Alex, you failed to meet your Contractual Obligation (2023) of mentioning that you’re doing a workshop with me about writing funny and vulnerably as part of the next Foster season, which starts next Tuesday and has an application deadline this Sunday. Our (non-existent) lawyers will be in contact with your (maybe existent?) lawyer(s) about the details of said (also non-existent) contract

Expand full comment

I think some people know they're funny and that's totally cool. I think some people like to make other people laugh, which is also cool and kind of addictive. I appreciate your advice on being funny like YOU are uniquely funny. We can't all be Alex Dobrenko; what kind of world would that be?

Expand full comment

That was a pretty funny way to tell some how to be funny... 🙃

Expand full comment
May 25, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Hello Alex. I think you are funny. My husband wants to know who is collecting the fart data? Is it a paid position and funded by guvment $’s?

On a more serious note, a dear friend of mine called me out years ago for not accepting compliments just like your director. She summed it up kike this.

When someone gives you a compliment, smile sweetly and say thank you.

I have spent twenty years of my life following that guidance and teaching others.

My husband and I met at work, where we were paired together on projects for a couple of years before dating. One day I remarked at how great he was at receiving compliments!

Of course I am, you hammered it into me!

So I married him. Lol.

Expand full comment

I LOVE this. There's a lot of truth and honesty here. My husband tells me, You're not funny on purpose. It just happens." I can't tell a joke. But I am honest and life is too weird to be taken seriously.

You gave great advice... and used the words polymath and butterboard in the same piece. I have no idea what either of them mean, so I am now going to Google them.

Expand full comment
May 25, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Talking about funny: I just started watching “Asterix and Obelix” (a Netflix offering) and I’m laughing my way through it! The names are hilarious, the story is just crazy, the costumes are so cheesy, and put them all together and...voila! Funny stuff! 😂

Expand full comment

I don’t think it’s weird for the average person to call themselves funny, but for comedians, you’re setting a high bar if you call yourself hilarious. Better have the goods!

Expand full comment

I love to answer your questions! I haven't done that in a while cause I have been busy. I see that you have so many more people reading and commenting now (because you are funny). That is great -you must enjoy that(plus I hope you are making more money from it because college isn't cheap you know). So here are my answers to the questions.

1. Somtimes, na 2. life 3. not really 4. no 5.6.7.not really 8. hello!

Expand full comment
May 26, 2023·edited May 26, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

“Love the mistakes - Enjoy the lower status world of being the one who loses, who fails, etc. That is funny. It’s also humbling and prevents you from looking like a pretentious prick. Win win!”

This has me thinking about two megastars that used to be my favourite comedians, Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais.

Whereas Equanimity is still my favourite standup routine and oration of all time, Sticks & Stones and The Closer were filled with easy, recycled low blows that got me thinking, “Will Chappelle ever stop telling us he turned down 50 million and that he’s fed up with trans people-related discourse even though he himself doesn’t stop joking about it?”

The same can be said about Ricky Gervais, minus rejecting 50 million.

Somehow, Chappelle pulls off opening Equanimity by bragging about himself. Usually, that’s not funny at all, but as a master of his craft, he makes it work. But for the next 4 specials, he talks about the same topics (ones he himself says he’s fed up with), but instead of being a man who turned down Hollywood life and 50 million, he, like Gervais, makes millions by saying what you're apparently not allowed to say. If cancel culture has affected their free speech and comedy so much, how come they’re still making millions and reaching so many people?

And even though I’ve grown tired of Gervais’s routines because his stand up humour is no longer humbling, he applies “enjoy the lower status world of being the one who loses, who fails, etc” to his show After Life, which is an absolute masterpiece.

I’ve learned a lot from these two comedic geniuses, even though I’ve lost some interested in them over the years. When it comes to my own work, there’s one line from a critique who reviewed my book Living With the In-Laws that has influenced the way I write now:

“The author is self deprecating and arrogant by turns with a dash of naivety which makes the story very charming.”

This was one of the least flattering reviews I received, and it was also my favourite to learn from.

Expand full comment

I'm pretty sure I'm funny. I was only ever cast in comedies back when I was an actor. My one woman show was a comedy. People laughed when I said a line that was supposed to be funny. My subscribers tell me I'm funny. Betty White had me fired because I had all the funny lines and she wanted them. What's worse than my Betty White story is the fact that I cannot ever achieve the quintessential poker face which is really bad if there's a banana peel at a funeral.

Expand full comment

Digging this: "Laughing is the gap between what’s true and what’s expected, so if you just say what’s actually true in your mind, it might be funny!"

Expand full comment

"He was answering the question the whole time."

Bahahaha. Alex, you're so funny. Why are you so funny?!!

I am not like your typical funny but I say exactly what I think and people sometimes laugh at my ... honesty? Transparency? Hilarity? Wit? I don't know. I think it goes to your point about being honest.

A word that keeps coming up for me recently is "Unsparing." Such a great word, and great advice for writers. When you're unsparing about yourself, and I mean, really unsparing, like sharing how much I suck at parenting. How my 2-year-old throws his cereal on the floor and laughs hysterically and then I grab him and aggressively rip off his pajamas that he refused to take off and forcefully put on his school clothes and he cries and pleads "Too fast, mama." And then I feel like a piece of shit. ...And this type of reaction from me happens EVERY DAY.

Anyway, you get what I'm saying. It's not a good look. But it's the truth. And when I tell the truth, readers trust me. And then they keep reading.

Expand full comment
May 25, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

I did go see 80 for Brady, hoping for it to be funny- which it definitely was for some of its intended audience, but not so much for me. Got what I was looking for when I went to see Love Again. I got to lol AT the movie.

(Having a theatre subscription really changed the math on these movie-going experiences)

Expand full comment

dear alex,

this is great! you are great! and you MUST accept my compliments, by your own advice! (because people always take their own advice. it's a law of nature and logic!)

things i love a lot specifically include:

"He was answering the question the whole time"


"Your question: “how can I be funny like you?”

My answer: you can't!

But you can be funny like you"

you are wise and kind and funny! MORE COMPLIMENTS!

and now, for the answers to your questions that are the right answers:

Are you funny? Is it weird to consider oneself funny or na?

i am funny and it IS weird to consider oneself funny AND it is good and funny to be weird.

What sort of stuff is funny to you? Shows, ideas, people, situations, whatever?

parks and rec, the good place, barry, breaking bad, party down, other shows, maria bamford, paul f tompkins, sarah silverman, aparna nancherla, jo firestone, baron vaughn, other standup comedians, defending your life, wet hot american summer, other movies, and probably some situations

Do you have a fav joke?

i have infinite fave jokes

Do you have a go to funny story you tell and if so what is it and can I turn it into a criterion collection movie?

if you can pry it from my warm, live heart

Is skipping a few numbers funny?

it's FUN!



thank you as always!



Expand full comment