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2014 had some funny moments. 2014 had some sad moments. Let’s begin with the good news. The bad news comes out next week.

39 of the funniest people we know chime in on what made the last 12 months a chucklefest. No one used the word chucklefest.

Tig Notaro

Tig curated Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

YouTube video: Henry’s Kitchen.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

James Adomian.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

The claim that you have to be miserable to be funny.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Professor Blastoff!!

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Relentlessly fixing my hair in the mirror.

Rob Corddry

Rob performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes and The Duncan Trussell Family Hour.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Kumail Nanjani.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Bill Cosby. I think I got my wish.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

All of them.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I eat by myself. I’m shooting in Miami right now so, nothing. I sit still in my apartment. There’s nothing for me here.

Kyle Kinane

Kyle performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Bryan Cook is great as a comic and Twitter person. He was a writer for Fashion Police and his response to Joan River’s death was brutal and fearless. He’s also piss-and-vinegar funny all the time.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

A boss to fire me.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Audiences and bloggers who systematically react to trigger words in comedy. Rape jokes.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

PuppyBowl should have a regular season. Not just the showdown in January.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Law and Order marathons exclusively

Aparna Nancherla

Aparna performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

I am always enjoying the tweets and various works of Bridger Winegar, as well as the various works of John Early. Both true visionaries in their own right. I also must cite the show Broad City and all involved with that for making a nice triumphant splash! I also just watched Enlightened. I know it was made 1-4 years ago, but I experienced it this year. And this is about ME.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

A goat.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

The question “Are women funn…” and then usually everything after it. But by me bringing it up, I am still feeding its putrid sheath.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

The Chris Gethard Show.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

By baby talking with my fears.

Henry Phillips

Henry performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Favorite TV show is definitely Silicon Valley on HBO. Favorite podcast is The Todd Glass Show. Favorite Twitter user is Karen Kilgariff. And I’m not sure when it came out, but the best YouTube video I’ve seen recently is Future Assassin by Deborah Robinson. Oh, and favorite comic I’ve seen this year is Joe List.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

People that are able to do a more subtle approach to comedy, and more intelligent. I would love if Maria Bamford were on there!

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Agents.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

The Todd Glass Show for sure.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Play guitar, ignore phone calls, go for walks and eat.

Myq Kaplan

Myq performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Nick Vatterott’s album “For Amusement Only.”

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

James Adomian.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

People who wish other people would disappear.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

You’re The Expert.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Read.

Jena Friedman

Jena performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

What’s a podcast?

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Grumpy Cat.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Threats from North Korea.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

The leaked Sony emails would make a great TV show, “Sh*t My Studio Executive Says.”

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I find a quiet corner to Tweet in.

Ben Kronberg

Ben performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

I’m a Pisces so I’m forbidden from having a favorite.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

He did really good last time around with Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett. How bout a muppet?

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Magic.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

All of them.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Become obsessed with something or someone and write serious songs and eat.

Kate Berlant

Kate performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

I love Foxcatcher and John Early’s early work.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Mike Dobbins.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Thanking the host

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

The Dress Up Gang.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Spending at least 8 hours a day on the Facebook/Twitter/Gmail triad seems to do it for me.

Jenn Tisdale

Jenn performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Podcast: The Mental Illness Happy Hour, hosted by Paul Gilmartin (of Dinner and a Movie fame) who is sober and suffering from treated depression. You know, your usual stand up comic, but very funny. He genuinely cares about the mental health of others, which shows in every episode. The show has a variety of guests from comics (I really enjoyed Greg Behrendt and Baron Vaughn’s episodes) to mental health professionals to regular listeners like you and me. His guest choices center around what the podcast lacks and what the listeners need versus what will get you more bang for your buck though you will take away more than you bargained for. Plus, though he is careful to say it should not take the place of therapy; it’s a gentle nudge in that area of your life should you need it.

YouTube Video: The video of the year for me and the video I cannot stop watching is 2070 Paradigm Shift by a true comedy anarchist, Sam Hyde. He’s part of a larger collective (Million Dollar Extreme) but this video has given me hope when I thought I had none left. It is literally comedy CPR for me.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Comedians should no longer aspire to be on Saturday Night Live. It has been ages since SNL has been a benchmark for comedy. Sketch comedy like The Birthday Boys on IFC is truly innovative and funny. Remember when comedy used to be part of sketch comedy? if you’ve forgotten it’s because you’ve been watching too much SNL.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

On a personal level: My self-defeatist attitude and laziness

On a wider scale: Competition that has lost that lovin’ feelin’

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

I’d love to see Ian Abramson’s 7 Minutes in Purgatory become a television show. For the unfamiliar, a comic tells their jokes in a private location (such as a bathroom or similar) while the audience watches a broadcast of that set in the next room. The joy and terror of comedy is it’s just you and a mic but now it literally is just you and the mic.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I forget everything, panic, convince myself everyone is better than me, question what I’m doing there, then hit the stage.

John F. O’Donnell

John performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Reggie Watts headlining The Lincoln Theatre during The Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

James Adomian…hands fucking down!

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Young comics getting tricked into doing bringer shows.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

The NYC sketch group Murderfist should not only become a television show, it should be mandatory watching for all Americans.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

On the road: Writing, reading or listening to podcasts. On set: There’s no time to kill. Backstage: Banter it up with comedian friends, and figure out my set list.

Liza Treyger

Liza performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Bojack Horseman is the best new show. I really like a bit Jacqueline Novak did at Knitting Factory this summer about pizza. John Early and Kate Berlant have a web episode called Loss with John Early and Kate Berlant, and it was perfection. John Early: First Rehearsal is a heavenly and beyond funny YouTube video. Aparna Nancharla makes me laugh really hard. I really enjoy Broad City. You don’t want to give anyone on Twitter any support or encouragement because they do nothing but disappoint you. I’m contractually obligated to mention my business partner Sabrina Jalees as being a super funny comic but also my partner in a web series called How Many Questions. Nathan For You is one of the only shows that makes me laugh out loud time and time again. Michael C Hall in Hedwig.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Nick Vatterott, duh.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

People thinking they deserve things and being shady as fuck. Stop telling me about your credits and stop asking me how it feels to be a woman in comedy. Oh and people you hate and don’t think are funny would disappear and not be successful.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Paper Machete at the Green Mill in Chicago should be broadcast to the masses. It’s the best! It’s a live magazine where performers get a news story on Wednesday and by Saturday at 3 p.m. must have a an essay or character done about the story. There’s also martinis, bands, a bird puppet, comics, writers, actors, cool people, and Christopher Piatt the most passionate and original and wildly weird amazing hosts around. The Green Mill is classic old school cool and it’s an NPR crowd getting wasted in the afternoon no matter what the weather and they’re dying to be entertained.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I love smoking weed and getting drunk. I love chatting with my pals for sure. If I’m in a cool city I love to explore some cool spots to eat, look at art, and explore fun places but if it’s not a cool place I sit in my hotel watching tv and being on the internet and being a creep. Honestly though being on some sort of substance that you can abuse is the best. It’s also the best time to go to the movies because you’re alone and desperate.

Mike Lebovitz

Mike performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Can it be a stand up special? I think the best thing this year was Bill Burr’s I’m Sorry You Feel That Way. Although I could be biased against the first 11 months of the year due to the fact that I barely remember them…

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Rory Scovel. I secretly hope he turns it down though…

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

The phrase “so that’s a thing.”

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

My dick.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Obsessing about irrational fears.

Katie McVay

Katie performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

My favorite comedian of the year is Curtis Cook. Based out of Portland, he’s a powerhouse on stage and off. Just look him up. You won’t regret it.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Nore Davis! He has acting chops (check him out on Boardwalk Empire), and is an amazingly versatile writer and performer. He came to the Comedy Expo last year and quickly became one of our team’s favorites. He just released a new album as well, and it is really fantastic.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Straight people saying the word “faggot” as if that is a punchline – or creating a really long joke in order to say the word “faggot.” Why? This seems like so much effort for so little gain.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

The Flophouse. A podcast with two Daily Show writers and one hilarious bartender, the show is about bad movies. However, the cast brings a cogent take on cinema in general and there is a hole where film criticism once lived on TV. It would be a perfect show to fill this spot.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I tweet. I also strenuously apply lipstick. A lot of people will say that applying lipstick isn’t strenuous, but they don’t have panic attacks like I do.

Brandon Wetherbee

Brandon performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Comic: Curtis Cook
Video: Unedited Footage of a Bear
Everything else: Santana and Rob Thomas’ “Smooth”

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Katt Williams

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Everyone except Katt Williams

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

The Puterbaugh Sisters “Entertaining Julia”

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Donate to Kickstarters and connect on LinkedIn.

Stephanie Hasz

Stephanie performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Mostly I just like the letters column in the comic book Sex Criminals.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

John Eisenrich.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

The idea that anything is objectively funny (or not funny). Also, a bunch of other bullshit, but I can’t call for less judgement about comedy and then try to make decrees.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

WOMEN, even though I wish they had a different name. Sorry, boys.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I go window shopping or day drinking or scream at mountains because I can’t process Earth’s majesty. Plus, lots and lots of eating–whatever delicious garbage people in that city usually only eat when they have out-of-town guests because it’s deep fried or covered in cheese or is a tower of meat.

Danielle Puterbaugh

Danielle performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Film: (most recent) They Came Together, Obvious Child, Girl Most Likely.
Podcast: Hollywood Handbook.
TV show: Quantum Leap, that’s 2014, right?
YouTube video: Stairway to Stardom– it’s not 2014, but it’s still my favorite. It’s an 80’s cable access “talent” show.
Comic: Nick Vatterott, Rory Scovel, Kyle Kinane, Beth Stelling, Ben Kronberg, Amy Sedaris, Sarah Silverman.
Twitter user: What’s twitter?
Whatever of the year: The fact that it’s finally not 1980 anymore where women have to be onstage talking about how they’re fat in order to be funny. Shows like Broad City and The Mindy Project are now becoming popular among audiences of men and women. Female lead heavy shows aren’t just Sex in the City, where the plot structure has be to about finding a man and how “crazy” it is to be single. Funny bad ass women are staring to rise and take over and the mainstream audiences are not only accepting it, but loving it.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Jet Eveleth. Former IO improviser “Reckoning” (Chicago) now LA. She’s the most talented/quirky improviser and character actress I’ve had the pleasure to work with. She’s also a babe.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Most of the old racist/chauvinist road comics in the small towns of America still working and making people believe that that’s what comedy is.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Our show, “Entertaining Julia”.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Making jokes and hanging out with the people that are with me on the road or backstage.

Tiffany Puterbaugh

Tiffany performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

15439425626_db538a21af_zWhat’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Best podcast: Hollywood handbook.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

If I were Lorne Micheals, I would hire me to pick out the wigs. I would also cast Dana Quercioli and Jet Eveleth.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

I wish all ” female showcases’ would disappear. Having any minority showcase makes them stand out instead of just having those people on good shows. They always have horrible names like Out of the Kitchen and Onto the Mic, Cunt for Red October. Besides, are women really funny anyway?

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Our show, “Entertaining Julia” should become a television show but on the WB.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I kill time by making jokes and hanging with whoever I am with. Which is usually my business partner and sister. If that fails, copious amount of alcohol and marijuana works just fine.

Jamel Johnson

Jamel performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Black Jesus was my favorite thing of the year.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Can’t Answer that. I know 1,000 funny people with the skills to work there. But I don’t know who can handle the pressure myself included.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Inconsiderate behavior.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Wham City for sure.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Right now I’m thinking about Playing Yoshi’s Island on Gameboy Advance again.

Andrew Bucket

Andrew performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

It was a big year for new comics in D.C. Brittany Carney and Wendy Wroblewski are great. Peter Muth is the best on Twitter. David Tveite’s podcast Sadness Town. My favorite YouTube video was Crocodile Chop.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Eddie Pepitone. They should honestly stop getting young people. I hate young people. They don’t know shit about fuck. How come there’s no old people on SNL?? Old people aren’t funny?

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

I feel like there’s too many people in the audience. It was nice for a while that people were interested in comedy but nowadays it’s like over the top. I wish that half the audience would leave at most shows.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

The Puterbaugh Sisters “Entertaining Julia” is basically made for TV.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Well look when I’m road dogging it and I have a show somewhere way the fuck out there like Baltimore or Philly, I’m honestly just trying to save my energy for the stage. I mean a trip all the way to Philly can take a lot out of you- road dogs know this- and so I’ll have some tea, read McSweenys, drink a pint of Evan Williams, listen to Enya, snort Adderall, and then usually it’s showtime.

Linsay Deming

Linsay performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

RuPaul’s Drag Race, house down. RuPaul is my hero and unofficial personal guru. Plus, the Drag Race hunties have taught me so many things about being a lady! For instance, now I know that I should put lotion on my knees and that testies can be tucked inside the body above the taint region.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

I don’t. I come to the realization that perhaps the world of comedy has evolved beyond my historically important yet increasingly irrelevant show. So, I decide to retire, munch on some Slim Jims, and think about the good old days when my show wasn’t superfluous but was actually funny.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

White male dominated shows, sketches, and movies that marginalize females and minorities. PREACH!

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

I’m going to shamelessly plug my own show and say that Church Night should become a television show. I just think we could bring more people to The Lord that way. Also, I bet if we got on TV that I would make lots of money. So much money that I’d be able to get out of debt, get a dishwasher, and then buy a ticket to space on one of those commercial rocket ships! LET A GIRL DREAM!

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I go over my material, fuss with my costume, chat with other performers, and observe the audience to try to get a feel for the room. I need to channel all my energy to the performance, so I don’t like to be on my cell phone because it disrupts my focus and takes me out of the moment.

Natalie McGill

Natalie performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

@RobFee on Twitter is hilarious. I’m pretty sure I go on a Twitter status favoriting/retweeting spree whenever I see his feed. I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought I was stalking him.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

I could see Rory Scovel being a cool addition to SNL.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Entitlement. None of us is guaranteed anything doing this! Except maybe a can of PBR and a shot of whiskey.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Church Night. That show is always a treat to watch.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Reviewing my set list notes on my phone and thinking about things I can put in a blender when I get home. I got one for free from this woman on my apartment community listserv. It’s no Vitamix, but it gets the job done.

Nik Oldershaw

Nik performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Brendan Krick is so uncommonly, consistently hilarious that he might be one of my favorite comics/twitter people of all time. Follow him right now. It’s pages and pages of gold. The Digression Sessions Podcast has also had an amazing year so check them out too!

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Sam Hyde, Nick Rochefort, Charles Carroll and anyone else involved with Million Dollar Extreme or Thanks Computer! The real Lorne Michaels would never hire any of these people but if he did it would change SNL forever. SNL would probably get cancelled.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

The idea that certain comics are held up as “Legends”. You’re not allowed to express certain opinions without other comics jumping down your throat. You can’t suggest that half of George Carlin’s output isn’t particularly funny or that most Bill Hicks albums, despite having a few solid jokes, are fucking un-listenable. Legends are so dumb. “Lenny Bruce is a legend, man… it’s like there’s Gilgamesh, then Beowulf and then Lenny Bruce. It’s those three guys.”

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Wham City Comedy really needs to have their own televisions series. Whenever it happens it’s gonna be really good.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I listen to a lot of Goo Goo Dolls demos on my iPod.

CHEEEZELORD, one half of MOTHERKNUCKLE the beginning of comedy

CHEEEZELORD performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

MOTHERKNUCKLE

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

All comedy that is created has been created in an image, a bricolage of Guru Gumdrop. For me to wish for a specific thing to disappear then the Guru would disappear and that would bring to my eyes many, many tears.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Those boys from St. Tequila’s Youth Ministry over there on the corner of streets Tyler and Perry have a wholesome Christian Christmas Comedy show that maintains a strict missionary position. More people must and will see it.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I have a chant to channel Guru Gumdrop the Most High, the Most Wise, he who has all the whipped cream Pies. I stand behind the curtain and I begin
“I AM THE GOO THAT MAKES THE GUM CHEW IN THE JAWS OF GURU GUMDROP”
Repeat until the vacillations of self awareness and self-consciousness vanish. “Will I be funny, will I bomb are there any willing, glistening, and moist bodies in the audience that will serve as my reward?”
Repeat the chant until you’ve said thank you and the audience is applauding. You have become the vessel, you have become the flip for the Guru’s flop, the knee slapped for emphasis by the Guru’s right hand of comedy after he rhetorically asks the audience, “AMIRITE!”

Perth, DC’s Worst Comedian, one half of MOTHERKNUCKLE the end of comedy

Perth performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Nathan For You.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Jeff Dunham, Larry the Cable Guy and rehire Adam Sandler.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

The whole audience laughing at jokes part.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

The Ultimate Real Estate Investing Podcast | Make Money in Real Estate Like Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad’s, Donald Trump, By Sean Terry | Real Estate Investing Mogul.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

By performing a regimented stretching routine.

David Carter

David performed at Bentzen Ball 2014.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Paul F. Tompkins. Everything he does. He has his hands in everything I love currently. Comedy Bang Bang, The Thrilling Adventure Hour and Superego, No You Shut Up. The man has a career exercising every comedic muscle he can in every format he desires.

First place is also held by John Oliver. His show, Last Week Tonight, and his podcast, The Bugle, are always golden. He fulfills my needs for satire and topical humor.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

He wouldn’t agree to it, as he has the perfect career right now, but Paul F. Tompkins is a damn powerhouse of comedy. I would love to give him the reigns for a season and see what he does.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

The intangible current trend that being ‘offended’ as an audience member equates being ‘attacked’ as a human and the belief that anyone, comedian, critic, writer, or actor is above criticism. I do not think those are opposing desires, they are just equally impossible to get rid of. You know what the real problem is with comedy? Too many cooks. *wink*

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

The Thrilling Adventure Hour and Superego, both are podcasts that do live productions. They deserve their time to shine on a national televised level. I will accept a straight to Netflix run if the major networks wimp out.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I talk to myself, without headphones. I won’t hide it. Loud audible groans of impatience work. I read the news and rewrite my set lists. I also suggest healthy mix of whiskey and ice.

Dana Bell

Dana performed at Bentzen Ball 2013.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

I really liked Dan Klein’s “This Is Comedy” and my favorite TV show of the year was probably Rick & Morty. I like a podcast called Gilmore Guys where guys talk about Gilmore Girls.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

I just watched some a UCB cagematch thing with Kate Riley and Aaron Jackson and boy were they funny in the half hour that I saw. That’s probably enough to get them on SNL, right? Whatever. I’m Lorne Michaels, I’ll do what I want. I’ll hire some guy on the street. I’ll hire you, Brandon. I don’t give a fuck. I probably have a car as big as a house and another car as small as a thimble.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

People apologizing for puns. Lots of people on Twitter will make a pun and then add “shoots self in dick” or something. That really ticks me off. Don’t shoot yourself because you tweeted a dumb pun that your brain thought of. I would be happy if that was gone forever.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I kill time on set by saying “like” and “um” and “I mean like” way too much. That wastes a lot of time, and I recommend it for most situations. I kill time on the road by listening to the radio and changing the channel every thirty seconds. I kill time backstage by talking to people or being on my phone the entire time, or both!

Daniel Kibblesmith

Daniel is a Buzzfeed writer, former ClickHole writer and author of How to Win at Everything: Even Things You Can’t or Shouldn’t Try to Win At

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Too Many Cooks done changed the game.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

John “Dog Town” Eisenrich.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

I know I should say unearned and uninformed takes on race and sexual violence, but someone else will hopefully say that so I can say people who’s only influence is Tim & Eric.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

AWK-WARD SMALL TALK [Clap-Clap-CLAPCLAPCLAP]

Nick Vatterott

Nick released the album, For Your Amusement Only, in November

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Zack Sherwin’s rap “Listening To Serial” cause I just watched it right before answering these questions. Isn’t our favorite thing always the last thing we saw right before we see our next favorite thing?

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

I’d hire the Lorne Michaels from 1975 that set out to create a show that was suppose to be against everything that the show has now become.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Jokes about jerking off. It’s like comics have nothing else to talk about. Comics make fun of hack comedians that do airplane jokes, then they’re the third guy in row to do a jerk off joke. It’s just the most overdone premise in comedy. If people did as many jokes about trucks I’d be just as tired of truck jokes. Dudes rub themselves, stuff shoots out, it’s weird. Get over it.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Murderfist. Someone give these guys a show already, long overdue. They’re hilarious.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I got a pinball app on my phone that tells me where all the pinball machines are in the areas I’m performing at. It’s like Tinder for nerds.

Phoebe Robinson

Phoebe is a NYC based stand-up and writer.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Bill Burr is my favorite stand up comic of all time and his bit in his last special about how movie sex scenes are nothing like real life had me dying.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

The “Are women funny” question. I refuse to answer that dumb s**t anymore.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Little Horribles. Duh. It’s the best. Amy York Rubin is awesome and she’s going to be a major force in Hollywood.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Follow the white men from Shonda Rhimes’ shows on Instagram. No joke.

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Chris Trew

Chris is a New Orleans/Austin based sketch performers, stand-up, New Movement producer and Air Sex Championship producer.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

I feel like everyone is going to say Too Many Cooks and everyone would be right. I made a creative decision that I don’t want to work with anyone who doesn’t think that Too Many Cooks is very, very funny.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Vanessa Gonzalez. A student of comedy, a magnetic performer, an incredibly kind and deserving person. She works her ass off and is starting to get recognized at a national level. She did the headlining show at Boston’s Women in Comedy last year and she’ll be at SF Sketchfest in 2015. She is a force. Follow her on Twitter.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

The worst stand-up comic is still way worse than the worst improv group. At least the worst improv group gets some joy out of what they are doing. I wish average standup comedians making below average jokes about improv would disappear. The good jokes by the good comedians can stay, because yeah, everything is fair game. And there’s a LOT of terrible improv. There’s just way more terrible stand-up comedy.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

There’s a sketch comedy group in Austin that writes and performs a new sketch show every single week. They are the most impressive and funniest group I’ve ever seen. They are called Bad Example and they deserve all the attention in the world.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Mainly by posting photos and videos of floppy wieners doing floppy things. Fleshlight sponsored a tour I did this summer and I have way too many floppy wieners now. So I take them wherever I go.

Megan Gailey

Megan is a NYC based stand-up.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

I took a limo with 11 other women over the age of 27 to see Miley Cyrus in concert and that was my favorite thing. (Everyone stops reading my answers now, right?)

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

I re-hire Tim Robinson to be on air. (He’s still writing for the show but there is no human funnier to watch!!)

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Women who write blogs about how hard it has been for them to be a woman.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Paper Machete. Live news magazine in Chicago that would NEVER work on TV but I do not care!!

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Texting.

Ian Abramson

Ian is an LA based stand-up. He recently married his career. This photo is from the wedding reception.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

The webcomic “Little Boys Room” by Richard Scooperman is one of the best things in comedy I’ve ever experienced. You read the comic, and it’s funny. You add Scooperman on Facebook (and I suggest you do!) and you enter a rabbit hole that gets more convoluted, and wonderful with everything you learn about him.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Cullen Crawford and Daniel Kibblesmith.

They are honestly just some of the best writers I have ever encountered. They’ve both worked with the Onion, and Clickhole in various capacities, and Daniel is at Buzzfeed now.

The beauty of these two is that they have such unique, fresh, and often weird takes on whatever they’re writing, but it’s never at the sacrifice of a strong point of view. Also, they manage to make even their weirdest premise’s accessible, which is what SNL could probably use. That mixture of weird, dark comedy, but in a way that wouldn’t lose their core audience.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Mouths. I’d love to watch comedians try to speak, but it sounds like they’re mumbling because there’s just skin from their nose to their chin. They’d breathe through their nose. Anyway, there’s also still too much casual racism and homophobia.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

I used to want them to make a comedic version of The Big Bang Theory, but then they made Cosmos, so I’m happy.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Backstage, I’ve got a playlist I listen to on repeat to pump myself up. Top three tracks are “My dad yelling that he’s proud of me over the sound of a lawnmower,” “Zooey Deschanel telling me that she doesn’t like New Girl either,” and “Horse trying to gallop in a bounce house.”

Will Miles

Will is a NYC based stand-up.

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Photo by Mindy Tucker

What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

Every Chris Rock interview in print this year leading up to Top Five coming out. The YouTube video where he is on The Today Show from November is amazing. Also Nick Vatterott’s bit where he has his conscience talk to himself is probably one of the most amazing bits to watch live. Every time I watched it this year I was engrossed.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Nick Vatterott, Brett Davis, Amber Nelson, Gary Richardson, Micah Sherman, Brian Mitchell. If I were Lorne, I’d have a tough time.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Nothing. Comedy is always evolving the way it should be.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Comedy At The Knitting Factory. Broken Comedy at Matchless. Giulia Rozzi’s solo show “Bad Bride.”

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I’ve been reading this book by Kristin Newman and also the book Audition.

Curtis Cook

Curtis is a Portland based stand-up.

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What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

I recognize that we live in the midst of changing times, and that to many non-natives of the Internet, contemporary life seems almost shocking in all the sleek, nuanced methods of pursuing age-old desires. But, before you open your mouth and read me that “wacky” message you received on OKcupid or share your thoughts on the “unbelievable” way dudes act on Tinder, I want you to remember: Shut the fuck up.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Anatoli Brant runs a show in Portland called Comedy Bull that combines stand-up comedy with short form improv challenges, and I strongly recommend if you ever find yourself in the Pacific Northwest. Something about the general joy of watching a good set followed by the elements of a Who’s Line game really hits all my favorite aspects of live comedy, and I think it could translate well into a television show.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I like to either pace nervously while avoiding eye contact with strangers or, if it’s an old venue with a lot of strange hallways and greenrooms and crawl spaces, I like to explore because if there’s not a sign telling me not to go somewhere, I’m pretty sure you’re allowed to do whatever the fuck you want.

Joe McAdam

Joe is an LA based stand-up.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

The part in Silence of the Lambs where they get to Buffalo Bill’s place and they ask him if he knows that woman that went missing and he goes, “No. Oh wait, was she a great big fat person?”

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Someone bald. I’m surprised there weren’t campaigns for that.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

My WIFE! Just kidding, I love my wife dearly. I do wish her cancer would disappear forever though. Just kidding she doesn’t have cancer. In summation: I love my wife a lot.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Seinfeld.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Talking about vaping (but never actually vaping).

John Michael Bond

John is an Atlanta based stand-up.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

My favorite film this year was Birdman, if only for how uncomfortable the editing made me. The whole thing is shot to look like it’s a single take and by the end the tension was almost unbearable. Absolutely brilliant film making.

My favorite comedian right now is Zach Reinert, who currently lives in Denver, CO. Zach writes the tightest, darkest, most adorably hopeful jokes of anyone I’ve seen in the last two years. Everyone who watches him asks “who the hell is this guy” because he’s so funny it’s unbelievable they haven’t heard of him before. He makes me work harder as a comedian. On top of everything he’s the sweetest, most humble person I’ve met in comedy.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Phoebe Clare Perry from Atlanta, GA.  Phoebe is a natural performer whose made a wonderful transition from improv into some the oddest character driven standup you’ll ever experience. She’s humble, hard working, and capable of creating deeply believable and funny characters on a moments notice. Plus she’s only a few years in so SNL would be getting in on the ground floor.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

Cringe comedians who whine online when they bomb on stage. You are given the gift of stage time and it’s your right to use it however you want. Just because the crowd wasn’t into your rape/mutilation/federal reserve bit doesn’t mean they’re hipster idiots. It means your joke wasn’t funny. You’d think people who wallow in darkness would have thicker skin but the second one of them bombs its straight to FB to commiserate with their fellow “truth tellers.”

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

Dungeon in Atlanta. Part comedy showcase/part live roll playing experience, this show has quickly become the best part of living in Atlanta. Thankfully it’s going to be touring this year so other people can join in the fun. Dungeon-masterminded by Remi Treuer the show features comedians doing 10 to 15 minute one on one comedy games of dungeons and dragons in front of a live audience that sees all the die rolls projected on a big screen. Between comedians do sets.

It’s a blast to watch the audience get involved in the successes and failures of the players, not to mention the glory of seeing a bard slay a hydra using the power of song before then proposing to his Giant guide. Full of filth, violence, and romance Dungeon is a perfect outside the box comedy show.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

The best way to kill time on the road is with moderate day drinking, writing with your tour mates at a coffee shop, or finding dying malls in the Midwest the have indoor “skating” rinks. I cannot skate very well.

Goodrich Gevaart

Goodrich is a Chicago based stand-up and Daddy’s Little Party Boi.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

My Favorite comics I saw this year: Zach Reinart, Aparna Nancherla, Nore Davis, Nick Vatterott.

And I’ll never get tired of seeing John Eisenrich.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

Marc Maron so he’ll shut the fuck up about that one meeting they had in the 90s.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

White males.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

The Best Show. We got a taste of it with the Newbridge We’re Coming on Adult Swim, but the crazy amount of characters and comedy Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster have created over the past 13 years could really be a great comedy series. Or maybe it’s better suited for audio. Who knows.

Also someone needs to bankroll The Puterbaugh Sisters making a TV show.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

Reading the web-comic Little Boys Room and arguing with the creator Richard Scooperman on Facebook.

LeMaire Lee

LeMaire is a Philadelphia based stand-up.

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What’s your favorite comic/film/bit/podcast/tv show/Twitter user/YouTube video/whatever of the year?

My Favorite Bit of the year is from Bill Burr. In his new comedy special he has this whole bit about helicopters and its fantastic.

You’re Lorne Michaels. Who do you hire?

I would like to say me, but I’m not nearly good enough to be on SNL, yet. I like my friend Tyler Rothrock.

What do you wish would disappear from comedy forever?

My issue isn’t with comedy, my issue is with the people who want comics to stop being comics. I believe anything can be funny you just have to find the right angle. By this I mean that the people who get offended when a comic says something they don’t like or agree with. I think comics should be able to look for the funny in a situation. I can’t think of a particular situation at the moment, but when I do I’ll get back to you.

What podcast/sketch show/live show/whatever should become a television show?

You, Me, Them, Everybody. Because anything that will have me on it is television worthy in my book. I’m actually pretty content with TV at the moment. I can’t think of anything I’d add. TV is fantastic right now.

How do you kill time on the road or on the set or backstage?

I’d listen to the jokes I want to do to make sure I say them right, I might think of a new angle to take. I visit IGN.com or like Shoryuken.com read some stories about games. Listen to some Arianna Grande (Future Wife), Katy Perry (Also Future Wife), Big Sean (Future Best Friend), Pusha T (Future Drug Dealer). Just some music to get me hype and mentally prepared to be calm on stage.

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