A Brief Interview with Tim Duffy

RS: You've built up a nice following on Twitter and your jokes there are consistently great. Was that a slow progression or did you get a hang of the service right away?

TD: I really learned how to write a joke via Twitter. I had done stand-up and improv prior to going there but I never led with jokes, I always led with "this might be funny" and it generally wasn't. That said it's hard to know when I got better at Twitter. Once you make a point to do something regularly some improvement is inevitable.

You've done a lot of work to put Staten Island on the map and shine a light on comedians with your shows at 120 Bay Cafe. What exciting things does SI have to offer us in 2015?

In the coming months, Staten Island will have a congressman who will probably go to jail. We'll also continue to have a lot of fun and weird culture, one of the benefits of being part of the city but not "part of the city." I expect Midevenings with Jay Miller to continue plugging along and a short film I wrote and acted in, Some Guys Are Bigger Than Others, should start making some festival screenings. We've also got a bunch of our own comedians doing shows and expanding their reach. I love Steve Whalen and John Szeluga in particular but they are hardly alone.

Saturday night, you're performing alongside a National Book Award finalist, the cofounder of OkCupid and the director of the Yale Writers Conference. How much pressure do you think they're going to feel to try and be as funny as you?

The good news is I am mostly just exercising sadness under the guise of comedy. Most people who have lived full and interesting lives have incredible stories that are actually funny without trying to be. That is the difference here--as a boring comedian I have to make my opinions of the Foo Fighters interesting with humor while these actually for real interesting people will merely have to share something that they have lived through. On top of that they all sound very successful and smart and I am a nobody who doesn't read any fiction.