Me on Jeopardy: I’ll take “Comedians That Need to Take My Money” for $400, please:
Question: He is not just fluent in sarcasm; he is an auteur of it. There’s an Oxford Dictionary of Sarcasm of which he is an associate editor. He’s not a Smart Alec he’s a Smart Alex…Trebek (read in Sean Connery voice).
Answer: Who is Jesse Popp?
…. That is correct.
One of the most important things for any comedian to do is make themselves believable to an audience. If one night Jay Leno starts talking about how public transit sucks I would be liable to throw up on my couch, then again just watching Jay Leno would be enough to make anyone throw up. When it comes to Jesse Popp though I definitely believe what he says. As an example, here is what he has to say on his issues with health insurance: “I haven’t had health insurance for nine years. Which sounds stupid but if you make it to ten you get a free X-ray machine.” They say humor is often linked to shared experiences and while I won’t have an X-Ray machine any time soon I can understand and relate to Popp.
For another example, here is a question at one of his job interviews. When asked to describe his work style Popp blathers out, “I come in on time, and I do the work and stuff.”
Apparently there is actually an answer more correct than “doing the work,” and so with sarcasm drooling off his lips he feigns a response saying, “I’m reminded of the Renaissance artist Michelangelo…That’s kind of how I am except instead of marble I work in human resource management systems.”
Whether Popp is lying by telling the audience that he dropped out of college because the coffee was too hot, telling autobiographical stories about his terrible jobs or stupid conversations he has on park benches, I am inclined to laugh at every punch line.
So what has Popp done so far? Besides releasing an album he recently taped a Comedy Central Half Hour special and has performed stand-up on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend and TBS’ Conan. He currently lives in Los Angeles and is staff a writer for Conan.
I’m reminded of Michelangelo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle when I think of Jesse Popp. On the outside they have a hard outer covering—one being a tortoise shell and the other being a refined comedic sarcasm—but on the inside it turns out that they’re main function in life is to provide comic relief.
His CD You Stink is released by Comedy Central Records and is currently available for purchase through iTunes and Amazon. You can follow him on Twitter @jessepopp and on his blog http://jessepopp.blogspot.com.
About the Author: Nate Rankin writes Comedy Reviews and Fiction because no one taught him any better. His fiction has been featured by Workers Writes, theNewerYork! and Used Gravitrons and is forthcoming in The Green Blotter. His work can be seen here: http://iamseamus.tumblr.com/writing You can find him on the Tweety Box @CommanderSeamus If you'd like to submit a review inquiry please send to nrankin22[at]gmail[dot]com