Tag Archives: Kickstarter


I’m a huge fan of Kickstarter. It made my book Comedy of Doom possible and more recently it made my comedy album Flaw Fest possible. One of the rewards for Flaw Fest was a short comedy video about any flaw you wanted. My pal, cartoonist and game designer, John Kovalic, suggested the flaw of Kickstarter Addiction. So I made the video below.

After making that video, I worry about my Kickstarter Karma so here are a few projects from friends and awesome humans that I think you should check out.

Singing funny humans, Paul & Storm, (who are featured on the Flaw Fest album) just launched a campaign for their new album Ball Pit!

If you’re a fan of Paul & Storm, you probably know about JoCoCruiseCrazy. Here’s a Kickstarter campaign to create a high-end animated trailer for the cruise.

My friend and partner-in-comedy-crime in Rockstar Storytellers, Courtney McLean, just launched a cool project for a 12 night tour that never leaves the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul!

Finally, Mary Jo Pehl, of MST3K and Cinematic Titanic and general awesomeness, wants to sing to you AND give you a recipe for tater tot hotdish.

My recipe for tater tot hotdish is take 2 or more ingredients of any kind then add enough CREAM to kill a small moose. Lovingly cover this gastronomical death trap with tater tots and enough SALT to make sure the dead moose’s body will never decay. That recipe is free, but I should probably do a Kickstarter campaign for a cookbook on how to murder friends and loved ones with food stuffs.

Thanks for all the support you Kickstarting sons of bitches!


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Here come the FLAWS

We all have flaws. And I wanted to share mine. So, of course, I did the healthy rational thing and put together a comedy show, a Kickstarter campaign, and a double album of comedy and music.

The whole thing is called Flaw Fest. Here’s all the information about it in one place.

I first did the show in February of 2013 on Jonathan Coulton’s JoCoCruiseCrazy. It’s a stand-up comedy show about all my horrible flaws: a sloth driven obsession to play bad James Bond video games, a stubborn need to fight with large animals, the idiocy to drink something called a Watermelon Shooter, the hubris to write a rock n’ roll song about a helium balloon, and much more.

The show went well so I decided to use Kickstarter to raise funds to record the show for a comedy album. The show deals with themes of music and I have a lot of amazing musician friends. So I asked a bunch of them to write an album of songs inspired by the show. So basically, it will be a comedy album with its own soundtrack. To my knowledge, no one has ever done that before.

The Kickstarter was also a success due to what I metaphorically described on this blog as Unicorns and Cocaine. You can read up on the actual project here! Now that the Kickstarter is funded, everything else is rolling along.


This coming weekend, we’re recording the show live at the Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis. It will feature an opening act by Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and RiffTrax. I’ll be doing the comedy show as well as recording a bonus track where I read the name of every person who contributed to the Kickstarter. We’ll also be selling pre-orders of the comedy and music album at the shows!

There are four performances:
Friday, September 27 at 7 pm
Friday, September 28 at 10 pm
Saturday, September 29 at 7 pm
Saturday, September 29 at 10 pm.

The 7 pm shows are almost SOLD OUT, but right now there are still tickets for the 10 pm shows. You can get tickets here. We, of course, want to pack the room for recording the comedy album, so tell your friends. Tell them, “Go pack a room, friends!” You should probably add some context to that sentence, but you know what I mean.

The comedy and music album will be completed and sent out to Kickstarter backers in late October. The album will be officially released to the rest of the world in November. Here are updates on the progress!


Songs are pouring in from all the musicians for the music album half of Flaw Fest. You’ll be hearing a ballad called “Bond’s Bad Day” by Bill Corbett, a kick-ass rock song called “Wife Head” by John Munson, an ode to how f’ing awesome eggs are by The Doubleclicks, and many more.

Here’s a photo of me working on some high-end music stuff in Kevin Murphy’s studio.

photo (13)


Here’s a nice article from l’etoile magazine about the whole Flaw Fest project.

And here’s another in-depth interview about the whole project from The City Pages.

And a nice discussion of the show on The Current’s Weekend Arts Round-Up.

More press coming out this week!


My pal and awesome photographer Craig Van Der Schaegen took a whole slew of new photos for the Flaw Fest album artwork.

Here’s a sneak peek.


More flawed updates as they come in!

Many thanks for all your interest and support!

Your flawed friend,


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A Short List of People Who Don’t Have Kickstarters

Okay, that title is a lie. Because everyone has a Kickstarter project these days. I recently finished one for a double album of comedy and music called Flaw Fest. You can read about all the crazed work that went into that in this post about cocaine and unicorns.

As a comedian, one of the hardest things about running a Kickstarter project is taking a short break from making jokes about Kickstarter. So I’m going to relish this short window when I feel comfortable poking fun at it.

That said, I do think it’s a great system to support artists of all kinds.

I appreciate all the insane support I got for both Flaw Fest and my book Comedy of Doom, which was also made possible by Kickstarter. So I want to support other people, not just with money, but also with talking about it.

Here’s some talking about projects!

The Suburbs’ New CD!

This project will wrap up in just a few days. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Chan Poling of the Suburbs a little bit. I performed this comedy piece at a holiday show of The New Standards (another of Chan’s awesome musical endeavors.) It’s awesome to see an established band like the Suburbs eschew the standard label system and go directly to their fans.

Jawbone Radio: Season X.

This is a project by my good pal Len Peralta. Len is the man behind the awesome Geek-A-Week trading card series. Here’s my card and podcast. Len is raising funds to relaunch his podcast. I can confirm that Len is a great conversationalist. We shared a room at Dragon Con last year. We spent many hours sitting in our pajamas and chatting. It was awesome. As this podcast will be.


This is a game about ninjas. Lots and lots of ninjas. It’s made by Brian Wood and Jon Cazares. Brian is also behind Awesome Dice. I filmed these commercials for the company. I drank horrible Canadian whiskey for those commercials, so obviously I’m willing to do a lot for Brian. I play tested the game many moons ago and it’s great. Did I mention it has ninjas? Are you sick of zombies cultural dominance? Strike back by supporting ninjas.

And that’s it. Awesome rock band. Awesome podcast. Awesome ninjas. Overuse of the word awesome.

And now I’m off to work on my Robin Hood Kickstarter in which I raise funds to give to other Kickstarters.


If you enjoy my work, you can sign up for my fan list here and make more comedy possible by buying a book, a comedy album, or a script here.

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FINAL UPDATE AT THE TOP BECAUSE IT’S IMPORTANT: Flaw Fest is funded. Live comedy shows, a new comedy album, an album of original songs by amazing musicians will all exist. Because you funded, you increased your funding, you promoted, you snorted hope-coke and flew like unicorns. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read below. The context will help a little tiny bit. There are no more words for it than: Thanks, unicorns.

Flaw Fest is a comedy show about all my flaws as a human being. Well, not all of them. The greatest hits of my horrible human flaws.

I performed the show in February of 2013 on Jonathan Coulton’s JoCoCruiseCrazy. You can read about the cruise experience here.

The show went very well. One of the conversations that came up on the cruise was how comedians, musicians, and artists in general generate new material.

The cruise left me thinking about creating new work and about how comedy and music interact.

I came up with the idea of not only recording the comedy show, but asking a bunch of my musician friends to write an album of original songs inspired by the comedy show.

The result is this kickstarter campaign called FLAW FEST.

The campaign ends this Friday, June 21st at 12:27 CDT. We’re pretty far from our goal of $26,007.

The goal is quite high.

Over half of the money is going to the musicians because I wanted them to be paid well for taking the time to write and record new songs. The rest of the money is going toward renting the theater, paying for rewards, and hiring pros to get a very high quality recording of the comedy show.

I knew the goal was quite high when I set it, but (as I joke about in the show) my flaws include being stubborn and, at times, foolishly optimistic.

The progress on the funding has been uneven. There have been some great things. The Kickstarter staff selected it as a Staff Pick and featured FLAW FEST on their home page as a Project of the Day. Still, some days, it’s lumbered along like a wounded buffalo. Other days, it’s raced forward like a crazy little squirrel hopped up on pixie stix.

If there’s any hope of making its goal by Friday, the funding will need to fly like a horde of unicorns jacked up on coke.

While the goal is still frustratingly far away, I know two things:

1) No one owes me anything. If you think the project looks interesting, I’m thrilled. If not, that’s fine, too. Not every project that sounds exciting to creators is going to find the right audience or a large enough audience to share that excitement. That’s just part of being a creative type.

2) The fans who have supported this project have supported the LIVING HELL OUT OF IT. Many people have increased their pledges, plugged the project, and sent kind words of encouragement. Many thanks to all the squirrel people hopped up on pixie stix who have given this project its forward movement.

Bottom line, I know the goal is quite high. I know the deadline is very close. But I’m going to be foolishly optimistic and ask you a favor:

If you think the project sounds exciting, please fund at whatever level you can. Please tell your friends who might be interested. Please be a unicorn. Strap on some wings, do a few lines of hope-coke with me and fly, fly, fly.

Or just enjoy the concept of drug addled fictional creatures. That’s appreciated, too.

Many thanks from a flawed creative type–

UPDATE: As of this writing, we have 24 hours left to fund FLAW FEST. Many of you have answered THE CALL OF THE HOPEFUL UNICORN and I deeply appreciate it. Thanks to you we’ve moved much closer to the goal and we’re now tantalizingly close to making this idea a reality. Keep flying, unicorns, keep snorting and flying. We’re almost there. Thank you.

UPDATE UPDATE: As of this writing, we have 4 hours left. Everyone who watches the TV show 24 knows that’s when THE EXCITING AND EXTRA RIDICULOUS THINGS HAPPEN. You hope-coked unicorns have been flying like crazy. We also got a nice plug from Jonathan Coulton and Greg Pak via their great graphic novel and music kickstarter. We saw a huge surge last night because of all that work. Just a few more hours and a few more dollars. Keep flying and thank you for helping FLAW FEST get this close to being a reality.


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What did you do, Joseph, what did you do?

I suspect I am not alone in feeling as though I am never really getting enough done. While I try not to procrastinate too much, I do make jokes about procrastinating a lot. When I realize I’m procrastinating, I have a lot of little motivational phrases I say out loud to myself. One of them is this:

“Get back to work, you idiot.”

And if I don’t get back to work, I sometimes follow up with:

“You are a bad and stupid person.”

Then I feel guilty that I’m being so mean to myself and I try to make it up to me by allowing myself to make a joke on Twitter about procrastinating. And the cycle continues.

This year, I decided to actually review my calendar and make a list of (almost) everything I did. Please enjoy procrastinating from your work to read about mine!


I worked with John Kovalic on some spec scripts and started writing daily tweets for @DrBlinkShrink.

I did two shows at The San Francisco SketchFest. CineMadness with Bill Corbett and a short version of my geek stand-up/storytelling show, Comedy of Doom.

I performed the role of “Balthazar, D & D Champion” in promotional videos for a company called Awesome Dice.

I co-wrote an internal awards show for General Mills.

I made jokes on Twitter about procrastinating.


I launched the Obsessed podcast as both a live show in Minneapolis and released the first episode online. There have been 10 live shows that have generated 16 podcast episodes.

I wrote a sketch for a magician.

I wrote and performed (with Shanan Custer) a commentary about smartphones for Minnesota Public Radio.

I did a story with the spoken word collective The Rockstar Storytellers.

I was one of the entertainers on JoCoCruiseCrazy II. I performed a full length version of Comedy of Doom. I was thrilled to get a surprise volunteer named Wil Wheaton for my Star Trek bit. I also played the role of “Ed McMahon” on Paul & Storm’s podcast with Paul F. Tompkins.

I gave a talk in a bar about zombies and Minnesota geek culture for the Minnesota Historical Society.

I made jokes on Facebook about procrastinating.


I performed at the Twin Cities convention Mars Con.

I started working as an occasional writer and performer on Wits. Since March, I’ve written for and/or performed with Tim Meadows, Rhett Miller, Andy Richter, Reggie Watts, Fred Willard, Paul F. Tompkins, Wyatt Cenac, Bobcat Goldthwait, Amy Sedaris, Dave Foley, Mike Doughty, Maria Bamford, and Brandi Carlile. And of course host John Moe, John Munson and The Witnesses, and other frequent Wits performers Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, and Neil Gaiman.

I went out to eat with my wife on her birthday. She mentioned maybe I should write a book.

I made jokes on Google+ about procrastinating.


I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.

I wrote and did eight performances of a one person stand-up show about vampires, stand-up, and vampires doing stand-up called The Sad Vampire Comedy Hour.

I wrote and performed a short story as part of a Minnesota Public Radio showcase led by Kevin Kling.

I did three performances and presentations about using comedy to discuss history for the American Alliance of Museums convention.

I did not get around to making any jokes on social media about procrastinating.


I launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book version of Comedy of Doom.

I wrote a lot of new material for the book. I edited the material from the stage version. I took photos for the cover and organized all the illustrations for the book. I hit refresh on the Kickstarter page roughly 700 times a day.

My odd little rock band called Math Emergency (composed of a math professor, a public radio producer, a public radio host, and me) played a gig. I played the drums and made jokes into a microphone.

I appeared on the AON podcast.

I made jokes on Twitter about spending too much time on Twitter.


I went on my friends’ annual bar crawl. I only note this because, while fun, going to 13 bars in 12 hours does feel a bit like work.

I appeared on the Vilification Tennis podcast where I cemented my reputation as an Axl Rose apologist.

I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.

I did multiple rounds of proofing and editing on the book and we sent it off to be printed. Comedy of Doom was officially published on June 20, 2012.

I wrote the pilot for an animated series version of the web comic Least I Could Do.

I made mean jokes about Google+ on Twitter.


We sent out all the copies of Comedy of Doom to the kind Kickstarter backers.

I attended the big Twin Cities convention CONvergence. I wrote and performed a one person storytelling and stand-up show about romantic advice for geeks called Verbing The Noun. We’ll be releasing a CD and digital download of the show in time for Valentine’s Day 2013. I did a live Obsessed show with Paul Cornell and Bonnie Burton. I did 10 other comedy panels and a signing for Comedy of Doom.

I went to San Diego Comic-Con. I performed at w00tstock. I had fun meetings, fancy parties, and saw a lot of men dressed as Jedi having a hard time at urinals.

I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.

I co-wrote and performed a comedy show called Comedy: The Show with Four Humors Theater on the Centennial Showboat in St. Paul, Minnesota.

I made a quick trip to Los Angeles for a friend’s birthday party. I even wrote something for that.

I made mean jokes about Google+ on Facebook.


I wrote, produced, and performed in an hour long one act play called Nightmare Without Pants for the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Here is a three minute live video preview of the show, in which I perform an accidental magic trick with a pair of rip-away pants.

Due to the stubborn forward movement of time I became a year older on August 17th.

I performed and did some comedy panels at Dragon*Con in Atlanta.

I made jokes about Google+ on Google+.


I was still at Dragon*Con. For one panel, I was challenged to sing “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” I attempted to do it in the style of Nine Inch Nails. It’s a better song that way.

I did a performance at Space Camp with Marian Call, Molly Lewis, Ken Plume, Phil Plait, and more.

Obsessed was featured on iTunes as “New & Noteworthy” and a “Staff Favorite.”

I co-wrote, helped to organize, and performed in a large awards show for the Minnesota theater community called The Iveys.

I did a podcast with the awesome Len Peralta and became a trading card for his Geek-A-Week series.

I hosted and performed at a viewing of the Doctor Who episode “The Angels Take Manhattan” at The Parkway Theater.

I tried to treat Google+ with a little more respect.


I co-produced, directed, and wrote a piece for a theater event called Thirst. It’s a series of short one-act plays performed in a bar. The show had three performances and it was a benefit to fight for Marriage Equality in Minnesota. Here’s the monologue I wrote about Harry Potter and kindness.

I joined The Ladies of Ragnarok (Molly Lewis, The Doubleclicks, and tour manager Dammit Liz) for a leg of their tour. I performed in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Madison. The Ladies also appeared on Obsessed.

I recorded the audiobook version of Comedy of Doom. We’re still working on editing and mastering the hours of audio.

I did another show with the Rockstar Storytellers.

I wrote and performed a ghost story for Torch Theater in Minneapolis.

I played another gig with Math Emergency.

I started a Tumblr account and wrote a thing about Halloween.


I used National Novel Writing Month as a motivation to work on some screenplays. I finished plotting and scripting the first drafts of two feature length films. Now working on second drafts.

My wife and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. The traditional gift is iron. The contemporary gift is candy. We gave one another Iron Man Pez dispensers.

I tried to make fun of Google+ on Tumblr, but I felt like I was kicking a puppy.


I wrote and performed the short story Adult Santa for The New Standards holiday show at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota.

I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.

We (and by “we” I really mean my wife Sara and my graphic designer, Matthew Foster) made Comedy of Doom available on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and many stores in the Twin Cities.

I wrote a story about the grim superhero The Leaping Lord for Paul Cornell’s 12 Blogs of Christmas.

I started writing a new stand-up/storytelling show that I’ll be performing on JoCoCruiseCrazy III.

I started writing another stand-up/storytelling show that I’ll be performing at the Bryant-Lake Bowl in Minneapolis in March of 2013.

I booked guests for Obsessed through March of 2013.

I wrote some stuff that I’ll perform for my annual New Year’s Eve show at the Bryant Lake Bowl.

I made fun of LinkedIn on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr.

I debated whether or not I should write this. I stared off into space and screwed around on social media. I beat myself up about procrastinating. I forced myself to write this. I read it. I thought about all the amazing creative people I got to meet and work with this year. I ran the post by my wife and business partner without whom none of the above would be remotely possible.

Later tonight, I’ll watch some TV, drink a martini, and think about ways to get even more done in 2013.

I’m going to start by coming up with some new motivational phrases.

I think I’ll try:

“Come on, you idiot, get stuff done so you have something to blog about next year.”


“Stop calling yourself an idiot, you jackass.”

And then I’ll hug myself and move on.

Happy New Year’s,



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