I’ve got the delightful and very funny @GianDoh in the Beyond the Bio HoT seat today. If you’re not following him, now’s the time to hit that follow button! You won’t be disappointed! Check him out!
All restaurants are drive-thru – if you own a monster truck, some PCP, and an 8-track tape of Van Halen's "1984".
— Gian D'Oh (@GianDoh) May 28, 2016
Things to know about @GianDoh
Name: Ummmm, well, like, let’s just say “Gian Aldtrump Haas Tunzo D’Oh.”
Living in: Boston Massachusetts Left Coast Earth
Number of followers: I’m closing in on 10,000 gross, but net real humans about 62. The rest are marketing bots and my Uncle Louie. STOP TROLLING ME LOUIE!
Year graduated high school: 1987
When did you start tweeting? Twitter tells me I started June 2012, otherwise known as “Month Zero In The Ruination Of An American Man’s Life.”
Is sexual healing covered by Obamacare?
— Gian D'Oh (@GianDoh) August 29, 2013
On to the interview!
First off, what does GianDoh mean?
I can’t use my real name to avoid bringing shame and unemployment upon me and my family, so I chose the name Gian D’Oh, which is a Euro version of John Doe. The D’Oh is a shout-out to my doppelgänger, Homer Simpson.
Haha! So you’re anonymous because of your job?
The main reason is the ability to enjoy unfettered freedom of expression. Not easy to make sophomoric/scatological/penile jokes when you have an actual adult wage-earner reputation on the line. (See: @DamonHunzeker’s brilliant July 11, 2013 tweet on this subject. Search term: “Hercules Assfinger”. Also, the mere thought of a coworker challenging me in a hallway, or worse yet, @ing me! Nuh uh, no thanks. (Translation: I’m a wuss of epic proportions.)
Tell us about your family.
Married for 19 blissful years to my college sweetheart (I was her 18th choice). We have two kids, an 11-year old son and a 9-year old daughter. Given that I’m a eunuch, I have some questions about their lineage.
Why did you join Twitter?
I used to be a fairly successful newspaper reporter, and after leaving that profession, I needed an outlet for my quote-unquote creativity, one that wouldn’t pay, contribute to planet earth, make me famous, or do anything besides ruin my life.
Since Twitter hasn’t paid up yet, what are you currently doing for a job?
I work in the field of high finance. Which sounds like an oxymoron.
How did you get from newspaper reporter to the world of high finance?
Gordon Gecko owed me a BIG favor. Actually, the story is much more pedestrian. My wife made friends with another woman in a new moms group after the birth of our first child, and the friend’s husband was a hedge fund manager. He took me aside over bloody marys during a bleary brunch and said, “I could get a guy with skills like yours a job at a hedge fund in five minutes. Do you want to be rich or filthy rich instead of just filthy?” So I took a job about a month later. I’m not rich, or filthy rich, but I do feel dirty.
Interviewer: It says here your hobbies include "updog." Tell me a little about that?
Me: Could you rephrase the question?
— Gian D'Oh (@GianDoh) June 20, 2016
Outside of Twitter, what hobbies do you have?
My main hobby is playing bass guitar in a $hitty rock cover band.
What kind of songs do you play in your $hitty rock cover band.
We cover a lot of Led Zeppelin, Jane’s Addiction, The Who, Foo Fighters, and tons of Rage Against The Machine. I love playing bass for most of that, and I even sing a bunch, sometimes lead, so it’s a great outlet for my desire to embarrass myself in person in addition to online.
How did you share your humor before Twitter? Have people always thought you were funny?
Before Twitter, I wrote four or five comedic film screenplays that make excellent file cabinet ballast. People have always thought I was hilarious – looking. As it relates to my sense of humor, there’s a lot of cringing, meetings with attorneys, and conference calls to set up interventions.
Haha! So you’ve never done anything with your screenplays?
I entered one in a contest and it was a finalist, but because I have no agent, I just gave up.
What will it take for you to get an agent to help you get those comedic screenplays out of the cabinet? What contest did your screenplay become a finalist in?
If you could tell me how to get an agent without really trying, I’m all ears. I was hoping the contest route would be good enough. The contest in which one of my screenplays was a finalist is called the Filmmakers International Screenplay Competition. I think it might be a scam to get $50 from dopes like me.
Well, you’re quite funny, so I’d think you’d be able to get somewhere with it. But if you’re anything like me, and it sounds a little like you are in this respect, more work = no. I always thought if I just write my blog, people will come. Hahahaha! No. You actually have to work at it. Work sucks.
*puts carry-on bag in seat and climbs into far more spacious overhead compartment*
— Gian D'Oh (@GianDoh) June 5, 2016
When you’re having a dry spell, what do you do to get inspired?
I’ve had a dry spell since I got on that infernal life-sucking vortex called Twitter. I’m all about quantity over quality. I reckon if I write 25 tweets in a day, one might be a goodie. I’m a terrible judge of what others will think is funny, so I throw it all against the virtual wall and watch what sticks. But for inspiration, I definitely read my fellow tweeters. I have a posse of perhaps 50-100 people who I truly FOLLOW, and not “follow.” Because this whole follow thing is B.S. No one can possibly keep up with more than a couple hundred accounts and really stay on top of their stuff.
That’s so true. You just can’t keep up with it. Even when I was at my peak, regarding time spent on a Twitter per day (about 2 hours), I couldn’t even keep up with a tenth of the people I followed.
Was there a moment on Twitter when you thought, “Yes! I’ve found my platform!”?
When you started out, how did you go about getting exposure? Did you do a lot of retweeting in the hopes that people would reciprocate, or did you follow a lot of people?
Scene: The Star Wars cantina bar. @Sizzlereel is sitting across from me, nursing a My Tai or maybe it was a coconut with a straw. Anyhoo, he looked out at me from his brown hoodie and said, “Gian, you must learn the ways of the Farce.” Which basically boiled down to “follow funny people and hope they follow you back.” I remember vividly that @LindaInDisguise was the first person to retweet like a dozen of my jokes at once. It was like winning Powerball, except without the relatives hitting you up for money.
You’re working on a “narrative corpse.” Tell us about that.
We have about 50 contributions so far, and I have a goal of getting at least 100 contributors. We’re creating a story by connecting together contributor’s tweets. It’s a somewhat slow and painstaking process. I have to choose people who will do it well, who want to do it, and who understand what it is we’re doing. Then, I have to find the right medium. I’m open to suggestions, Twitterverse. What I’m trying to do is expand Twitter’s boundaries a little. Maybe I should enlist Twitter itself to show them that a few of us are thinking outside the bluebird. I fully intend to publish it on the web, annotated and with AVIs of each contributor with URLs, to show that Twitter can be used for more than just dick jokes. Kind of excited about it actually.
What’s something you don’t like about Twitter?
I’m distressed that some really fine tweeters fail to use their sense of humor to take on the pressing issues of the day in a humorous way. Making a devastating joke about a hot-button topic is what makes The Daily Show and other programs in that genre fantastic. Why not use the platform to actually do something?!
People get so bent. They don’t understand that these are jokes. It’s about 78 times worse on Facebook.
Have you interacted with any celebrities on Twitter?
Define “interacted”. My top tweet is my top tweet because my old college friend @mrtimlong, a phenomenally funny guy who happens to be a producer of The Simpsons, retweeted me. Then @AndyRichter retweeted the joke, and soon after, my phone melted. (And my heart. Call me, Andy!) I have since interacted with @justinguarini, who I’m still shocked to say is funny as hell. And of course, the wonderful guitar phenom and artist @lurie_john. Still star-struck about that.
The Rick Springfield Paradox: If you get Jessie's Girl, she is no longer Jessie's Girl, and you have obtained nothing.
— Gian D'Oh (@GianDoh) November 6, 2013
Wow, that’s pretty cool and that’s a funny tweet because any mention of Rick Springfield is funny.
If you could meet anyone in person from Twitter who would it be and why?
I’d like to meet Twitter’s CEO @jack to beg him to let us edit tweets after we’ve posted them. I don’t subscribe to the theory that this is history and untouchable when posted.
It’s now possible to retweet your own tweets on Twitter. What are your thoughts on this? Have you done it? Will you try it?
I haven’t retweeted myself because my mom said I would go blind.
Haha! What 80s movie do you identify with the most?
That would be C.H.U.D. (1984): Beneath the streets of New York City, a real estate mogul copulates with a diseased rat that gives birth to the man who would someday become The Yuuugest President Of The United States Ever!
Excuse me, Pink Floyd. It's "We don't need ANY education."
— Gian D'Oh (@GianDoh) August 29, 2013
Who are some comedians (or comedy shows/sitcoms) who have influenced you?
My dad. He was a part-time standup comic in my hometown in Western New York. Funniest human I ever met. The above-mentioned Tim Long was a big influence on me. And Larry David. I’m not like any of them. But they influenced me in the sense that I look at my jokes and say, “I must be under the influence!”
What advice do you have for someone who’s trying to get better at joke writing on Twitter?
Ignore the social mores of Twitter, follower statistics, number of retweets and hearts. Instead, dissect what makes you laugh. What did they put in? What did they leave out? Who did they pay to write it?
Tell us something about yourself people on Twitter may not know.
Ok, I’m actually Justice Antonin Scalia. I was SOOO sick of being a judge, and I love making fart jokes. So this was my only option.
Is there anything else you’d like to say/share?
I love these interviews. This will be your worst one. But keep doing them even though your ratings will plummet.
Name five tweeters whose tweets consistently make you laugh.
@nattylumpo88 is an old friend who is 10 times funnier than I am. Follow him now before I assassinate him. The above-mentioned accounts. @cpin42 is awesome. This is insane. There’s so many. @juneohara65, @bob_janke, @jake_vig. Please let me stop.
Okay, you can stop now. Thanks so much for the interview @GianDoh, it was great!
Freak out your neighbors by removing one member of their stick figure decal family each night.
— Gian D'Oh (@GianDoh) June 9, 2016
A butt-load of the funniest parenting tweets all packed into one place! – The Bigger Book of Parenting Tweets, available on Amazon. Or try the original, The Big Book of Parenting Tweets. They make great gifts!