2 Degrees of Alie is a podcast about peoples' stories of breaking into Hollywood.


TV & Film





July 2018
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Comedian Jimmy Pardo Shares Stories Of Breaking Into Hollywood

In this episode, I have the immense pleasure of chatting with the very hilarious Jimmy Pardo. A comedian often described as a "comic's comic" and the host of the immensely popular podcast "Never Not Funny," Jimmy is a guy who never fails to make me laugh. His podcast is the #2 podcast on iTunes hosted by a comic, after Ricky Gervais'. His television credits include: “Conan,” “That 70’s Show,” “Last Comic Standing” “Becker,” “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson,” “Monk,” “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and his own half-hour special, "Comedy Central Presents Jimmy Pardo." You may have also seen him interviewing celebrities on Team Coco's web series, "The Pardo Patrol." We talk about everything from managing a record store in the 80's to writing bad jokes about tornados to his new web series "Write Now! with Jimmy Pardo," a joint production of Nerdist and Never Not Funny. It will come out on October 29 on the Nerdist YouTube channel.


Jimmy Pardo is as funny talking to a stranger in an elevator as he is talking to a crowd from the comic stage. That's because everything he observes or thinks, he immediately scans to find the funny. And he always finds the funny. After Jimmy was told for like the thousandth time that he was even funnier offstage than he was onstage, he dropped most of the jokes from his act. Now he spends nearly his entire set interacting with, and making fun of, his audience. And they love it.

Jimmy stands at the very center of the comedy world. That's not only because he's the ultimate "comic's comic," (as he's often called), but also because he represents where comedy is going, and everybody wants to come along.

Jimmy's raucous-but-smart weekly podcast, "Never Not Funny," has revolutionized the way comedians use the internet to connect with their audiences. It's the No. 2 paid podcast hosted by a comedian, after Ricky Gervais's. His guest list reads like a Who's Who of comedy: Conan O'Brien, Adam Carolla, Kevin Pollack, and Sarah Silverman have all been guests. Actors Jon Hamm, Ty Burrell and Craig Bierko have appeared on several of the funniest episodes.

"Never Not Funny" was voted by both iTunes and USA Today as one of the top podcasts of 2006 and 2007. It was an Editor's Pick in the September 2009 issue of Esquire magazine. In 2010, GQ magazine called the show "The Number 1 Relatively Obscure Thing You Need to Be Paying Attention To." The show, which started in Jimmy's dining room in 2006, now regularly hits the road with live tapings at festivals like SF Sketchfest, MaxFunCon, the Vancouver Comedy Festival and Bumbershoot. Twice, Jimmy and Co. have presented the "Pardcast-A-Thon," taping for up to 12 hours to raise money for The Smile Train.

Besides the podcast, Jimmy continues to headline at some of America's top comedy clubs and currently works as Conan O'Brien's opening act on "Conan," getting the studio audience into a laughing mood before the show tapes (he did the same for Conan on "The Tonight Show").

A true multimedia talent, Jimmy has frequently appeared on television and in movies. He has performed on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson." He had his own half-hour special, "Comedy Central Presents Jimmy Pardo." He hosted "National Lampoon's Funny Money" on the Game Show Network, and was the co-host of AMC's "Movies at Our House" for four seasons. He has hosted episodes of VH1's "The Surreal Life" and "Love Lounge" and NBC's "Late Friday." He's appeared on popular shows such as "Monk," "That 70s Show," and "Becker." And he has acted in independent films such as "Relative Strangers" and "The Godfather of Green Bay."

Jimmy was the co-writer and star of the critically-acclaimed one-man show subtly titled "Attention Must Be Paid: The Jimmy Pardo Story" and a live pilot presentation, "Jimmy Pardo's Dance Party." He hosts monthly shows at the famed Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles. He has recorded two comedy albums, "Uno" and "Pompous Clown."

Direct download: 2_Degrees_Ep_15_Pardo_2.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 9:37pm PDT

Assistant Director Scottie Gissel Shares Stories of Breaking Into Hollywood

You can find my podcast with assistant director Scottie Gissel here.

In this episode, I am lucky enough to sit down with assistant director Scottie Gissel.  Scottie started off in the DGA Assistant Director Training Program and from there moved through the ranks to become a 1st AD. She has worked in both television and film and her credits include such productions as "Glee," "Six Feet Under," "Get Shorty," "True Blood," "Jericho," "The Practice" and "Undead Or Alive," just to name a few. Scottie's impressive credits only show what an impressive force she is to have on set. She's the kind of AD you want behind the scenes, and she shares with us what it's like to do the work she does. We talk about everything from the DGA trainee program to working with Bette Midler to the audition process to play a corpse on "Six Feet Under."  

For anyone who isn't sure what an assistant director is, here's a quote from Scottie that was first posted in her "Message From The Chair" on TrainingPlan.org.

"Assistant Directors work the line where business meets art in the collaborative, yet hierarchal, sphere of motion picture and television production. In teamwork with the Director and Producer, the Assistant Director must facilitate production with all departments and prioritize with the ultimate result in mind: to finish the job – having done the work in the time allotted - without incident - beautifully! Not for the faint of heart, but every AD has tales of adventure born of those they have worked on."


I'm a 1st Assistant Director and have worked on such shows as "Glee," "True Blood," "Jericho," "Six Feet Under" and "The Practice."
I studied film at the University of Texas at Austin and worked as a Production Assistant in Texas until I moved to Los Angeles and began work as an Assistant Director Trainee. 
I joined the DGA after training for 400 days on such productions as "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Get Shorty."
In 2003 I was appointed by Martha Coolidge, then President of the DGA, to Trustee of this same training program that gave me my start and continue to serve in that position.
For anyone interested in the Assistant Director Trainee Program, the deadline to apply is November 5 and the website is trainingplan.org.
Direct download: 2_Degrees_ep_12_Scottie.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 10:36pm PDT

Screenwriter Doug Richardson Shares Stories Of Breaking Into Hollywood

In this episode, I have the immense honor of chatting with screenwriter Doug Richardson. Doug's screenwriting credits include "Die Hard 2," "Hostage," "Welcome To Mooseport" and "Bad Boys." Doug was the first screenwriter in Hollywood to sell a spec script for a million dollars and to date, Doug's produced features have made over 800 million dollars worldwide. Not many screenwriters can say that. But besides huge box office success, Doug also has found success writing novels (Dark HorseTrue BelieversThe Safety Expert). And if that wasn't enough, he also has an amazing blog with some great stories about screenwriting and working in the trenches of Hollywood. In the podcast, we cover some interesting topics, from how he got an agent to writing for Bruce Willis to making the leap from screenwriting to novels. 


Doug Richardson was born in Arcadia, California. The son of a career politician, Doug grew up outside Sacramento and inside the state Capitol. He used to talk his way into then- Governor Ronald Reagan’s office, just to get a handful of jellybeans.

Doug left Northern California for Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema. For as long as he could remember, Doug had wanted to be a movie director. But in pursuing his goal he discovered how movies are really made: in the writing.

After finishing college, Doug signed a two-year contract with Warner Brothers. In 1989 he garnered national attention when his spec screenplay was the first in Hollywood to sell for a million dollars. Doug’s first feature film, the sequel to DIE HARD, DIE HARDER, was produced in 1990. He has since written and produced feature films including the box office smash BAD BOYS and, most recently, HOSTAGE. To date, Doug’s features have grossed over 800 million dollars worldwide.

In 1997, Doug’s debut novel, DARK HORSE, was published by Avon/Morrow in hardcover, followed two years later by his follow up, TRUE BELIEVERS. Doug continues to write and develop for feature films and television.
He lives in Southern California with his wife, two children and four mutts.


Direct download: 2_Degrees_ep_11_Doug_R.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

Comedian Adam Yenser Shares Stories Of Breaking Into Hollywood

In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with comedian and Emmy Winning writer Adam Yenser. Adam is a writer on "The Ellen Degeneres Show" and you can also see him performing standup all over the country. You may have seen him on TV either on "Last Comic Standing" or in sketches on "Conan" or on "Ellen." Adam shares his stories of starting out in standup and talks about everything from the audition process for "Last Comic Standing" to appearing on TV as Anthony Weiner's bulge to writing for Ellen Degeneres. 


Adam Yenser began performing stand-up comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City where he also studied sketch writing. He has performed at numerous venues around the country including Gotham Comedy Club, The Hollywood Improv, and The Laugh Factory. He has worked for "Late Night with Conan O’Brien," "The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien," and "Conan." He has also been a freelance contributor to Weekend Update and currently writes for "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." 

Direct download: 2_Degrees_ep_10_Yenser.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 12:30am PDT

"Modern Family" Editor Ryan Case Shares Stories Of Breaking Into Hollywood

In this episode, I talk to one of my favorite ladies, Ryan Case. Ryan is an incredibly talented and funny editor (and an Emmy winner) who helps shape one of the most successful shows on television, "Modern Family," every week. Some of her other editing credits include "The B--- In Apartment 23," "1600 Penn," "Kath and Kim," "Acting With James Franco" and my short film "My Mom's Just Not That Into Me." We talk about everything from being an extra on "Dawson's Creek" to what happens behind the scenes on "Real World" to where she was when she first read the script for "Modern Family."


RYAN CASE is a television editor who is currently on her 4th season of
the hit ABC comedy MODERN FAMILY. Ryan earned an Emmy for her work
cutting the pilot of that series, as well as 2 other nominations.
Ryan's other editing credits include the pilots of ABC comedy DON'T
TRUST THE B---- IN APARTMENT 23 and upcoming NBC White House comedy
1600 PENN. She also cut shorts for KIDS IN THE HALL on their last tour and worked on the Judd Apatow produced ACTING WITH JAMES FRANCO. Also, you may have her work during the 2012 Emmys telecast (Lily is a monster). You can find Ryan on Twitter at @film114

Direct download: TWO_DEGREES_OF_ALIE_Ep_2.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:30am PDT

Writer/Producer Michael Jamin Shares Stories Of Breaking Into Hollywood

In this episode, I chat with TV writer/producer Michael Jamin, a very funny man whose credits include: "Just Shoot Me," "King Of The Hill," "Brickleberry," "Wilfred," and "Maron." Michael shares a lot of great stories from "the trenches" of some of TV's best writers' rooms. We also talk about everything from how King Lear relates to "Just Shoot Me" to working for the Dionne Warwick Psychic Friends Network to how cats make terrible co-stars to directing Mel Brooks. 


Michael Jamin's first writing assignment was a freelance episode of "Lois & Clark:  The New Adventures of Superman."   The series was responsible for launching the career of Teri Hatcher, as well as ending the career of Dean Cain.  After stints on "Just Shoot Me" and "King of the Hill," he and his partner, Sivert Glarum, sold two sold numerous pilots to HBO and CBS, as well as a pair of movies to 20th Century Fox.  Recently, they served as showrunners on  "Glenn Martin, DDS," a stop-motion animation series starring Kevin Nealon, Catherine O'Hara and Judy Greer.  For two seasons, they resisted the studio's wishes to make the family dog talk, citing artistic integrity.  After the show's cancellation, they quickly sought work on a show about a talking dog:  "Wilfred" on FX. They then returned to their animated roots, writing the series "Brickleberry" for Comedy Central.  They are currently Executive Producing "Maron" a single-camera comedy coming soon to IFC.    

Direct download: 2_Degrees_ep_7_Jamin.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:30am PDT

Director/Writer/Producer Robert Cohen Shares Stories of Breaking Into Hollywood

In this episode, hilarity ensues when I chat with director/writer/producer Robert Cohen. Rob is one of the funniest guys you will ever meet, and has some amazing credits to his name ("The Simpsons," "The Ben Stiller Show," "Tropic Thunder," "The Big Bang Theory," to name a few). Rob has worked with some of the biggest names in comedy (Mike Myers, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, etc.), but more importantly, one of the biggest names in comedy is modeled after him... the character, Milhouse, on "The Simpsons." Rob talks about how he inspired Milhouse and the early days of "The Simpsons." We also cover other topics like having one's own carbonite statue to writing crank calls for Moe's bar to making the transition from writer to director.






The pride of the Canadian Rockies, Rob is an established television and feature writer/producer, and director, who has been successfully working in every format over the last 21 years, including sitcoms, sketch, variety, improvisation, animation and major motion pictures. 


Some of his TV writing and producing credits include “THE SIMPSONS”, “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE”, “JUST SHOOT ME”“THE BIG BANG THEORY” and “THE BEN STILLER SHOW”.  Rob has also Created and Executive Produced his own shows for The WB, MTV, Comedy Central and NBC.  He is an Emmy Award winner, multiple Cable Ace Award nominee, and sadly, is the model for the character of "Milhouse" on "The Simpsons".


On the feature side, his work has appeared in a long list of films, including “AUSTIN POWERS 2 & 3”, “STARSKY AND HUTCH”“DODGEBALL”“SHREK 1, 2 and 3”"MADAGASCAR 1 & 2", “TROPIC THUNDER”, "RIO", "THE SMURFS", "THE CAMPAIGN", and many more.


As a director, Rob has filmed shorts for MTV and HBO, music videos for artists such as Aimee Mann, multiple promos and campaigns for Ben Stiller, Tom Cruise, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Robert Downey, Jr., Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox.  He has also directed a variety of single-camera TV shows, pilots for MTV and Comedy Central, and various commercials selling cheap cars and fat-free potato chips. 


He wrote and directed the comedic feature documentary "Being Canadian".


His turn-ons are honesty and short bios.

Direct download: Two_Degrees_ep5_Rob_Cohen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

Writer/Producer/Performer/Comedian Jessie Gaskell Shares Stories of Breaking Into Hollywood

In this episode, I have the immense pleasure of chatting with writer/producer/performer/comedian Jessie Gaskell. Some of you may recognize her as Steph Schwartzman from the hit Hulu web series "Dorm Life." Jessie is a super talented, funny lady with many awesome credits to her name ("Dorm Life," "The Soup," "The Dish," "Pop Up Video"). She's also one of the few people working in comedy who has also worked at a ThinkTank in DC. We talk about many topics from working at "E! True Hollywood Story" to finding a strong zebra for a sketch to creating a hit web series. 


Jessie is a comedy writer and performer living in L.A. She's written for E!'s "THE SOUP," Style's "THE DISH," and various shows for VH1 and Disney. She also worked as a joke writer for RuPaul. Jessie created and wrote "DORM LIFE," the most-watched original web series on Hulu.com. You can hear her weekly on the the "What's Goin' On" podcast. She loves puppies of all kinds, because she's not a f-ing racist.

You can find more info on Jessie on her website and you can find her hilarious tweets on Twitter.


DORM LIFE on Hulu:


THE DISH "I'm on a zebra"

Direct download: 2_Degrees_ep_8_Jessie_Gaskell_revis.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

Writer/Actors Brian McCann and Brian Stack Share Stories of Breaking Into Hollywood

In this episode, I have the immense pleasure and honor of talking about comedy with "Conan" writer/actors Brian McCann and Brian Stack. Both guys are two of the most hilarious men you will ever meet. Stack and McCann both started in the improv world in Chicago and from there got hired to write on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien." They've created and portrayed some of the most memorable characters on late night TV. We cover many topics from performing at Improv Olympic in Chicago to talking to Walter Cronkite while dressed as Frankenstein to having one's bare ass on national television. 



Brian McCann is a brilliant writer/performer who has had an extremely successful career in television and film. Brian Stack is jealous of this.



Brian Stack has been with Conan since ’97, and has played such characters as The Interrupter, The Ghost Crooner, and Frankenstein.  He performed at Chicago’s Second City for 4 years, and still performs regularly at UCB and IO-West.  He has also appeared on “30 Rock,” “The Office,” and “Eagleheart.”

Direct download: Two_Degrees_ep_6.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

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Category:general -- posted at: 2:04pm PDT