Creator Q&A: Eugene Mirman

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If you've laughed in the past decade, chances are Eugene Mirman had something to do with it. OK, maybe those odds are inaccurate, but between appearances on shows like Flight of the Concords and Bob's Burgers, performing standup around the world, or maybe just poking around at a Yo La Tengo show, chances are you've seen him, and you've laughed. Appropriately, Eugene and some of his cronies took this to the next level a few years back, launching the aptly titled Eugene Mirman Comedy Fest. After a few years of success in South Brooklyn, the team is working on making this year's festival bigger, and better — with a petting zoo! And tons of other crazy stuff, which Eugene was nice enough to discuss in this Q&A.

What was the joke that began the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival?

One day after a show at Union Hall I made a joke to Mike Birbiglia and Julie Smith that I was going to put on a Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. I said that I was kidding, that it would be a ridiculous thing to do. They both thought it was funny and should be done. So a little after that, Julie, Caroline and I started working on the first festival.

Where did you get the idea for the NYC fuck pit? Do you need permits for this? If so, which City department would you (aim to) obtain one from?

Like anything, it’s hard to say where a great idea is born. In terms of permits, I believe I would need one from almost every department.

When was the last time you visited a petting zoo? What animals will your petting zoo contain?

Somehow I have ended up at a few over the last few years. One was in western Massachusetts last year and another in Vermont a few years before that. I also went to what turned out to be a fairly sad, but large petting zoo near Woodstock, NY run by a hung-over 20-year-old. If you ever need to look into the all-too-human eyes of a sad Gorilla, I know where you can find him. Our petting zoo will only feature animals that are excited to be in this revitalized part of Brooklyn.

As per the champagne, fine meats, and cheese. Do you prefer Bree or Jaarlsberg or Gouda (smoked or not)? And why?

First, though we might end up including cheese, the third thing we actually promised at that after-party is fresh towels. From your list, I’d say Brie, but I’m also a big fan of Stilton and those sorts of cheeses.

Hypothetically speaking, if you were to take out Facebook Ads for the festival, who would you target?

21 — 58 year-old fans of Eugene Mirman, Mark Twain, and fucking.

A member of our staff went to your stoop sale and had an awkward moment. Would it be possible to recreate this moment in the awkward party bus? Or, are awkward moments once in a lifetime. 

I could try, but I think the boldness of recreation would ruin the awkward moment, especially if you did it over and over.   On the other hand, if you got on a bus and there were two people re-enacting an awkward moment at a stoop sale, that could very well make them a little uncomfortable. I feel like your question accidentally is the Schrodinger’s Cat of social situations.

If you could add anything in the entire universe to the festival, what would it be? Like, literally, anything.

Well, I guess it would be a night of entertainment featuring the standup of Steve Martin and Woody Allen, followed by some stories from Dwight Schultz and Dirk Benedict talking about the A-Team and a nightcap of a set from Jethro Tull circa 1971. Also, there would be people serving food from dim sum carts. And as a treat to my brother, I’d have the original Guns N’ Roses play an encore. Then everyone (including the people serving food from dim sum carts) would come out and play the Soft Boys Underwater Moonlight. As people left the show they would be given a pair of pants that made them orgasm whenever they stood up or sat down. Sorry all my choices are things from Earth.

    1. Yancey Strickler

      hahaha so great

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