The Case Of The Cursing Bus With Brandon Cohen

Brandon Cohen

Each week in Give A Little Bit, we talk to funny people — comics, writers, cartoonists, senators — about the first time they got a laugh and a bunch of other things about their life. 

This week, comedy writer and performer Brandon Cohen discusses cursing bus drivers, vomit drafts, and a glossary of gay terms.  

Your first bit…

When I was in first grade, I started at a new school, and the best way to make friends was on the bus. My bus driver was this insane lady who had terrible road rage and cursed like a sailor. I learned every curse word in the book that year, and when you’re in first grade, curses are inherently funny.

I started doing this thing to amuse the other kids on the bus where whenever we’d be stopped at a red light, I would lower the window and yell “excuse me!” to an adult on the sidewalk. When they’d look over to this adorable kid in the window, I would yell “fuck you!” and cackle uncontrollably. I was such a little shit. I have a terrible memory, but distinctly remember feeling like a comedic god every time I did that.

Your writing process…

It depends on what I’m writing. If it’s a TV pilot, I’ll write a loose outline and then just try to bang out a draft, but with a movie, I definitely spend more time outlining to make sure the bones of the story are there. I’m a big fan of “vomit drafts” though, and would rather write a terrible first draft and spend the bulk of my time rewriting, rather than getting hung up on spending months outlining. I think people do that as a way to procrastinate actually writing the thing.

Your influences are…

Howard Stern, The Simpsons, Sacha Baron Cohen, Judd Apatow, and Norm MacDonald.

You have the rare ability to say and do awkward things in front of a camera and complete strangers. When did you realize you had this talent?

Thanks! I don’t think it was ever a conscious realization. I genuinely don’t feel comfortable performing or being on camera, so when BroBible (where I used to work) asked me to do a video for them, rather than try to force myself to be someone that I wasn’t, I just decided to embrace and amplify the awkwardness. Watching people react to awkwardness is so much funnier to me than witty banter.

Brandon Tries To Wear High Heels For An Entire Day

How you keep it all together…

I’m a bit of a nut when it comes to organization, so I have a bunch of note folders in my iPhone to write things down whenever inspiration strikes. TV/Movie Ideas, Sketch Ideas, Random Lines/Characters/Scenes, etc. I even have one for stand-up, and I don’t do stand-up! But if I ever decide I want to, I’ve got an iPhone folder full of material!

Bit you wish you wrote…

Literally, any segment on Nathan For You because that show is genius. I think my favorite thing they’ve ever done might be the episode from season one where he created a fake reality dating show called The Hunk in order to become less awkward around women.

A new bit…

I had my gay friend from college staying with last week, and he was telling me how on Grindr, you basically need a glossary of gay terms to understand everyone’s bios. Everything is an acronym – “Neg GWA looking for a Vers Otter for some NSA JO fun”. I got such a kick out of perusing Grindr and trying to guess what all the acronyms meant. And now, whenever I’m texting friends, I can’t stop texting in the format of a Grindr bio. Like, yesterday when I asked my friend if he wanted to play basketball this weekend, I said, “Masc Active Jew seeks Daddy Jock for Discreet BB fun.” I can’t stop doing it.

Brandon Cohen‘s work is continually featured on blogs such as Thrillist, Fan Duel, and BroBible. Cohen co-wrote the feature THE ESCORT starring Lyndsy Fonseca, Bruce Campbell and Rumer Willis, which premiered at the 2015 LA Film Festival. He’s a staff writer on the second season of Disney XD’s highest-rated show, Walk the Prank.

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