Oh, no abnormal listeners. Producer Jesse Kenen here and I wanted to share this episode of The Daily Beast, the last laugh with you, because it's such a great guest and I think you'll enjoy working as a comedian. You may have seen in your social media feed doing imitations of some of the best fictitious characters from Trump. And so if you join this, make sure you could subscribe to the last laugh on your favourite podcast app and enjoy this episode with videos like this rap song from a magazine.
My guest today has taken Twitter by storm and fooled a lot of prominent liberals along the way.
I'm a magazine. I'm a magazine. I'm here to burst your liberal spleen. Global warming is a hoax. covid isn't real. My primary care doctor is. Dr. Phil. I'm not joking. I'm not kidding. I'm a magazine here to do the Lord's bit. And I think Trump is a pretty cool guy. I had to say that because my parents were nearby. Now they're gone. And I'm here to say sorry you had to see this today.
I'm not actually a Republican. I'm only sixteen. I have to be home school because my parents hate vaccines. If you think this is a cry for help, you're absolutely right.
This is a cry for help.
This is the last laugh, I'm Matt Wilstein from The Daily Beast, and that was Blair Erskin in just one of the many videos that have made me laugh harder over this past year than pretty much anything else.
Blair was performing stand up comedy in her hometown of Atlanta when the pandemic hit last March, and like so many other comics, made a hard pivot to creating content online.
Those videos in which she mostly plays fictional characters kind of adjacent to well-known right wing figures like Tom Cotton and Marjorie Taylor Green, have blown up beyond her wildest dreams.
They've also managed to fool media celebrities like Michael Moore, Katie Couric enjoy read, all of whom thought that her video of a Trump supporter stranded outside after his freezing cold rally in Omaha last October was real.
Flair's unique ability to ride that fine line between satire and reality is what made me fall in love with her comedy. And I bet you will fall in love with her as well after listening to this interview. So here's me with Blair Erskin.
You have the whole setup. Most people I talked to are like, wait, what is happening? Like, you want me to record?
Yeah, I someone taught me. I feel I feel like a pro. It's really not as complicated as I thought it was OK.
Yeah. It was much easier when we used to do this in studios, but then we wouldn't be able to do it from across the country.
So that's true. Yeah. So there's, there's pros and cons. Crazy time.
Yeah. It feels like all pros for me. I hate saying that. Yeah.
Yeah. It's been mostly upside. Yeah.
Mostly upset. OK, I think yeah I'm recording so we're good.
Awesome. I'm really excited to have you on the podcast, you know, mostly because I think I don't know if you know this, but you've become kind of like the favorite person at the Daily Beast Internet. Every time you put up a new video, it gets sent around our slack. Everyone's obsessed with it. It's like everyone's very into it. That is so nice.
Yeah. You guys, Kevin Fallon was, I think, the first person to really interview me. Yeah, that was a great interview. Such. Yeah. Such a nice right up. Yeah. So I love you guys. That's so nice. Yeah.
I love that he interviewed you in like the moment when all the Michael Moore stuff was happening live.
Yeah it was my film was lighting up there because Michael Moore. Oh my God. Yeah. He was there for it all. He was there for it all.
Well, I feel like we'll get to that in a little bit. But I want to start more at the beginning with your story and just how you how you started making these sort of improvisational, very simple videos that have really taken off, you know, during this past year. So I guess maybe just to start, what was the what was sort of the first one that you did that you thought, oh, maybe I have something here?
So the first when I started making them in March and I would obviously I didn't have the following I have now. So only my friends were watching them. And I was just sort of do what I'm doing now, just be with people in the news. But in July that Dan Maple's is his name and he was the guy in Costco who said he felt threatened, you know. And so I made it. I got I got off work that day and I was just exhausted.
And I was like I saw that he was trending. And I Googled to see if he had had a wife and he didn't seem to. And I was like, well, I'll just pretend to be his wife, it turns out there.
And, you know, I thought maybe thirty people would see it. And I put my phone down and I got kind of tipsy and I looked at my phone and it had just blown up. And ever since then, I've just been competing with myself to try to do it.
Yeah, I know that a lot of people have seen that video of my husband Dan assert his American rights and Kozko. So I just really I just want to clear a few things up about it. OK, Dan was not threatened in the Kozko. I know that. He was like I feel threatened. I feel threatened. But he was not threatened at all. He wasn't scared at all. Were you, babe? No, no. See, I feel threatened.
Is is actually our family's crest. So we just say it sometimes. Like he said it to me in our wedding vows, you know, he was like, I feel threatened.
And I was like, how do you do you think do you think it just kind of naturally went went viral that first time or was it did it have to do with certain people retweeting it or do you remember not?
So I remember my friend Sarah Everett has had a bigger following and she retweeted it somehow. It got to I think it was Rick Wilson and I, I think that just it exploded on, you know, resistance Twitter, as you call it.
And it just because, you know, people thought I was his wife, if if it had been an obvious sort of, you know, this is a skit I'm doing, I wouldn't have gone.
Well, that's the thing that I found really fascinating about your work, is that it rides this really fine line between it's very funny. And I think I don't know, I I don't have any issues like seeing it as comedy or understanding that it's comedy. But then all but there have been all these people who really seem to be confused and think that that it's real. So it's like it's kind of close enough to something that could be real just because the world is so.
Saying that it kind of makes sense is that was that the intention to say, oh, I'm going to kind of fool people with this? I guess that was the intention. But again, I didn't know so many people would see it. And so it's like, obviously my friends knew I wasn't that guy's wife, and so I never attended.
I don't know if people put things out.
I'm sure some people do. But I don't think that people put things out and intend for it to go viral, because what I've learned is the things that I do now that I'm like, oh, this will be the one that really hits. You know, it never hurts. So, no, it wasn't my intention. I just I thought it was funny. And and I guess I can see where people think I'm actually the people I'm saying that I am.
But I think those are the people who just maybe read the headlines of articles, you know, and you probably get the Cirlot right. They just read the headlines and they get mad about it. And they sent you an angry email. And with my videos, they feel like they hear my voice. And I'm talking like this and they're like, oh, she's an idiot. And then they told me to go die.
So and you said you've actually you get more hate from the left than you do from the right because your it's is these Magga, you know, right wing people, right?
Yeah, I would say 90 percent. I do get some from the right when they figure it out and they're like, oh you think you're funny blaen you're not. I got that. When.
This morning. Delete your account sweetie.
But most of it is from the left and it hurts. It's I didn't mean for it to be a social experiment.
I say this all the time, but it has turned into that where it's like, guys, we have to be smarter than this. We have to be. This is how we got here. Come on. Yeah.
You're like trying to prove a point with the videos. So I think, you know, there's this you're sort of among this group of people who, quote, came out of nowhere in the past year in terms of blowing up online and the pandemic. But I always wonder whether it feels that way for you, because it's like you have been doing comedy for a while and you've been, like, trying to, you know, make it in this business.
So what is that experience like of having people sort of, you know, pick you, quote, out of nowhere? And where were you when you're in your comedy life and you're in your career when you started doing this?
Oh, God, yeah. Well, I was doing stand up comedy here in Atlanta. And Atlanta has a great I, I wouldn't call it underground, but maybe, you know, I mean, it's not L.A. or New York, but, you know, people like Roy Scovel are coming out of Atlanta, Mayor Jackson, Dulci, Sloan and some really talented people. And so I was doing the reps here and standup and I was doing OK. I mean, standup I started doing because I wanted to be a TV writer, and that seemed like the fastest, you know, of course, to a writer's room.
I never really wanted to be a road comic or even a stand up comic for the rest of my life. Before that, I was doing improv. And so I just the goal has always been to be in a writer's room, to be a showrunner and to perform as well. But I really love to write. And I mean, these videos, they're not improvised. I'm not that talented. My friend Kylie brakemen as I.
I have to write it out beforehand, you know, and I feel very improvised. I mean, because they are very natural, which I'm sure is what you're going for.
But I try really hard to seem very natural, very high. But so I was just you know, I was working on pilots. I was just trying to write when I could. And I was also writing for my for work. I worked for this click Baity sort of like Jambox website that paid the bills, but I was writing things like what the Kardashians eat in a day and, you know, soul sucking stuff. So that's where I was.
Did you learn anything doing that work, even if it was soul sucking? I mean, about because it is it does teach you a lot about what goes viral, what people attach to. Yeah. And, you know, because I've, I, I like to think that I've moved beyond that, but I've done a lot of that type of stuff in my career as well.
Yeah. You know, you're right. I've never thought of it like that because those articles are designed at least I mean the writing, it had to be very well sourced. You know, it wasn't complete bullshit, you know, had we had to have our facts straight.
But the headlines, though, which is why people think it's all headline.
I know it's like you could spend probably like 90 percent of your time on the headline and there would be more effective use of your time.
And so much science went into the headline. And you're right, because when I post a video now, I do find myself, you know, it used to be like I'm so-and-so and I have something to say, but now I have to be like, oh, somebody just posted this on Facebook. Like, I have to tweak it some. You're right. Well, I'm horrible.
Oh, no, no. But I mean, these things do do teach you a lot about what you know, there's a there is a science to it and a bizarre way.
Yes. Of Yeah. What people click on and even, you know, the combination of the image and the words and what you know.
And it's all about that thumbnail. Yeah. Yeah. Oh God.
I'm just I'll be thinking about that tonight as it was.
So I'm interested in the process of making the videos because I. Yeah. I mean I didn't realize that they were scripted watching them. But there's also, you know, clearly a lot of editing and jump cuts and kind of. So is it something where you're filming for a much longer period and then you're trimming it down into the, you know, minute, minute and a half that you're posting on Twitter? Yeah.
So I will usually it never takes me more than thirty minutes to make a video. And so when I write, I'll just jot down, you know, ideas for jokes that I have. And I guess you could say some of it is. Improvised in the moment, if I say something that I think is funny, I will stay on. But yeah, I just film a bunch of I would say like 15 to 20 second clips and a bunch of them are clips I end up throwing away.
And then I just kind of splice them together, jump cuts to everything. And I always feel so bad for people I talked to who expect me to be very funny when they're talking to me because I don't have jump cuts. I can't let the editors everything.
And these videos for me at least. And so, yeah, it's fun to play around.
And I feel like you put a lot of thought into the endings too, because there's they always end on a kind of awkward, you know, cut or something that that unexpected endings.
I'm obsessed with endings and I guess it's from will stand up and also improv, you know, because you always want to like and you're like and see and you're right across the stage, you know, so I've got to take myself out. But I like to end on a funny note or. Yeah, unexpected, like you said, are in the middle of a sentence like the video cut off too soon and you don't know what they're going to say next.
I don't have anything planned, but yeah, that's always an easy way out. Yeah.
So, you know, you talked about the the the wife of the Costco guy was sort of the first time that you thought about these characters who were like sort of fictional characters adjacent to real life characters. I guess you could say it's kind of moved on to, you know, Tiffany, Trump's friend was one that that really stood out to me, that I love activities like my best friend.
We met like three months ago at this club. I saw a guy in Jacksonville and over the weekend she was like, hey, do you want to come to my dad's house or heaven? What does she call it? We're we're having a kid. And I was like, sure, you know, because I grew up poor and everyone's like a like a rich person already. And I was like, I want to go to a kid. But we've been here for like five days and it has not happened yet.
And, like, the stuff that has happened is like pretty I don't know, like not OK.
Was that sort of an innovation that you that then you latched on to and said, you know, this is this is where this could go in terms of finding these identifying these characters that are sort of next to people that we know?
Yeah, it just seemed like the logical thing to do because I knew I wanted to keep making content when when you go viral like that, I feel like your first instinct is to capitalize on it. You know, I make something else that's really fun and people seem to like that. And for a while I was very formulaic about it. You know, each of my characters had to have like three kids with crazy names. And, you know, it was it was very formulaic.
But I've been able to sort of branch out and I mean, like Tiffany, Trump's best friend, I don't know if she even has one.
And so it's great to just pull them out of my ass sort of and just, you know, and you can do anything.
I was really limiting myself at first, like, I've got to be a wife or a daughter.
And, you know, this person has to exist and I have to maybe kind of look like them. But it's fun to put yourself in the shoes of a person that might exist or these Republican men, they never let their wives talk. And so it's really easy to slip into.
So we never know what they look like. They can all look like you for all we know. I mean, Tom Cotton's wife kind of does. And so, I mean. And that she's white. Yeah. Yeah.
Kind of like we're very similar and she does not talk. I looked up every Tom Cotton video that I could find online, but I was making the Tom Cotton wife video and she'd never says a word. And I was like, well, I guess I'm her. I'm I'll be her spokesperson. And that was a lot of fun.
I think that Tom's platform can be boiled down to one word and that word is fear. Tom is scared of women. He is scared of queer people, and he's scared of the song. What what does Tom love? Oh, my gosh. Why doesn't he love? He loves guns. He loves his children because they are boys. He loves history. He's a big history buff any time from one hundred B.C. powder to to ninety basically any time before women can vote.
Tom loves that. Do you ever hear from the people or anyone who knows them or you know that they're upset that you're impersonating their wives or daughters or is there being anything like that?
Yes. So I've gotten a message from the sister of a wife that I pretended to be Corey Lewandowski. How do you say his last name? You know?
Yeah, that guy. So his wife's sister was like she didn't do anything wrong.
And I, I, I'm like I mean, but she's married to him. But also it's like I never I try not to villainize the women that I'm portraying unless they're shitheads, you know, like.
Interesting. Yeah. Because there is a kind of thing of like I know this gets talked about with Melania Trump a lot. And I actually I interviewed Laura Benanti, who plays on your show and she's fantastic.
And she really makes a point not to turn Melania into a victim because she doesn't view her that way. But there's kind of like some of the characters you play could virginica victims or not. So that's something that you think about it like. Are you making them sympathetic or not?
I put I mean, so with people who like Tom Cotton's wife or Corey Lewandowski, his wife, or I'm trying to I mean, Tiffany, Trump's best friend doesn't exist. But, you know, those women I don't know anything about. And so except that they're married to, you know, crappy men. But I try to make them because they don't have a voice, really, like a public voice or persona. I try to make them smarter than their husbands.
Like I'm always trying to like I like characters who are like, yeah, I know he's a shit bag. Let me tell you something crazy about him. I love doing that. I love to kind of turn it on its side. But then, you know, people like Kelly Lefler, Marjorie Taylor Green, I mean, I have no problem. If a woman is a bad person, then I'm not going to play her as a victim ever like.
But women can be bad, too. It's 2021. We can do anything. Exactly.
So we mentioned, you know, the Michael Moore thing. I would love to talk a little bit about that and sort of other similar instances that you've had. I guess for anyone who doesn't know, can you explain what happened with Michael Moore?
That's such a funny thing to say. Yes. So it was back in October and Trump had his rally in Omaha and he left that that group of people stranded out in the cold that took the bus to the rally. And I had been up all night. And so it was five a.m. and I saw it was trending on Twitter that those people were stranded in the cold. And I was just exhausted. But I was like, let me just go out on the porch and pretend I'm this person.
And I thought that this would get maybe a thousand lakes or something because it was five o'clock in the morning, which isn't primetime for posting. And these are all things when you get to be an Internet person, you take into account it's sick and it's stupid.
Yeah, the time of day is very crucial. Yeah, but but also maybe not.
But yeah, it really just depends. And so I made that video, I woke up and it had gone super viral. But then the next day, I mean after most people figured out that it wasn't real, that it was me, he posted it and said said something like, you know, this is why Trump's going to win, because these people, his supporters would walk 750 miles in the snow to see him.
And the quote was, I would walk 750 miles in the cold nude. And he left the nude part completely out.
Just ruin the joke, ruined the joke.
And it's such a tell to it.
And it sucks because, you know, I'm a person who is an I guess I'm an older millennial. I'm 29. But so I've enjoyed Michael Moore's work a lot, you know, as a very liberal person. And so it was funny. And I thought maybe he would give me, like, a shout out, like, oh, you got me, you know, but he left it up for four or five hours, which did help me in his defense.
And then when he realized it trended on Twitter, it was I think it was like number two trending on Twitter, which is crazy, surreal experience, but mostly just people dunking on Michael Moore for just talking on Michael Moore.
And then he deleted it and never said anything about it since he was embarrassed.
I don't know, GI Joe. It would have been so because, I mean, other people did the same thing. Katie Couric did it with the same video. And she was able to be like, I am just tired.
And it's like, yeah, we're all tired. I don't blame you for thinking it's real. Just, you know. But Michael Moore, I would love to talk to him one day.
I was just thinking, if I ever get the chance to talk about, the more I think that's going to be. My first question is, guys, getting to the bottom of this, he would be like, I don't know what you're talking about. Yeah. What?
No, I don't feel like he abandoned us. No, I would walk seven hundred and fifty miles in below zero temperatures nick nude just to hear him speak. Maybe that's not appropriate to say. But yes, I've seen some elderly people passed out and unresponsive. But to be honest, the only reason there are so many of those people is because the media keeps counting them. And so if people like you guys weren't counting the people that were on the ground there, there wouldn't be as many.
That was pretty funny. So, yeah, Katie Couric also fell for one. Are there others that that got less attention but that you thought were funny that people out there have been?
So, yeah, I can't even think of any specific people. Joy, Joy. She was she was like, I'm pretty sure this is satire, but I'm just, you know, is it just different people like that? It's crazy that the kinds of people that it's reached, the most exciting thing is, I mean, Kathy Bates lit into my and I think I talked about this with Kevin during the interview. That's just been thrilling to see.
She's she slid into mediums to tell me she enjoyed the Omaha video. And then a couple of months later, as in The New York Times, and she slipped in to my mediums again, like an aunt. And she was like, I'm so proud of you.
It's like, that's so sweet. That's so sweet. Yeah. So that's that's been really cool. It's just wild. I never expected any of it to happen.
So anything that happens, it's just crazy today that I read somewhere that Stacey Abrams reached out to you as well. Yes, you did. Did what did she what did she have to say?
So she reached out back in September. And it was whenever we were doing it was before the election. And we had the ticket with Lefler. And whether or not it was miles long, great, because anybody could write us a special election and Matt Lieberman would not get off that ticket. And Joe Lieberman son. Anyway, I made a video dunking on him and she messaged me after that just to say she was a fan. And she asked me to work on a video about we're not going to stop races and just kind of explain to everyone why we're having to and why it's so important to pay attention to them.
And so I made that explainer video and that was all Stacey and Akima Williams there.
Yeah, it's cool that you were able to kind of turn this this following that you've gotten for these funny videos into something, you know, sort of positive and and yet in your home state of Georgia, too, it was so exciting.
Yeah, it's the timing of everything is it's pretty cool because I don't think I mean, I'm not saying I helped at all, but if I helped even a tiny little bit, I mean, all you needed to help was a little bit.
These races are so close. It's like they were so close, you know? Yeah. Every little bit probably helps. It was an honor. Yeah.
It was very exciting. So I'm glad that and Stacey Abrams is my hero, obviously.
So she like one of my pictures the other day on Twitter and I screamed, I mean, any time I see your name, I just she's just so cool.
What's it been like just living in Georgia the last few months? I feel like it's just like the election obviously ended for everyone, except for everyone in Georgia.
It said bizarre to kind of just have it, like, dominate your life continually.
Yeah, as bizarre as it was exhausting, it was very exciting because it was like, you know, I was up on election night and I just remember tweeting. I was tweeting so much I didn't sleep. And I was like, George is going to flip, we're going to flip. And then we did. And then it was like, but it's not over yet. So we had, you know, another month of people. That exhausting thing about it was people treating us like we didn't know that how important it was.
And so I got a lot of messages from people like, you need to be doing this. You need to be saying this, but it's just because they cared. And I appreciate it. And, you know, it was a group effort, right? We had people from all over the country and those phone banks and sending money and will forever be appreciative of that. And so now it's it sucks because it's like we didn't even really have time to appreciate it.
And then the insurrection and then Marjorie Taylor Green.
And so George George is still in the news with Marjorie Taylor Green, I would say is going to be in the news for a while. And yeah, as you mentioned, you know, you've now played it's her daughter that you've played a couple of times now. Her daughter, huh? Yeah. So how did you decide that you wanted to play her daughter and who was her daughter to you in that character?
Well, because people kept asking me to play her and I was like, there's no way. That's not what I did. It's not what I do, first of all. And so I just figured her daughter was just easy, you know, to do. I had to do something. I had to say something.
And so and I didn't even I know now that she actually has two daughters, but I didn't know that whenever she never talks about her kids, but she does have kids, and that's terrifying.
I'm so sick and tired of the laugh, trying to cancel my mom. I do feel like, you know, there's this video today of my mom stalking and harassing David Hogg after the most traumatizing event of his life. But there's also video of Hillary Clinton wearing a child's face while she sticks a straw in their vein, like a son just stabbing it around. And, you know, maybe it's a month later, but you know where it is.
And my mom said, yeah, it's just Marjorie Taylor Green is just she's it sucks that she exists and that now people people are so excited for Georgia. Right. And they were all about Georgia. And now I just every it's not every tweet I see, but I am seeing a lot of tweets like, oh, well, that's Georgia. She's inbred backwards. This is what the South will never change.
And I'm like, you guys, we're just all on our balls like a month ago talking about how great, like freakin was a wieser made a whole cover of. Georges Wieser, thanks, so leave us alone. Yeah, and I mean, and she also is, you know, obviously represents one district in Georgia, whereas the senators, you know, were elected statewide, solely gerrymandered district that she any Republican that runs there is going to win.
You know, so because there are a lot of people are like, how could you elect her? And it's like, well, it's easy. That's why she moved there. She moved there because she knew she could get elected.
I did see you retweeted someone who had was trying to recruit you to run against her, is that right?
Yes. If I stopped using the word fuck, they said they might be able to do it. I just can't.
I can't. And I won't get of that. That would be a hard one. How can anyone not be using the word fag during this time? But no, I would not be running for office, especially not against Marjorie Taylor Green. But she's going to she'll be out of there soon.
Yeah, I do worry a little bit when I watch, like, our collective obsession with her right now that we're kind of turning her into the next Trump, like right before our eyes, because it's the same kind of thing where it's like like talk about click bait. It's like any headline with her in it is getting like tons of clicks in the same way that Trump was and like, you know, the, you know, cable news, stopping everything to cover her speech from the floor in the way they covered Trump's rallies.
So is that something that you that you worry about it all? It is.
It is. And that's why I struggle even posting about her, like making these videos on Twitter, because you don't want to give these people. We saw it happen like you said. So. And you could tell that she eats it up as well whenever she's loving it. She got around the corner and the cameras are there and it's like her catwalk.
So she's got her new mask with some saying, oh, my God, who's making those masks for her is what I have to know is the Trump one mask was the best one that was wasn't that was great.
It's got to be some small town like monogram shop here in Georgia. I'm going to find them.
You know, that could be a character, the woman who makes margarita masks. Oh, that's amazing. Yeah. You're you're you're totally right. How did Blair inadvertently inspire Sarah Cooper to branch out beyond her Trump Lip-Sync videos? The answer to that and more coming up next. Why does your phone make this noise on powered by audio will tell the stories behind the sounds you hear every day sounds that inform, entertain, get our attention and sometimes save our lives.
This is Randi Zuckerberg. Meet the people who are developing audio technologies on our new podcast, powered by audio available everywhere you listen to podcasts powered by audio is supported by EPOs. Find out more at EPOs Audio Dotcom.
If you're enjoying this episode of The Last Laugh, there are so many others you should check out. Over the past year, I've talked to a bunch of comedians like Blair who managed to become famous during the pandemic by posting hilarious political videos online, including Spot On Trump, Impressionist Jail, covid, and, of course, the Queen of Trump Lip-Sync videos. Sarah Cooper, please make sure you are subscribed to the last laugh wherever you get your podcasts so you can hear everything from our free archive and be the first to hear new episodes when they drop every Tuesday.
And while you're at it, please leave a reading interview on our podcast and let us know how much you love the show. Now back to my interview with Claire Erskin. So I pretty recently had Sarah Cooper on this podcast, and I don't know if, you know, she actually gave you a shout out, did she? Because I was asking her about how she's kind of thinking about moving on from Trump. And she started doing some sort of front facing non.
Yes. Video. Is really funny. And she said that you were actually an inspiration to her for those which I thought was pretty cool. Shut up and cry.
I love Sarah. Sarah. I would I would be here without Sarah. She was again, we talk about people who retweeted that first video. Sarah jumped on it pretty quickly. And it's just been very supportive. Love, love her.
I'm glad she's doing that. I hate when people say, you know, people they prop, you know, they love her. Right. They love Sarah Cooper. And then they're like, well, she's a one trick pony, but she's not.
She was doing stuff before the she could stand up and say, yeah, brilliant. So talented.
So, I mean, I kind of wanted to ask you the same thing because I. Have you thought about that at all or how to think about that in terms of with Trump gone, not that you're your videos were not as Trump focused as hers, but is that something that you, you know, think about, like evolving your earlier content with Trump? More more out of the picture, at least?
Definitely. Because, I mean, the videos of mine that you do well are the ones where I'm using the accent and I'm playing someone magged, Jason. And I'm trying to wean my followers off of that. You know, it's a it'll be hard. It's hard, but I don't feel like it pigeonholed myself completely.
But I definitely don't. I want to be able to leave this character and this like persona in the past because it's never what I wanted to do.
And I never, ever since the year gone was not my goal.
I mean, my goal has always been to perform and write. And so I'm so grateful I've had this opportunity and so many cool things have happened. But I there's so many other things that I want to do and say and write about and, you know, create. And so I'm happy that he's out of office. And I will be glad when these people are in the news so much.
And also liberals and I say that like I'm not what I am, but it's they're like, I don't know what you're going to make fun of now.
And it's like, well, y'all are pretty dumb, too. Like we're all pretty and everybody does stupid shit. So we'll always have people to make fun of.
But I will be glad when it's not so it's like toxic. It's just toxic. The mentality of this.
I do wonder, like if you played the wife or the daughter or whoever of a of a prominent Democratic politician, what would happen if if what can they do with that?
They wouldn't like that. You know, I've I've spoken out against some people who are, you know, liberals and, you know, and people don't like it. And so it's and that's fine because some the other people do like it. Right. So I can't please everyone all the time. And that's just something I have to get used to. But I really never wanted to do political. I say that.
But I, I've always watched The Daily Show and wanted to write for The Daily Show or for John Oliver. So but yeah, I would just be glad. But I can write about something that's more personal and to me and something I want to write about reflective of my life and not the world at large I guess.
Is that still an ambition of yours to to write for a late night show? Definitely, yeah.
I love late night TV. I grew up on Kimmel. That was my late night host. I feel like everyone has. When I was nine, my dad used to let me watch the man show and I was a kid. I was probably not a know.
It wasn't a good idea. Yeah, it's informed a lot of my humour and yeah, I love late night TV.
It's very comforting to me. Is that is that like actually something that's been in the works or have you been contacted by any of the shows or anything like that.
Yeah, I mean I've been contacted by a couple and I've submitted packets and you know, just because you go viral or people think you're very funny, it does not mean, you know, you're a shoo in for any jobs, which is something I learned the hard way.
Not that I thought it would. It would happen that way. You still have to do you have to go through the same process as everyone else. But I have you know, I've got a manager from all of this. I've got an agent, many agents, and they're working constantly getting me auditions and writing submissions. And it's very, very exciting. Yeah, I've been submitting all over the place.
It must be it must be also hard to monetize something like this that is like and frustrating to see something that gets millions of views. But you're not really getting compensated for it, right. Yeah. Thanks for bringing that up.
But once someone is arguing with me and they were like, what do you care? Like you're famous? And like they implied that I was famous and and or rich. And neither of those things are true.
And because, yeah, you can go super viral. No one's paying us for that. We are doing it for free. And just because we like to do it, I guess, or we live for the validation, I'm not sure.
But we still do. It's it's addictive. It really is. It's and you know, I feel like there are very few people who are going through this experience with this right now. But my friend Kylie, we kind of we went viral at the same time and we've been able to sort of commiserate because it's just it's poison because you're just constantly like, I want to do better than the last one I did.
And if you don't, you feel. Horrible, and then it's like having a bad sat at a stand up shop, but with things like Cameo, I've been able to make money, which I hate. I hate it because we were on Cameo.
I well, I'm not right now. I'm untouchable.
I made myself unbreakable because it's just like you're pimping yourself out. You're like, pay me, you know, this much money and I'll tell your friend happy birthday. And it just feels gross.
Have there been any particularly weird ones or weird cameo requests or anything you can share on that? Oh, yeah, sure.
So one time this guy was like, hey, I just want you to make a shout out for my wife. She's having twins next week after a failed vasectomy.
And I was like, I don't think this is what she was.
Do you want the vasectomy to be part of the video or. Yeah, I put it in there. That's one time I got one from this lady who she was like, you know, I've got a big group of friends here in Portland. We've been friends for 18 years. She put all this information I didn't need and she was like, we have this many kids between us. Anyway, my friend Mark almost died last week. He had a heart attack and his kids found him on the floor.
And thank God they died because they got him to a hospital and this week he wiggled his toes. Anyway, can you make a video for him? He loves dark humor. Say whatever you want. And so I put a lot of thought and effort. I got a whiteboard out for this video. I made up like some math problem.
I put in the work and I mentioned his near-death experience because she put it in the cameo request. And when I sent it out and she was like, it was very inappropriate of you to bring that heat.
She was like he he really did almost die.
And I was like, yeah, I know that because you told me, why would you tell me?
This is like tips for Cameo. People who are booking cameos only put in your request what you want in the video.
Just tell us what you want. Yeah, because I didn't need if you don't want me to say that, hey, you almost died last week, please. God told me that I ended up calling her. I guess Cameo does not give them refunds. They'll give them like a cameo credit.
Yeah, I was kind of part of the deal. It's like you're you're putting it in the person's hands to make the video. Yeah.
And I just I want she wanted me to make another one and I didn't want to. And I was like, I'll just send you forty dollars.
How about that. Let's call it call it even call it. Even if it was it was horrible. That's funny.
Yeah. I have not, I haven't had a ton of experience with Cameo. I haven't, I've booked any of them for anyone but we have sometimes at our office when it's someone's birthday they'll get a special, you know, cameo from like Sibghatullah or Anthony Scaramucci or something. That's really, really hilarious.
That's so funny. Yeah, I bet they'd be fun to give us pranks, and I like doing them. I just hate asking for money to then tell someone, hey, you know, because I would do it for free if I could, but I still have bills to pay and Twitter does not pay, you know, I think.
Yeah, I don't I don't blame you for doing it. It's smart. It's good. What are the sort of the other things that you now that you have, you know, had this experience of going viral and getting attention and getting agents and managers and everything? What are the things that you want to do? What are your ambitions?
Gosh, well, I mean, I want to write a TV show. I want to be in a TV show and also directed. I think I have a control.
It seems like if you want to control everything. Well, I guess, yeah. You're used to controlling the the videos that you're making, editing and doing it all. Exactly.
Will be weird to all of a sudden be like, you know, a hired actor and something and have no control over the final product. Yeah.
Just hand over the reins. That would be difficult. I studied film in college and so I'm very interested in the, you know, behind the camera production, editing, obviously writing. So I just want to be able to write, I want to be able to write and I want to be able to write things, like I said, that are personal to me, reflective of my life or just things I find funny, like just wacky, weird things.
I love. How to John Wilson, I think you should leave is just a masterpiece like these are the things they want to do. And so I just I'm trying to make that opportunity for myself to to do those things as weird things with people that I find funny without the sense of, you know, impending doom from everywhere. Right. Would be nice. Yeah. Yeah.
I mean, it's not it's not the easiest time to break into showbusiness when everything is kind of remote as can't travel.
And it's like it's just such a strange experience. I know you say you're not you don't consider yourself famous, but I mean, it's weird to gain some level of fame during a pandemic where you can't go anywhere or see anyone in person or make the kind of connections even that you normally would be able to.
Yeah, it is strange. I think I listen to the first part of your podcast with Gary Cooper. When I was in the car the other day, I didn't hear my shout out that this tweet came late in the episode.
Go listen to the idea that I was in the car and she mentioned and I say this all the time, she's like, this is happening inside of our homes or our apartments. Every big thing that's happened to me has happened like here at this desk, on this computer. And so and it's not like I get recognized because first of all, I'm nowhere near Sara Cooper level, but also we're wearing masks when we go out. And I haven't met my managers or agents in person so and so.
Yeah, it feels like it's not real almost. It feels like a dream. And just kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop, but also sometimes I just think about it and I get overwhelmed. Obviously it's very exciting, but it's you know, none of this would have happened had this horrible thing not happen. And it's all very lucky, you know, that it happened at all. I've wanted this my whole life and it just wasn't supposed to look like this.
And it's a balance of feeling grateful and guilty. Yeah.
And pressure to capitalize on it, I would imagine. Yeah. A lot of pressure mostly from myself. I think I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself, but yeah. Pressure to not fuck it up completely because I definitely can, you know, it's very easy to and I have yeah. It's something I put a lot of thought into and I'm not going to lie about that and just pretend that I'm just naturally funny and can attract the attention of, you know, thousands.
That's it's a very you know, I tweet and delete and I make videos and I never post them. And it's all I'm trying very hard to make this work for myself and make it into a career that, you know, could last for a long time because it's just it seems like a once in a lifetime opportunity, you know, does it happen all the time?
Are there any other in terms of your own, you know, videos and stuff that you're putting out? Or are there other characters that you've been kind of percolating on or thinking about putting out in the world to her?
When I'm thinking about the mask lady. Oh, yeah. I'm thinking about my take full credit for that one.
One that I'll give you credit what I get paid, but I will give you credit.
I don't know, because it kind of I all of them are very hot topics sort of for the moment. Yeah. Inspiration. Yeah.
And so I just kind of see what's trending that day. And if I feel like making a video about somebody I will know. But I don't have any characters that I just like having my back. But I was never a character person. I always thought and I still think that I'm not a character. I'm bad at characters. I have this one character that I can do and people who say characters are very generous because it's just just the same person.
It's just the same person saying different things. This is my one accent, my one character. And so I do need to expand on that. I need to sharpen my my skill set, I would say if I want to be an actress, but which I do. But it's been great. I just kind of want to be able to be myself a little bit and that would be cool just to be able to be myself a little bit. Right.
And people like me for just being myself because I can be funny when I'm not doing the voice and I, I want people to want to read and watch what I write in the future. So I think the character I'm working on is myself. Does that sound profound?
That's so profound. That's like. Yeah, it could be. That could be I could be the click bait headline right there. The character. I'm the character I want to be almost as myself. Oh my God, Matt.
Oh I feel so disgusting. But yes. Is that that's a good one. That's the other video that I wanted to ask you about. Just that I remembered that I love is the my pillow infomercial. I quite enjoyed that one. And that one really feels like a larger sketch in some ways than than some of these other shows. Like it was really like a commercial parody sketch. How did that one come together?
Sketch comedy. That was early on the my pillow being. I will say I don't want to brag, but you're way ahead of the game on that now.
It's like everybody people all the time.
But everyone's my fellow all the time. Yeah. I see these sketches pop up everywhere and that's fine.
But I will say I did it in August so I know you may have heard about my pillow on TV or on the Internet, but there's a lot that you don't know about my pillow that I want to share with you today. The founder of my pillow, Mr. Mac Lendell, actually named it my pillow because it's made specifically for his demon body. And so it won't work as well if you have real human bones, flesh or feelings. Something that's really cool about the my pillow is my patented fill that he puts inside the pillow.
Now, what's cool about the feel is not only does it remember the shape of your head, but it records you're not mirrors when you sleep and whispers that back to you in the days to come. Now, how's that for pillow talk?
Yeah, my dad gave me that my pillow because someone gave it to him and he was like, this sucks.
And he gave it to me.
That's what I hear. I haven't I haven't actually used one, but they I hear they're quite bad. Oh, it's awful.
Did you actually sleep on it? Yes, I slept on it for two years, so two years because I thought they were going to say like two nights.
No, I you know, I didn't want to spend the time and money to to find a better pillow. And I was like, I mean, this has to be the best that it gets because this guy is on TV all the time. This is before I knew he was a piece of shit, but got to be a great fellow.
I was like, yeah, maybe it's just I'm the problem.
And then I made that that sketch and thank you. I that's one of my favorites was fun to do this pillow company called One Fresh Pillow reached out to me and they are not paying me to do this, but they sent me pillows that have changed my life. One fresh pillow, they created this husband and wife. He's a chiropractor and she is be a massage therapist anyway. They're great. And they actually sent a bunch of pillows during the National Guard was sleeping on the floor there at the Capitol.
They sent a bunch of pillows to them. They're the best pillows in the world. One side is soft and other side it's a little bit firmer. So you can flip flop. Listen, we're talking. Too much, but please order one. Well, hopefully they hear this and they start sending me pillows, that would be good. They will. They'll send you a pillow. They're wonderful.
So, yeah, probably any other pillows. Fortunes are rising right now as my pillows fortunes are falling.
I saw David Hogg was making a company, which is a little that was a little like what else you want to do?
You can do you have so much potential. Yeah. But you see, he sees a hole in the market and he's going for it going forward. But I will say when brush is already there. People should buy.
Yeah. That one was really funny. Yeah. So I think just as we as we get to the end here, I like to end the podcast by asking comedians about other comedians who really make them laugh. And I'd love to hear both someone who really inspired you either growing up or someone that you just that you loved, who's really made you laugh harder than anyone else in your life. And then maybe a contemporary or somebody coming up now who you want to shout out and really draw attention to their work.
Oh, gosh. OK, so growing up, it was much Hedberg, my mom and I would just spend hours consuming. I feel like probably everyone says this, but Mitch Hedberg content on YouTube, whatever it first came out. And yeah, I mean, he was probably Mitch Hedberg and Sarah Silverman were my first. They were my introduction to stand up comedy. And so and those are two good ones. I feel. So I'm glad they were my mantra and then that was my childhood.
And then you say somebody that just makes me laugh harder than I've ever laughed in my life.
Gosh, that's all John Mulaney I love. He's probably one of my favorite standup. John Mulaney, Mike Birbiglia. I'm going to name a bunch of people, but I just I really admire John Milanes, just the structure of his jokes. He's just a master joke writer. And I could just I study his joke writing, especially when I was doing standup. I was just and Maria Bamford is just my all time one of my all time babes. And right now, gosh, there's so many.
But so my friend Kylie Brakemen is hilarious. And there's also this guy, Ben Marshall, who makes the funniest sketches I've ever seen in my life. His name is Ben Marshall. He has red hair. Please look him up on Twitter. He and his friends, they made the sketch. One of his friends got trapped in a TV. And I can't even explain it to you. And they're so like just I mean, they're like less than a minute long.
I mean, just they just it's brilliant. I can't even describe them to you. But I'm begging you, if you're listening to this right now, go look up. And Marshall, he should have a show. It's very like a.. Donna, sort of where you see real sketches. Yeah. Yeah. Very, very, very funny guy. That's awesome.
Well, I really enjoyed talking to you and I can't wait to see, you know, what what comes next for you when we're all able to, you know, break out of our homes and do more than just post videos online.
So, yeah, this was this was really a lot of fun. And I as I said, I love your work. Everyone at The Daily Beast is obsessed with you. So this was a blast. I love you guys.
Thank you so much for having me. This is so, so much fun. Thank you. To burst your liberal spleen's global warming is a hoax. covid isn't real. My primary care doctor is Dr. Phil McGraw. Help. Thank you, thank you to Blair Erskin for being my guest on today's show. She is so much fun and I'm pretty sure we're best friends now. Definitely give her a follow on Twitter at Blair Erskin, where you can see all of her hilarious videos and more.
If you're enjoying the last laugh, please help us out by leaving a rating and review on Apple podcast.
We want as many people to hear this show as possible and you can help by spreading the word and sharing it with your friends. You can find me on Twitter at Night Wilstein and at The Daily Beast dot com. And if you're not already, please follow last laugh pod on Instagram where you can see photos and videos from all of our episodes. The Last Laugh is distributed by Ecorse for The Daily Beast with audio production by Jesse Kenin. Our theme music is by Clode you can find on Instagram at and three.
You can find this show every week on our podcast or wherever you listen to podcasts. And as always, you can find showboats and highlights from each episode on The Daily Beast dot com. See you next week for our one hundredth episode.