Jason Flamm heads up Sketchpad Comedy, which is celebrating its second year with an anniversary show this Tuesday evening. Sketchpad recently made the leap from live performances to podcast with their newest project, Welcome Through Effingham.
Jason also just authored his first book, “Keep Creating.”
Sketchpad Comedy & Welcome Thru Effingham
Briefly describe what you do.
If someone wants to write sketch comedy, Sketchpad gives them the opportunity to do so. Each month we invite new people to write and perform sketch comedy with us. All experience levels (or lack of experience levels) are welcome.
It’s super fun and keeps the show fresh each month.
Our podcast is a sketch comedy podcast that explores the fake characters and made up stories of Effingham, IL. It’s a mix between Portlandia and Welcome To Night Vale.
What/Who are your comedic influences?
Chris Farley, Dave Chapelle, In Living Color, SNL, Rodney Dangerfield, Chris Rock, Monty Python. Lately, I’ve been watching The State (I missed it 20 years ago apparently) and I freakin love it.
Not sure if we’re allowed to say Bill Cosby anymore.
I am most influenced by comedy that has a POV and a chip on its shoulder.
Describe your worst on stage/performing experience.
I was in an improv scene once at the Improv Shop and I ran across the back of the stage. My shirt snagged on a nail and it ripped half of my shirt off. I don’t know if you’ve seen me, but no one wants to witness my soft fatty body.
I had to finish the show with half a shirt on.
Also, telling a Brokeback Mountain joke. It never worked out.
Describe your best on stage/performing experience.
I seem to do best in shows when my personal life just took a crap on me. There’s something about shedding tears and then, hours later, performing on stage that just really gets me in a zone. The best short form show I ever did was one of my last. Back in 2012, I had just ended a very long relationship. An hour later I was on stage at Comedy, Etc (RIP) and I had the best show I’d ever done.
In a long form show once, I had just been crying because I felt like I failed the members of my show at the time The Last Sketch Comedy Show on Earth. I apologized for shit that I don’t even remember anymore, but seemed super important at the time.
I went out and had a killer show. I think I sang an Aretha Franklin song in the middle of a scene. It felt amazing.
I cry too much probably… or not enough… maybe I’d be better at comedy if I were more miserable.
Usually to get in the zone of hating myself a little bit, I listen to Kanye before a show.
We’re typing these questions up in a coffee house. Do you have anything you’d like to say to the other people here?
Be nice to your baristas – it’s just f*cking coffee. Someone, not you, probably already died over it. In fact, if you’ve ever cursed at a barista, kill yourself now. It’ll be best for the world and your children.
(Full disclosure: I worked at Starbucks for a year and a half.)
What do you like most about the St. Louis comedy scene?
Even though we’re small (but growing!) everyone is taking risks. People are putting up the shows they want to do instead of feeling like they have to put up shows in order to “try and make it.”
I hope that never changes. If you do comedy in St. Louis to “make it” kindly GTFO or start taking some chances instead.
We’re strongest when we realize we can literally do whatever we want.
Rank the following in descending order of coolness. Zombie, Pirate, Ninja, Robot.
Pirate, Ninja, Zombie, Robot – but don’t tell the robots I said so. I don’t want that shit to come back and haunt me iRobot style.
Plug something. It’s why we do this.
Sketchpad Comedy is celebrating its 2 year anniversary with a show on Tuesday, July 19th at the Marcelle Theater. It’s located close to the Fox and it’s going to be awesome.
Our next show is Tuesday, August 30th.
Also – seriously, if you want to write comedy, but you’re too scared, grow a pair and email me at Jason@sketchpadcomedy.com. We’ve helped over 150 writers put on well over 200 sketches. It’s what we do and we do it better than anyone in town.
Also – we have about 24 videos on Youtube right now. We keep adding more, so subscribe. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpwAD5az1sf9yN052fV09QA