Make ’em laugh with Nikki Palumbo, writer, comedian and Girls Write Now mentor.
“Representation is super important. How many times can we hear the same story and think, ‘Yeah, I will root for this straight, white cis man, who, you’re right, deserves a happy ending?’”
– Nikki Palumbo
What to Expect
- Hear Nikki’s hilarious piece for McSweeney’s
- Turn your personal experiences into comedy gold
Write about a moment when you saw something happen to a person and you experienced secondhand embarrassment.
Prompt #1: Your Best Worst Moments
What’s the most embarrassing thing (you’re willing to share) that’s ever happened to you? Now try to imagine why, if you were watching it happen, it was hilarious.
The worst: I peed my pants in kindergarten because I didn’t know how to pause my computer game…
The best: A 5-year-old was so invested in technology (and Mario Learns to Type), she ignored nature — which is a call you cannot decline…
How to turn that into a comedy piece: A list of successful people who have wet their pants, Top 10 Best Places to Have an Accident, just telling the story, etc.
Prompt #2: Boom, Boasted!
What’s a roast? A roast is a type of joke at a person’s expense.
Write a roast for yourself in which you make fun of your best qualities.
Nikki’s example: Nikki is as confident as a dad driving without GPS.
Nikki is a writer, comedian, and Italian based in LA, formerly Brooklyn, and originally from New Jersey—the only three places in TV's America. Most recently, Nikki won the 2022 Austin TV Festival Pitch Competition with their pilot "Lil Italy" and was selected as an inaugural member of the Climate Comedy Cohort, co-founded by Generation 180 and American University’s Center for Media and Social Impact.Nikki has written TikToks for Barbie (yes, that one), jokes for the Google Assistant (no, the other one), and bits for the only famous Italian-American, Lady Gaga. They have also contributed writing to The New Yorker’s Daily Shouts, McSweeneys, Reductress, and the MTV TV and Movie Awards: Unscripted.Nikki has performed at the YaaasFest Comedy Festival, Women in Comedy Festival, Austin Sketch Festival and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, where they also taught, wrote, and directed sketch comedy.