by Ryan Meehan
Actress, writer, & comedian JC Coccoli has become a fixture at the Improv, Laugh Factory, & UCB Theater. She has performed at Sketchfest, SXSW & Bonnaroo. Appearances include Chelsea Lately, MTVs Hey Girl, VH1s Best Week Ever & Comedy Central’s Key & Peele. She was kind enough to be our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: The wallpaper of your website shows drawings of a juice box labeled “100% Boy Tears”. What do boy tears taste like; and what is your favorite alcoholic beverage to mix them with?
JCC: Boy tears taste like a bulliet rye mixed with Coachella tickets. As far as mixing? I never mix a good bourbon. If you do, you’re a pussy. And God doesn’t like pussies. (I think?)
RM: Growing up in Pittsburgh, what was the first venue where you really felt comfortable being yourself on stage? What was it about that particular location that put you at ease and helped your creative processes grow?
JCC: The start of my stage work happened at Pittsburgh playhouse as toolbox as it sounds. I learned stage presence there and being weird with my voice work. But I would say I felt most comfortable doing comedy on my front porch in front of all my mom’s drunk friends that FOR SURE drove home that night and miraculously never got arrested.
RM: You got to work with comedy Writer Jessi Klein (Saturday Night Live, Chappelle’s Show) who seems to be incredibly skilled when it comes to getting comedic ideas to television…What was it like working with her; and what is the most important thing that you learned about sketch comedy from working on that show?
JCC: Well, Jesse Klein is a magical human being who is dedicated to the idea of smart comedy mixed with, I guess, personality. (Yea, I’ll stick with that.) She created a concept for a show that embraced the voice of women in a way that was far less whiney than most shows. As it turns out, working with her made me want to sell shows and be a boss. Cause that’s what she is.
RM: What can you tell us about the FRINGE series of shows that you are hosting in Los Angeles? How are they different from your traditional comedy shows that exist more in a club setting?
JCC: The concept of FRINGE on Monday nights in Los Angeles is a late night show that books international and domestic talent. So many lineups are the same because the pool of awesome comics is so large yet intimate. So when you create a show that overseas talent can come and crush it adds a cool edge to any experience. Plus we do free pizza and free beer. My co-producers Megan Baker and Alexandra Howell kill it at life.
RM: Your web shorts “The Champagne Problems” pokes fun at the ridiculous things Americans bitch about…Living in Los Angeles, what is the most glaring example of plasticity you hear all the time that you just cannot believe makes headlines? And when people find out you’re from Pennsylvania, what is the next question they usually ask you?
JCC: Nip slips, vagina flashes and dick pics. When that makes headlines I want to blow my brains out. Let people flash their goodies in peace. When they find out I’m from Pennsylvania usually they say “where?” And I say “Pittsburgh” and they say “I’ve been to Philly, I loved it ” and then I’ll say “that’s not Pittsburgh”.
RM: Is your writing process any different for bits that could be essentially classified as story telling as opposed to jokes that are short and right to the point? What do you think is the biggest myth about comedy writing and why?
JCC: personally I think comedy has evolved away from just being setup, joke, punch line. I think now we are seeing (and Conan does a great job at this ) comedians being booked on late night to tell a story that has punch lines throughout. Don’t get me wrong that setup/punch is what I grew up on and it will always crush because of the concise nature of the material. However personally I have always written my material as a story I could be telling friends on a balcony. Something engaging and personal. Relatable and funny. That’s a challenge always.
RM: If I’m a casting director trying to choose a female lead for a TV pilot, what would you say to try and sway that gig in your direction? In other words, why should there be more JC Coccoli on television?
JCC: Television? I’d totes rather be on Netflix.
RM: What’s up next for you in the remainder of 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
JCC: dude this year is an explosion of projects. We have been writing and creating with MAKER studios on some absurdist comedy that will be launching this summer. I have a tour on the east coast starting in May, and I will be coming to you live on a talk show in summer. It’s all wonderful.
Official Website: http://jccoccoliispretty.com/
JC on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JCcoccoli
JC on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JCcoccoli
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