Act Three Comedy Writers Podcast


Comedy, TV & Film
Comedy, TV & Film





August 2022
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Django Gold / The Onion

Django is a senior writer for The Onion. Chip joined Django in Chicago to talk about the many steps it took to write for America's Finest News Source. We get to hear about the endless effort and observations that contribue to Django's writing, and the vetting process for headlines and stories at The Onion. Keep an eye out for Django in The New Yorker and McSweeney's, and do follow him on Twitter: @djangogold

Direct download: Django_Gold_-_2515_4.20_PM.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 11:30am PDT

Act Three has hosted Emmy winners, late-night writers, and authors. Joe Toplyn is all three. Joe joins Chip to discuss his new book, "Comedy Writing for Late-Night TV". He draws from deep late night experience on Late Night with David Letterman, The Chevy Chase Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Late Show with David Letterman. Joe also shares his experiences writing for two legendary comedy shows: In Living Color and The Larry Sanders Show. He has also written for Doctor Doctor and Monk. Enjoy this episode, and absolutely buy "Comedy Writing for Late-Night TV", available at bookstores everywhere and on Amazon.

Direct download: Joe_Toplyn_2.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 10:07pm PDT

Dan joins Chip to discuss the process for writing his web series, new work for network TV, and tapping every inch of his life to help craft shows. A rare combo of both stage animal and accomplished writer, Dan talks about his luck of working with some industry heavyweight writers and showrunners. We hope to see Dan star in a project soon too, but if not he'll gladly take the well-earned money and run. 

Direct download: Dan_St._Germain.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 11:10pm PDT

Selena is a New York comedian, writer, and editor. She's studied improv and sketch comedy at UCB, iO, and ImprovAsylum. She joins Chip to talk about writing her book "New Rules For Blondes", her love of glam rock, and most importantly, the process of pitching and publishing a book. We also hear about the journey of reading criticism and troll vitriol on the web. Be sure to check out her comedy show, Bitchcraft, on Tues, April 29th at 7pm at The Duplex in the West Village.

Direct download: Selena_Coppock.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 10:56pm PDT

Dan joins Chip to discuss his book "How Not to Read" (Penguin Books), and the journey from a fun Tumblr account (Better Book Titles) to a literary agent to being published. He discusses the process of a book pitch, and the many ideas that go to publishers before one is sold. Dan also talks about the value of producing several different types of content, and the value of being both a comedian and writer. 

Direct download: Dan_Wilbur.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 3:14am PDT

Emily Heller / Surviving Jack

Chip joins Emily in Los Angeles to talk about her recent move from New York, and her experience in the writers room for a new show. Emily shares her experience of how she was hired, and the golden rule of being ready with your own writing samples when opportunity strikes. This is a really valuable look at her experience with veteran writers, and the penning of her first episode. Surviving Jack premieres on FOX on March 27 at 9:30/8:30 central.

Direct download: Emily_Heller_1.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 8:32pm PDT

Chip joins an old friend, Ward Roberts, in Los Angeles to discuss the writing, direction and production of his latest film, Dust Up. The movie is rightfully billed as a kickass action comedy, and Ward explains how it stands on the shoulders of all his previous projects. He also gives us a glimpse into the beast of editing a feature, and the blood, sweat and tears required to do it well. Dust Up is available to stream on Amazon Prime, and can be purchased on iTunes or at Be sure to also check out Little Big Top on Netflix.

Direct download: Ward_Roberts_1.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 9:08pm PDT

Nate joins Chip to talk about writing for The Pete Holmes Show. He shares his infamous story of quitting a hated day job, and how it helped him focus on his goals with standup and writing. It worked!  Nate also emphasizes the importance of being prepared with writing samples, so you're ready to rock once a manager or lit agent finds you. Buy the new album, "Glass Matthew", from his comedy duo Team Submarine, available on iTunes. The Pete Holmes Show returns on February 24th on TBS. 

Direct download: Nate_Fernald.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 8:25pm PDT

Andy joins Chip to talk about his his experience in the writers' room for Ground Floor on TBS, and his standup career, which spans several cities and scenes. Clarity and appropriately aggressive confidence helped Andy craft his advice for all writers, comedians and performers: don't fuck up. Catch Andy at The San Francisco Punchline January 2-4, where he'll record an album on January 4, 2014.

Direct download: Act_Three_Andy_.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 3:44pm PDT

Chip and Matt met at Paper or Plastik in Los Angeles to discuss Matt's many writing credits: Letterman, Ellen, The Jeselnik Offensive, Yahoo!, and countless others that would not fit in an episode title. He has worked on both coasts in a variety of roles for TV. There's never one way into the industry, and Matt has navigated several types of shows and several types of jokes. Follow him on Twitter @MattGoldich

Direct download: Matt_Goldich_Final.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 10:12pm PDT

Chip joins Tracey in Los Angeles to talk about her early days at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, and starting as a writer's assistant at 30 Rock. Tracey joined the writing staff officially on season four of 30 Rock, and recently won the Emmy for the series finale with Tina Fey. She now writes for The Mindy Project on FOX, and we get to hear about the experience of shaping a new show from the start - and why you don't want to know how it might end.

Direct download: tracey_wigfield_12.3.13.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 8:15pm PDT

Chip joins Michael in Los Angeles to talk about his early forays into standup, sketch, and radio that compelled him to go West as a young man. Tenacity and passion have kept Michael in the business, and have led to invaluable writing experiences, including the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. Listen to learn more about the journey and how writing became his math.

Direct download: Michael_James_Nelson_3.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 8:10pm PDT

Brendan McLaughlin from MTV's Nikki & Sara Live joins Chip to discuss his early days as an intern on Conan, a soulless job in the real world, and his Shawshank Redemption that ultimately led to his first writing job. Check out Brendan's show "We're Nice People" at Parkside Lounge on November 25th at 7:30pm.

Direct download: Brendan_McLaughlin.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 9:45pm PDT

Josh joins Chip to talk about the early days of his comedy career in Boston, and the many writing feats he has achieved since arriving in New York. His focus on working hard to make sure he enjoys his writing drives the success of his content. Watch Josh make his late night standup debut on FXX's Totally Biased on Thursday, Oct 24 at 11pm EST! 

Direct download: Josh_Gondelman.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 10:47pm PDT

Dave Hanson recently wrote and starred in "Waiting for Waiting for Godot" in The New York International Fringe Festval. Before Dave moved to NYC to rekindle his success with theater, he tried his hand in standup, sketch, acting, and late night writing for Chelsea Lately. Join Chip and Dave on his mighty journey in the arts that spans both coasts.

Direct download: Dave_Hanson.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 11:13pm PDT

Alysa and Alison join Chip to discuss Lean Over, their parody of Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In. They walk through their journey producing the book, navigating traditional and independent publishing channels and PR promotion. Mocking the COO of Facebook and her feminist anthem was a pleasure for them, as was breaking down the characters and elements of the actual workplace that became easy ammo for the book.  

Direct download: Alison_Alyssa.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 10:51pm PDT

Adam Conover from VH1's Best Week Ever joins Chip to discuss writing for the film The Exquisite Corpse Project. He shares his experience as one of five writers on the movie, a unique collaboration from former members of the sketch group Olde English. Adam talks about his time in sketch, improv and standup, and also breaks down his approach to writing for himself and making time to tear into pop culture. Check out The Exquisite Corpse Project at Splitsider (

Direct download: Adam_Conover.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 9:50pm PDT

Frank Lesser from The Colbert Report and author of "Sad Monsters" joins Chip to discuss writing for The Colbert Report and wrangling his love of monsters into a successful book. There is never one way into the industry, and Frank discusses his lucky break following several years of hard work. We get to hear about the dynamic in The Colbert Report writers room, plus tons of anecdotes about writers, producers and performers that helped Frank along the way.

Direct download: Frank_Lesser.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 10:28pm PDT

Eli Yudin & Carey O'Donnell created the @NotTildaSwinton Twitter account. In less than a year, it enabled them to get a manager, literary agent, and opportunities to submit to top comedy TV writing jobs. Listen to them talk about the journey, and their experience writing original pilots and spec scripts in the quest for the first writing gig.

Direct download: Eli_and_Carey.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 5:16am PDT

Brooke Van Poppelen from MTV's Girl Code joins Chip to talk about her evolution as a writer/performer, her beginnings in Chicago, and her role as a writer and producer in New York. Brooke describes her first TV writing submissions, and the simple joys of hammering out topics in the Girl Code writers room. 

Direct download: Brooke_Van_Poppelen.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 5:07am PDT

Aparna Nancherla / Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell

Aparna Nancherla from FX's Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell joins Chip to talk about her comedy journey from Los Angeles to New York, and the experience of her first TV writing job. She discusses the dynamic in the writers' room, the parameters of her own comedy style, and most interestingly, why a taboo word on TV goes to 11.

Direct download: Aparna_6.10.13.mp3
Category:Comedy, TV & Film -- posted at: 5:11pm PDT

Chase Mitchell from MTV's Nikki & Sara Live joins Chip to talk about the early days of his writing career, including College Humor, someecards, and ultimately writing for TV. He breaks down his love of writing jokes, and discusses the people that helped him most on his way to NYC.

Direct download: Chase_Mitchell.mp3
Category:Comedy -- posted at: 9:21am PDT

Mike Drucker from Late Night With Jimmy Fallon joins Chip to talk about his many writing jobs, the imortance of context for joke writing, and the future of comedy content.

Direct download: Mike_Drucker_from_Late_Night_With_Jimmy_Fallon.mp3
Category:Comedy -- posted at: 1:03pm PDT