Myq Kaplan is known for his quick-fire wordplay. The New York comic constructed the majority of his debut stand-up album, Vegan Mind Meld (2010), around strings of short jokes that orbit the same subject. A chunk on rape bounces around from combating the atrocity—“I am against rape in nearly every situation. I’m for raping rapists. I say fight fire with fire and rape with rape. Or fight rape with fire, if you have it available”—to wordplay—“I asked a girl out once, and she said she couldn’t go out with me because it was the night of her rape support group, and I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t date anyone who supports rape’”—before dove-tailing into a rant on women’s rights. He often finds the playful and absurd aspects of hot-button or downright offensive issues and mines them to inspire mostly uncontroversial laughs. It was a style that served him well when he finished fifth on the seventh and final season of Last Comic Standing in 2010. Because his fun-sized bits worked well on television, he's met some resistance as he’s tried to branch out. Assuming the Mayans just got tired of cranking out calendars, though, 2012 will likely go down as a pivotal year for Myq Kaplan. On September 25th, Kaplan released a new album, Please Be Seated. It’s still filled with puns and clever turns of phrase, though many of them are set to music and all of them are accompanied by contributions from friend and fellow comic Micah Sherman. Right after that, on September 30th, he launched his very own podcast, Hang Out With Me, where two friends, well, hang out with him. Wag’s Revue contributor John C. Schlotfelt spoke with Kaplan via cellular telephone.
John C. Schlotfelt, Wag’s Revue: I want to talk about your process. More than a lot of other comics, you have much shorter jokes, you do a lot of wordplay and juxtaposition, so your word choices become much more important—one little alteration can alter the tone or the direction of the joke or even totally ruin it. So, what’s your workshopping process like?
Myq Kaplan: I certainly started out writing almost exclusively one-liners and real short-form things. Things that were either word-based, turn-of-phrase-based, or misdirections; little magic trick equations of jokes. I didn’t set out to do that, they just naturally occurred to me.