Punched Up

Apr 16 2020 19 mins 39

More than just green room stories, Punched Up is storytelling through the damaged lens of some of the world's best Stand Up Comedians. Created and Hosted By Michael Malone.

Something to Talk About
May 20 2017 31 mins  
“I dunno what you’re going to call this, but we’re going to talk about how I became the monster I am today… which is just another name for ‘comedian’.” is how Lace started our conversation. Lace Larrabee grew up like a lot of comedians do. Playing dress up in their mother’s clothes and charging relatives for tickets to an exclusive living room performance. Lace spent her childhood in a trailer park in southern Georgia. Her parents worked multiple jobs to make ends meet to raise Lace and her younger sister. As she got older Lace not only recognized but admired her parents work ethic. Lace wanted to give her parents a break. So she thought that becoming a bonafide movie star (in the eighties) would be the perfect career choice to allow Lace the opportunity to repay her parents for all their hard work. “When I was a little kid, we had to fill out one of those forms that said ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ It’s just one little line and all the other kids wrote like, ‘Fireman’ and ‘Ballerina’ ‘Teacher’ ‘Hairdresser.’ I had to write real small and real close together, ‘Singer, Dancer, Actress, Model.” Lace said laughing. Today we follow Lace down the many different paths that eventually led her to stand up comedy. The movie she ‘starred’ in when she was a child with Julia Roberts. Her mother’s undying blind faith in her and also the incredible work and support her mother put into Lace’s success. You can find out more great stories like this on iTunes or Stitcher Radio, and you can join our ongoing conversation by following us on twitter, @PunchedUpPod. Special shout out to Jake Beaver from the 4D Podcast Network. Jake has come on board as a story consultant and is absolutely killing it. Find more of Jake’s work at https://www.spreaker.com/user/the4dpodcastnetwork.

Unblock My Love
Apr 15 2017 15 mins  
“I wish I had a cool ‘coming out story,’” comedian Leah Mansfield sheepishly confided. “I don’t,” she laughed. During a commercial break of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Leah casually turned to her family and told them the news. “Ya know that girl that’s coming to visit me this weekend? Well… She’s more than a friend. I’m gay.” After a brief pause, her mom broke the silence with, “Yeah, we know.” And that was that. Comedian Leah Mansfield’s family has always been progressive. She was raised in a litter of six sisters, and one brother by two self-proclaimed hippies who work as environmental physicists in northern Seattle. Leah was a long distance runner and an above average student, but always felt a little different. Like when her sisters would be gossiping about kissing boys and rounding the bases, Leah remembers thinking, “Maybe I’ll wait wait til I’m married to have sex.” This is a normal feeling in the gay community. In fact, forty eight percent of teenagers have no idea they are gay until they are in their in their mid twenties. They all grew up feeling how Leah felt. Just a little, “different.” Leah wasn’t sure what to do, or who to talk to. She felt like she was suffocating in the secrecracy of her inner, uncertain feelings. So, she did what most young, anxious teenagers do. She rebelled. “I became a born-again Christian. I joined Campus Crusades for Christ,” she said. “I felt something was wrong with me, and I thought maybe religion could fix it.” One summer, at Jesus camp. She met a girl, and all those feelings about being “different” suddenly went away, and things clicked. Leah and her new friend kept their relationship a secret for several months, meeting in the woods to sneak kisses and hold hands. A real life romance novel. One day they decided to open up and share their relationship with their inner circle of friends. But the new relationship status didn’t get them any “Likes.” Their friends saw this as a rebellion against god and lectured them on how wrong their actions and feelings were. The inner circle forbid the two girls to see each other, and everything came to a crashing halt. So, the they split up. Peer pressure is a helluva drug. A year went by with no contact till Leah heard through the grapevine that her summer fling had attempted suicide four times since their split. She reached out, but only received more radio silence till one afternoon weeks later, a letter showed up. “Please don’t contact me. I can’t be friends with you. I can’t see you. I can’t support your lifestyle. I can never see you, ever again.” They never spoke again. I’d like to tell you that what happened with Leah and her girlfriend from Christ Camp was an isolated incident. But, It’s not. Studies show that suicide is the leading cause of death among Gay and Lesbian youth. Nearly thirty percent of the gay youth attempt suicide near the age of fifteen. When religion didn’t fix her, Leah went searching for answers in a place you’d probably least expect. She joined the United States military. And it changed her love life. Leah had always liked the idea of joining the Air Force, and when she applied, she was accepted. Once she was there, Leah found comfort in a small group of ladies who were all gay. More importantly, they were openly gay. It was the first time that she had hung out with a social group of people who were gay, and didn’t care. This was also the first time Leah’s life that anyone had made it feel okay. Even though none of them talked about their lifestyle choice at work, this was still a huge leap in life for Leah. She felt like she fit in. After Leah spent a few years in the military, she did a ton of soul searching. She found herself battling for many years with the grandiose idea of religious guilt and what everyone perceives as “right” and “wrong.” Leah remembers thinking that even her worth in the world was somehow affected by the fact that she was gay. That because she was ‘different’, God wouldn’t love her anymore. I asked Leah if she was still religious after all her soul searching, and her response ended up sounding like something her hippie physicists parents would say. “If God is truly everywhere, it implies and infiniteness. Right? So if God is that big of a deal. There is no way I could ever comprehend in this particular dimension, with my brain, and in this life. Like, I dunno if there is even a God or not… And I don’t think it’s my calling to figure it out, either. I tried for about ten years, and I got to a point where I thought; Maybe I’m just supposed to make people laugh.”

Funny Twist of Fate
Jan 24 2017 20 mins  
"FUNNY TWIST OF FATE" Comedian Ben Gleib has a fantastic podcast called, "The Last Week on Earth." He covers politics, celebrity gossip, life advice and nothing is off limits. He kicked off his podcast with a parade of high-profile celebrity guests including Blake Griffin, Dane Cook, Meghan McCain, Aisha Tyler and Sophia Bush. Ben and Sophia hit it off famously and ended up attending Seth Rogan's "Hilarity For Charity" event. That's when Ben met Bryan Cranston for the first time. After the charity event, the legendary actor from the hit series "Breaking Bad" agreed to do Ben's podcast. He came on and they acted like old high school buddies who hadn't seen each other in 10 years. The energy was electric. They were laughing, trading Rush Limbaugh impressions, Bryan was giving career advice. You name it, they talked about it. This ended up being the beginning of a lifelong relationship between Ben and Bryan. Bryan even sent a few of his co-stars Ben's way to do his podcast. This is a MUST HEAR episode. It's so much fun and actually one of my favorites so far. I can't thank Ben enough for coming on and sharing. Make sure you check out Ben's wonderful podcast "Last Week on Earth" to hear the full episodes with Bryan Cranston and Bob Odenkirk. You can also watch Ben Gleib host "The Idiot Test" on The Game Show network and be sure to watch his one-hour hour comedy special on Showtime called, "Neurotic Gangster." Please be sure to like us on Facebook and subscribe to us on iTunes. More info and episodes available at www.PunchedUpPodcast.com Find out more about Comedian Ben Gleib: Twitter : @bengleib

Mr Glass
Sep 12 2016 15 mins  
"MR. GLASS" To meet Ken Garr is to be immediately charmed. He has the cool demeanor of a Rat Pack member born to the wrong era. He’s a sturdy guy with a Midwestern ease and whip-smart whit. Dude is smooth. So, it caught me off guard, initially, when he casually mentioned he earned a bronze medalist in the 1988 Special Olympics. I don’t know what I expected a 1988 Special Olympian athlete to look like, but it certainly wasn’t Ken. “I did the math. I went back and looked at my medical records. I think I have broken around thirty-five bones. So if you average six weeks for recovery… that’s around two hundred and ten weeks or roughly four consecutive years of my life just recuperating.” Ken has spent most of his life being broken in one sense or another. His first bone break came at six months, and by age three, he’d broken his legs six times. His bones endure a rare bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which basically means he breaks easily. The disease wrapped most of his youth in casts and braces and forced him into walkers. Surrounded by a family of burly firefighters, Ken stuck out. He was different. “In the eighties if there was anything wrong with you, you couldn’t stay in regular school. They didn’t know any better back then. So they would throw a helmet on you and put you in special needs classes.” Ken didn’t let his bones hold him back. In fact, he seemingly raced to the next injury with the gusto only a child can muster up. He played baseball, kickball, football. Each came with a new battle scar, but he welcomed the pain for the chance to feel normal. The pain he endured over the years made him who he is today. When he was in a cast or sling and couldn’t bond with friends on the playground so instead he built friendships with humor. He became the funny kid in the arm brace. Making people laugh became more regular than breaking bones for Ken. His broken bones as a child is what has lead Ken to a solid career as a comedian. More info and episodes available at www.PunchedUpPodcast.com Find out more about Comedian Ken Garr: Twitter : @ComedianKenGarr

Five Mins or Less
Aug 09 2016 13 mins  
"FIVE MINUTES OR LESS" Comedienne Melissa Shoshahi shares with us her struggle becoming what her mother wanted her to do, which was what she did. Pedicures and waxing or what she wanted to do with her life. Stand Up Comedy. Melissa is of Iranian decent. As a female in her 20’s, with a college degree and being the only child. Her parents weren’t thrilled when they found out she wanted to do stand up. They just didn’t get it. It’s not their fault. There wasn’t too many “Comedians” in Melissa’s culture. She tried to please her mother at first. So, Melissa was going to beauty school during the day and doing stand-up at night. She did that until she graduated and then again, to make her mother happy. Melissa started working with her mother at the salon she owned. This was a big deal. Melissa’s mom isn’t just passionate about waxing. She’s award-winningly good at it. Melissa’s mom has been featured in Allure magazine and in Seattle magazines several times because she does a five-minute Brazilian wax. "A Brazilian wax means everything. Literally everything, is cleaned down there." Melissa assisted her mother with waxing but after about a week she told her she just couldn’t do it anymore, it wasn’t for her. A few years later Melissa started doing shows and touring with Max Amini. Her parents came to a show where she was featuring for him and saw her in a different light. Her parents finally realized that stand up was Melissa’s Brazilian Wax Shop. At the end of the day, we’re all chasing our version of a Brazilian wax shop out there. I hope you find yours. Thanks for listening. More info and episodes available at www.PunchedUpPodcast.com Find out more about Comedian MelissaShoshahi: Twitter : @MelShoshahi

Meeting (John) Mayer
Aug 02 2016 17 mins  
"MEETING (JOHN) MAYER" John Mayer’s body may be a wonderland, but meeting him certainly was not…Let me back up. First, meet Kelsey Cook. Kelsey is the daughter of an International Yo-Yo Champion and a Professional Foosball player. Yes, those are real things. She’s also an up-and-coming comedian and Youtube make-up guru that is based in the beautiful city of Los Angeles. You’ve probably seen Kelsey doing stand up on one of the numerous television shows like FOX TV’s Laughs, Uproarious on FUSE, or Live at Gotham. Right now, she is the opening act for veteran comedian Jim Norton across the US on his “Mouthful Of Shame” tour. While on tour with Norton, Kelsey found herself at a swanky Hollywood after-party packed with celebrities and comedians. You name it, they were there. Louie Anderson, Bob Saget, Jeff Ross, Gilbert Godfrey, Melissa Rivers — and squeezed into a corner booth surrounded by professionally funny people was the man, the myth, the legend, and Kelsey’s ultimate fantasy, John Mayer. “John Mayer is one of those artist who every album they put out, it like correlated to abreak up in your life. Ya know, you listen to the lyrics like – ‘This is about me, ME and TIM!!’ – Tears streaming down your face.” The night went on, drinks were had. Stories were shared, and Kelsey returned to her hotel room later, where her brain then began to head into overdrive. She couldn’t shake the thought of what just happened. Then she realized that all of those after party guests were not only staying at the same hotel, but They were all staying on the same floor as well. That’s when her she went into full-on fangirl mode. She started playing out fantasies from the comfort of her own bed. “What if I put a dress on and go back downstairs? I could fix my make up and go down for a drink. I wonder if he’s still awake? Maybe I’ll roam the halls for a bit until he comes up to his room…” Kelsey has still never got another shot at meeting Mayer… and maybe she never will. Life doesn’t owe any of us anything. It doesn’t matter how much you want something to happen, it doesn’t guarantee that it will. However, I felt bad for Kelsey. I wanted to help. So I asked her to write a missed connection for Mr. Mayer in hopes that maybe he would read it, and give her a second shot at introducing herself. The way she always dreamed it would happen. Less denim, and more conversation. So at the end of this episode, Kelsey writes John a Craigslist Missed Connections Ad. Enjoy. More info and episodes available at www.PunchedUpPodcast.com Find out more about Comedian Kelsy Cook : Twitter : @KelseyCook

Death By Chocolate
Jul 25 2016 14 mins  
"DEATH BY CHOCOLATE" Our story starts like most great stories start, on a cold dark night. Chris Cope was working a “Comedy Zone” Club in Harrisburg, PA. That’s about an hour away from the big Hersey’s Chocolate Factory. Saturday night after his shows Chris started having the worst chest pains of his entire life. He called 911 and an ambulance came and took him to the ER. He was determined not to die in Harrisburg! Mainly because he was weighing over 400 pounds at the time and it would be embarrassing as a fat guy to die near the Hershey’s Chocolate plant. The CT scan showed a rip in his aorta. He had a heart aneurysm and was bleeding to death internally. A nurse took one look at his chart and asked him if he wanted to speak to a priest. Chris said he was hoping to start with a doctor first. They flew a surgeon in from Pittsburg who gave him a 20-25% chance of survival but after a six-hour surgery and a long recovery he made it (obviously). Chris was 27 years old and weighed over 400 lbs. He was constantly working the road, barely sleeping, and living off energy drinks and junk food. It was nothing for him to eat a 3,000 calorie meal at McDonalds. That lifestyle finally caught up with him. In the year following the surgery, Chris got a personal trainer, dropped some weight and today is doing a lot better. He has been on Comedy Central and Grey’s Anatomy and is doing standup comedy full time and living in Los Angeles. Find out when Chris is coming to your city visit http://www.iheartchriscope.com You can see on Comedy Central’s TOSH.O, FOX Television’s show Laughs and Grey’s Anatomy. Chris is doing standup comedy full time and living in Los Angeles. Find out when Chris is coming to your city visit www.iheartchriscope.com More info and episodes available at www.PunchedUpPodcast.com Find out more about Comedian Chris Cope : Twitter : @ChrisCopeComedy Facebook : Chris Cope

A Stab At Stand Up Comedy
Jun 13 2016 15 mins  
"A STAB AT STAND UP COMEDY" Ricarlo Flanagan hasn’t lived with his mother since he was 16 years old because Ricarlo and his Step Father’s relationship is complicated. Well actually, calling their relationship complicated would be a HUGE understatement. Ricarlo's parents had him at a very young age. Ricarlo’s mother was only seventeen and his father was nineteen when they had him. Soon after he was born Ricarlo’s father joined the Military. His mother hated this decision and the young couple split up. Years later, Ricarlo’s mother found herself marrying an abusive alcoholic who did not get along with Ricarlo. One day Ricarlo went to the hospital to support his friend whose father had recently had an aneurysm. When he got back home he found his stepfather really drunk and mad at his mother about some change she kept from the grocery store. His step father looked at it as stealing and wanted revenge. Things got heated and Ricardo and his step father started to fight. Thing escalated as they do and quickly took a turn for the worse. After the step dad scuffle, Ricarlo decided to move in with his father. During this period of his life, he made time think about his life. Where he was, and where he wanted to be. He rediscovered his motivation while living with his father in Michigan. It was a stress free lifestyle and he felt like his old self again. Ricarlo went back to school, lost weight, got a job and moved out. He ended up taking a comedy class because he didn’t know anybody in town and didn’t have anything to do on his days off work. That’s when he fell in love with comedy. Little did he know, Stand Up Comedy would turn his whole life around. Since then, Ricarlo has been featured on FUSE TV, Laughs on FOX and NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Ricarlo’s debut comedy “Man Law” is also available on iTunes. Enjoy. More info and episodes available at www.PunchedUpPodcast.com Find out more about Comedian Matt Kirshen: Twitter : @FatherFlanagan Facebook : Ricarlo Flanagan

From Speechless to Showtime
May 31 2016 13 mins  
"FROM SPEECHLESS TO SHOWTIME" Ben wanted to be an entertainer since he was five or six years old. The only problem was he had a stutter problem that began around the age of three. I think you already know how this story goes, Ben had a difficult time in school and was bullied. Sometimes he would just lock up and couldn’t even say hello to people in the hallway. In 7th grade science class Ben was one of the most educated kids in class. Once he had to give another presentation he literally couldn’t speak. Ben was enlisted in speech theorpy classes throughout his childhood but would never commit to the exercises and practices they would send him home with. One afternoon his speech teacher had him reading a report out loud when she noticed something odd. She noticed that Ben seemed to be focusing on the presentation of his speech but not the content. Ben explained, “Yeah, I want it to sound perfect. It doesn’t matter what I’m saying.. I just want it to sound good.” After Ben realized he was seeing things all wrong. Most people with a fear of public speaking see it wrong. They think that it’s so important and everyone is judging them and it has to be perfect or they will look like an idiot. In reality, the opposite is true. Most people are just glad they’re not the one speaking and have very low expectations. They aren’t expecting Winston Churchill; they are just expecting information from whoever was chosen by this company at this moment to speak. “Take a step back and think about if your little speech or stand up act or presentation at work is really so important. Take another step back and realize there are millions of people starving to death. Take a further step back and realize we’re spinning out of control on a planet in a vast unknowable universe where we are the tiniest speak that truly couldn’t have any significance based on the size and grand scheme of things.Do you think on that planet, on that one spot in that one room you’re top with the way it comes off? Not even the words, but the style?!” Ben said his perspective started to shift. “You’re not special because you’re speaking to people. Your job just happens to be speaking but you’re still just a cog in the machine.“ Once Ben started to see the bigger picture, he doesn’t get the least bit nervous. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “The Bandit“ Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Dreams Become Real by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

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