It’s safe to say that Jared Neumark is New York’s young new upstart comedy writer. His Internet sketch show, Landline TV, has been called “New York’s new comedy sensation,” and it’s network, Revision 3 is one of the most promising web programming outfits that currently exists. It’s plain to see from his answers to our questions, not only that he’s a naturally funny guy, but that he would also probably make a pretty good boyfriend.
Do you have any advice for aspiring comedy writers?
Just go out and do it. I’d say effort is 80% of the battle. Figure out a project you can write and actually film: a web-series or short film. This is a really exciting time where you can completely make a career for yourself if you create something that stands out and finds an audience. I think we’re going to see more and more talent discovered this way.
How would you describe your humor?
Landline does a lot of relevant, topical humor, so I kind of have a soft spot for the absurdist, no sequiter stuff that we don’t get to do that often. And anything deadpan or based on flawed or awkward characters, I heart.
Do you think it’s dumb to try and describe humor?
Yes. Yes I do.
Do you think you could do stand up comedy also? Is the skill required to write sketch at all the same for stand up?
Ha, no, probably not. Or it would take me a long time to get comfortable on stage. I’m more of the neurotic writer type. (I am Jewish after all.) Stand-up is definitely a different skill set than sketch. Delivery and the comic’s persona are as important as funny material.
Do you think Internet TV will replace regular TV entirely?
That’s a tough one. I think budgets are the key to that question. TV programming is better because shows have millions of dollars to hire the best writers, performers and show runners. The Internet is replacing television as a platform, and I think networks will adjust and focus attention to the web. But Internet TV in its current form isn’t going to replace television. The quality of programming isn’t as high.
Do you think Internet advertising will ever be as profitable as other kinds of advertising?
Yeah. It’s related to that last question. Higher advertising rates will follow the shows with massive audiences as they move online. I think there will be some trickle down with other Internet content as advertisers get more used to spending money there.
If you could write for any show besides Landline, what show would you write for?
I’d love to write for Eastbound and Down. In my opinion, it’s the most unique comedy to come out in the last few years.
Have you always been a funny person?
Who said I am? My mom? Working in comedy, you meet lots of funnier people than yourself. And I’m a person who needs to be comfortable in my surroundings before any funniness is unleashed.
Do you know any funny writers who are not generally very funny people?
Yeah, definitely. I think writing a funny script is more about character development and thinking of funny situations and scenes. Not necessarily being the funniest person in a room.
Do you think that comedy has been on any specific kind of trajectory in recent years? Are there predominant trends in comedy?
I think so. I watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles for the first time a couple weeks ago, and that film doesn’t really hold up to today’s comedic standards. So I want to say it’s moving towards a more cerebral place. But sometimes very simple gags are funny. … I thought we agreed describing humor is dumb.
What are you working on? What’s next for you?
We’re developing a few shows to pitch to television. It’s been very exciting writing narrative stuff and hopefully some of those projects get off the ground.
When I was a freshman in high school, my girlfriend got a pet duck. One morning she called me crying. She sobbed as she told me that she was sleeping with the duck in bed next to her, and when she woke up this morning she realized the duck was dead, and that it had died because she’d rolled over on it and killed it. Can you think of a joke a to make in this situation without making said girlfriend cry?
I get asked this one all the time. This is what I’d say to her: “What’s the difference between your dead duck and a dead clown? You didn’t crush the dead clown in your sleep.”