Audrey Murray is a writer and comedian with a bit of an obsession with Russia.  Not in a mess-with-elections kind of way, mind you. 

But she did spend some time exploring the former republics of the Soviet Union, and got way more adventure than she bargained for. 

Audrey tells the story in her book Open Mic Night in Moscow, CC BY 4.0,

Freak out your loved ones: tell them you want to change your career to comedy. 

Laughing is fun, but it takes work to produce laughs, and often little money for the work.  But Joe Randazzo made it, and then offered advice to people who want to be, in the words of his book title, Funny on Purpose

Randazzo worked as the editor of The Onion, among other gigs.  He joined us in June 2015 with advice on making people laugh all the way to your bank. 

Chromaphonic Recordings

Tiny Yreka is hard enough to find on a map.  It's unlikely place for a regional comedy tour.  

But audiences get a chance to gather and laugh later this week when the "Joker and Jester Comedy Tour" plays some shows at the Music Hall in the Siskiyou County Seat. 

The performances will be filmed for use in a comedy special to be seen on Netflix, so Yreka could get some national recognition. 

Oregon Department of Transportation, CC BY 2.0,

John and Gordan Javna are no strangers to the sound of laughing. 

They produce a lot of it themselves: John started, and Gordon continued, the series Uncle John's Bathroom Reader. 

The brothers Javna leave the restroom and join forces on Life Is a Joke: 100 Life Lessons (with Punch Lines).  Good jokes abound, but good lessons come from them, too. 

Angela George, CC BY-SA 3.0,

A professor of Yiddish literature and a journalist walk into a studio. 

You were expecting a joke?  Actually, there will likely be several as we visit with Jeremy Dauber, the author of the book Jewish Comedy: A Serious History

The book takes in the development of Jewish comedy in America, but also extends much further back into the history of the Jewish people.  When you're often persecuted, a sense of humor can help. 

John Hodgman's Instagram page

John Hodgman gained fame for his wry and dry look at the world around us, on venues like Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." 

He wrote three books of "fake trivia and invented history" (his terms), then recoiled at the prevalence of fake news in America today.  What else could he do but turn to reality? 

Hodgman's latest book is Vacationland, an actual memoir with actual events from his actual life.  And, of course, it's actually funny--he's still John Hodgman. 

Paula Poundstone Plays Redding

Oct 25, 2016

Paula Poundstone creates prodigious amounts of comic material for her stage act.  And then doesn't use all of it. 

Because she works the crowd and makes up material on the fly. 

Poundstone is a prolific creator and performer and Exchange guest, making her third appearance here in a half-dozen years. 

Algonquin Books

It may be harder to describe the work of comedians than any other performers.

And harder still when you try to describe or explain the work of the late Richard Pryor.

Edward Herda Live Session

Aug 28, 2013

Edward Herda was once a stand-up comedian, and a performer and writer in an international commedia dell’arte troupe. Following a painful breakup, he decided to change direction in life, and spent time transforming himself into a poignant singer/songwriter. He stopped by JPR to play tunes from his debut album The Wondrous Folly Of Vaughn Frogg.