Writing Jokes with Mike Lawrence (Inside Amy Schumer)

A lot of X-Men names sound like someone looked at their kids 8th-grade vocabulary sheet.

[@TheMikeLawrence on Twitter]

What did you parents do for a living when you were a kid?

Mom was a comedian/chef and my dad worked in a hospital making sure it was up to code.

What’s interesting or uninteresting about your hometown?

The first episode of Cops was filmed in my hometown (Hollywood, Fla.).

Why did you first want to start performing comedy? What was the first joke or bit you tried on stage?

I’d done poetry for years but was getting more and more laughs and it was just a natural direction. The first bit was about mixing whites and colors and being racist only at the laundromat. It’s a very basic joke tons of other comics do but I certainly thought it was unique and funny at the time.

What advice would you give a comedian that’s trying to get his or her work noticed?

Make sure it’s unique, have many platforms and ideas, and enjoy what you do.

What was your first performance on TV?

My first TV performance was on John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show, which was on my 28th birthday. It was crazy but huge. Lots of pressure but it also felt like I had made it at a certain point.

What is the Nerd of Mouth origin story?

Me and Jake Young had fun talking comics and wanted other people to hear our dumb Batman conversations.

Paul F. Tompkins, Jen Kirkman and Mike Lawrence figure out which bizarre Tumblr blog is real.

Do you prefer forming jokes on paper or on stage? Why?

Basic ideas on paper, taking them wherever I can and just trying things a hundred ways onstage.

What do you like or dislike about the comedy scene in New York?

Love that you can make money and that the crowds are often demanding. Hate that there are some shows that charge money and don’t pay comics and some of the indifferent audience members who are on their phone the whole time. That and a lot of people don’t want to sit in the front row.

Who is the funniest person you know?

Everyone at Schumer blows me away. My buddies Dan St. Germain and Sean Patton are up there too.

What’s the dumbest superhero name you can think of?

Cable. It doesn’t even mean anything. A lot of X-Men names sound like someone looked at their kids 8th grade vocabulary sheet and picked their favorite words. “Rogue? That’ll work!”

Mike Lawrence is a comedian, writer, adult child and co-host of Nerd of Mouth Podcast: http://www.mikelawrencecomedy.com

For more on humor, follow @jokewriting on Twitter.

Interview by Zuri Irvin (@withzuri)