Studying the Booms and Bombs of Standup Comedy History with Kliph Nesteroff


“Decades before writing The Comedians, a deep dive into the history of American comedy, Kliph Nesteroff was a young standup working out his set in small town Canada. Nesteroff revisits the plight of current amateur comedians as the host of Funny How?, a new Viceland series premiering this week. Nesteroff shadows rookie comics from all walks of life and chats with veterans like Dave Attell, Mike Birbiglia, Rhea Butcher, Cameron Esposito, and Pete Holmes about bombing, killing, and making it in comedy. I talked to Nesteroff about his first standup experience, queer comedians, Christian comedians, and everything in between.”



Dressing the Women in Blue


Officer Pat Johnson with her child, in Los Angeles 1971. Cal Montney/Getty Images

“On a Friday afternoon in a small suburb of western Cleveland, Sergeant Tanya Sirl was finishing her shift when she spotted a burglary suspect on the run. Wearing her standard police uniform, she pursued the suspect on foot, leaping over a chain link fence in the process. She succeeded in detaining him, but not before ripping open the seam of her pants. “My pants got caught on the fence because the crotch was so low,” said Sgt. Sirl. “It ripped them from appetite to asshole. Everyone got to see my hot pink thong.” She made her way back to the station holding her pants together with one hand, and writing up her report with the other.”


Bobby Moynihan on Some Strange Days at ‘SNL’


“Bobby Moynihan was part of one of the most heartbreaking episodes of Saturday Night Live last week. Before Kate McKinnon took the piano as Hillary Clinton for an emotional rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” to start the show, the cast was working overtime to find the humor in America’s decision to elect the most inexperienced, openly racist, xenophobic, and misogynistic President in history. It wasn’t easy to be funny, but the show must go on. I talked with Bobby Moynihan about the election fallout, David Pumpkins, and the Secret Life of Pets.” 


Derek Waters Is Living the Drunken Dream


“Emmy-winning Comedy Central series Drunk History returns for a ten-episode fourth season tomorrow night. The new season features fascinating historical events, more endearing drunken narrators, and stand-out lip sync performances by all of our favorite funny people in the universe. Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda narrates the untold version of the Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr rivalry. Paget Brewster narrates the friendship between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt (Busy Phillips) and Soviet soldier Lyudmila Pavlichenko (Mae Whitman). Other exciting guest stars featured this season include Jack McBrayer, Billie Joe Armstrong, Michael Cera, Ben Folds, Dave Grohl, Tony Hale, Ed Helms, Thomas Middleditch, Aubrey Plaza, Ronda Rousey, Liev Schreiber, Alia Shawkat, Bob Odenkirk and many more.

I had the privilege of speaking to the wildly gifted and charming Drunk Historycreator Derek Waters about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s personal life, death by Ronda Rousey, and turtles.”


A Totally Tubular History of Seattle in the 1980s



Photo: Seattle Municipal Archives

“The 1980s were an exciting — and sometimes horrifying — time in Seattle. Construction of Columbia Center was completed, the Green River Killer was on the loose, the first Costco opened, Ted Bundy was executed, Boeing headquarters relocated, the first pint of Red Hook ale was sold, Bill Gates became the youngest billionaire of all time, three robbers raided the Wah Mee gambling club and killed 13 people, the Tacoma Dome opened, Sir Mix-a-Lot exploded on the scene and fathers grew mustaches.”



The Faces Behind the Names of Five Seattle Streets

“Every street in Seattle has its own story. All are fascinating, most weird, some — tragic. Here are the the faces and brief histories behind five notable Seattle streets.”


Kikisoblu aka “Princess Angeline”. Photo: Seattle Public Library



This little story only scratches the SURFACE of the fascinating history behind Seattle streets. If this peaks your interest please seek out a more in-depth look through HistoryLinkDuwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center, and Wedgwood in Seattle.

Milking It: A Brief History of the Dairy Princess


Wisconsin Historical Society. Image ID 56988

Photo Courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society. Image ID56988

“Once upon a time in the magical land of Enumclaw, Washington, there lived a beautiful Dairy Princess named Kimmi Devaney. Princess Kimmi had an encyclopedic knowledge of dairy science and spoke eloquently on the topic in public. Her loyal subjects (fairies, elves, even trolls!) followed her adventures on Kimmi’s Dairyland, a dairy-centric lifestyle blog. All dimples and charm, Princess Kimmi could just as dreamily gush about her collection of sparkly belt buckles and embroidered cowboy boots as she could break down the physics of the milking machine or nonchalantly describe how to artificially inseminate a cow.”

Thank you to Kimmi Devaney, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and the Alice in Dairyland Program for sharing your stories and photos for this article. Excited to share my latest for Racked!


Old Houses in Seattle Where You Can Eat, Drink and Be Merry

“While tech moguls build up shiny, new office buildings in Seattle’s South Lake Union, many local businesses have taken a different route and set up shop in old, historic homes. From coffee shops to recording studios, here are seven Seattle businesses that operate out of cozy old homes.”

Read the rest here:

Old Houses in Seattle Where You Can Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Totem House

Photo: Werner Lenggenhager via Seattle Public Library

Unnecessary Anecdotes on Respected Historical Figures

On Mahatma Ghandi:ghandi

“Every morning at a rigidly appointed hour, he gave himself a salt and water enema. A devout believer in nature cures, Gandhi was convinced that was the way to flush the toxins from his bowels. For years, the final sign a man had been accepted in his company, came when the Mahatma himself offered to give him a salt and water enema.”

-Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins.

On Albert Einstein:
“During one visit to Russia, he kept a list of the women he had sex with, totaling sixteen in all, including two mother daughter pairs.”

-Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

On Abraham Lincoln:
“Fighting was a common pastime and when these rough fellows fought, they fought like savages; Lincoln’s father bit off his adversary’s nose in a fight and his cousin lost the same feature in the same way”

– Abraham Lincoln by John Torrey Morse

On Napoleon Bonparte:

“ But the most significant thing about this essay is that it was composed just five days after he lost his virginity to the Breton prostitute in the Palais Royal. Napoleon’s guilt about sexuality is evident, for he pitches into modern women and suggests that the female sex should emulate the women of Sparta.”

-Napoleon: A Biography by Frank McLynn