To be a comic is to believe two truths simultaneously

It’s going to take a long time to return to what we once had

Jeff Simmermon hosts , available wherever the finest digital audio is distributed.

On April second, 2021, New York City comedy clubs will open to masked audiences at 33 percent capacity. While it’s a step in the right direction, the city’s filthy, frantic and fecund comedy scene is made up of much more than traditional comedy clubs and it may never be the same. …

I’m trying my best

This is a recipe for oxtail that I’ve come up with over the past few years. It’s home cooking from someone who doesn’t have this dish as a part of his home tradition at all.

I just read a recipe online a few years ago and then forgot half of it and asked the guy who grills chicken outside the hair salon next to my building last fall and forgot some other parts of it and had it filled in again by a few nice old ladies at my neighborhood butcher shop.

Is it authentic Caribbean cuisine? Probably not. …

Here’s a real recipe by a person with real problems that I both invented and appropriated in my own apartment.

This is about as art-directed as my life gets.

I express my anxiety through cooking, and I really love good food. But I *hate* the term “foodie.” I hate the people that call themselves foodies, and I also resent that there’s a cute little patronizing term for people that actually give a shit about what they put into their mouth.

I blame ‘Bon Appetit’ for this. They’ve made food into an elitist aspirational enterprise with flawlessly art-directed lifestyle porn, where every meal looks like a ’90s Benetton ad written and directed by Gwyneth Paltrow.

Every issue features a rainbow coalition of naturopaths, vaccine deniers and Etsy posers gathering at…

I express anxiety through cooking. And between job hunting and generalized comedy anxiety, I’ve really been whipping up the chow.

This is a recipe for what I’ll call “Procrastinating at Life Chicken”:

I took this photo on my iPhone while sweat dripped into my eyes, which stung but flushed out the chili mist.

Get ~ 5–6 pounds chicken legs and thighs, skin on.


  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown or unprocessed sugar
  • 1/4 cup gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
  • 1/4 cup cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup Jamaican curry powder

Put the chicken in a large Ziploc bag, then dump that combo over it. Seal the bag and massage the mixture into the chicken until it’s coated with an even red paste.

Making Batman Moonshine From the Go Get

This will make sense by the end of the post

— establishing who you are, what you wanted and why you wanted it. I wrote that last post a year ago, promised a followup and then went silent for an entire year.

I feel like a wizard who started a quest, and now I’m a whole different wizard — but still on the quest,

Now I’m back and I’m here to talk about the Go Get part of a story. In a 3-act…

Anthony Bourdain was maybe one of a very, very few TV personalities that was famous for being able to do something apart from appear on camera. I’m sure that he could cook pretty well, but my God could that guy write.

He himself said that the only reason he was in the world’s most elite brotherhood of chefs was because he could write about the experience, their cooking was miles ahead of his.

When “Kitchen Confidential” came out I was working as a glorified busboy at Lemaire, a 5-star restaurant in Richmond, VA’s Jefferson Hotel. I basically lived in a…

Every story you’ve ever heard and remembered is about someone who wanted something. If the story wasn’t about an interesting character overcome by desire, you don’t remember it.

I’m going to dive a bit more deeply into the You/Need part of that structure here.

But before we get too far, please remember that if someone in the arts tells you “this is absolutely how it works,” what they really mean is “This is how it worked for me.”


If you’re telling a story live onstage…

When you tell a great joke, people remember the joke.

When you tell a funny story, people remember YOU.

I’m a standup comic in New York City, and I tell funny stories. I mean, I tell jokes, too. But I really like to tell stories where the character, plot and action are laid out using jokes — or to use jokes to comment on the action in stories where what happens isn’t necessarily that funny.

I’ve enjoyed a tiny and manageable sort of success with this method over the years, with some of my stories appearing on popular podcasts like “,” “” and “” …

I started telling stories onstage at The Moth’s story slam in New York City ten years ago this month. Shortly thereafter, I started telling those stories to people that had planned to see a comedy show instead. I’ve had some successes along the way but like all successes, they’re buttressed by constant, massive failures.

The following rules are things I’ve picked up along the way that help me shape and streamline a story for an audience that is hungry for human connection and a bunch of good laughs. …

It’s gonna cost more than a dollar.

A Donald Trump victory will be a threat to democracy as we know it. The Constitution will crumble and we’ll slide into authoritarian rule. However, there is a silver lining: America may finally see meaningful gun control.

There are currently two candidates running for president, and only one of them has declared race war as a campaign promise.

Trump has already promised to weaken the First Amendment and cripple freedom of the press, ignore the Geneva convention by torturing enemy prisoners and replace all federal employees with Trump sympathizers once he’s in office. …

Jeff Simmermon

NYC comic, storyteller, writer. Find me at . Album here: . Story here:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store