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 Palumbo is a writer and comedian based in New York. Nikki’s writing (and face*) has appeared on The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Funny or Die, Reductress*, the Google Assistant and their folks’ fridge. Nikki recently wrote for the inaugural 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted, hosted by Nikki Glaser, and worked as a story producer on the YouTube Originals weekly music show, RELEASED. They were named one of WhoHaha’s “35 LGBTQ Creators We Love” in 2018 and a Yes, And Laughter Lab finalist in 2019.