Jo Firestone is a comedian, writer and actor. She wrote on The Tonight Show for a few years, had some great parts on Joe Pera Talks With You and Shrill.
Earlier this year, Jo became the head writer on After Midnight – a combination game show and talk show that follows the Tonight Show on CBS. It’s hosted by Taylor Tomlinson.
When we talked with Jo back a few years ago, she’d just come out with a special called Great Timing.
Here’s how it got made: Jo was living in New York, kind of in between gigs. So she started teaching a class on how to do standup comedy. Her students, about 16 of them, were members of the Greenwich House Senior Center in New York City.
Then, the pandemic happened. But rather than shut down the class, they moved to video chat. Every week they explored what it meant to be funny.
Like many comedy classes, it all ended in a recital. Jo Firestone’s comedy special Good Timing, shows the comedy Jo’s students came up with. It also features interviews between Jo and the students with behind the scenes footage from the classes.
Jo Firestone joins us on the latest episode of Bullseye to talk about the special, and what she learned when teaching comedy to senior citizens. She also talks about researching her role as a doomsday prepper on one of our favorite TV shows: Joe Pera Talks With You.
A version of this interview originally aired in October of 2021.
About the show
Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.
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