Learning and laughing with ‘Modern Comedian’ creator Scott Moran

This is the first time I have interviewed a comedian who interviews comedians.

While gathering information for my Bonnie McFarlane interview, I happened across an interview she did with stand-up comedian Scott Moran, creator and director the fascinating, informative “Modern Comedian” web series.

Because I’m a god damn professional, I promptly finished my McFarlane column, but not long afterward, I went down a “Modern Comedian” rabbit hole. I was immediately impressed by the fact that each one of Moran’s interviews is unique, something I strive for in the chats I have with comics as well.

The thing that kept me spinning faster in the “Modern Comedian” vortex was how much new information I discovered. Nick Thune’s relationship with his dad was totally foreign to me. Now it isn’t. I knew Maria Bamford had a breakdown that landed her in a psych ward, but I didn’t know about crazymeds.com. Now I do. I understood the financial reasons for comics wanting to play in front of theater crowds, but never thought about the role seating plays in comedy venues until I watched Colin Quinn’s “Modern Comedian” episode.

Moran and I discussed how and why he started the series, his editing process and much more.

Enjoy the interview, visit the “Modern Comedian” tumblr page, follow Moran on Twitter  and don’t forget The Best Tweet I Can Find In Five Minutes at the end.

TC: Since we’re in similar lines of work, I’m not going to lie — I’m a little nervous. How are your nerves going into this experience?

SM: I always get really nervous when I talk to anyone about anything and this is no exception.

TC: I really enjoy “Modern Comedian.” What led you to start the series?

SM: I was living in NYC and hanging out with Ben Kronberg a bunch. He told me the story about how certain people perceived that he was not a good comic because of the notebook thing, which of course is crazy. I had a seed of an idea to make a documentary series so I just put two and two together.

TC: Each interview has a central theme. Is that of your choosing or do you communicate with the comedians beforehand on those topics?

SM: A little of both. I pitch some of the ideas and in some cases the comedian will tweak it or come to me with their own idea.

TC: The Maria Bamford interview stands out for me. When you watch that, you know it’s good, right?

SM: Ha. More accurately, I hope it’s good. After editing an episode, which can take up to eight hours, I have seen it so much I have no idea what it is anymore. I have to show it to friends or my girlfriend and see how they react.

TC: Have any of your interview subjects ever seen you do stand-up?

SM: Yes. Lots of them. Last year I opened for Rory Scovel on the road a lot and I started stand-up with Andy Haynes. Most everyone has seen me perform, except for maybe some of the bigger names.

Here it is, The Best Tweet I Can Find In Five Minutes: