By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
I was never comfortable not having one because I love me a steady paycheck. But in 2003 I finally got the guts to quit the nicest place I’ve ever worked. It’s a closed-captioning company in Burbank. I still help out if I’m in town and not doing anything and they need me. It’s just that amicable.
What do you define as success for a comic?
Keeping the love of what you do. Getting to do what you love for a living. Continuing to write new, fresher material forever. And, I’m sure, a giant bag of money as a doorstop.
Describe, for the uninitiated, The Dork Forest.
I did a joke about hanging out with people in The Dork Forest — playing games and reading books — and people started coming up to me and asking if their dorky thing was in “the forest.” So I do a regular podcast where I interview people about the things that they love a LOT. It’s often video games and comic books and science fiction. But it can be, and is, TV and movie dorks, music and car dorks — one guy has an obsession with U2, and a friend guerrilla-prunes other people’s trees. I’ve had game designers and Hugo- and Nebula-winning authors on the show. I talk to a LOT of comics. Because I know them, and most comics are pretty dorky. And sometimes, nicely weird about the stuff they like as well.
I’m also working on a webisode series called Dork Forest Expedition — like Dork Cribs. Mutual of Omaha’s Dork Expedition, essentially.
What kind of dork are you? (Full confession: I am an Anglophile dork whose all-time favorite movie is Oliver!)
UH ... please be on the show! I’m a chameleon dork. Most likely I will play whatever thing you want to play. Board games, video games — I’ve gotten great book ideas. I now read a LOT of comic books. I’ve been introduced to lots of anime, and I’ve even had a sword-fighting lesson.
Who are some of your dream guests on The Dork Forest?
Well — people you might expect: Joss Whedon, Ed Brubaker, Neil Gaiman, Ursula Le Guin, Dick Cavett (I have no idea what kind of a dork he is — I’m just pretty sure he is). A million actors, writers and science dorks. I don’t know much about music or sports, but I have learned a bit by having sport and music dorks on the show. Much like I learned more by having political and science “enthusiasts” on.
Really, some of the best shows have been with guests who have contacted me to be on the show. Not just standup comics but listeners — people who have spent thousands of dollars buying action figures and go to Japan regularly to buy Manga. A guy who writes fantasy pro-wrestling fan fiction. Uh … that was awesome.
What do you miss about Wisconsin?
I don’t have to — I’m in Wisconsin and Minnesota two or three times a year. I was just there and had a heartbreaking meal of “Brat Tot” (Tater Tot HotDish made with bratwurst instead of hamburger). It was like eating a salt lick.
You goof on your dad; does he like your act?
My dad is the best sport. He recently said to me, “I missed you, so I put in that tape of your show” (I do a one-person show about my family — Salesmen and Thieves). And I said, “Did you miss me or did you miss me talking about you?” and he said, “a little of both.”
You live in the Valley. What do you like about it there?
Ah … the Valley. We can almost see the Pacoima Wash from the kitchen window. I like that I can have a garden and grow tomatoes in L.A. My own little victory garden toward the war effort.
What’s your topic for the King Davids show?
I’m not Jewish, but I am Armenian, which is Semitic ... so I’ll be “passing” for a Jew.
Jackie Kashian performs at King Davids of Comedy at the Hollywood Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; Thurs., March 12, 8 p.m.; $15. (323) 651-2583.