The Funny Muscle Podcast

Guided by the belief that anyone can learn to become funnier once they understand what to practice, the Funny Muscle Podcast aims to break down how pro comics get their best laughs. Comedian turned author Mike Lukas and cohost Chris Stiffler, an economics professor and open mic-er, use the game plan and concepts outlined in the Funny Muscle Book series to give listeners a better idea of how original (and funny) jokes are crafted.

Listen on:

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Episodes

7 hours ago

We chat with comedian Steph Clark who is also the owner of Funny Girl Events. So, we get advice from a comic's perspective as well as a booker. We learn some dos and don'ts of impressing a comedy booker, what it's like to be married to a comedian, and regional differences in comedy as Steph performs frequently in the LA area and the Midwest.

Monday Jul 08, 2024

New comics will appreciate the advice from touring comedian Kevin Rogers, who took 12 years off to build a family and business, who then had to turn his comedy creation machine back on to create 20 minutes of new material in a new generation with a whole new comedy lens. Kevin Rogers is a comedian, business guru, and author who helps businesses write the words that hook customers and boost sales. Kevin steps into Funny Muscle world to teach us how the skills of stand-up comedy augment the art of copywriting and vice versa. We also break down his new material and how he crafted it---the clips are interspersed throughout the interview. 

Wednesday Jul 03, 2024

Actor and improvisational comedian Dan Bakkedahl stops by the podcast to chat about acting, improv, auditioning for roles, starting out in Chicago, and heightening comedy scenes. Dan is known for his role on the sitcom Life in Pieces, as Congressman Roger Furlong on the series VEEP, and as Steven Nugent in the series Legit.  He also worked as a correspondent on three seasons of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Friday Jun 21, 2024

Stopping by the Funny Muscle Podcast is “The Dented Can” Dobie Maxwell. He is a comedian, actor, radio personality, comedy instructor, comedy writer and author.  His passion for comedy and mentoring is quickly apparent.  We chat about how he earned his set on the Late Late Show, his comedy lens, joke development, his recent Dry Bar Special, and doing the small things---outside the jokes----that can help your career as a comic.  Dobie also gives us some lessons on comedy from an unexpected source: pro wrestling.

Thursday Jun 13, 2024

The "Bad" Boy of Comedy from Wisconsin Tom Clark joins the Funny Muscle Podcast to talk about:
    * What’s it like to do a set on Conan
    *Tips of doing clean comedy (especially in Utah)
    *How he added vulnerability to his comedy persona
    *Advice he learned from doing New Faces in the Montreal Comedy Festival
Tom has appeared on Conan, Netflix, Comedy Central, HBO, NBC, ABC, FOX, and CBS. He starred in two comedy specials in the same year, "Outraged" on Amazon Prime & "I'm a Rescue" on Dry Bar Comedy.   Tom (@TomClarkComedy) helps Mike (@mlukas1111) and Chris (@econ_comic) analyze play-by-play parts of his comedy specials. The clips are interspersed into the podcast.

What a Weak Premise Lacks

Saturday Jun 08, 2024

Saturday Jun 08, 2024

A comedian starts a joke by making an interesting assertion. The audience wonders, “How will they ever prove that to us with their unique take?" Mike and Chris talk about the tactics to make that happen as they break down some pro comic bits and teach how to write jokes with "premise intrigue." Like play-by-play sports analysts, they also freeze frame and diagram comic material (Louis C.K, Bill Burr, Tom Papa) by pointing out the humor blueprint elements and heightening devices those pros used to get their laughs.

Friday May 31, 2024

I spill my drink, and my friend says, “Ya done messed up Ay-Ay-Ron!”  My friend is quoting the viral Key and Peele sketch: The Substitute Teacher. In this episode of the Funny Muscle Podcast, we got to chat with the writer who came up with that sketch: Rich Talarico. He’s a Peabody Award-winning writer/producer with four Emmy and four WGA Award nominations, as well as an improviser, comedy teacher and stand-up comedian. We get to learn about sketch writing, the importance of writing for a specific comedy persona, what it’s like to be in the writing room on SNL and Key and Peele. He’s written for Jay Leno and has a great Carson impression. He’s also in one of the most memorable root beer commercials. 

Friday May 17, 2024

In an effort to show how a comedian's brain instantly "blows up" a situation to notice the funny, Chris and Mike practice some improv drills at the beginning of the episode. This might send you Googling, "What are Tiddleywinks?" Then Mike tells some stories from the beginning of his comedy career to teach the tips and tactics on how a new comedian can get their first booking. 

Thursday May 09, 2024

In part 2 of the conversation with Adam Bloom (@adambloomcomedy) we get deeper into the pedagogical side of comedy and go deeper into Adam’s book: Finding Your Comic Genius: An in-depth guide to the art of stand-up comedy.” Mike (@mlukas1111) and Chris (@econ_comic) also learn about Adam’s thoughts on comedy in the US compared to the UK, how rap and rhythm impacts comedy, and writing exercises new comedians can use to generate more material.

Monday May 06, 2024

Mike (@mlukas1111) and Chris (@econ_comic) chat with British comedian, writer, and author of “Finding Your Comic Genius: An in-depth guide to the art of stand-up comedy” Adam Bloom.  In part 1 of the conversation with Adam (@adambloomcomedy), we chat about the self-publishing process, Adam’s first gig, and how his comedy persona has evolved since that first gig. We also hear about Adam’s process on generating new material and adding “toppers.” In the same way a veteran comic’s brain works out new material out loud, you can see Adam’s brain in action, as we chat, working out the perfect wording on advice for new comedians. His book is filled with this great advice.

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