Ep. 174: Conner O'Malley/Mike Pielocik

  • by Andy Beckerman
  • on Beginnings

It’s time for Beginnings, the podcast where writer and performer Andy Beckerman talks to the comedians, writers, filmmakers and musicians he admires about their earliest creative experiences and the numerous ways in which a creative life can unfold.

On today’s show, I talk to the amazing Conner O’Malley. Conner is a comedian from Chicago who got his start training and performing at places like IO, Annoyance and Second City. After moving to New York a few years ago, he began performing at UCB, first on Harold Night and then as a member of the house team The Law Firm. In 2013, Conner was one of the Just for Laughs New Faces for his characters, and last year he became one of the writers on Late Night with Seth Meyers

Back in July, Conner came over to the Beginnings studio after a day at 30 Rock to talk about planning for unrealistic possibilities, living in a post-apocalyptic world, angry dads, sports and small talk, getting married on a whim, elevator mechanics, growing up in Chicago, anger issues, and playing characters. And in the second half of the show, I talk to Mike Pielocik. Mike’s an incredibly kind guy and he wrote for the Onion News Network on IFC, made some of my favorite online videos as part of the Onion Digital Team, made shows for Adult Swim and tons more - and we have a really great chat about small talk!

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Ep. 173: Frank Conniff/Matt Mayer

  • by Andy Beckerman
  • on Beginnings

It’s time for Beginnings, the podcast where writer and performer Andy Beckerman talks to the comedians, writers, filmmakers and musicians he admires about their earliest creative experiences and the numerous ways in which a creative life can unfold.

Today I’m super-glad to welcome stand-up and comedy writer Frank Conniff back to the show. Originally from New York, Frank ended up in the midwest in the1980s doing stand-up. During this time, he met the future creators of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and was later brought aboard the show during the second season, both as a writer and appearing onscreen as TV’s Frank. Since then, Frank’s worked on a number of cool projects including Totally Biased, The Jimmy Dore Show, Invader ZIM, Cinematic Titanic and more.

Back in July, Frank came over to the Harlem studio for a very intriguing talk about culture shocks, feeling like you’re screwing up, hating school, daydreaming, the business of academia, Mad Men as deja vu, adversarial journalism, the decline of New York City, sibling relationships, depression, addiction, drugs as shortcuts, and being anti-authority. Plus! In the second half, I talk to my friend Matt Mayer - Matt’s a director, performer and a member of the UCB Harold team Greg, and also a smart and thoughtful guy, and we have a very interesting talk about how business ideals have infected and changed the college experience. Fascinating and fun stuff! 

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Ep. 172: TEEN/Morgan Miller

  • by Andy Beckerman
  • on Beginnings

It’s time for Beginnings, the podcast where writer and performer Andy Beckerman talks to the comedians, writers, filmmakers and musicians he admires about their earliest creative experiences and the numerous ways in which a creative life can unfold.

On today’s show I talk to Katherine, Teeny and Lizzie Lieberson of the fantastic band TEEN. The Lieberson sisters come from a long line of musicians and dancers, but originally, only Teeny had pursued music as a career, playing keyboards in the popular band Here We Go Magic. While she had some time off from the band, Teeny began to write and record songs on her own, and eventually recruited her sister and friends to form a band to play the songs. They’ve released a number of albums and EPs, and their latest album The Way and Color is now available on Carpark Records. It’s genuinely an awesome record.

Back in July, Katherine, Teeny, Lizzie and their publicist Julie piled into the Harlem studio for an interesting talk about the decline of Newburgh, NY; growing up Buddhist; getting in fights with your sisters; talismans of your youth; living through The Great Depression; being a troubled teen; birth order; collaborating with your sisters; diarrhea flame ball; and the desire to destroy (part of a BRAND NEW SEGMENT). Plus! In the second half of the show, I have a very cool talk with my friend Morgan Miller. Morgan is a stand-up and improvisor on the UCB Harold team Smalls. Morgan’s brother also does comedy, so we talk about how she navigates her relationship with him both creatively and as siblings. Cool stuff!

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Ep. 171: Brian Huskey/Joe Stanton

  • by Andy Beckerman
  • on Beginnings

It’s time for Beginnings, the podcast where writer and performer Andy Beckerman talks to the comedians, writers, filmmakers and musicians he admires about their earliest creative experiences and the numerous ways in which a creative life can unfold.

Couldn’t have had a nicer time on this week’s episode with Brian Huskey. Known as a comedic actor, Brian actually started as a musician, playing in the band Bicycle Face in the North Carolina scene that gave birth to bands like Superchunk and Archers of Loaf. After moving to New York, he started taking classes at UCB, where he formed the group Naked Babies with Rob Corddry, Seth Morris and John Ross Bowie, and became one of the founding members of the seminal house team The Stepfathers. Since moving to LA, he’s written for and acted in countless shows and movies including Children’s Hospital, The Onion News Network, Veep, This Is the End, Kroll Show, Neighbors, Bob’s Burgers and more!

While in town at the end of June for The Del Close Marathon, Brian came up to the Harlem studio to talk about playing “City”, growing up in North Carolina, generational shifts, the music/comedy scene, empathy and ethical choices, isolating/being part of a group, being raised by a former preacher, class differences, how much therapy costs, and depression & vitality. Whew! Oh! And in the second half of the show, I talk to my friend Joe Stanton. Joe’s a stand-up and writer, and he just got married last year. We talk about the connections between weddings and capitalism, but mostly we just goof around and make jokes. Superfun! 

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This is a picture of comedian and actor Brian Huskey. Brian was in town for the Del Close Marathon at the end of June, and came over to the Beginnings studio that Saturday afternoon for a very open talk that tinged on everything from growing up in North Carolina to sociopaths in the comedy scene to his recent divorce. He’s an awesome and very funny guy, and I’m really glad to put this one out, as I had a fantastic time talking with him! Subscribe to the show and check the full thing out tomorrow! High-res

This is a picture of comedian and actor Brian Huskey. Brian was in town for the Del Close Marathon at the end of June, and came over to the Beginnings studio that Saturday afternoon for a very open talk that tinged on everything from growing up in North Carolina to sociopaths in the comedy scene to his recent divorce. He’s an awesome and very funny guy, and I’m really glad to put this one out, as I had a fantastic time talking with him! Subscribe to the show and check the full thing out tomorrow!

Ep. 170: Live at DCM with Megan Neuringer and Phil Jackson/Ramsey Ess

  • by Andy Beckerman
  • on Snap Impression

It’s time for Beginnings, the podcast where writer and performer Andy Beckerman talks to the comedians, writers, filmmakers and musicians he admires about their earliest creative experiences and the numerous ways in which a creative life can unfold.

Oh yeah! This week’s episode was taped live on June 29th at the 16th annual Del Close Marathon, and what a blast it was. After sprinting a bunch of avenue blocks (because the trains were messed up) to get to UCB East on time, I was frazzled and dripping sweat, but my physical grossness did not stop Megan Neuringer and Phil Jackson from being awesome guests. By way of bios, Megan is a stand-up and house performer at UCB, who you’ve seen on shows like Best Week Ever and @Midnight, and Phil is a performer and currently a writer on Comedy Central’s Key and Peele.

So what, you might ask, did we talk about? Great question! And the answer is: a moment of abject fear, nerd culture, Jamaican culture, Ferris Buellering it (and other tangential references), recurring dreams and the California Raisins, and twin songs. Plus! In the second half, I talk to my good friend, and co-host of my new podcast Snap Impression, Ramsey Ess. Ramsey is a writer and the creator of the great webseries Ramsey Has a Time Machine, and we chat about jobs: the worst job he’s ever had, which is a doozy, and the commercial I just did, which was a surreal time.

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