Brian and Drew talk with comedian, writer, and actor Nick Youssef about his journey starting out in LA and working his way up the Comedy Store ladder to being the last comedian to be passed by the iconic Mitzi Shore. He shares experiences like how taking an acting class lead to a connection to get him a break in his career, offers a great reminder when you have an idea to WRITE IT DOWN! and so much more!
“You don’t get to choose the comic you become” a great quote from Raanan on finding your voice. We cover the basics of starting out as a comic and some tips on how to improve as quickly as possible. He covers his years of hustling the clubs scene, working a day job, emailing bookers, and taking greyhound buses to gigs all over the country. And then getting picked up by a headliner and getting to do theatres and finally save the money needed to get to NYC. He shares great writing tips and his preshow ritual that he revisits before big shows you don’t want to miss and so much more. Fun episode, for comics of all levels.
Follow Raanan: @raanancomedy
Watch Raanan’s special “Downhill Ever Since”
Brian and Drew visit with Canadian standup comedian Steph Tolev, now based in LA. We follow her journey from Toronto to LA and learn a few lessons along the way. We discuss running shows, hosting, working with bookers, writing on stage, and so much more. You’ll love Steph’s insights and her energy even more! We look at her clip from Bill Burr’s “The Ringers” from Comedy Central.
Steph has two albums her most recent album “I’m not Well” was nominated for the Juno Award. Steph has a half hour on Epix, and was just passed at the Comedy Store in LA at the time of this recording!
Brian and Drew talk comedy with LA comedian Caleb Synan. Like most of us, writing during the shutdowns from the pandemic was difficult. Caleb talks about going deep into his past which opened up the discussion about mining for material from your past and upbringing. Bringing animation to your bits including eye movements, act outs, and every few months changing and adding to bits because the times are different and you are different. This and so much more shared, very funny episode with Caleb Synan!
More episodes – https://breakingdownbits.com
Brian and Drew are joined by NYC comedian Caitlin Peluffo. She is SO FUN and discusses the importance of building your comedy networking to accelerate your career. Including details about submitting for festivals and strategies for getting the most out of attending festivals. We dive into some show hosting tips that are helpful, we listen and break down her high energy set on the Late Show with Colbert, and so much more.
Brian and Drew speak with LA director, writer, and standup comedian Geoff Plitt. This is a must listen for all comics! Geoff’s disciplined approach to writing and his commitment to growing his social media channels are inspiring and actionable.
Geoff discusses is content creation strategy and shares some of his tips to grow your TikTok account (we all know this is important at this point, right?) He also shares his weekly efficient process to turn news headlines into monologue jokes that anyone can adopt. We often hear about writing “prompts” to get writing started, but we have yet to hear about “transitions” to keep writing going, plus so much more!
His success started with working the door at the World Famous Comedy Store in LA and got his first break as a voice actor in the animated hit Rio. Then passed at the comedy store and appearances on TV like Shameless and NBC’s Last Comic Standing.
He cautions not to do anything you may regret later, where in comedy we’re often advised say “yes to everything.” He shares how acting and improv are related and different from standup. Find out what it means when Francisco calls himself a “visual writer” and so much more!
Get into a routine like a farmer! Do your sets, record them, post clips, record your podcast and do it on a regular cadence. If you get fans you win! Focus on social media YouTube & TikTok because the algorithms put you in front of new people. Find ways to make your money outside the clubs — Spotiify, SiriusXM, YouTube, and gigs. Find out how to monetize fans selling merchandise use tools to find out where your fans are.
You have to find something other than clubs to pay your bills while your on the come up. The four C’s Corporates, colleges, corporates, or chruchs. Most, if not all, of your breaks will come from comics, so network! This and so much more, great episode for all comics but especially for those that are or who want to do touring and club work.
We watch a clip from Dustin’s latest special filmed during the Pandemic, “Overwhelmed” available to watch for free on YouTube ( also, be a good sport and subscribe to his channel) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRIRmlo4OR8
Brian and Drew are joined by friend of the show, NYC comedian Steven Rogers. For years Steven has been on tour with the great Brian Regan and made his late night debut on the Colbert Show in 2019. He is working on releasing his album later in 2021.
We have a great discussion with Steven about both the comedy industry and writing. What stands out from Steven’s story is you’ve got to get out to comedy festivals once you’re a few years in, because that is where breaks can happen. We also have a great discussion about treating mental health. Steven shares his writing process which includes tips such as eliminating words and trying to figure out what questions that the audience would want answered as he delivers his material. Great episode for all levels of comics!
What an incredible discussion with Greg Warren! He cautions that even the best comics have to take a beating. You can count down your 50 bad sets to when you’re good is one of his many tips. Also morning pages, dealing with rejection, being seen in the room, quitting your day job, listen to your sets as background noise, and so much more!