Celeste Barber on the Beauty of Being Totally Unfiltered

We’ve got someone on the show this week who makes it her business to show us exactly how wonderful we as women are–just as we are! She is the queen of keeping it real, a hilariously honest actress, standup comedian, and the Instagram star who has become our go-to for a belly laugh when the world’s expectations just seem a tad too polished–it’s Celeste Barber!

If you haven’t seen Celeste on her Instagram account, get on over there and join the nearly 10 million people who are clamoring for her content each week (and if you have any doubt, she won the “Funniest Lady on Instagram Award” back in 2017). She’s also a successful standup comedian who sold out three seasons of her “Challenge Accepted” Tour in the US, and has a Netflix Special (“Fine, Thanks”) and a dramatic comedy series that we just love called “Wellmania.”  

Jen and Celeste get into it about: 

  • The riotous juggle Celeste manages by shining a light on the quirks of the beauty industry, all while paving her own extraordinary path. 
  • Celeste opens up about the nuanced battles of being valued for her sharp mind and quicker wit in a scene often unforgiving to women.
  • Celeste and Jen share about the beautiful chaos of balancing a career with being a superhero mom (or at least trying to be). 

This episode is more than just laughs (though, swear, you’ll have plenty); it’s a pat on the back for every one of us out here, doing the thing, being utterly magnificent in our complexity. Here’s to celebrating the splendid and wonderful you!

 

It’s Funny Where Life Takes Us Sometimes: Anjelah Johnson-Reyes

It’s so fun when we get to have guests back on the show that we love, but it’s especially fun when we get to catch up after we haven’t talked to them for awhile! This guest joined us in the very first year of our show in the For the Love of Laughter series, and she was fire then, and she’s fire now, 5 years later. We’re talking about the amazingly talented and hilarious Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, one of our favorite comedians in the whole wide world! You know her from her awesome Nail Salon comedy sketch, which launched her career, or as her character from MadTV, Bon Qui Qui, and from her amazing comedy specials. When Anjelah was with us last time, she shared that she and her husband had chosen to pursue their careers to the fullest and had made the very personal decision to not have kids. But it’s funny what can change in five years, and Anjelah is now the proud mom of 3 month old Rosie Harlow Reyes. She shares what led to the decision to have a baby, what she’s learned in this season – which she also candidly shares on her YouTube channel via a series of videos called Postpartum Confessions. Whether she’s on stage doing comedy, acting on TV and in movies, or hosting podcasts with her husband Manny, Anjelah gives a great perspective on how life can take us where we least expect to go, and how we can laugh about it a little along the way.

 

Laughing Toward The Light: Comedian James Thornton Finds Himself at 50

We’re keeping the laughs going as we continue our For the Love of Funny series–and this week we’ve got Kevin James Thornton, a comedian and entertainer, who, after spending his youth  in a fundamentalist church in the 90’s,  found a lot to laugh about. After moving to LA to make his way on stages at the Comedy Store and as an actor, Kevin wasn’t sure he was happy with how his life was going. After a move to Nashville and some serious contemplation about where to go next, the pandemic hit. Bored at home, Kevin discovered a little thing called TikTok and decided it might be fun to share some of the stories of what it was like to grow up gay in a fundamentalist church in the 90’s, and much to his surprise his videos were wildly successful. At 50 years old, Kevin had found his niche, and now he brings his unique brand of comedy (often sung as a story through an auto-tune device—because it was the 90’s, after all) ) with audiences across the U.S. and Europe and with over 2 million followers on social media. 

 

For the Love of Funny: Tom Papa Takes His Comedy Personally

We’re knee-deep in our “For the Love of Funny” series, celebrating all things hilarious and witty. Jen’s been a long-time fan and amateur participant in the world of comedy, and our guest today explores one of her tip-top favorite genres of comedy.  He’s a master of observational humor, turning even the most mundane moments of life into pure comedy gold. Our guest, Tom Papa, is not just a comedian—he’s a whirlwind of talent with a remarkable career spanning two decades. From his uproarious Netflix specials “What A Day” and “You’re Doing Great,” to his writing and stand-up projects in comedy clubs and for shows like NPR’s “Live From Here,” to his acting roles, Tom has done it all.  He and Jen discuss the common theme of mining gold from your family to create some of your best comedy material (but avoiding presenting that said material to them, because family can be brutal critics). They also discuss Tom’s new passion–baking, and how between writing, doing comedy and various shows, he’s in the kitchen tending to all the processes involved with producing amazing bread and other baked goods. To that end, Tom also hosts his own podcast called “Breaking Bread with Tom Papa,” where he invites guests for lively discussions over meals. Like a lot of comedians, Tom is more than just funny—he’s a thoughtful, insightful individual who gives you something to think about between all the laughs.

 

Sheltered Kids Who Grew Up To Be Funny: Trey + Katie Kennedy and Jake Triplett

We’re back with more funny, and this week doesn’t disappoint. For those of you who grew up in the Bible Belt and maybe went to a conservative church (or even if you didn’t), perhaps you were a bit sheltered like our guests this week. Before racking up over 12 million combined followers on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and elsewhere, and hosting the hit podcast Correct Opinions, comedian Trey Kennedy came to fame on the short-form videosharing app Vine. His hilarious and pointed videos ranged from imitating a church youth pastor who is cornily trying to be cool and up on pop culture, to an overly sunny Dad who tries to drag his teenage son out of bed to go to church. Now, Trey has teamed up with his friend Jake Triplett, who he met at a Christian camp, and the two co host the podcast, along with Trey’s wife Katie (who keeps the pair on track and from going down too many rabbit holes). In this episode, the trio and Jen share the commonalities of their Baptist church upbringings, their naivete about dating customs (hearing Jake’s assessment of what he thought french kissing was will make you howl), and how Trey’s Bible wielding grandmother had a serious talk with him about rumors of him being gay (He’s not. Not that there’s anything wrong with that). They’ve managed to turn being ‘sheltered’ into comedy gold, and they’ve been taking their brand of comedy all around the country with their recent “Grow Up” tour and their clean comedy is resonating everywhere. Their funny spin on their past doesn’t just give us a good laugh; it also makes anyone who had a similar childhood feel like part of a big, quirky family.

 

For the Love of Funny: Finding The Funny In Our Wins and Losses with R. Eric Thomas

We’re back with more of our For the Love of Funny series, and this week we’re asking the question; is it possible to find humor not only in our lighter moments, but also in our vulnerable and difficult times? Our guest this week specializes in wit through the written word–and he has found that it is possible to find joy, while being heartfelt and hilarious at the same time. We’re welcoming R. Eric Thomas, back to the show! Whether he’s writing about politics, pop culture, or celebrity craziness–Eric has a refreshing and hilarious perspective–which really helps when regular reporting on politics and news might send us spiraling into the darkness. Eric is also a television writer (Dickinson on AppleTV+, Better Things on FX), a playwright, and a bestselling author of several books, including Here For It: Or How To Save Your Soul in America and his newest work, a collection of hilarious essays called Congratulations The Best Is Over. Eric brings that laugh we need when the world seems bonkers, and helps remind us that we can find something to laugh at in almost every situation–we just have to be open to it. 

 

Yelled at By A Clown: How Nate Bargatze Found His Funny

We’re looking for laughs and we found them in all the right places, and we’re sharing the hilarity with a brand new series called For the Love Of Funny.  If you’ve hung out with us for any amount of time, you know that Jen is an avid devotee of all things funny. So we’ve rounded up some of her favorite funny people to not only bring us laughs, but to unpack the art and science of making people laugh. And for our very first episode, we couldn’t be more delighted to welcome “The Tennessee Kid” himself–Nate Bargatze! Nate’s known for his down-to-earth humor and deadpan comedy delivery, his highly viewed Netflix specials, and his favored status as a frequent guest on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: (10+ times!). Surprise guest interviewer Tyler Merritt joins Jen as they pull back the curtain on Nate’s comedy journey.  Often referred to as the “nicest man in standup,” Nate talks about growing up in a performance forward home (his dad was a Christian magician), the origins of some of his funniest jokes (Yelled at By a Clown, anyone?) and the side of fame that isn’t so pretty–like his sister’s incredulity that anyone would want to take a selfie with him.