Ophira Eisenberg

Comedian, author, host of NPR's Ask Me Another and The Moth

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON October 13, 2015

Discussion

Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
Hello! It’s Ophira – stand up comic, host of NPR’s Ask Me Another (a trivia comedy show that is on over 300 stations and of course a very popular podcast), frequent host and teller with the storytelling organization The Moth (I’ve been featured on both their award winning radio show and podcast) and I’m the author of the comedic memoir, Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy. I still curse Facebook for connecting me to all of my exes. I’m originally from Canada (sorry!) – more specifically Calgary, Alberta, but I’ve also lived in Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto – but now I’m in New York, living in Brooklyn with my husband Jonathan and Boston Terrier Mocha (they are both rescues) and both embrace artisanal culture the surrounds me and endlessly make fun of it. Since I work at night and in bars often performing, most people don’t assume I have hobbies – but I raise orchids and love action movies. As far as topics – it’s tough as I’m really not up on books or movies right now –but I could talk about food, or maybe relationship advice??
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Relationship advice! When do open relationships work and when do they not?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
I think relationships work when you're both looking for the same thing and it happens to be each other - nothing worse than being with someone half invested - ugh.
Any advice for a teen girl (my daughter) to engage with storytelling? Are there appropriate venues for that age? (The Accident was one of the most profound stories ever on the Moth - thank you for sharing)
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@graubart for anyone interested, here is a clip of the story Barry mentioned:
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
@graubart Thank you so so much - I know that a lot of teenagers come to the Moth live shows - some of the subject matter is definitely mature but it really depends on your tolerance. I think most of it your teenage daughter probably knows about from having the internet!!
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
Do many people ask you to 'tell them a joke' coldly/out of the blue? What do you think the best responses are? one joke and one shut down ;)
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · PMM @Twitter // Previously @ProductHunt
@bentossell Ben really just wants to know if you think you can out-cat-pun him...let's see if you're feline up to the challenge!
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
@bentossell It's definitely happened - although it's getting better. It's more what I expect to encounter at a bar mitzvah or something. But I never tell them a joke. Never! I have just yelled curses at them in the past. That's feels good. I've also asked - what do you do? And they say I'm an architect or something. Then you just turn it around on them - can you draw me up some blueprints for a house?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
@bentossell basically I try to shame.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
@ophirae @bentossell haha love it
Vinay Mimani@wiredmau5 · Founder : trbble
@ophirae Mitch Hedberg or C.K Louis?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
@wiredmau5 god I loved Mitch Hedberg. Makes me sad. I saw him live as much as I could. But you can't live in the past forever. Louis CK and he do entirely different comedy - I love Louis CK's storytelling style and I love his show - I actually remember him headlining the club I started at in Toronto a long time ago and he was always amazing and killing
Aparna Mukherjee@aparnamuk · Director of Ops, Grand Central Tech
@ophirae what's the best way to apologize for breaching house guest etiquette, in word and deed/gift?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
@aparnamuk yes all of them! But let me know if you want to be specific - we can get real here.
Ed Chao@echao2 · Houston Escape Room
@ophirae 1. Have you heard of an escape room before? 2. If yes, would you be interested in doing one with my friends and me in NYC sometime?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
@echao2 yes - sort of. I don't really know what they entail but I think there are a few in NY. I'd totally do it - although I warn you - I once played paint ball, hated it so much that I hid and waited for it to be over. Yup.
Ed Chao@echao2 · Houston Escape Room
@ophirae You've given me a great idea for the next escape room we design - royalties to come :) When I went to the AMA taping with Sonia Monzano, you were a little preggers. How are you doing?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
Thank you everyone! So so fun!
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
Hi Ophira, what has been the most exciting thing about hosting NPR"s Ask Me Another?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
So many great AMA moments Emily - last night we had Bruce Campbell and Lucy Lawless on (will air the weekend of Halloween) and they were like a comedy duo in action.
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
But a recent great moment was with Sir Patrick Stewart where he agreed to do dramatic readings of Taylor Swift and AC DC lyrics for a game - standing beside him doing that on stage was wildly surreal!
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
@ophirae @ems_hodge amazing! I'd love to see that.
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
Thanks for joining us @ophirae! Do you listen to (or read) Dan Savage and did his views ever influence your views on relationships or your book? If so, what are your thoughts on Monoga-mish relationships?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
Alex - I love Dan Savage - we were lucky enough to have him on our show and I even was a guest "advice giver" on his. I think everything he says is so sane and thought provoking - although, I follow his logic on non-monogamy - but I don't think I could do it! Too jealous I think!!
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@ophirae what are your favorite podcasts?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
Alex! I'm always looking for more podcasts but currently enjoying.... Ask Me Another. Ha - but I finally had a chance to listen to Invisibilia - loved that - even though I do get a chance to work with them often - The Moth podcast makes me howl with laughter and drop to my knees
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
For comedy I go all over the place - Marc Maron, How was Your Week, In the Casa with Sara Benincasa...
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
Sporkful - especially when Dan makes Jad Abumrad of Radiolab eat pot brownies!
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
Also, a side note - I just did a podcast called #HardCopy that is distributed on cassette tapes. I swear.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
The thought of doing stand-up absolutely terrifies me! What is scarier - performing to a rowdy crowd, or bumping into an ex? ;)
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
Both - I think telling a rough crowd to shut the f*ck up for 20-40 minutes is trying - there are times that it's fun. Running into an ex - well it depends on the circumstance, but I might take the rowdy drunk crowd instead! And I might be a sucker for punishment
Kate@katesegrin · Community @Tierion
@ophirae What is the best artisanal product you've discovered? And, of course, which is the most ridiculous?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
Hey Kate - I do love all the crazy artisanal tea blends (leather and tobacco, lemongrass and ham) and fig balsamic vinegar and all that stuff - but I do NOT understand the whole salt craze. I saw a tiny jar of volcano salt from south america for $40. It said it was delicious on pork. You know what's delicious on pork - ANYTHING!!!
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
Can't resist: - Your top 5 action movies in descending order are...:
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
Emily - I like a lot of action movies - I'll almost watch any of them - Bourne series, Mission Impossible, I like some Korean stuff BUT the only movie that matters to me is Raiders of the Lost Ark. And I've framed most of my life on the character of Marion
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
@ems_hodge btw - what is your fav action movie??
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
@ophirae @ems_hodge Die Hard 1, 2 and with a Vengeance. :)
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
@ems_hodge then maybe Speed (1 not 2, 2 was bad) Raiders of the Lost Ark is also a classic and the Bourne series = big fan too. Con Air and Broken Arrow also hard a special place in my action movie loving heart.
Andrew Acree@sonofrobins · Mobile Product Designer, Plated
@ophirae @ems_hodge The Korean action / thrillers are too good! The twists are always crazy.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
Hey! What would the you of 2 years ago think about what you are doing now :) ?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
BEN! Here's one huge thing I had no idea about 2 years ago - I'm currently pregnant - like 3 weeks away from having a kid. If you told me that two years ago, I might have laughed and told you that you were crazy.
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · PMM @Twitter // Previously @ProductHunt
1) What's the best pickup line you've heard in a bar (either after or a show or during a casual night out)? 1b) Worst? 2) Have you tried the Ramen Burger? Try the Ramen burger!
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
Andrew - I have not tried the Ramen Burger - oh my god, I need to try the Ramen burger. Best pick up line at a bar -god, I have to think. But I will say that I was at some hotel bar after a show, probably about a year ago, just minding my own business. I think I was depressed. Some guy sat beside me and said - so are you from around here and I just looked at him and said - Really? I've never shut down anyone that fast before.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
What’s would you do with $1Billion?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
@bentossell give it all away - MONEY IS DIRTY!
Melissa Joy Kong@melissajoykong · Content, Product Hunt
Hi Ophira! In your opinion, who's the most talented comedian around today—and why?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
@melissajoykong It's hard to bottle it down to one but I'm a huge Maria Bamford fan - I think she is doing something and talking about stuff that no one else is - at all. She is derivative of no one. A pure original.
Melissa Joy Kong@melissajoykong · Content, Product Hunt
What have been the 3-5 defining moments in your life that have shaped who you are today—and what meaning do you assign each of them in hindsight?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
Melissa - that is a very deep cool question re: defining moments...
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
@melissajoykong Here are 2 nice ones - the first time I was asked to do standup on TV, because it meant to me that maybe someone out there thought I was actually doing something worthwhile! Also when my now husband proposed to me - he did it by presenting me with 1000 folded paper cranes that he'd folded over years hoping by the time he finished the right person would be in his life. And finally - the sad one - I was in a terrible car accident when I was a kid. It made me feel a little bit more precious about life from the get go.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@ophirae since you brought up the topic of relationship guidance, what's the best advice you've received on the subject?
Ophira Eisenberg@ophirae · Host, NPR's Ask Me Another
@rrhoover don't wait a year to break up with someone you're not really into - just get it over with. Rip off the bandaid. I've made that mistake. You do not remain friends.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@ophirae damn, that sucks. I was in a relationship for ~6 months and broke it off for that reason. We could have easily dated for another 6 months but I didn't see it going anywhere long term.