So I’m cowering in the corner of this little mountain cabin I went to with some friends. It was supposed to be a chill trip, but now they’ve all been possessed by demons and they really want me to join them. “Join us. Join us, Ash.” Over and over. At first I was like, “no, I don’t want to join you, evil dead!” But they’re starting to make a lot of sense.

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But like, what if you DO join her? Might be rad.

For starters, they’re magic and I’m not. Even before we woke them up, they were haunting steering wheels, porch swings, clocks, cellar doors, and my own sister’s hand! They are POWERFUL. What am I? I’m just a guy with a great chin. …

It’s always hard when you’re in the middle of making something delicious and you realize you’re out of a key ingredient. Worry no more! With this convenient and precise guide to substitutions in the kitchen, you’ll be ready for anything!

1 tsp baking powder = ¼ tsp baking soda + ½ tsp cream of tartar + ¼ tsp cornstarch

1 cup salted butter = 1 cup vegetable shortening + ½ tsp salt

1 shallot = ½ onion (diced) + $6 (thrown away)

1 bag spinach = 1 lb new health goals + the guilt of watching something slowly die in your fridge and knowing it’s your…

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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
So much so that it is generous to even call it a road
More of a trail, a path
A dirt serpent, slithering into the dark wood
But still, it has made a difference

I surveyed the pristine wilderness
Head held high
My back freshly patted
For getting out of my comfort zone
As my therapist repeatedly encouraged me to do
Even though the sign on the more-traveled path
Definitely said “Franconia — 2 miles”
And Franconia is where I was heading

I whistled a carefree tune and I —
I noticed
That tree
That had the weird knot that reminded me of my cousin James
I deemed it “James Tree” upon first passing
And there it was again
Unless there are two James Trees
In one wood
Which even to a humanities major as myself
Seemed unlikely
Oh god —
How many hours had passed
And I have made no progress
Am I dizzy from traveling in circles?
Is the path narrower than when I first trod it?
Are the trees closing in?
Calm down, Rob, you big baby. You can do this
Woodsman have nothing on a man of letters such as yourself
You’re Robert Fucking Frost
You can outsmart
Some imbecile trees
Oh man, I did NOT wear the right shoes for this kind of thing
My dogs, they were barking
As I took deep, panicky drinks from my canteen
In turn, my second big mistake
For now the water is gone
And I am still lost
I am going to die out here
I know that now
I will never make it to…

Exactly one interesting thing has happened to me since the virus started: I met my first big city conman. Not socially; he was at work. Conning people. Me, specifically. It was while he was conning me. But still, very exciting to meet a real one.

Oh yes, also terrifying. Excellent observation.

I was driving around LA not thinking I looked like a sucker when a truck pulled next to me and honked. People here love to honk, especially when they’re 100% in the wrong, so I ignored him. …

I thought being able to keep plants alive was dependent on my thumb; a green thumb was yet another cool genetic thing I missed out on like 20/20 vision or the desire to try hard at literally anything.

That is a load of horse piss.

It turns out I had a different defect: not a brown thumb, just a dumb brain.

Being dumb is fine! It’s normal. It’s something we’re actually born with, every single one of us. Over the years we slowly beat it out of ourselves by Googling shit. If you are here, you have decided to take your first step in undumbing yourself, and for that I congratulate you. The good news is it’s WAY EASIER than you thought. …

You may recall that back in March, NASA accepted applications to their 2021 class of astronauts. I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a small child, so I couldn’t wait to apply. Sadly, I received bad news this week that my application was not accepted. I’ve posted the entire rejection letter here in hopes of saving others from the heartbreak of trying to live your dreams.

Don’t shoot for the stars because if you miss, you float aimlessly into the cold, dark void until you suffocate.

Dear Alexander,

We regret to inform you that your application to our Astronaut candidate program does not meet our stated qualifications. We normally do not write a detailed response to applications of this type, but there were a few matters you raised in your application that we believe need to be addressed. …

The administration at my high school really wanted us to have more sex, I guess.

They forced every student to participate in a match-making service, basically an analog version of online dating. As a fund raiser.

It was weird.

Programs like this still exist, apparently, which blows my mind. Here’s how it worked: in home room they passed out this personality quiz with a Scantron for the answers, and everybody was required to take it. Then a month later, after mysterious pro-hookup forces worked their magic on our scores, they created a personalized list of the 10 students in the school you were most compatible with. …

Note: I wrote this specifically for Portland’s Funniest Person but you can apply it to pretty much any contest with a few tweaks.

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It’s time once again for all the comedians in town plus the funny guy from Toast Masters to try to impress a group of local DJs. If you’re interested in summitting that particular mountain so you can have a mediocre regional credit, then you’re in luck. I’ve developed a foolproof system which I will provide free of charge and then mute all the comments on.

But first, a word of warning: you shouldn’t want to win. It’s not nothing, but it’s way closer to nothing than it seems. People who don’t respect you now, won’t respect you if you win. And that includes yourself; you’ll feel awesome for a week, okay for a week, and then the black hole in your psyche will open back up and return you to the darkness you’ve called home for as long as you can remember. The money isn’t life changing. Month changing, sure. But that’s about it. You might buy your friends pancakes, get a new pair of sneakers that make you feel like a champion when you wear them, and pay rent. …

When I get booked on a cool show, I frequently get messages from comics asking, “hey, how’d you get on that?” or “Can you give me the booker info for that show?” I try to be helpful, but I thought it’d be useful to get the longer version so you can learn what the process is actually like. This is how I got booked on a particularly cool show in Los Angeles from start to finish.

Note: I’m leaving out “get good at standup comedy” which I also had to do simultaneously with a lot of this other stuff.

  1. Got into improv in high school. …

Hey, comics. Alex here. Quick favor: I’m gonna need you to stop saying you make fun of everybody equally, as if that makes you a hero. Your insult-communism doesn’t make you a righteous First Amendment warrior. It makes you an asshole.

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“I make fun of everypony equally.”

What you should do, what we should all aspire to, is to make fun of people proportionately. You’re looking for a progressive mocking system, one where the larger amount goes to the people WHO FUCKING DESERVE IT. That’s the whole art form. …


Alex Falcone

Comedian. Podcaster. Author of a YA novel about a girl who falls in love with a cute mummy. Publisher’s Weekly called it “Unfortunate.”

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