Questions with Chelsea Peretti


What's your deal?

Depends on the comedy club but I like to have hummus in the dressing room.


What's the best?

The new direction Brian McKnight's career is taking, in which he uses his legendary voice to sing about pussy. 


What's the worst?

All radio commercials, turtlenecks, and bad quality fish.


Who do you think would be excited to meet you?

Probably Ray J, Ryan Gosling, Mark Ruffalo, Eminem, Rob Pattinson, Sawyer from LOST, and Jason Momoa would be excited due to the legend of who I am that would precede me.


How is your relationship with minorities?



Tom Hanks?

His rapper son Chet Haze is my best friend.


Sure, but what do you really think of Tom Hanks?

Close friendship with his son.


What's your favorite 90’s r&b song? Details, please.

Too hard to choose - so many cherished memories. Let's just say, at random, "Pony" by Ginuwine.


Who would you like to be best friends with?

Outside of Chet Haze? Larry David and Phil Jackson. Also Beyonce, pending scheduling issues.


If you had to rank the coolest people, who would you purposely leave off the list to teach them a lesson?

Bill Clinton because he needs to be taught a lesson (and it would be taught via teacher/student roleplay).


This article was originally published May 2012


The Gauntlet: 50 Questions with Paul F. Tompkins

Photo by Paul F. Tompkins

Photo by Paul F. Tompkins


In lieu of a real interview, we sent 50 questions
to Paul F. Tompkins and told him to answer as many
as he could and that regardless of how far he got,
we'd publish all of them.

We abbreviated your name in internal emails as PFT. Do you ever refer to yourself as PFT?

When I talk about myself in the third person, it tends to be more along the lines of, “His Excellency.”


How about PYT?

How ABOUT it?!


You know, like the Michael Jacko song?

I DO like the Michael Jacko song!


You probably get that PYT thing a lot, don’t you?

Uhhh. Not at all! What fun.


Just so you know, regardless of your answer, we will consider you a PYT.

Let’s move on.


If you had a nickname that the press gave you, what would it be?

Up to the press to decide? I’m sorry, I’m trying to follow your question 
but you’re asking me to read the minds of the Fourth Estate.


What would you have to do to end up in the tabloids?

Be known by more than 100 people? THIS OUGHTTA DO IT!


You were once on a show called DAG. What was it like working 
with David Alan Grier?



Are you currently wearing your trademark suit?



How many hats do you wear?

Only as many as would make me tall enough to go on rides.


How do you look so goddamn sharp?

Watch your tone. Also, tuck in your shirt.


Define sartorial and use it in a sentence. 

“Sartorial” refers to matters of clothing, as in, “I know ‘sartorial’ relates to clothing in some way, but I’m not sure, so could you define it for me?”


Are you, or have you ever, been a wearer of tank tops?

I have no occasion to enter tanks, so no.


Gotta let those guns breathe, right?

... Sure.


Because they’re hot?



Who’s got the sexiest arms in Hollywood?

Whoever wears the longest sleeves, because they’re clearly trying to 
maintain order by concealing them.


What do the words “Man, it’s brutal out there” mean to you?



How can one make talking about the weather more interesting?

Act like you made it happen: “Sorry about the rain today. My hand slipped.”


We’re covering a lot of family topics in this issue. Mind if we ask you 
about your family?

I dare you to.


F. Thompkins: That’s a name of Hispanic descent, correct?

Maybe. I’m no expert, though, because my name is TOMPKINS.


Do you know what your parents did before you were born?

Yes, I would watch them from heaven while I was waiting to be born.


How did they ever live without you?



If they’re reading this, and we assume they are, what would you want to tell them here and not in person?

“I love you.”


What are your thoughts on sisters?



What are your thoughts on the sisters? 

I can only respond by swiveling my head on my neck like crazy.


Aunts: Overrated? Underrated?

Well, they’re no uncles.


Do you pronounce the word “aunt” as “ant” or “awnt”?

I say “ain’t,” like Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry, R.F.D. 


If you could institute an entirely new pronunciation of the word aunt, what would it be?



What does motherhood mean to you?

Let’s get this party started!


Anybody can get a gun but it takes a man to be a father, right?

It’s not really a question if you just add “right” to the end, is it?


Rank your family members. Go. 

Okay, I went and did it.


What’s your Thanksgiving like?

Revelation 4:4.


What’s your favorite Thanksgiving memory with your family?

We only have one shared memory — the time that scientist tried 
to fuse our consciousnesses together.


What question are you asked most at family gatherings?

“When are you going to appear in The Occasional? Until you do, 
we consider you a failure, right?”


How would you explain podcasts to the very elderly?

Slowly but concisely.


How do they explain paintings to you?

LOTS of pointing and grunting.


Do you have, or are you currently having, any children?

I don’t have any kids ... that I participate in the lives of! [Up top]



I don’t need to deplete my candy budget catering to unsophisticated palates.


What would you tell your daughter, Abigail, if you had a daughter 
named Abigail?

“I’m just going out for a pack of cigarettes.”


Leno or Letterman … to have as your dad?



Would you like to stop these questions? You can if you’d like. 

Fuck you.


Let’s get to the hard-hitting questions: You see someone who you’re 
pretty sure is Hitler, but he’s walking a real cute dog. What do you do?

I march right up to that dog and let him know EXACTLY who’s holding his leash. Then watch them fight.


What would you tell Eric Clapton when you meet him in heaven?

“I coveted my neighbor’s wife, too, but here we both are!”


Eric Clapton: Dead or alive?

Alive, please? I am uncomfortable giving the kill order on Clapton.


Are you sure?

No. Take him down.


Who’s on your bucket list?

The bucketiest people I can think of! Lots of folks with chins or 
beards that look like handles.


In terms of hot cereal, you a Farina or Cream of Wheat man?

I like to do a hot cereal “suicide” with both Farina and Cream of Wheat, with a little McCann’s Steel-Cut Irish Oatmeal and some gruel. 


Speaking of, what do you think of that Cream of Wheat man they 
have on the box?

I LOVE his hat.


Which Vacation movie is your favorite: Christmas Vacation or Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure?



White pants: what’s the story there?



This article was originally published November 2013


The Gauntlet: 50 Questions with Maria Bamford

Photography by  Piper Ferguson

Photography by Piper Ferguson


In lieu of a real interview, we sent over 50 questions to Maria Bamford and told her to answer as many as she could and that regardless of how far she got, we'd publish all of them. 


So you incorporate a lot of characters and voices into your act, right?



How many do you do?

About 4 voices.


Can you do one right now?



How’d it go?

Well, I did an impersonation of me doing an impersonation of myself doing an impersonation of me because I am in a hotel business center and I feel self-conscious.  I said “hello” to myself in the mirror. It was pretty accurate.


What person would you say has the best speaking voice in the world?

Barack Obama has a very warm palate of tones.


How about the best peaking voice?

The voice of Everest has been silent, but as it is trampled by millions seeking its summit, I believe it will rise up.  (What are we talking about?)


Who needs to stop talking all together?

I’m often caught in the middle of my own monologue to a stranger and wonder— what’s that high-pitched beeping— “Oh! I’m still talking!”


What was the best conversation you had in the past week?

My boyfriend doing impersonations of our dogs.


If you’re in a group conversation, what’s your role?

Listener, laugher (Lady).


You’re buying a picture frame and notice that the stock photo in the frame is YOU. What do you do?

Call my manager to celebrate!


How do you stay in such tip top shape?



What’s your favorite exercise?

Elliptical while Netflixing.


How much can you bench?



What’s your relationship like with your parents?

Casual, sexy.


What do you wish it was like?

Intense, confusing.


What’s something you wish you could say to your parents but never would?

You guys, I’m going back to school in Library Science.


Do you think they’ll read this interview?

My Mom had me on Google-Alert –so I assume, yes.  Hi, Mom!


How old is too old to start doing stand-up?

With technology, I think hospice care, or late 50’s-90’s, is the best time to start!  Free time, great perspective on some edgy topics— death, chronic pain, loss, bedsores.  The Internet is a 24 hour international open mic and the AARP membership is a growing, untapped audience.  I can’t wait to see what my parents’ generation is going to come up with.  They’re cra-zay.


What’s the funniest joke you’ve ever heard told by a child?

I like a fart noise.


What’s the least funny joke you’ve ever heard told by a child?

Hitting me on the head with a plastic baseball bat.


Do you know anyone you would consider a “hack”?

I certainly have the characteristics of what I’ve heard a “hack” is— heterosexual relationships, food, airport references.  And there’s always 
a new generation of “hack”— so, I’m sure whatever’s edgy now will become the norm and then, the people will rise up.


Do you know anyone you would consider a “hacker”?

I am in a commune of artistes.  We do not speak of technology.


Angelina Jolie was in Hackers. How would you describe her whole “deal”?

She’s pretty great and all.


Since this is a sex-themed issue, do you mind if we ask you a few sex related questions?

Of course.  I want to be obliging.


Sex: Overrated? Underrated?

UNDER!  It’s so fun and funny. 


What sex advice would you give to someone having sex for the first time?



What sex advice would you give to someone having sex for the last time?

Give it your 20%!


Pornography: what does the word mean to you?

Cash cow, harder than waitressing.


What’s a good outfit someone can wear during sex?

V-neck trousers. 


Who’s sexier? Steve Jobs or Steve Spielberg?

I can’t choose.  They both have their sensual energies.  Especially since Steve Jobs would be a ghost.


What’s your favorite Steve Spielberg movie?

ET.  It reminds me of how I feel living in Los Angeles.  Surviving off of Reese’s Pieces in a closet.


Ol’ Steve Spielberg is getting a little full of himself, no?

He has a lot to be proud of.  He’s been able to do a lot despite being a tiny little man with girl hands.


When would you say Steve Spielberg jumped the shark?

This is where I mention Jaws.


Did you say Jaws? You know, because of the shark that’s in that movie?



Who directed Jaws 2?

I don’t know and I won’t check.


Did you even see Jaws 2?

No, I didn’t and I won’t. I simply will not watch JAWS 2.


Explain yourself. 

A typical day for me involves approximately four hours of upright consciousness— all activities must be contained between 12 noon and 4 and then I fall into a heap of pugs.  There is no room—with all of my snacking and responsibilities—to attend to all of pop culture.


Do you watch House of Cards?

Negatory, but my parents keep me up to date on Kevin Spacey’s shenanigans.


What is your favorite TV show, not including House of Cards?

DEREK!!!!!! And Suze Orman (available on iTunes!).


Which is more fun to play, House or Cards?

House is much more fun— especially grocery shop miming.


Do you care about the Beatles?

We keep in touch.


Who’s tall these days?

Is Manute Bol still a reference?


What do you do when you see someone over seven feet tall?

I enunciate clearly and loudly.


It’s like where do they even get off?

Well, they get off at whatever stop they want to but if they go to the end of the line— then, that’s their beeswax.


If you were a betting woman, what would be the name of the horse you’d bet on?

Braindead Megaphone – title of one of my favorite books – or Bert.


Are you a betting woman?



Have you ever stolen anything? 

I have stolen food. And when I say stolen—I mean—relieved friends of old candy corn in a cupboard while they weren’t watching.  Who is the victim?


Are you currently in possession of anything that doesn’t belong to you?

As a middle-class white woman, I’m sure there are a few things I’ve appropriated that I should return. I should probably give back reggae.


What is the quickest and easiest way to express disapproval?

Grimace and downcast eyes.


Boxers or brief...cases?

I’m going with Boxers.  Petting dogs lowers your blood pressure, and business luggage is still evolving.


This article was originally published October 2013


READ MORE Gauntlet: 50 Questions:

Five Questions with Kyle Kinane


What is the greatest state?

Inertia. Or California. I love California. You can go to the beach, the desert, and the mountains in one day. I've never done that, of course. It is a preposterous notion. But I do go to the pho place down the street from my house, which is also right next to my laundromat. How many states have a mediocre pho restaurant next to a laundromat right by where I live? Not Michigan! No, sir. Mostly because I don't live in Michigan. Plus, I can see the mountains from my house when the smog clears, which is never. The best state is California, because you can pretend to see smog-hidden mountains from a syringe-covered beach while remembering there's a desert you have to cross when you drive to Vegas, which is never, because Vegas is a Swiffer mop for overfed retards. 


Who is the most American person of all time?

Psh. Evel Knievel. He invented the Grand Canyon and jumped over five presidents at once with a motorcycle and in 1972 he started eating a pound of Canadian soil a day just so he could shit it out and make it property of the USA. 


Are you, or have you ever been a Communist?

One time I got in trouble for bringing candy to school because the teacher said if I wanted to bring candy, I had to bring some for everyone in the class, so the next day I did, and then Joseph McCarthy blacklisted me from being in the school play.


Someone is treading on you. What do you do?

KEEP YOUR HASHTAGS OFF MY BODY... wait, what did you say? Treading? Oh, nevermind. I don't know what treading is. Who is doing the treading? Everyone's got something that gets them off in this world. Maybe I'm down with treading. Gotta try it first. 


What would your perfect flag look like?

First off, we need to get rid of these goddamn rectangles. I would have a circular flag that, when folded properly for ceremonies, would resemble a slice of pizza. I would have a pizza flag with Joey Ramone in the middle of it. 


Photography by Mandee Johnson

This article was originally published October 2012

5 Questions with TJ Miller


1. How dare you!

How Dare I? How dare you!? You have the NERVE to walk into MY home AND TELL me WHAT I can YELL and what I shouldn't EMPHASIZE? You dare TO talk to me like a man who JUST had sex with the gas tank OF HIS own car?! AND insult MY bear wife?! Sir, not how dare me-- HOw dare yoU?!

2. Who died and made you King?

Edward Miller the III, he was King before me, and he was killed tragically trying to repair a harness for a horse that suspended the horse midair so that he could lie beneath it, and I must warn your readers, this part becomes graphic: he would look up into the eyes of the horse above him for hours on end, trying to communicate fragile thoughts and secrets whispers.  And spare me the fucking "horse whisperer" jokes. He killed 70 men in war once, it's depicted on our family crest, which is a man serving poisoned hot chocolate to a rival family at their home (70 of them). And then below that says "Mater Fuqer, Servientes Calidum Scelerisque Est Bellum" which is Latin for "Mother Fucker, Serving Hot Chocolate Is War."

3. How did it get so bad?

Was it ever good? I mean, it all started out pretty bad and got worse from there. I guess part of it is my own unending arrogance coupled with the fear that I won't ever be able to stop mentioning erectile dysfunction in mixed company.  I'm talking about when I'm at a picnic for Xerox and Hewlett Packard. Sadly, I know it will get worse. I made a historically significant music album people won't pay attention to, they just keep saying I was "not bad in that train movie." Pretty soon I'm getting teardrop tattoos and then tear duct tattoos right next to them. I just bought a Nissan Juke and I think I have to put a pizza ad on the side of it to help make the payments. I only take solace in the fact that I've never hit rock bottom because I heard right below that is a euphoric feeling where everything seems "pretty rad for a white guy”--- even pullin' bear feet outta my bear wife's bear mouth.

4. What would you tell them?

What they want to hear.

5. How does she do it?

I think it's the way she moves....slithering back and forth, sometimes under the dinner table to lick her palms and then rub the ankles of the dinner guests. Sometimes I think it's the way she walks, with the wind whipping through her hair, her, whipping her hair back and forth, whipping cream through it all. Other times I think it's the way she talks, garbled, with gravel and maraschino cherries stuffed in her mouth, repeating over and over "chuwee bunhee" which means either "Chubby Bunny" or "Chumbawamba Bungee" which I take to mean that the great musical group Chumbawamba operates a bungee jump now. But hell, if I knew that, I wouldn't be paying a bear dressed as a woman 30,000 dollars a year to pose as my wife, would I?! Or at least I would be able to offer her a medical benefit plan that fits her needs. I just can't afford dental until Yogi Bear 3D2 comes out. Ya dig? And them bear teeth is nasty!!! Whew. Look like a' ol' rusty bear trap in there!  Ironically she keep bitin' bear feets! I mean, how did it get so bad?! I guess look at my answer to question 


This article was originally published March 2012