“The framing device of the special is one of those Sunday night interviews that everyone’s watching and talking about the next day. It opens with people all over the world tuning into this interview between me and Kate. That’s a favorite premise of ours—competitive energy. It has a surreality to it, but there are also many parts that are obviously tender.”
-John Early, episode 283 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
Today, we’re joined by comedian John Early! We begin with his excellent new special, Would It Kill You to Laugh? (6:51) and its surprising tenderness (10:03), before revisiting a satirical book club sketch written with collaborator Kate Berlant (13:41). Then, John reflects on growing up in Nashville to minister parents (19:05), discovering Toni Collette at Blockbuster (22:37), and creating a fan-site dedicated to her work (25:31).
After the break, we unpack John’s distaste for ‘pompous rituals’ (33:04), the night he met Berlant (34:02), a 2019 sketch called “How Have You Been?” (42:44), a pivotal scene from Would It Kill You to Laugh? (49:52), and the letter John wrote to Toni Collette at eleven-years-old (53:23).
- Watch Would It Kill You to Laugh? on Peacock.
- Follow John on Instagram and Twitter.
- See his previous work with Kate Berlant.
- For more conversations, hear our talks with Bill Hader, Tituss Burgess, Meg Stalter, Ted Danson, Alana Haim, Jenny Slate, and Nick Offerman.
- Order your Talk Easy mug in cream and navy or our vinyl record with Fran Lebowitz.
Illustrations by: Krishna Shenoi.