J: That’s so funny.
H: I do think I got a lot of that out of my system really young because where I grew up was really just drink to nauseum.
J: The L.A. teen scene is a party-
H: This was in outskirts of Philly.
J: Oh, this was outskirts of Philly.
H: Sorry, this was-
J: No, sorry.
H: I brought the fake idea to L.A. when I was a senior in high school and went to stay with my sister. I grew up in New York and then moved to outside of Philly. This was rich suburbs of Philly.
J: No, I always forget that.
H: We were not rich, but it was a very well-to-do neighborhood.
J: Interesting. It was party town?
H: Party town. Everyone drinking. So many drugs, nitrous tanks.
J: The nitrous.
H: The nitrous is-
J: So bad for you.
H: I feel like I was okay with all the other stuff. I was like, Oh, whatever. People are popping Molly and I tried acid one time and walked with an imaginary cane all night and thought I had a leg injury, but the nitrous really spooked me because that felt like, oh my God, the only purpose of this is to get dumb, and what it’s doing is popping brain cells.
J: Have you done it?
H: I did one balloon. I guess those are nitrous.
J: Also poppers are low-key.
H: When I was a barista, I would do the whip cream often because I was like, oh God, I just want to numb out.
J: Wait, you need to do that as a video. So crazy.
H: How can I help you? Walking to the coffee shop.
J: That’s so funny that you did that.
H: It’s also so fleeting.
J: No, it’s a thing, but it is like you just die for one second. There is-
H: I know.
J: Truly doing poppers or nitrous, you just fade into what is on the other side and then come back and you’re like-
H: It’s so interesting that we all want to simulate that feeling and that young too that you’re.
J: To be honest, I would say one of the hardest times in anyone’s life, for me at least, high school was freaking brutal, and so I definitely was-
J: I think for me it’s like seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, and then I because then I came out of the closet junior year.
H: Oh, okay.
J: I think that’s one of the nice — I do just have this night and day shift in high school where life was so much better after.
H: Did you feel like when you came out, it was like you were welcomed or it was-
J: It was very much a huge weight off my shoulders.
H: Yes, I’m sure.
J: That is more so what it was than anything else.
H: That’s nice that you went into college and all that not feeling like you had to because I feel stories of people having to at 19.
J: Totally. It’s different experiences for everyone. I think for me, part of what was so much of the labor of being in the closet was that because I am me, it wasn’t a constant secret, it was a constant denial of an accusation. Do you know what I mean?
H: Yes. It was exhausting.
J: Exhausting and just really builds up your self-hatred because you have to frame this thing as a negative to fight against it.
H: Also, you’re then pitted against people that, you’re like, maybe if I could say yes, you’d accept me and but I’ve built up this wall and-
J: I have a lot of empathy for people who are very straight passing because I think that’s also — I think there’s a lot of privileges that come with that, but I actually think there’s also a lot of labor of having to constantly come out. I haven’t had to come out of the closet in 15 years, 14 years. Whereas, I have friends who have to literally come out to people every day because people just don’t realize they’re gay. I think that’s probably a lot of work.
H: Oh, I imagine, yes. Just having to have a weighted conversation all the time.
J: Or just knowing that until you say something, people are just going to assume this thing about you that’s not true. That just sounds so exhaustive.
H: Oh, totally. Can’t imagine. I never had to. I feel like coming out as bi later in life was so — I don’t even know if I’ve ever proclaimed it to my parents. I feel they’re just like, “Everybody’s bi.”
J: I would hope eventually that’s what happens with all sexuality though.
H: I really hope so, but I think it’s a while away.
J: Oh, it’s definitely a while away.
H: At least, in New York and — I don’t think it’s as much a while away in big city schools, but I think in Middle America. God, I just read this, what’s the “Full House” chick that is left Hallmark? Now she’s just going to do-
J: Oh, my God.
H: Now she’s Great American-
J: “Great American Family.”
H: “Great American Family.” She one of the CFOs or something now.
J: She’s going to make a bunch of movies about that.
H: She said, “My heart just wants to tell deeper stories.” I’m like, huh? I watched falling for Christmas with Lindsay Lohan last night and didn’t feel super-
J: How was it?
H: I had the time of my life.
J: I can’t wait to watch it.
H: I had the time of my life and I am such a Lindsay fan. I wish for the world. I love her.
J: I love her. Wait, I have a question. Were you living in L.A. — no, you would’ve been in Philly for this. Peak that era of Lindsay, Paris, Britney at-
H: That’s Y2K. I was in Philly. Early 2000s Philly.
J: I’m dying for someone who was boots on the ground for that era. I just want — because I was so-
H: Greg. Greg was in L.A.
H: I imagine Greg was plugged into what we’re-
J: I was going to say I don’t sweet Greg knew what was happening at Mr. Chow. What was that?
H: When was “Simple Life?”
J: I want to say simple life is ’05, ’04. That feels what that was to me. ’06 maybe.
H: It felt like a marketing ploy to-
Katie Brown: 2003 to 2007.
J: I was pretty on the money.
H: It was four years. Wow. Listen, two girls are filthy rich. Isn’t it that crazy the things that our brains — I don’t remember anything from chemistry, but I remember so many useless lyrics.
J: I remember full episodes of “The Fabulous Life of…” on VH1.
H: Yes. Or, come on down my house. Come on. Is that “Girls Next Door?”
J: Yes, Oh my God.
H: Apparently they have a podcast.
J: I was watching the breakdown of how “The Mansion” worked. It’s so dark and crazy.
H: What’s insane is that we were all just watching that like, “Ha ha ha this is normal.” He bought these girls, essentially. So f*cked.
J: It’s so crazy. How old were you when you moved to L.A.?
H: I was 18, 19.
J: What was that like?
H: Immediate eating disorder. I can laugh now about it because it truly was the quintessential. All through high school you’re eating burgers and shakes and whatever, and then you go to L.A. and they’re like, “Careful with that burger.” Truly the most cliche, where it’s Versace, just feeling like I was this Philly pumpkin.
J: That was peak Rachel Zoe be thin time. It was just, we had no body positivity.
H: Body positivity.
J: Body positivity.
H: Body yadi, positivity. No, I also think
J: I am body.
H: Coming off the heels of Y2K, I look at that pocket of time. I also was thinking about the band Tattoo, remember them? It made my two cis straight White men put together two — a fake lesbian couple. One of them is now super outspoken against the LGBTQ, but I feel like that encapsulates, it was boob jobs and people attacking pop stars and sexualizing virgins and that were all for the male gaze, and it was super hetero and lesbians were for men.
J: It was like “Entourage.”
H: “Entourage” was the coolest show ever, and “Wedding Crashers.”
J: Oh my God.
H: I don’t know if you’ve — but it was Vince Vaughn humor, Vince Vaughn then humor, which was very fratty, old school. I internalized so much of that, whether I wanted to or not. Even though I was raised with super liberal family in New York and Philly.
J: That can only stand up to so much though.
J: Where you’re fully inundated with it, it’s over. It’s almost impossible. If I had moved to New York in 2010, when I was 18, I know I would’ve burned out. I wouldn’t be here. I don’t know where I would’ve ended up, but I know I would’ve lost my mind. I did not have the constitution to get it done then. Moving here at 21— because I would’ve been 17, because I graduated high school when I was 17. I would’ve fried. Moving here when I was 21 was enough.
H: You moved here when you were 21?
J: The week after I graduated college.
H: You’ve been here all the way through?
H: I always wonder if it would’ve been different had I done New York instead of L.A. but I think because I’d grown up in New York, I was like, “Oh, you should—” Also, I was like, “Oh, industry, L.A.” I can’t say that in moving here, the same thing wouldn’t have happened. I do think that image stuff, everyone’s like, “Oh, that’s a cliché. That’s not L.A.” but if you’re young and impressionable and you have no friends yet and you’re going out with your high school friend whose friends are club promoters and you’re — that f*cked me up. It was like-
J: There’s a really brutal reality, which is that the people — how do I word this in a way that isn’t really sad and shady but it’s true? When you move to a new place, statistically, a lot of the people that are going to be looking for people to bring into their friend group, because their friend group is frayed or they don’t have friends are shady people. That’s why they don’t have friends.
H: The very first friend-
J: That’s why it’s hard to make good friends. That’s why it’s so special when you do and find the group is because initially, you’re just like, “Oh, this person seems like they’re totally normal, but they don’t have a single friend that they trust.”
H: I feel so bad for them. All their friends have left? What’s that about? In that way, I think I was so afraid of age and aging for so long and then I was like, “Wait, 18 to 24 was just trying to find people that understood me for who I was and that I understood and that I felt we could love each other unconditionally.” Which just isn’t where you’re at when you’re that age. You’re operating from self, which you should. I feel it’s such a selfish time. Whereas I feel now, you have a better picker, and also you can be generous. You have the capacity to be there for somebody else and vice versa. It’s such a lonely time. Going out feels so different when you’re younger then because it’s just so-
J: There’s a difference between going out because I’m- going out with you and being like, “I just want to see Hannah and catch up,” and going out being — maybe to now find the thing that fixes me.
H: Yes. Oh my God. Or the person or the-
J: The friends.
H: Maybe tonight, me and my friends will actually have fun together and know what to — that’s the other thing, is outgrowing friendships that you’re like, “Oh my God, do we have anything in common without alcohol,” or without whatever the thing is, insert-
J: If they’re going to fight or something.
H: Cool. Right. Where you’re walking on pins and needles. That I don’t miss.
J: No. God, no. Wait, do you think — if you don’t want to talk about this, we can cut it. I’ve heard that people with ADD find that certain substances don’t affect them in the same way that they affect other people. Do you feel that’s the case with any drugs or alcohol?
H: I think I was medicated. I think I was on an Adderall type — I was on Adderall all through high school, so I think my tolerance was f*cking insane because Adderall is like cocaine. I think people take Adderall to keep drinking. I think it messed with what — literally senior week of high school, we played a game where we were all tallying how many shots we’d had on our arms, and then the next day it would be like 20. I’m like, “So were we all just trying to die?” We’d go crazy.
J: It’s so f*cking crazy.
H: We were like, “These are my best friends.”
J: The way your body can process alcohol when you’re 18 is absolutely f*cking psycho.
H: Oh, it’s insane.
J: I did three shots. Now I’m a big dude who drinks pretty often. If I did three shots back to back, I would have to go home.
H: 1,000 percent.
J: I can’t do it. Actually, physically, I can’t do it.
H: I think I could but my body surprises itself. When I went to 54 Below to watch Esther in a show six months ago, and I didn’t eat dinner and I had two and a half Negronis and then I threw up like a college kid. It shocked me.
J: It’s happened to me. I was out with my friends and I had dinner at my friend’s house and I maybe had two glasses of wine with dinner — with pasta, she made pasta. I had two glasses of wine with a significant meal. Then we walked to her friend’s bar that she lives near, and I had two gin and sodas. Now we knew the bartender and I didn’t watch him pour them, so maybe he made me extra strong drinks, but I was like, “I’m going to go pee guys.” I went to the bathroom and I was like, “I’m going to barf.” Then I literally-
J: I didn’t barf but I sat on the floor of a bathroom at a bar and was deep breathing. I was like, “From two gin and sodas, what’s going on?”
H: The feeling now of getting sick, I don’t know if you — I got up sick that one time and then it had been years before that. Actually, at the end of Edinburgh, when I went to the countryside, the very last night I stayed in a hotel closer to the airport so that I was closer to — and it was a really sad town. Then I went into a-
J: What airport were you flying out of, Edinburgh?
H: We were flying out of Edinburgh. Why I didn’t just stay in Edinburgh proper, I was really trying to pinch pennies at this point-
H: Because I had spent everything. I went into this sports bar and they were bullying me, like, “Oh, city girl, you think you’re so—” whatever. The energy was not great in there. I got drunk there and got sick, and it always surprises me. I feel like in the last eight years I’ve gotten sick like two or three times and it’s always a horrific feeling.
J: Oh, yes.
H: You’re like, “Oh, something has to change.” Then I won’t drink for a month after that or something.
J: It’s a dark, dark, dark moment. When I was 18, I could drink 16 shots and get hit by a car and then wake up in the morning and be like, “My head hurts.” It’s like that’s it.
H: I know. I think that was just what it was.
J: I think that there is science behind it. I think you can just drink more when you’re younger.
H: You can drink more when you’re younger. The few times that I tried coke ever, I was like, “Oh, this reminds me too much of Adderall, which reminds me of high school and I don’t like that.” That was never a thing that I gravitated towards at all. I always say this, if I could find a limitless strain of weed that I could have right before a comedy show, that would make the whole experience of getting ready for it fun, because every time before a comedy show, I’m like, “Why do I do this to myself? I hate this. I hate this.” “Hi,” and then I love it.
J: Do you feel that nervous before every show?
H: Every single show.
J: That’s crazy.
H: One the other night, every single set.
J: Not even just shows your producing sets.
H: Sets too. Getting ready for it, walking up, nervous poops all day. Just horrible.
J: Whoa, but you’re so good.
H: It’s so interesting.
J: You perform so much. That’s so much of your life being stressed.
H: I told Greg the other day. I’m like, “What do I do?” because I love doing the thing when I’m in the midst of it and everything before is so horrific. What I’m happy about is that I don’t drink before shows or anything, that I don’t self-soothe that way-
H: -because I think I tried that in my 20s and I was like, “This is so not the route.”
J: I also just can’t have a thing that I know for a fact is why I bombed. Do you know what I mean?
J: If I have even one drink before a show and then I bomb, I’m like, “Well, yes, I drank.” Do you know what I mean?
H: Do you use drink tickets if you’re at shows?
J: If I go up early, I’ll have drinks after, and I’ll watch the show and have my drink. That’s what I did at your show. I had two drinks after my set.
H: I’ll get a hard seltzer and sip one throughout the show because I’m like, “Oh, it’s a nice thing to have.” It is really interesting. If there was something like that that could just help me chill the f*ck out, then I would like that.
J: Yes. That would be nice. I think it’s unfortunately just learning to deep breath and actually do it on your own.
H: I know. I really-
J: I don’t know that I will ever get there though.
H: What do you feel like before shows and before sets?
J: It really variables and depends.
H: How about Sunday? You did a set.
J: Sunday it was interesting, because I was nervous for two reasons. One, you had such a fantastic lineup of comedians I respected.
H: You included.
J: Yes, but it was like — I don’t know, it was Richard, who I love and we’re very close. Then it was Robbie, Marie, Esther, Chloe, I really respect all those people. I think some of them hadn’t seen me perform in a long time. I don’t think Robbie had ever seen me do standup before. I definitely was like, “I want to do well.”
J: Also that was my first show after doing my hour the night before, so I was going from hour mindset where it’s such a different mindset to be like, “I’m doing seven minutes.”
J: I didn’t consciously think about it until I got there. I hadn’t even picked what seven minutes I was doing. I was like, “Oh, f*ck.” Then I was trying to be funny being like– and then I was looking at everyone like, “What am I doing?”
H: Also, the Union Hall, Green Room is a hallway so it’s not-
H: It’s everyone on top of each other just anxious.
J: It’s like, “Hey, you’re performing in Union Hall. We have a huge perk. You’ll be the last to get out in a fire.”
H: On the one hand, I love it because it’s like, “Oh, when else all these people that you respect or you guys just-
H: -on top of each other this way,” and on the other hand, it’s like, “There is no moment to go over anything.”
J: No. Have you done the Bell House ever?
J: The Green House. The Green House.
H: The Green House.
J: The backstage area is just so fun and it’s so much fun to-.
H: Honestly, Asylum’s got a good backstage area too.
J: Yes. It’s too steeped in UCB for me.
H: I totally-
J: That was the UCB Theatre.
H: -get that. I have no connection to it in that way.
J: My body can’t fully relax there because I’m like, “What if someone’s listening? What if I get seen doing this? What if I?” I actually just can’t fully release there.
H: The ghosts of Mod are there, or Harold for you?
J: For Harold. Yes. Harold and-
H: Wow. Even by proxy, even knowing that I went through any of school system, I get haunted by that occasionally there because I’m like, “I know it’s steeped in that.” I know.
J: I’m excited for it to move to The PIT though because I only had good times at The PIT. No trauma at The PIT. Your show, I was a little nervous, but I was also excited. I also just like knew you were there and loved you and the audience was fun. I was like, “It’s going to be fine.”
H: That will change things for me. When I did Gorge Night or when I opened for Esther the other night, I’m like, “I trust that we all find similar things funny. I trust that you have an amazing audience.” Esther had an amazing — of course. Oh God, I won’t say what specific show this was, but I told you that I had a mental breakdown on stage a month ago.
J: Wait, you have to tell me what show it was.
H: I will. I don’t even think they care. They know that it was the weirdest set ever. I love their podcast, “Podcast But Outside.” I just opened for them at The Bourbon Room in Hollywood and fully forgot how to be a person.
J: Interesting, because you texted me immediately after and you were like, “Hey, I just bombed the worst I’ve ever bombed in my life.”
H: Yes. I’m on the corner. I’m drinking a hard seltzer. I’m not-
J: I should have called you. I didn’t realize it was at this level. I feel really bad now.
H: No, no, no. If anything, I was just texting people, peers that I — I’ve done that a couple of times. I texted Nori right after a weird JFL callback to be like, “Hey, this doesn’t matter. Just because I’m not good at this five minutes doesn’t–” and then of course she says the best thing ever. I’m instantly feeling better.
J: 100 percent.
H: You know what it was? I am such an admirer of both Cole and Andrew, but I don’t know that — being the first thing people see doing traditional standup, I don’t consider myself a traditional standup at all.
J: Absolutely. I do think that if you are producing a show, and this is — I don’t know these men, I don’t know other things. This is not an indictment of them. This is just a thought of what you’re saying. I do think a thing that if you are producing a show you and you are picking your openers, you really need to set them up for success by picking the right person for your audience.
H: You would think that I could deliver. I think that they have faith in me as they should.
J: Wait, can I ask ask my question is, did you-
H: I don’t know what happened. This is no way their fault because their podcast is weird and cool. I think it invites in a very cool audience. I think it was the first show I’d done post-wedding. I had been in wedding planning for the three weeks before that. I probably hadn’t done a show in five weeks or something.
J: That’s a long time.
H: It was a minute. I decided no mic, no nothing. I’m going to do a bunch of new material about my wedding. Brand new, not tried and true material because all the material before was about being engaged. I was like, “Well I can’t do that now. I’m married.” Now I figured out that you can just talk in hindsight, you can just say, “I was engaged.”
J: We have tenses in the English language.
H: Instead of using tenses, I was like, “All right, I’ll come up with 10 new minutes.” In doing that, I forgot all nine of them. I just remembered one new minute that I’d written. Then at one point, like I told you, I started combining jokes. They were just incoherent sentences. At one point, I considered running off stage.
J: You had a neurological event. This wasn’t a bad set because something happened.
H: I got off stage and I remember wiping — I feel like you only read in novels that there’s sweat on someone’s upper lip. It wasn’t just beads of sweat, I had a full log flume above my lip.
J: How silent was the audience?
H: I certainly didn’t set them up for the podcast. Let’s just put it that way. It’s funny, I came out hot. I came out, I danced on this pole. Then it really, not only plateaued, it went deep into the ground like a badger and it never came back out.
J: Oh my God.
H: I don’t even know how — I ended it by combining two jokes. In my head, there was not a sound coming from them. I got a text the next day or a DM from someone that was like, “Hi, I loved your set. I am a rabbi and can — Mazel tov.” I was like, “Okay. Maybe she just liked the Jewish part that I converted.” I’m like, “That’s nice of her to say or was she saying that?” My brain goes, “Was she saying that because she really knows I needed a win?” Anyway. I was supposed to be in the rest of the podcast. I was supposed to be watching and then maybe — I left. I’m not proud of that, but I did leave.
J: Was that the hardest you’ve ever bombed?
H: Absolutely. To me.
J: I think it’s nice to know that in definitively, “That was the hardest I have ever bombed.”
H: Doing any subsequent show, I was really afraid of a repeat. I think what it showed me is we’re all — I feel like something neurological was — I feel like the weight of the wedding and my life and all the emotions of it came flooding in and I didn’t know how to be funny in that moment. What was reassuring was doing four shows after that and having a really great time and returning to normal. It did take me by f*cking surprise because I’m like, “10 years in and this can still happen?”
J: I think it can still happen. Tiffany Haddish had that show, iconically in Miami, where she bombed horribly a few years ago.
J: Yes, it went viral and she admitted it. She was like, “I bombed.” Her whole hour bombed. She had a really bad show. I just think it can happen. I think it can truly happen to anyone. That’s part of the excitement but that’s also why seeing live comedy is exciting because it might not work. Its fine 99 percent of the time but there needs to be that element that something’s going to f*ck up, that makes it exciting to see it live.
H: Totally. Haven’t you seen comics that you super respect? I was on a show the other night where one after another after another we were all of us bombing.
J: That’s the audience-
H: This audience was not — I know that it was me for the other one because once they came out, the audience was-
J: You’re like, “This audience is cold, they come out and they’re like–”
H: To be fair too, they were genuine fans of their podcast.
H: What was funny before was that Andrew was– as I’m going on stage, he’s like, “Just so you know, no one’s ever bombed with this crowd. They’re always so cool.” He was like, “Robbie opened last time, she absolutely slayed it. They’re going to be so loving. Truly no one’s ever bombed opening for us,” and I was like, “Uh-huh.” I know he said that to be like, “You can’t go wrong.”
J: Then you were like, “Oh, I can.”
H: Then I was like, “Is that a dare?” Then that happened.
J: Wait, have you ever been on a show where honestly everyone bombed?
H: Yes, and it was really liberating because it was people that I super respect, myself included. It was like, “Oh wait, okay.” Occasionally there’s just something in the air. It’s just something that’s weird. I don’t mean to say overarching we all bombed 100 percent of the time, but it was met meekly, and just to see that is sometimes helpful I think.
J: Absolutely. The night we met, we both had a rough time.
H: Wait, when did we meet?
J: The Carolines.
H: Oh. Okay, that’s got to be close to the second worst.
J: I’ll tell you if you-
H: You thought I was funny in that set. They were against me.
J: Just to see what happened because — I didn’t-
H: I thought you had a great set.
J: Because I was not attacked by Carolines like you were. Here’s what happened to Hannah and this was the craziest thing and Carolines don’t get offended by this. You did this. Hannah and I were on a show together at Carolines opening for a fantastic comedian who I won’t name because she doesn’t need to hear this. Hannah, I was so excited to meet you. You had just moved to New York.
H: It had been weeks. Maybe two weeks.
J: I was like, “She’s so funny. She’s so cool. I’m so excited to meet her.” Then the sick thing about Carolines is the Green Room is luxe, you got-
H: You’re having a dinner, they’re serving you a drink.
J: They feed you, they feed you drinks. You have a personal waiter, it’s all free. You get paid.
H: It is luxe.
J: It’s luxe.
H: Then you walk-
J: It was Hannah first, then me, then the headliner. You go out. I think I did have a cocktail at that time because I was like, “This is so fun. I’m having a drink.” I’m like, “I’m going to take my cocktail. I’m going to watch Hannah perform,” and I watch Hannah go up on stage. As Hannah walked they’re like, “Welcome to the stage, Hannah,” and I do think they said your name wrong. I think they were like, “Hannah Pikes.”
H: Everyone thinks it’s Pilks or Pikes. I will know that I’ve made it when everyone knows it’s Pilkes.
J: They were like, “Hannah Pikes,” and then-
H: Oh they said, “Your host for the evening,” too.
J: You turned me and you’re like, “I’m hosting?” It was so crazy. Then Hannah goes up on stage and then I swear to God they bring, all of a sudden, a brigade of waiters, like it was on the f*cking “Polar Express,” come out and each audience member is individually handed a cheeseburger.
H: They all ordered a quarter-pounder and they’re all taking a bite.
J: Then Hannah does 10 minutes of material.
H: I’m the host. The host needs to do 10.
J: She does 10 minutes of material while people are just mouthful of burgers. They can’t laugh. They’re eating food.
H: They’re like this-
J: I remember you would say a joke and they’d be like — and you were like, “Okay, next joke.” There was just no laughter. It was funny because I immediately clocked what was happening. I was like, “Wait, this is f*cked because she’s not even bombing, they’re just eating so they’re not laughing.” I’m in the back then you’re saying jokes and I’m like [laughs loudly] like a trucker, to support.
H: I kept clocking that you were in the back like, “Okay, well someone I respect is thinking it’s funny.”
J: People kept looking at me being like, “Why is that man screaming?” I was like-
H: Why does that man not have a quarter-pounder? Someone get him a burger.
J: I think they were going to be like, “Why is that one screaming?” I was like, “They’re going to get mad at me then I’m going to bomb because they’re going to think I’m annoying when I go on stage so I need to stop. I was trying to laugh but not too loud.”
H: Honestly a host — I was just talking to you about this, host energy. In my head when they said host, I was like, “Well, first of all, I did not know I was going to be here all night. I didn’t know I was introducing acts,” but I think that was their bad to say host for the evening.
J: You weren’t the host.
H: I was just one of the openers. I opened and then you opened then it was the-
J: You never went back on stage.
H: No, I never went back on stage. I think a hosting-
J: I also f*cked up so bad because I thought I knew what time I was at and I was like, “All right, and ready for your headliner,” and then someone looked at me and was like, “No. You have four more minutes to do,” and I was like, “Okay, never mind.”
H: Four more minutes.
J: Something crazy where like the person looked at me and was like, “No.”
H: I have a feeling for that podcast that I opened for, I could have done more than three and a half minutes. I did a tight 90 seconds.
J: That is so funny.
H: You know what would be crazy? If we could roll the tape on that and we can watch it.
J: Is it videotaped somewhere?
H: I pray it’s not. I think it was live-streamed once they came out. I would just love to see if it lines up with how it felt internally.
J: I want to talk to someone who was there.
H: I know someone that was there and he was super sweet to me but he’s one of the sweetest people on earth.
J: Did he acknowledge like, “Yes, it seems like you were confused,” or something?
H: No, and then I was like, “Oh, so you’re just feeding me lies.”
J: If I objectively bomb — one of my best friends came to see me on Harold Night at UCB for what was probably one of the worst shows I ever did at UCB. My time being a performer there was, I was on a team. I don’t mean to say — we were consistently pretty good and then we had maybe three shows over the course of our run that we should have been immediately cut from the theater for how bad they were. It was like we were either good to great or so bad it was insane. He came to one that was so bad, it was insane shows. I remember walking outside of the theater and being like, “We were bad. That was not great.” He was like, “No, you were really bad.” I was like, “Thank you. Moving on.” I need that. That’s what I need in a best friend is to like, “I’m not going to lie to you,” because I need-
H: I think that’s great.
J: When you say, “Hey, great job. I actually believe it.”
H: You actually believe it. I actually think that you would do that for me.
J: I would never tell you you did good if you didn’t do good.
H: Which is why I texted you right after that because I was like, “I actually don’t need someone to bullsh*t me right now. I need someone to be like-” I think you put it really well. You were like, “It’s like dating and if it wasn’t a connection tonight, that’s okay and also we’re allowed to f*ckup occasionally.
H: I didn’t need someone to be like, “I bet you were actually amazing.” It’s like, “No, girl. I can tell you, no.”
J: I believe you. That’s the thing. The other thing is I know that every single person, even the best, bomb so if you’re going to say, “Hey, I had a really bad show,” there’s no productive part of me that’s going to be like, “No. I’m sure it was actually great.”
H: Also, if I know if you had a bomb night I’m like, “Okay, but I know what kind of comic you are. That sh*t happens and that sucks.” If you had a month of consequence — if you were like, “Hey, I’ve bombed for the last 20 shows.”
J: I’ll be like, “What are you talking about? What is the material?”
H: That would maybe be-
J: A different conversation.
H: Every once in a while I’m like, “We chose this.” We chose this thing that’s incredibly volatile and uncertain and so fun though when it’s fun.
J: That’s why we also like going out because we like — for me, that’s absolutely part of it.
H: I like the culture of comedy so much too. I like that it’s inherently really social.
J: That’s huge for me. Absolutely. That’s a huge, huge part of it. This went by in two seconds I know. The way we end every episode, and this will be easy for you and I, is we plan our night out together. We probably are going to have one soon. There’s the dinner with Marcia that’s happening and that’s separate.
H: This is a night out. Especially if I’m going to be back in L.A. for a little while we need to do something that encapsulates a fun night in New York.
J: I think we have to do nice night Martinis. I think we need to recreate and then maybe dance.
H: I love that. I want to dress really cute. Martini is cute but that could transition to a night out of dancing.
J: Just remembered the f*cking saloon bar in Edinburgh.
H: I know. Right after we all wrapped our shows we were like, “We should just — it’s been really nice.”
J: Hannah goes, “Let’s go to that cocktail bar, it looks really nice,” and we sit down and it’s a popup cowboy themed where they put cowboy hats on us. They were also sold out of every single cocktail.
H: Marcia’s like, “Ugh, the hat thing seems a little unsanitary,” and you were like, “No, they probably sprayed in between.” Then the guy takes the hat off his head and he’s like, “How many?” and puts it on the girls. I was like, “Okay. The hat are just being in circulation, sweaty performer heads.”
J: We should go somewhere — you want to dress cute? I would like to dress cute.
H: Cute in the sense of, I have really been embracing wearing the heel as a 5′10″.
J: That’s a queen move.
H: Greg’s 5′6″. For so long I was like, “I can’t be around Greg,” and he was like — I actively would get mad about it because he’d be like, “I love that you’re tall, and that’s not really fair to put on me. I encourage you to be.” Somewhere that I could wear like a cute heel. Again, not saying Greg’s coming but I feel like I got used to the flat. A heel but remember it’s winter now.
J: A heel boot?
H: A heel boot maybe with a sweater dress or something and a tights.
J: Can you dance in a sweater dress or will you get too hot?
H: Absolutely right. Are we going somewhere with a coat check?
J: Oh, let’s coat check.
H: I’m going to wear a hot slutty dress then with a boot and a nice coat. I’m all for a nice long coat. I really want to invest in that.
J: I love that. We’ll do Martinis and a little light dinner and then we’ll go dancing.
J: I’m trying to think where we should go dancing.
H: I don’t know enough.
J: I know. I really like this dance party at Parkside Lounge.
H: Where’s that?
J: It’s on Houston.
H: Okay. Oh, in Manhattan?
J: In Manhattan. It’s definitely a lot of gay men, but there’s women there too.
H: I would love that though. That’s my dream.
J: It’s very disco-y.
H: That sounds honestly the best.
J: This is the party I go to on Sunday nights, so it’d be a Sunday,
H: Which is perfect because Sundays are always-
J: It’s not going to be crowded either.
H: I get those Sunday scaries and this is a nice way to bring the week in.
J: Perfect. You get Sunday scaries even though you’re not a nine-to-fiver.
H: 1,000 percent. I don’t know what that’s about.
J: That’s so interesting.
H: You know what? I do think it’s because of Greg. He’s in school and he has more of a traditional-
J: I forget. Makes sense.
H: I love that.
J: We’ll do dinner. I’m trying to think where we should get — we could check out. It’s in Dimes Square, which is a little much but there’s that fancy hotel that now does — I really want to try it. Have you been there yet? There’s this hotel on Dimes Square now that does Martinis in pewter teapots and all of the accoutrement and anchovies and lemon peels and olives. Then you build your own Martini from the teapot. It’s ice cold.
H: This sounds magical.
J: We’re going to do that.
H: Honestly, the only thing working against it is Time Square.
J: No Dimes.
H: What’s Dimes Square?
J: It’s a place in the lower East Side. Have you been to Cervo’s?
H: Well, I know nothing about New York.
J: Okay, I’m going to take you out. We’re going to go to Dimes Square, we’re going to get Martinis.
H: We’re going to Dimes Square.
J: We’ll get some Greek food at Kiki’s and we’ll go to Dimes Square for Martinis.
H: Oh, Greek food is my fave.
J: Oh, that’s the night. Kiki’s, Martini at the hotel, and then-
H: Disco dancing.
J: Dancing at Parkside. That’s the night. Wait, let’s actually do this.
J: Okay. Love you. Bye.
H: Love you.
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.