Malignant Brain Humor

Excellent comedian and man about town Aaron Kominos-Smith comes on the show to discuss his path to Comedy which included an advanced degree in architecture. Which architect is represented by Louis CK? Which comedian is Frank Lloyd Wright? Which Building is like Larry the Cable Guy? Listen and find out. 

Check Aaron out at and on Twitter at @funnyaaron. 

Direct download: Aaron_Kominos-Smith.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 4:56pm EDT

Hey folks! This episode went in the can ages ago, but a bunch of time-sensitive releases pushed it back. Thank goodness that the excellent writer Joe Berkowitz is still killing it over at Fast Company, and also in a wide range of other publications including The Atlantic, Mcsweeny's Buzzfeed, GQ and more (and more (and more)). 

Clever, insightful, and (most importantly) I like him because (just like me) he was a fat kid. 

Check him out at:

@JoeBerkowitz, on Tumblr, and at Fast Company.

And as a taste, here's a recent bit he posted that I particularly enjoyed: EMINEM'S TONGUE-TWISTY, FURIOUS FREESTYLE SOUNDS LIKE BILL COSBY WHEN SLOWED DOWN

Direct download: 78_-_Joe_Berkowitz.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

Dan Wilbur joins the podcast to discuss his book How Not To Read, the differences between being funny in writing and being funny out loud, Venn Diagrams and the role of esoterica and self-promotion and internet culture on Comedy & more. Excellent episode, excellent fellow. 

Buy his book (I own a copy and very much enjoyed it), check him out at, on twitter @DanWilbur, on his podcast Two Book Minimum and Thursdays in NY at UCBEast where he hosts Lasers in the Jungle.

Direct download: Dan_Wilbur_Final.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 3:36pm EDT

Zach Sherwin 3: Epic Rap Battler and excellent MC-about-town Zach Sherwin makes his 3rd appearance to the show. We talk about his varying styles, collaborations with Watsky, and more while I am wildly over caffeinated.

If you'd like to listen to our first two chats, where we talked about the structure of comedy in rap and his shedding of the name MC Mr. Napkins or his appearance on the live show, both are great, and available here and here).

Check out the episode and check out a bunch of Zach's videos (including the song featured in the episode, "stage name,") on the website at:

Direct download: Zach_Sherwin_3.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 7:24pm EDT

The multitalented Julie Sharbutt is an excellent and articulate actor, improviser, writer and producer. She and I discuss relationships, friendships, comedy, dramedy, gender politics, the necessary selfishness of artists, ego, inequality and unearned orgasms! We also discuss the excellent movie she wrote and directed, Moved, and so much else! I forgot how much I loved this episode till I went back and listened to it. Wowza!

Watch her movie on November 9th at the Big Apple Film Festival (details at

Her TV appearances include a recurring role of "Stacie" on The Good Wife and Person of Interest. Films include The WeekendMaladiesThe Last Day of August, True Story, Admazons and others, and her own feature which she wrote and directed, Moved. Julie is a proud volunteer and Smart Partner at New York's 52nd Street Project. She learned to drive in 2014 (New York native), she is an accomplished horsewoman and artist (unrelated), and she likes kittens, hiking, and thunderstorms.

You can see her perform every week at The Peoples Improv Theatre with her house team Coyote and every month at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Gravid Water.

 Check her out online at


and at

Direct download: 75_-_Julie_Sharbutt.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 6:19pm EDT

Hey folks! 

The very hilarious Kevin McCaffrey is on the podcast today, though also in the past by quite a bit. Kevin's a touring comedian who's worked with Tru TV and Letterman, and since appearing on the Podcast Kevin has appeared on Letterman, and in my humble opinion did a fantastic job. Well done Kevin!

In order to speed up the process of getting these podcasts out to you I'm going to take a break from the production elements involved in recording a pre-show introduction and making personalized covers. Instead I'm going to try to get more episodes out on the regs and then release little minisodes in between if I have something I'd like to share or I think you might dig. There may be a little rockiness at the outset while we work things out, but I think ultimately this is going to make for a better body of podcasting.

If you disagree with any of this, I want to hear from you! Drop a line over at We've also just activated the new MBHumor Call in line at (202) 695-2549. If you'd rather speak than write, call that line and leave a message, and let me know if you're willing to have it be on the podcast and I'll see about making that happen. Technlogy! Questions, thoughts, feelings, and feedback of any sort are welcome. 




Kevin's Podcast:

Kevin on Twitter: @KevinMcCaff


New episode of College Cooking up, Open Carry Cooking! Check it out over at and After an appearance from one of his regulars, CCN was recently mentioned on the Howard Stern show, which I'm told is a good thing. Well done us (I wasn't involved).

More live show announcements coming up soon! 



Direct download: Kevin_McCaffrey_Final.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 4:51pm EDT

Hey Great episode today featuring Kevin Froleiks (guest on episode 61: The Worst Landlord) and Lisa Romagnoli, Producer at Kornhaber Brown and owner of Notion Films. Her documentary about the New Hamshire comedy scene and NH Comedians, Wicked Funny 2 was just released on youtube.

We discuss the mindset and lifestyle differences between comedians in secondary and tertiary cities to New York or LA, the struggles of moving to a big city  when you've been a big fish in a small pond (see also: depression), comedy as an art vs. as a job vs. as a hobby, and how we should regard Comedy Hobbyists.
 Check out the film at 
Direct download: MBH_73-_Wicked_Funny-_Kevin__Lisa.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 4:43pm EDT



Abbi Crutchfield, Ted Alexandro, & Nick Turner

Abbi Crutchfield, Ted Alexandro, & Nick Turner

From Abbi's instagram (click through for link)

I had a wonderful panel on the show last night, Ted Alexandro, Abbi Crutchfield, and Nick Turner. Unfortunately the planned antics had to be put on hold to discuss the pall hanging over the comedy world by the sudden loss of Robin Williams. The conversation turned to expressions of public mourning, the impact of Williams' death, depression in comedy, and the intimacy which any performer brings to their act. These guys really made it an exceptional conversation and I thank all of them profusely. Below are some links to their excellent work which you should check out, but first is the little essay I wrote on facebook which I reference in my intro. 

It's 4:30 in the morning. I woke up from a nightmare in which I was writing a condolence letter to the family of one of my heroes; not Robin Williams, someone I know, but the mental math wasn't exactly difficult to do. I'm crying now, again, more times in one day than I have in an awfully long long time. Unlike a lot of the comedians who populate my mental constellations and facebook feed, I never met Robin Williams, and I won't pretend to have the same kind of loss that those who knew him have. Regardless of how much humanity he always brought to his work, knowing someone as a human and not as an icon is a different thing, and entails a different kind of loss. But neither will I be a cynical idiot and mistake the feelings I'm having as mere narcissism or self-indulgent emotions put on display to showcase my own depth. I grew up on Robin Williams' work. Aladdin came out in 1992 and his luminous supernova of a performance lit my 8 year old mind on fire. It seeped into every crack and planted little seeds which are still growing to this day. I would parrot lines from his 1978 Live at the Roxy special and tell other kids how he climbed up into the balcony and yelled "Look, now THOSE are the shitty seats" at the front. I can't tell you how many times I saw Mrs. Doubtfire, because you'd probably have to file some kind of retroactive child services report on my parents. I won't walk you through the rest of his filmography because I don't need to, and you know which roles probably touched me as I grew up and saw him in new ways, many of which changed the way I would think about myself as a creative mind, but the things that get in your skull when it's still soft have a way of sticking. 

The thing is this: Robin Williams has a place in my childhood psyche like nobody else in this world. His performances trace a direct nerve to feelings of innocent joy and exuberance, unburdened by the knowledge that comes with life experience, feelings which in many ways I've long since left behind. That he would die in such a way, suffering from mental and emotional anguish feels like such a violent incursion of adulthood upon youth. It feels like such a violation of innocence for him to go like this. It hurts. The irony of his playing a grown up Peter Pan is not lost on me, but this is a facebook post not a comparative american lit essay so I won't belabor the point. And this bit here actually is a bit embarrassing to admit, but I swear, when I woke up the first thing I thought was "I can't believe that if I have kids someday they're not going to get to exist in the same world as their comedy grandpa Robin." 

The people who deserve our sympathy and empathy first and foremost are those who knew and loved him as a person, and not just as an author of joy, a parent of the mind, and I'm not usually one to mourn a celebrity's passing as anything other than a tragedy for their family and a sad factoid for the internet's emotional simulator to mine it's shitty clickbait, but man, this one really hurts.

Anyway. I don't want to turn this into too much of a PSA, but please, if you're uncomfortable with the term mental illness then call it mental anguish. Call it deep emotional suffering, I don't care. Whatever you need to do to frame it, please just recognize it as a real thing, have empathy, and if you or someone you know or love is suffering, please do what you can to help. Sometimes you can't do anything no matter how much you try, but that's not an excuse to stop. It only absolves you if you keep on trying, and yes, some people are going to die trying. I didn't know Robin Williams, so I really don't know, but I'd like to think he died trying. For my part I hope I retain enough of a sliver of my innocence, no matter well hidden, even from myself, that I don't let that stop me. And if I do have tiny little splinters of innocence buried beneath my calloused skin, a lot of them are in there because when my skull was still soft, Robin Williams exploded on screen and blew them into my tiny little mind.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255. Never be ashamed to call it, unless you're making a crank call, in which case: yes, you should be ashamed of yourself. Stop it. 

Goodnight moon. Good morning Vietnam.


On the Guests:
Ted Alexandro - According to Time out NY Ted is “One of the funniest comedians working today.” According to me, he's even better than that. He's been on Letterman, Conan, Ferguson, Kimmel, Comedy Central and for some reason The View. Check out his new webseries, Teachers lounge at can hear my one on one interview with Ted here:

Nick Turner - Nick's been killing it on the NY scene for years now, has appeared on Seth Meyers, Fallon, VH1's Best Week Ever, and has the distinction of being my very first podcast guest. Witness his majestic return. 

Abbi Crutchfield - (Vh1, MTV, The Tyra Banks Show) is joining to the lineup! Check out this music video she recently did with SNL's Jay Pharoah: Also check Abbi out on twitter @curlycomedy

Direct download: Live_PIT_Tues_Aug_12_2014.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 2:09pm EDT

This week the star of the PBS Idea Channel, Member of Memefactory, and musician extraordinaire Mike Rugnetta stops by the podcast to talk about technology in our time. Excellent chat, excellent mind, excellent episode. 

Check him out at: 

@Mikerugnetta, and

Also! Get your tickets for next week's Live Malignant Brain Humor featuring Ted Alexandro, Nick Turner and Abbi Crutchfield next week at the People's Improv Theater today! --

Also, new epsiodes of College Cooking Network's CCN News are up at and at

Also, a 30 minute short I acted in, Jay Dates is now up at

rate and review us on iTunes, and write us over at


Direct download: Mike_Rugnetta_Final.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 8:12pm EDT

Alex Ramsey and Joe Cilio of Forever Dog productions appear on the show today to discuss wrangling a production company together, the idea of being a maker of "content," and life on the cliff-edge of college.

Go see them live at the PIT, check them out at and on Twitter @realforeverdog


Direct download: foreverdog_final.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 7:56pm EDT

Today I discuss systemic failures whether municipal or biological with Rebecca Trent, the owner/operator of The Creek and the Cave. Check out the Creek's schedule and go see a show there today. 

Also, Rebecca and I discuss the disastrous effect of the MTA's 7 train weeekend shutdown (42% of weekends, 2014 and in years to come) on the business and shows in the LIC nightlife scene, turning a 5 minute ride into grand central into a 40 minute shuttlebus nightmare deeper into Queens just to get into the city. 

If you care about comedy, community, and making New York an ever more vibrant place, help us get a shuttlebus that runs from Grand Central through the Holland Tunnel by contacting the political entities in question. The dramatis personae are:  State Senator Michael Gianaris, Borough President Melinda Katz, State Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, VP Of Gov & Community relations Lois Tendler 

Contact them as follows: 

On Twitter, with the Hashtag #WTFMTA:



Catherine Nolan: Not on twitter. 


Lois Tendler: Not on Twitter but use @MTA

By Email:

Email State Senator Mike Gianaris via webform 

Email Melinda Katz at

Email State Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan

Email Jimmy Van Bremmer at or via Webform

Email Lois Tendler: No email but contact her on Linkedin

By phone:

State Senator Michael Gianaris

Albany 518-455-3486

District 718-728-0960

Borough President Melinda Katz

Main: (718) 286-3000 

Constituent Affairs (718) 286-2669

State Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan

Sunnyside: 718-784-3194

Ridgewood: 718-456-9492

Albany: 518-455-4851

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer

Office: (718) 383-9566

VP Of Gov & Community relations Lois Tendler 

Office: (646) 252-2660

Whitepages Listing: 


And if they don't respond, perhaps their Wikipedia articles should be changed to reflect that: 

Michael Gianaris

Melinda Katz

Jimmy Van Bramer

Catherine Nolan

Lois Tendler at The MTA

Direct download: Rebecca_Trent.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:40am EDT

Ben Kronberg is an exceptional comedian who you can and or could have seen on Comedy Central (Half Hour, John Oliver), MTV, ABC and NBC.

Recently Rosanne Barr told him to go fuck himself on Last Comic Standing. So that's a thing that's happening now, in hashtag form (#GoFuckYourselfBen).

Check him out at @Benkronberg and on the iTunes and Amazon and wherever your computer lets you type in the letters B-e-n K-r-o-n-b-e-r-g.






Direct download: MBHumor_68-_Ben_Kronberg.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 4:32am EDT

Myq Kaplan returns to the show today, we discuss his new netflix special Short Small, Dork and Handsome which does NOT make use of the Oxford comma (I report, you decide). 

We also discuss Myq's place in comedy, using the marvelous Jim Gaffigan as a reference point to discuss stylistic differences over time (and persona). 

Listen to a bit of Myq's new album here:

And watch it on Netflix at and now available on  iTunes and  Amazon.

Check him out at



Direct download: Myq_4.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 6:20pm EDT

Featuring the Co-writers and Directors of Fort Tilden, Winner of the SXSW Grand Jury Prize.

Sarah-Violet Bliss (@SVBliss)


Charles Rogers (@GCharlesRogers)

Go see the NY premier of Fort Tilden on May 10th, tickets here:

For more information on the film, check out

Music from this episode is at

and new videos, music, and barely disguised requests for money are up at 


Direct download: MBHumor_66-_Fort_Tilden.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 6:34pm EDT

MBHumor 65: Katharine Heller

The very talented and insightful Katharine Heller appears on the podcast, and we discuss all kinds of childhood trauma, the ethics of comedy and how we use humor to process or deflect and recreate ourselves over the course of our lives. Hot stuff. 

Check Katharine out at:

(My epsiode is at:

Her next Live Tell the Bartender show is May 8th at Union Hall with Wyatt Cenac and Mara Wilson.

And check out Katharine's acting work at


The episode song is called Dig, and is on soundcloud at


Thanks folks!  

Direct download: MBHumor_65_-_Katharine_Heller.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 4:09pm EDT


Check out the very funny Michael Shawki at  and at @michaelshawki on twitter.

And my new website at (where you can see the new St. Patty's Day video from


Direct download: MbHumor_64_Michael_Shawki.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 5:51pm EDT

The hilarious Miguel Dalmau is on the podcast today, catch him in Bloomington Illinois at the Laugh House from the 20th-22nd, if you're in Indiana, get tickets today:

And in general, check Miguel out at

and on twitter @Migueldalmau

Direct download: MBHumor_63_-_Miguel_Dalmau.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 3:36pm EDT

A Wonderful episode with musical master of melancholic comedy, Jonathan Coulton!

Check him out at and on Twitter @Jonathancoulton

Check out the new episodes of the College Cooking News Feed at

And the new articles section I've put up at

This episode's song, "I Understand" is available for download at

Review on iTunes, Tweet me @Mikeblejer and generally say hi! Happy new year folks. 

Direct download: Jonathan_Coulton_final.m4a
Category:comedy -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT