Why Can’t I Stop Looking at My Phone? Funny as Tech to Have an Informative and Entertaining Panel Discussion on Tech Addiction in Hartford For Special December 29th Show

Funny as Tech
7 min readDec 12, 2017

Manhattan’s Funny as Tech to appear at Hartford’s Sea Tea Comedy Theater on Friday, December 29th for a freewheeling conversation on smartphone addiction.

“In this live show, comedy and tech come together at last. Each month, the tech ethicist David Ryan Polgar and the comedian Joe Leonardo invite a wide range of guests to pick apart and laugh about such matters as algorithms and artificial intelligence.” -The New York Times

Funny as Tech is a live panel show and studio podcast that tackles the thorniest issues in technology with co-hosts David Ryan Polgar (tech ethicist) and Joe Leonardo (comedian). Live shows are held monthly at the Peoples Improv Theater in Manhattan, while weekly podcasts are recorded at Grand Central Tech. The panel for December 29th at Sea Tea Comedy Theater in Hartford includes internationally-renowned cyber psychologist Dr. David Greenfield, comedian Carolyn Paine, and writer Jennifer Meer. The show is from 9 pm to 10:30 pm at Sea Tea Comedy Theater (15 Asylum Street, Hartford, Connecticut). Tickets and additional info can be found at bit.ly/FunnyAsTechDec29

Previous guests have included CNN’s Laurie Segall, comedian Chuck Nice, media theorist Douglas Rushkoff, WNYC’s Manoush Zomorodi, x.ai’s Dennis Mortensen, and futurist comedian Baratunde Thurston.

Hartford will be the first road show for this Manhattan tech-comedy panel show, which will be a homecoming of sorts. Co-host Joe Leonardo, who resides in New York City, is a founding member of Sea Tea Improv. His co-host, David Ryan Polgar, is a West Hartford resident who has collaborated with Sea Tea Improv in the past with R-Rated Twain (he wrote the short play Mark Twain: Ladies Man). Polgar also has a deep level of experience in the world of tech balance, as a frequent speaker and media commentator on the issue. In the fall of 2013, he gave an influential TEDx on the topic.

Funny as Tech, show from June 2nd. From Left to Right: Clara de Soto (co-founder of Reply.ai) comedian Chuck Nice, co-host David Ryan Polgar, and co-host Joe Leonardo.

“Sea Tea Comedy Theater is thrilled to welcome David Ryan Polgar and Joe Leonardo to Hartford!,” says Laura Manasewich, the Associate Artistic Director. “In a city that’s ever-changing, in a theater that prides itself on playing smart, funny and keeping with the times, we are so excited to bring Funny as Tech to our stage. It also goes without saying that Sea Tea is so proud to have Joe, a company co-founder, and David, a long-time friend and collaborator, in town sharing their acclaimed show with us.”

“Joe and David show us that even though sometimes technology can feel overwhelming, there’s a lighter side to it just waiting to be explored. We’re happy to dive in with these two hosts at the helm.” -Laura Manasewich, Associate Artistic Director at Sea Tea Comedy Theater

“I’m excited to perform at the Sea Tea Comedy Theater,” says comedian and Funny as Tech co-host Joe Leonardo. “I started there and am a founder of the company. Hartford will always be home and it is great to be able to do a show there.”

Joe Leonardo on: Why Are We So Addicted to Our Phones?

Your Panel for December 29th

Dr. David Greenfield

Dr. David Greenfield

Dr. Greenfield is the founder of The Center for Internet and Technol Addiction and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine where he teaches Sexual Medicine and Behavioral Addiction courses and supervises in the psychiatry residency program. He is recognized as one of the world’s leading voices on process and behavioral addictions and is author of Virtual Addiction, which rang an early warning bell regarding the country’s growing Internet Addiction problem as well as numerous medical journal articles and book chapters; he also serves as an editor for numerous psychiatric and addiction journals.

Dr. Greenfield lectures to public and medical groups throughout the world, and has appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Fox News, ESPN, NPR and HBO. His work has been featured in U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, People, Time, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and The Economist. He is widely credited with popularizing the variable ratio reinforcement schedule of process addiction and the dopamine-behavioral addiction connection.

Greenfield’s recent research and clinical work is focused on the neurobiology and psychopharmacology of compulsive Internet and technology use, behavioral addiction medicine, and compulsive Smartphone use. Dr. Greenfield is a member of the American Society for Addiction Medicine, Fellow and Past-president of the Connecticut Psychological Association, The Sexual Medicine Society of North America, and American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy. Dr. Greenfield and recently completed his post-doctoral training in Clinical Psychopharmacology. He resides and maintains an addiction and behavioral medicine practice in Connecticut.

Carolyn Paine

Carolyn Paine

Carolyn Paine is an actress, dancer, and comedian. She has appeared in several TV shows (Law & Order: SVU, Unfaithful) and national commercials as well as regional and Off-Broadway theatre productions. As a dancer, she has performed around the world touring with pop stars, been featured in a photo series in Italian Vogue, danced for ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, and is the founder and director of CT-based CONNetic Dance.

Additionally, Paine is a comedian who has toured with Hannibal Burress, been honored at the Women in Comedy Festival, featured in a video series with Glamour Magazine. She was the co-creator and writer for “SparkBot” a comedy meets technology web series and is also a writer for various podcasts and websites writing viral comedy content and quizzes. Carolyn is also known in CT for being a regular panelist on WNPR’s The Nose with Colin McEnroe.

Jennifer Meer

Jennifer Meer

Jennifer Meer is a blogger and online contributor who writes about modern parenting, motherhood, and technology. Her work has been featured on a range of sites including BlogHer, The Huffington Post, Kveller, Mamalode, The Manifest-Station, Modern Loss, Momastery.com, Parenting.com, Scary Mommy, The Stir, and The Washington Post.

You can read more on her blog, My Jenn-eration, or on Twitter @JennMeer.

“This new New York-based podcast is a mixture of deep thoughts and belly laughs as writer and technology ethicist David Ryan Polgar shoots the breeze with comedian Joe Leonardo who is a performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (comedy nerds will be impressed).”-The Irish Times


Some people are the future of comedy. These guys are the futurist comedy.

Co-hosts David Ryan Polgar and Joe Leonardo
Co-host David Ryan Polgar

David Ryan Polgar is a frequent speaker (3-time TEDx, The School of the New York Times, TNW New York ), tech commentator (SiriusXM, CNN.com, Inc.com, HuffPost), and a tech journalist for Big Think, Quartz, Dell Perspectives, and IBM thinkLeaders. He is currently focused on whether we are becoming “botified” online, along with the ethical concerns facing emerging tech. Some of his recent writing around AI, VR, automation, and more can be found here.

Polgar co-founded the global Digital Citizenship Summit and currently works with the virtual world startup Friendbase. As a Tech Ethicist, he explores our evolving relationship with tech from an ethical, legal, and emotional perspective. He is a frequent speaker and media commentator regarding tech balance, digital citizenship, and tech ethics.

Co-host Joe Leonardo

Joe Leonardo is a comedian, improviser and writer who has been featured on ESPN, Travel Channel, NPR, Anderson Cooper LIVE, Cafe, and Prank Academy to name a few. He is currently a house team performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York and co-host of their Wednesday Night Improv Jam. Joe is also the creator/host of The Flying Blind Sketch Show, which plays bi-monthly at The People’s Improv Theater and is one of the founders of Sea Tea Improv.

Press Contact: Info@FunnyAsTech.com

“Above all, both men want their show to be funny. And given the slew of scandals, failures and ‘solutionification’ in Silicon Valley and further afield in tech, they aren’t short of material.”-Red Herring



Funny as Tech

A tech ethicist & comedian tackle the thorniest issues in tech w/ the help of experts! Hosts: @TechEthicist & @ImJoeLeonardo Weekly podcast | bi-monthly show