Talking Laughs: In the Tank with Jon Fisch

02/11/2010 2:46 PM |


Jon Fisch is a staple on the New York comedy scene. Obviously, he’s a funny guy, but he’s also a huge fan of comedy. As a student of the art form, as well as one of its practitioners, last year he combined his twelve+ years of experience with his passion for the craft and created the In the Tank with Jon Fisch podcast.

Jon, Dan Allen, and Dan Shaki (all of whom are often mentioned in our Comedy Listings) teamed up in January 2009 to start the show. Each week, the trio interviews a different comic about the ins-and-outs of comedy, about the skills required for writing and performing, and about the current developments in the New York and national scenes. Now in its second season, the show has evolved into an in-depth look at comedy from a fun and informative angle that has been over-looked in the past. It targets aspiring comics and fans alike, and both communities have responded with appreciation and support.

In conversations with Jon, he laments the fact that there are, “…so many things people still don’t understand about stand-up.” With each new episode of The Tank, however, this group has been able to shed some light on the behind-the-scenes side of the comedy world by sharing stories and interviewing pros working all over the nation. With topics varying from comedy films, stage-time, and stage-wear, the podcast is becoming the go-to resource for learning about comics and the specifics of their careers. Some past guests include Todd Barry, Ted Alexandro, Laurie Kilmartin, and most recently Christian Finnegan. (Full list HERE.)

What started out as sort-of a grassroots show has grown into a talked-about production with a strong Internet presence and growing notoriety on the club scene. In the past, they have traveled between clubs in New York and Boston and also used the guys’ Astoria kitchens for tapings. As Season Two progresses, Dan Allen shared that the team is looking to upgrade its equipment and/or partner with AOL’s, which will give them access to an incredible studio. They will also be “upping the ante” with guests like Jim Gaffigan, Dave Attell, Lewis Black, and Louis CK.

As the first season showed us, the insights of the performers into the mechanics of the comedy industry is invaluable to comedians and entertaining to fans, and the formula seems to be working. Jon is the host of the show, and, like the MC on any given night at a comedy club, he focuses on the guests and the overall tone and pacing of each episode. Dan Allen is “Producer Dan”, for those of you who have listened to the show before. He takes on many of the off-air responsibilities as well as uses his own career’s anecdotes to add to the conversations. Shaki, as a newer comic, infuses his enthusiasm and humor into the questions and comments throughout each new show. The result is a show overflowing with true-life stories, fun interviews, a lot of talking about getting laughs, and, of course, the laughs themselves.