The Return of the Money Shot (#215)

“In order for art to imitate life, you have to have a life.”

– Whitney Cummings

Whitney Cummings (@whitneycummings) is a Los Angeles-based comedian, actor, writer, and producer.

She is the executive producer and, along with Michael Patrick King, co-creator of the Emmy-nominated CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls. 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,

I Love You, debuted on Comedy Central in 2014, and her latest special, I’m Your Girlfriend, premiered on HBO in 2016.

Whitney will be publishing her first book later this year, titled I’m Fine… And Other Lies.

In this episode, Whitney answers questions submitted by listeners, including:

  • How to overcome codependency
  • Her updated thoughts on marriage
  • The art and luck of creating something funny
  • The benefits of having dogs (or pets in general)
  • How to maximize your creative energy
  • Tips for more effective writing
  • And much, much more.

Please enjoy this Q&A with Whitney Cummings!

#215: The Return of the Money Shot

Want to hear another episode with Whitney Cummings— Listen to her first appearance on the podcast. In this episode, we discuss emotional intelligence, how to overcome workaholic tendencies, managing instant gratification and much, much more (stream below or right-click here to download):

#84: How to Turn Pain Into Creativity (Whitney Cummings)

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

  • Connect with Whitney Cummings:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Show Notes

  • On being expeditious. [05:14]
  • Defining codependence, getting to the root of its origins, and ways Whitney works to overcome its pervasive influence. [06:10]
  • “Perfectionism leads to procrastination, which leads to paralysis.” [16:35]
  • The fabric of humor: can Whitney deconstruct what makes something funny? [20:55]
  • Has Whitney’s view on relationships changed since her interview with Howard Stern last year? [27:51]
  • Would there be a market for The 4-Hour Marriage? [36:19]
  • Whitney’s advice on introducing dogs when upgrading to a multiple-canine household. [37:28]
  • Ways to maintain creative energy during overwhelming workloads. [44:50]
  • How Whitney nurtures her inner child. [45:43]
  • Why rituals are important (especially if you work from home). [51:59]
  • The surprising efficacy of color therapy. [54:16]
  • On developing a healthier attitude about working in a male-dominated industry — even among other women. [56:15]
  • How Whitney would approach show business if she were just getting started today. [1:01:07]
  • Challenges the codependent faces when hiring and firing people. [1:03:47]
  • What’s been the most challenging thing that equine therapy has prompted Whitney to accept and overcome about herself? [1:08:50]
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming), hypnosis, and therapeutic book recommendations. [1:16:14]
  • Want a low-risk place to test your jokes? Start a funny Twitter feed. [1:26:32]
  • Worrying about being perceived as a hack might be a sign of codependent tendencies. [1:27:15]
  • Out of writing, acting, stand-up, and other projects in which she’s involved, what is Whitney’s favorite creative outlet? [1:35:35]
  • Why Whitney thinks everyone should try stand-up comedy at least once. [1:38:19]
  • How do you get your TV script or screenplay read by the right people in Hollywood (especially when you don’t live in Hollywood)? [1:40:42]
  • Where does Whitney get ideas for jokes? [1:43:27]
  • Whitney wants to redo her billboard answer. [1:45:37]
  • Wisdom from Vince Lombardi and other closing thoughts. [1:48:40]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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37 Replies to “The Return of the Money Shot (#215)”

  1. Thought I’d love this but thoroughly disappointed to hear Cummings advocate for alpha-rolling dogs, which is outdated, unscientific, ineffective (in that it has lots of negative side effects, especially regarding emotions and the dog-human bond) and plainly just mean. Weirded out that Tim would let her promote this even though he’s interviewed S. Garrett and is all into (scientific!) positive reinforcement training…!!!! Sorry this really bothers me… Maybe Tim’s just for free speech here… but I do think this warrants a comment – qui tacet, consentire videtur…!

    At least there’s a link to the Garrett episode up there, maybe as a sly little decoy, who knows…

    All in all: :/

  2. This was a GEM 🙂 I don’t understand the haters and the devils advocates 🙂 for me, an open, honest, dont-give-a-damn-so-here-it-is episode from Whitney…. made my 1.5 hour drive through thick snow in Bosnia a great day 🙂 learned a lot, gotta hear it one more time 🙂

  3. Hey there, sorry, this comment isn’t related, but you should consider interviewing concept artist, Lois van Baarle, her work is amazing and she built a massive audience from sharing her art through social media and Deviant Art. She would offer a really unique voice in addition to all the other crazy awesome people you interview If nothing else do yourself a favor and take a look at her work here:

  4. Hi Tim,

    Just wondering, please would it be possible for you to send us a summary of your podcasts, ala James Altucher? Here in Nairobi, it’s hideously expensive to download the file, eats up all your data bundle for the month, and doesn’t even complete the download. As a result, I have never listened to any of your podcasts. From Tools of Titans though, I can see I have been missing a lot. Please kindly assist your far flung readers.,.

  5. I think you have to be from North America to be able to listen to this. What’s with the labeling and overt self-analysis? Geeez very tough for non-Americans to listen to!

    10 minutes in and Ive heard enough about the co-dependency issue. Back away from the microscope, get a bigger picture of your life..and just start doing it anyway! Drop the labels and excuses and 12 steps to wasting more time programmes! You end up where you focus on – every time! So use your focus wisely.

  6. Hey Tim don’t know any other way to reach you so doing it here. The work you have put out have been nothing but magic and helped shape my life in amazing ways. From weight loss to travelimg the world to becoming one of the world premier wingsuit base jumpers doing hundreds of jumps all over the world. ( the thing where you jump of thousand meter cliffs in a flying squirrel suit flying meters away from rocks at 250 kph) to charity work for troubled kids like I once was. To doing ayahuashcha in the Peruvian jungle with local tribes. To a daily mediation practise… The list goes on and on. Before my life wqs drugs over eating and depression. I’m not pitching anything but of you would like to change a few word online I’m very honored to hear from you if not i get it your very busy. Thanks so much Tim 🙂

  7. This was awesome ! Great talk and interesting .she’s open, vulnerable, and uses her self awareness to teach., and with humor.

    I would want to date her for sure, and have a conversation..

  8. Thank you Whitney (and Tim) for the great episode and incites into codependency. Here’s a weird thing that happened back in the heyday of codependency recovery (late 80’s): Two very good books were released around the same time: ‘Codependent no more’ by Melody Beattie (mentioned in this epi) and ‘Facing Codependence’ by Pia Mellody. Beatie’s book enjoyed a nearly ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ level of success while Pia Mellody’s book was much less well known. The fact of both authors being named Melody meant that when you mention a book about codependency by Mellody, people assume you mean Beattie. Anyway, I’ve read them both and I think the Pia Mellody book is, in many ways, better. Pia writes from the perspective of clinical psychology, vs beattie’s writing which is simplified for self help mass appeal. I will add, if you’re suffering from the totally lame and fucked up disease of codependency, both books are worth reading. Thanks again.

  9. This woman is SO WRONG about dogs!!! Alpha rolls? Dominate your dog? Make your dog SUBMISSIVE? This isn’t 1950. Get a real trainer to teach you about building a relationship with your dog based on kindness, not violence. As someone with a past of codependence she should understand better than anyone that you can make someone do what you want because they fear you or because they love and want to please you. Look up animal behaviorists like Patricia McConnell or Nicholas Dodman for positive training techniques. I enjoyed the rest of the episode. She is smart and obviously very capable. I can tell she loves her dogs, but she she needs to stop abusing them and advocating these very old school techniques.

  10. Tim,

    Like some other commenters here, this one didn’t resonate. One of my key reasons is that this was a non-stop monologue from Whitney, and frankly I tuned out most of the time.

    Probably your best content in your new format was Derek Sivers followed closely by Matt Mullenweg. There was great pauses where a listener can regroup when a new topic was introduced.

    Maybe re-edit this with some noticeable segues to introduce the new subjects?

  11. Whitney is definitely my all time top 5 favorite guests. I wanted to comment because she talked about dogs in an authentic way, and animals in general. I definitely want to hear another interview, and ask how she came up with the idea of biting the dog on the back of the neck! I do that too! I also do it with my hand when he is on the ground for five minutes after he becomes aggressive. First off, she said adopt, but Pitbulls are some of the most aggressive dogs, and people don’t have the right mindset or tools to train those kind of dogs before an accident can occur.

    I would definitely consider her training style, and enthusiasm, just would like clarification.

  12. Wow, this lady is really something. Just a wealth of insight and knowledge about so many things. Thanks for the encouragement to get up in front of people, I would like to do it more. The confidence factor IS everything, practice, practice, practice.

  13. I love all your podcasts and find them enormously informative. I had a really hard time listening to this. Maybe she WANTED to be “expeditious” with the answers but never succeeded in doing so. It’s not very friendly towards the audience. It’s clear she’s done a lot of “work” and personal growth and loves to share it. Perhaps it was the format, but she came off as unhappy and unfunny, though I’m not sure that’s true.

  14. I loved the podcast a lot! Whitney is a very bright human being.

    As some mentioned though I was a bit surprised by the dogs training. I hope she can check new methods…

    Other than that I had a lot of insights and will check the books and links she recommended.

    Love you, Whitney :-*

  15. This was awesome. I was riveted. (Her off the top of her head running commentary about her co-dependent reactions/habits helped me A LOT – gave me a new level of awareness that i really need right now). SO THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And yes, FINISH. Let the ne-ne-ne yammering go and finish. THANK YOU.

  16. This episode was not for me. Stopped listening after the long talk about co-dependency. I am sure some listeners will find it useful.

  17. I just finished listening to this, and I find the whole thing fascinating! The comments alone illustrate the polarity that Tim’s guests bring, but there are truly some gold nuggets (John Bowlby’s work sounds fascinating), and I encourage those on the fence to just zip past the bits that seem disinteresting like we all have come to do with some of the ad’s (sorry Tim, but we know your sponsors well enough by now that we can RECITE from memory most of them). Whitney shares an insight that I actually find very helpful, both as a doctor & as a husband for various reasons.

    The one thing I’d hope Whitney could address would be her thoughts on public speaking vs stand-up. As I listened to a lot of this, I was driving home from my Toastmaster’s club, and I realized that a lot of the issues with being a stand-up that she was mentioning mirror much of what the objectives of a Toastmasters group does on a weekly basis. Some nights you can have an organized speech and go for 5-7 minutes (or even longer), but every week you get 1-2 minutes on something topical. And I personally think the ones that go over best for those extemporaneous speeches are the funny ones, b/c they’re memorable.

    1. I second Schurger’s comments, from having done a spell of Toastmasters with it’s elements of improv and delivering in front of an audience regularly. I’ve enjoyed a lot of laughs in Toastmasters too.

  18. Tim, this isn’t meant to be a back-handed compliment but getting your self out of the way for these style of 2nd shows is genius! The participant has to over share, over explain and go real deep to describe their points because you aren’t there to give them understanding validation in realtime. It makes for a real, open and insightful listen. Very well done to you. Whitney is great and her ideas and thoughts very good to listen to. thanks

  19. GREAT episode, give it some time if not your vibe initially…this gets better and better. Stuffed with wisdom, not easily learnt in a candid, stream of consciousness style of delivery…intermittently hilarious.

    Fascinating hearing more about Equine Therapy.

    “Finish.”, as billboard post, a nice slap in the face.

    Quote of the episode, retort to failing to get 3-min slots in stand-up: “Well, Zac, tough shit”. Tough love, thanks Whitney.

    Agree – Tim for a run at Stand-Up! I hear your fanz taunting “do it, do it, do it…”

    1. Oh, and “one of the most important parts of anything you do is not giving a shit how you’re perceived. I promised you, this is not how good work gets done. I promise you.”

    2. Whitney – “FINISH” is already taking effect. And that’s one mighty lever (not least in psychology). Thanks for the slap in the face!

  20. Absolutely Loved Whitney’s honesty and insight. Her dedication to self improvement through understanding her own subconscious is impressive. As she said – don’t just go to the gym for your body, go to a therapist/ councilor/ psychiatrist for your mind. Great advocation for self improvement! Everything else is a distraction.

  21. Hi There!

    I’ve recently become a listener of Tim Ferris’ podcast and although I don’t love all of them, the majority are very informative, useful, and helpful. What I enjoy most about them are the “ah-ha” moments of simple realization and the disturbance it causes my everyday thinking making me question what I thought I already knew. Different opinions and angles.

    I just listened to Whitney Cumming’s solo podcast, The Money Shot, and I loved it. Enough so that I felt compelled to write in to this podcast for the first time ever (to any podcast). Not gonna lie, the first 20 minutes or so were jumpy, hard to follow, she kept questioning herself, over explaining, repeating herself and I kept judging her in my brain. “Here’s a sign of the codependency she keeps talking about, there it is again. Really? Is she crazy? She must be a little crazy, but we’re all a little crazy, so I guess she’s fine, she’s just vulnerable enough to verbalize it!” Then 8 minutes later… “Wait what did she say? did I zone out? That sounded interesting, rewind, rewind, rewind!”

    That was my self monologue. By the time her podcast finished, I had taken notes, shared the link with multiple friends, contacted her dog trainer and bought all three books she mentioned.

    I just want to say THANK YOU to Whitney Cummings for sharing her brain, being vulnerable, a little crazy, enjoyable and beautiful. Second thank you to Tim Ferris for hosting an all around great podcast

  22. Really enjoyed this episode. Have been a fan of hers for a while but def was fascinating to get to know how the wheel turn in her head. Btw, Tim big kudos for having more women on the podcast as of late. Love that you’re balancing out the field and super smart fascinating women are being represented!!

  23. After the podcast I checked the book by Marina Abramovic that Whitney mentioned… and OMG! Can’t be grateful enough for recommending this book! I had to finish it within a couple of days, just couldn’t stop reading… What a fascinating story!

    Now I understand why Whitney is so inspired by Marina A. Thank you!

    Tim, can you have Marina Abramovic on your podcast? Please! 🙂

  24. Have I told you lately that I love you? No? Sorry, my mistake. Your work always makes me want to get off my lazy butt and get some work done. Or at least take a DAMN fine nap if that is called for. I just don’t tell you enough how much I appreciate it.

    Like this podcast. This guest. Amazing. Just what I needed tonight. So well done. And W. Cummings woke something up in me that I have been meaning to start looking at with clearer eyes. But this thank you is not even that for having her as a guest, but even more, thank you so damn much for the work of putting together show notes, and links, that make my listening so much better. I still rush to find a notepad, or a not quite dirty napkin, to jot down a name or reference while listening. But knowing that the info will be available here frees me up to better LISTEN.

    In the same vein, kudos to you and yours for the index to Titans. I love you, man.