“In order for art to imitate life, you have to have a life.”
– Whitney Cummings
“I promise: if you just tell the truth and get your heart broken as a comedian, you will have a house.”
– Whitney Cummings
This episode how to turn pain and struggle into amazing creative projects.
She is executive producer and, along with Michael Patrick King, co-creator of the Emmy nominated CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls, which was recently picked up for a fifth season.
Whitney also wrote, produced and starred in Whitney, which aired on NBC from 2011 to 2013.
She has headlined with comics including Sarah Silverman, Louis C.K., Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari, and others.
Her first one-hour stand up special, Money Shot, premiered on Comedy Central in 2010 and was nominated for an American Comedy Award. Her second stand-up special, Whitney Cummings: I Love You, debuted on Comedy Central in 2014 and she is shooting a third hour for HBO this August, which is set to air in 2016.
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”.
Want to hear another podcast with a world-class comedian? — Listen to my conversation with Bryan Callen. In it, we discuss eating corgis (yes, the dogs) and improving creativity (stream below or right-click here to download):
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This episode is also sponsored by Onnit. I have used Onnit products for years. If you look in my kitchen or in my garage you will find Alpha BRAIN, chewable melatonin (for resetting my clock while traveling), kettlebells, maces, battle ropes, and steel clubs. It sounds like a torture chamber, and it basically is. A torture chamber for self-improvement! Ah, the lovely pain. To see a list of my favorite pills, potions, and heavy tools, click here.
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What really offends you, and how might you analyze the reasons to improve yourself? Please share in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Visit Whitney on Twitter — say hello!
- Check out 2 Broke Girls
- Learn more about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR)
- Lying by Sam Harris
- Learn more about Final Draft, which Whitney uses.
- Whitney Cummings’s resources for early morning research:
- Watch Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech, Make Good Art
- Learn more about the Friar’s Roast
- Enjoy standup from a few of Whitney’s recommended comics:
- Listen to my previous podcast with Paul Levesque (Triple H)
- Watch the Jerry Seinfeld documentary, The Comedian
- Learn more about horses and control in the documentary Buck
- Learn more about equine therapy near Los Angeles at The Reflective Horse
- Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
- The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller
- The Fantasy Bond by Robert Firestone
- The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff
- Connect with Whitney Cummings:
- Whitney Cummings’s tattoo stories: leadership, emotional intelligence, and managing trauma triggers [6:33]
- Strategies for handling the weakness of impatience (aka “the impatient dick syndrome”) [19:33]
- Has emotional intelligence work removed the magic of her success? [25:53]
- The story of when Whitney realized her workaholic nature was killing her [34:13]
- The emotional habits which helped Whitney to achieve so much at such a young age [37:03]
- On managing the challenges of immediate gratification [40:33]
- The process behind Whitney’s best writing [42:53]
- Deconstructing Whitney’s most recommended work [55:13]
- Defining “blue” comedy and exploring why it’s a strange title [45:48]
- On roasts, insult comedy, adulation from fans, and differing comedic styles [1:08:08]
- Whitney Cummings’s training for taking someone from beginner to stand-up comic in 8 weeks [1:23:33]
- On equine therapy [1:57:23]
- Most gifted books [2:04:18]
- When you think of the word “successful,” who’s the first person to come to mind? [2:12:43]
- If you could put a billboard up anywhere you wanted, what would be on it, and where would it be? [2:20:48]
- Advice to her 20-year old self [2:25:18]
- George Carlin
- Dan Carlin
- Demetri Martin
- Mitch Hedberg
- Zach Galifianakis
- Steven Wright
- Dan Mintz
- Lisa Lampanelli
- Jim Gaffigan
- Dave Attell
- Bill Burr
- Sebastian Maniscalco
- Natasha Leggero
- Tig Notaro
- Chris D’Elia
- Neal Brennan
- Jerry Seinfeld
- Marc Maron
- Joe Rogan
- Steve Jobs
- Sheryl Sandberg
- Drew Barrymore
- Elon Musk
Posted on: June 26, 2015.
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Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.