RS: In addition to writing for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, you also regularly perform stand-up comedy. Do you find that the two experiences inform each other?
JG: Great question! I think my being able to work on the show is made possible at least in part by years of seeing what live audiences like (and, of course, don't like) by telling jokes onstage. And having a job where I have to read a lot of news helps me know things about the world and not just write standup jokes about how surprise parties are bad or why sweatpants are good.
The Modern Seinfeld Twitter account that you run with Jack Moore won a Short Award for Best Fake Account and has over 834,000 followers. What was it like to watch that account take off?
It was very exciting and silly. It took off so fast, and it garnered a bunch of really kind, flattering attention. Modern Seinfeld was neat to have a calling card in terms of "being the guy who did that thing" for a while. It's great to say "I've performed here" or "I've written for there," but lots of people have done that. Modern Seinfeld was kind of the first thing I did that I could point to and people would go: "Oh, cool! That's your thing?" (As ridiculous as that sounds to say about a Twitter account.)
What can people expect from your appearance at the reading series?
Oh just goofs, probably. From doing standup, I'm conditioned to expect an audience response, and I'm better at getting people to laugh than making them, like, weep openly, so I approach a reading like a standup set and try to get lots of laughs. Otherwise, to my needy comedy brain, it feels like I didn't succeed.