"The best and most important moment I witnessed in comedy this year was Matt Ruby closing out his show at Doc’s Lab on the day after the election. It was a night I won’t forget...Everyone in the room that night witnessed something really special."
-Jeff Zamaria, Comedy Booker/Manager at Doc’s Lab in San Francisco in The Best Stand Up Comedy Moments of 2016
I'm a comic because I like to tell the truth and I realized that being funny is the best way to do it. I talk frequently about relationships, politics, race, religion, technology, and sex. (Honestly, trying to describe one's comedy style is rather silly. If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, than writing about comedy is like creating a musical about a tiger – wait a minute, that's just Lion King. Um, moving on...)
I'm also the creator of Vooza, a video comic strip about the tech world (called the "The Spinal Tap of startups" by Mashable). And I co-produce Hot Soup, one of the hottest live comedy shows in New York City, and the annual Schtick or Treat show.
Here's the part where I list a bunch of credits that you will most likely skip over because, y'know, lists. I've been seen on MTV's Girl Code and The Comedy Show Show on Seeso. I've also been featured on CNN.com, The Huffington Post, NY Magazine, Time Out NY ("Joke of the Year" nominee), ComedySmack (Winner of Best Web Short of the Year), Splitsider, and more. I've also appeared across the country at comedy venues and festivals including SXSW, Bridgetown, NY Comedy Contest, SF Comedy Contest, Boston Comedy Festival, and the New Orleans Comedy and Arts Festival.
Sandpaper Suit is the name of my comedy blog. It was nominated for Best Comedy Website by The ECNY awards.
I'm the creator, producer, and star of Vooza, a video comic strip about the startup world. We've made over 150 episodes which have been viewed millions of times. Mashable called it "The Spinal Tap of startups" and Forbes Magazine called it “viral video done right” and “comedic genius.” Vooza has also been mentioned in the New York Times, Vice, and Wired (more press).
Some more stuff: videos, press, etc.
Comedy as a Startup: "So it was with great joy and a few droplets of pain that I devoured the web series Vooza in more or less the afternoon I discovered it. Here is the startup world in all its sleek hubris and ridiculous jargon, its mosaic of turtlenecks and button-downs, its insistent self-congratulatory self-congratulation..."
Meet the Startup Creating the Funniest Sponsored Content You’ve Ever Seen: "The funniest startup in the world began as a fake company..."
Spoof ‘Startup’ Vooza Gets Serious About What It’s Really Up To — A New Kind Of Web Advertising: "Vooza, the satirical “startup” that has been putting out spot-on parodies of modern tech company culture since this past summer with fake (but scarily real sounding) buzzwords like 'Radimparency,' is coming clean about what it’s really up to — creating a fresh kind of web-based advertisement for startups."
"The best and most important moment I witnessed in comedy this year was Matt Ruby closing out his show at Doc’s Lab on the day after the election. It was a night I won’t forget. November 9th was a hard day for a lot of people. Including myself and the 39 people in the room that night. It was the first day in such a long time, that I didn’t want to see comedy. I almost felt like cancelling the show. Fortunately, I had a great chat with Matt before, and the show went on. He did a great heading set without mentioning the elephant in the room. When he finally did for his closing few moments, he turned it completely honest, talked about the youth said somethings that have really stuck with me since...Everyone in the room that night witnessed something really special. Matt gave us a much needed dose of positivity, and to be honest, I’m still living off it today. Thanks, Matt."
-Jeff Zamaria, Comedy Booker/Manager at Doc’s Lab in San Francisco, in The Interrobang's "The Best Stand Up Comedy Moments of 2016! (As Decided by the Club Owners, Bookers and People Who Produce Comedy)"
Here are some not-comedy things I've done/do:
- Author: Co-author of REWORK (NY Times bestseller that's sorta a Zen self-help business book with lots of drawings), Getting Real, and Defensive Design for the Web. Basically, I worked with smart people and translated their ideas so that dumb people could understand them. Now I frequently write essays at Medium (see below).
- Music: Singer/songwriter/guitarist in Plastics Hi-Fi, Ruby Lament, and solo. I fronted a rock band in Chicago and then put out solo stuff and then got tired of lugging gear around.
- Technology: Formerly employee #1 at 37signals (now Basecamp). I was designer-turned-media-guy for 10+ years there. Now I only care about apps if they leave me alone.
- Photography: Travel shots and portraits at Flickr. And I live in Brooklyn, so I take photos of expensive coffee and sunsets and shit like that on Instagram.
Some essays I've written:
What I’ve Learned From 10 Years of Doing Standup Comedy
Jokes, Jews, jealousy, and the journey of being a comedian in New York City
The Things That Matter When You Die
Watching my father pass away taught me a lot about how to live
The Story of Ziva
My mom lived a life that I only found out about later
Welcome to the Jungle
My first journey on Ayahuasca/meeting the Dirt Mother Goddess
Do you want to see my Grandma’s lingerie?
How a blanket changed the way I view my grandmother
Ten Lessons from Standup Comedy That Will Make You a Better Speaker
How thinking like a comedian can help you win over a room
“Side Hustle” as a Sign of the Apocalypse
Uber and Seamless ads reveal how Silicon Valley is screwing us
What Tom Petty Taught Me About Songwriting and Life
He wrote gospel songs about defiance, love, and life as an outcast