RS: You're one of the funniest people I know. Who are some of your comedic influences?
CW: I’d like to think that my influences come from all sorts of being and non-beings. Ann Coulter, of course, is the most prominent non-being. Vanna White helped get me where I am today. My dad liked Jackie Mason, so why not throw him in too (Hi Dad!). Also, the doctors who film those pimple-popping YouTube videos.
Two part question:
a) What is the joke behind your Twitter profile, 'hello. my name is jonathan franzen. i'd like to order 50 pizzas?'
b) Your Business Insider photo is the best thing I've ever seen. What's the story behind that?
a) The joke is from one of the best SNL sketches ever made. The premise is that Maya Angelou – played by Maya Rudolph – hosts a prank show called ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Laughs.' In it she pranks her 'esteemed colleagues,' including Cornel West and Stephen King. The quote is from the closing shot; Maya sits in front of the camera, alone with a phone. The full quote is: ‘Hello. my name is Jonathan Franzen. I’d like to order 50 pizzas. It's for a prank,' which is a bit funnier. That, however, exceeded 140 characters. Fucking twitter ruins everything. But, in all honesty, it is the one SNL sketch that never fails to make me cry. You should watch it.
b) My Business Insider photo was born of two facts: one) I cannot smile on command, and b) It'd be pretty funny if i were a seemingly drug-addled news anchor from the mid-'80s. Put those together and you have me standing with my arms crossed in an all-too-tight suit staring intently at a camera in a desolate midtown office.
What's your favorite holiday food item?
I’m a big fan of Chinese food on christmas. And I hate gingerbread.