Episode 16 - Kelsey Cook
Kelsey stops by Casa de D.J. to talk about her foosball championship pedigree, the pros and cons of the Diva Cup, and whether it's ok to make fun of your grandma in your stand-up act.
Follow Kelsey on Twitter @kelseycook
D.J. Demers: Hey, what’s up? Welcome to another edition of Definitely D.J. I am Definitely D.J. Demers, that’s my name. We’ve got a great episode this week, Kelsey Cook is my guest and she is hilarious and uh-we had a great conversation, she’s a great comedian and a great foosball player. You don’t hear that multi hyphenate every day – great comedian and foosball player, among other talents. She also has a great podcast with two other great comedians – Taylor Tomlinson and Delanie Fischer, and that is called “Self-Helpless”. So, check out Kelsey Cook and I’ll get to our conversation very shortly but before I do, Kelsey and I talked about Kanye West, mr. Kanye West, at the end of the episode and it got me thinking just how much I love Kanye. Yeezy, Yeezus, I love Kanye so much.
So, before I get into the conversation I’d like to list my top 5 favorite Kanye songs, in no particular order, I must say that. This is, by no mean definitive either, you know. There’s many songs I had to leave off, but here are 5 of my favorite Kanye songs. If you have a song that you think for sure should been in the top 5 that I’ve neglected, please let me know. Call me at 818-659-6021, leave a voice memo, I’ll play it on the next episode. That’s 818-659-6021. Okay, here’s my Kanye top 5. I love Kanye, I loved him from his very first album, “College Dropout”, of course. So, this is uh-pretty much all the songs of all these albums, except for “808s & Heartbreak”, which I do like but I got to be honest, I listen to it the least of all the Kanye albums. Okay, first song – “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” from “Late Registration”, I love this song so much. Just such a good song, not the Jay-Z remix by the way, the original Kanye song. I know that Kanye thinks Jay-Z murders that verse when he comes in for the remix, cause Kanye talks about it in another great song – “Big Brother”. But for me, and I know this is blasphemy to a lot of hip-hop aficionados, hip-hop heads if you will, but I just wanna hear Kanye rap over Jay-Z, any day of the week. I like Kanye better. In fact, Jay-Z, I know he’s a legend but he gets murdered on a lot of tracks, like “Monster” with Kanye and Nicki. Uh-Kelsey and I talked about that a little bit, Kanye and Nicki’s verses are so good and Jay-Z – uuh, not as good, in my opinion. “Renegade” with Eminem, that old song- oh my God, Eminem is so good on that, you can’t really blame Jay-Z, his verses are good on that too, but Eminem was just at the peak of his powers.
You’re a brave man to put Eminem on your track, at that point of time, probably around 2001. or something. And even the whole “Watch The Throne” album, Kanye and Jay-Z, I just feel like Kanye stole that album. My favorite lyric from “Diamonds from Sierra Leone”:
“Now all I need is y'all to pronounce my name, it's Kanye but some of my plaques, they still say Kayne”.
Damn, that’s good. And I remember downloading Kanye on Kazaa or Napster back in the day, and his name was actually spelled K-A-Y-N-E, like Kayne. Crazy to think now, considering his, you know, we just know him by one name – he’s Kanye. He’s mononymous, he’s a mononymous superstar like Cher or Madonna. Maybe that’s a good lyric: “Went from being broke and anonymous to rich and mononymous”. You can have that one Kanye, call me. Or “I remember I couldn’t afford a Ford Escort or even a four-track recorder”. I love that line. “Diamonds from Sierra Leone”.
Next song, “30 Hours” from “The Life of Pablo”. This was the first track I’ve heard on “The Life of Pablo”. Uh, got me so hyped for the album. Favorite lyric from that:
“I remember being nervous to do Victoria's Secret, 'til I pictured everybody with they clothes off”.
That’s so silly and great. I love the psych out in the end too, when he’s like “Hey 3 Stacks, help me out” and you’re like “Shiiit, is André 3000 ‘bout to drop some hot fire?” – nope, just two minutes of Kanye talking over the beat. What a great psych out, such a classic Kanye move. Just ad-libbing for two minutes over the beat, while you waiting for the legend André 3000 to come in. I think he says a few words but you can’t really- it’s basically Kanye. Such a great song. “She was the best of all time at the time though”. Damn, love that song.
Next one – “Runaway” from “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”. This whole album is so damn good. You know, it was the sweet spot where Kanye still had some of his pop sensibilities from “College Dropout”, “Graduation”, “Late Registration”, but he was starting to get into that moodier vibe that he would- you know, fully explore on “Yeezus”. Uh-that sounds so academic, “that he would fully explore”- I’m not a music critic but that sounded like something a
music critic might say. But Pusha T’s verse on “Runaway” is incredible and the chorus:
“And I always find, yeah, I always find something wrong. You been putting up with my shit just way too long. So gifted at finding what I don't like the most”.
That’s what you guys tuned in for, right, to hear deaf guy singing. [laughing] But man, so good, just- and the opening lyric in that song:
“She find pictures in my e-mail, I sent this bitch a picture of my dick”.
What? I love, I love that, I love when Kanye just comes straight out and say shit that is so literal, with no hidden meaning. Just like “yeah, I sent a girl picture of my dick, my lady caught me”. Another time he does that is in “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” from his last album, when he says the most unrelatable lyric in the history of music:
“Now if I fuck this model, and she just bleached her asshole, and I get bleach on my T-shirt, I'ma feel like an asshole”.
Oh, yeah Kanye, we’ve all been there. Don’t you hate it, when you’re like “oh man, I hope this model didn’t just bleach her asshole cause this is a new T-shirt I’m wearing, I’d hate to get bleach on it”. Yeah, c’mon. But that’s-I love it, I love that he’s like “this is my life, this is my life”.
“The Glory” of “Graduation”, that song is just pure unbridled ego, I love it. I listen to that song before gigs and stuff, when I just wanna get my juices flowing, get jacked up, feeling like the man.
“When you meet me in person what it’s feel like? I know, I know I look better in real life”.
Oh, man. Or:
“So yeah, at the Grammys I went ultra Travolta, and yeah that tuxedo might have been a little guido, but with my ego I can stand there in a Speedo, and be looked at like a fucking hero”.
Love that shit. “The Glory” is so good, that’s my pump up jam.
And finally – “All Falls Down” off of a “College Dropout”, man. This was the one, this was the song that just got me hooked on Kanye. I heard “Through The Wire” first, I think that was his first single he dropped and I loved it, but this one – “All Falls Down”, I mean, this was the one where I fell in love. I can rap every single lyric, it’s like a part of my genetic fiber, at this point.
This was Kanye introducing a whole new era of rap, you know. This was after “Bad Boy” and Mase, and you know, Ludacris, Snoop was doing his thing at that time, as he still is, but –all these rappers with the big rims and the money and the girls and the cars. Don’t get me wrong, I love that shit too, but I was young and I just took it for granted “oh, that’s what rap is” cause- you know, the more socially conscious rap or you know, subversive rap like N.W.A. I was born in ’86, that was late 80s, early 90s, I wasn’t really absorbing that so when I came of age, it was all the money and rims and everything like that, and Kanye comes along and he still talks about all those things, but he also talks about the other side of it, where he’s like “yeah, I’m buying all these nice things but it’s also because I’m really insecure, but also I’m the fucking man, but also I’m really insecure”. And it was just such a cool jacked-up position, I’ve never thought of that. You know, I was just a young, white teenager living in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada and this was kind of my first introduction to the experience of- you know, being a black man or a woman living in America. Oh, that lyric:
“Even if you in a Benz, you still a N-word in a coupe”. I say the word when I’m by myself, I should admit to that. But um-I love the song, I mean no disrespect, so hard when you wanna rap along with the rapper and you’re like “damn, I can’t say every single word in this song”. Or:
“I say, "Fuck the police”, that's how I treat 'em, we buy our way out of jail, but we can't buy freedom”.
Uh, man. The idea that wealth still didn’t bring equality was an epiphany for me. That was when I began my love affair with Kanye, you know. His braggadocio and insecurity and self-awareness and then also a complete lack of giving a fuck, all on one display and one song, one album. I know a lot of people don’t like him now but I still think he’s the man. I think fame does crazy things to anybody, I can’t even pretend to know what it’s like to be that
famous but um-I don’t envy the man. But I do love how he has evolved as an artist and continually reinvented himself and set the course for pop music and rap music. He’s always ahead of the game, and I just love him, man. I’m incredibly grateful for Kanye, if I may be earnest and sincere for a moment, so thank you Yeezy. You the man, you’ve given me hours and hours of listening pleasure, so thank you for that.
Once again, if you have any other Kanye songs um-you think I’ve omitted from the list erroneously, please call me – 818-659-60-21.
Let’s get into the episode with another Kanye fan, which we talk about near the end of the conversation but just an all-around: a great comedian as I said, accomplished foosball player, podcaster and a delight-an absolute delight to have a conversation with. Without further ado, please enjoy Kelsey Cook.
D.J. Demers: Kelsey Cook, welcome.
Kelsey Cook: Hello, how are you?
D.J. Demers: I’m fantastic, thank you very much for coming out.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, thanks for having me.
D.J. Demers: You don’t live too far from here, you said.
Kelsey Cook: No yeah, it’s a pretty quick drive.
D.J. Demers: You know what’s funny, is I’ve only been doing this podcast a short amount of time but in L.A. people haven’t really been reluctant.
Kelsey Cook: Really?
D.J. Demers: I’m like “Hey, you wanna come to my podcast?” and people are like “Yeah”.
Kelsey Cook: They’re so thirsty, we’re all just like “Yeah”.
D.J. Demers: Maybe, but like- since I’m new in town too, I thought people would be more like “Uh, no” but there’s been like obviously little pushback or
sometimes people can’t make it, but for the most part people are like “Yeah, I’ll drive over to your home and come in”
Kelsey Cook: Okay.
D.J. Demers: Yeah, that’s been nice. Yeah, I’m happy.
Kelsey Cook: That’s awesome.
D.J. Demers: Talented, awesome people like you coming by.
Kelsey Cook: Awww, thanks! Well I’ve been such a big fan of yours since we did that Ice House show together-
D.J. Demers: Oh, thank you.
Kelsey Cook: I went home and watched your Conan set-
D.J. Demers: Really?
Kelsey Cook: I was just like “This dude is the best”, just you’re so funny.
D.J. Demers: Oh, thank you, you are so funny too.
Kelsey Cook: Oh, thank you.
D.J. Demers: Mutual fans.
Kelsey Cook: Yes. The Cool Beans Comedy Show, they do a really good job.
D.J. Demers: That was an awesome show. That’s the only time I performed at the Ice House.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, that was my only, like my second or third time. I was so nervous-
D.J. Demers: Oh, really? What a venue.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, great experience so.
D.J. Demers: And you just came here right from hot yoga?
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] I showered, lucky for you I showered, cause I get real gross. It’s an intense experience but I’ve gotten kind of addicted to it.
D.J. Demers: Yeah?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: I’ve only done it one time and I did it with like cameras on me so I wasn’t able to like- I used to do a TV show back in Canada, so I was like “Can I do hot yoga?” but I wasn’t fully into it cause I was, you know playing it out for the cameras.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: But even just in that little segment I did, I was drenched in sweat.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, there’s no way to not be completely drenched at the end of it but it’s pretty addicting in terms of like, if you’re gonna go work out, I feel like I would prefer to just do the hardest thing, because by the time I’m actually there doing that, I’m like “Okay, I’ll just kick my ass then, so that I feel like I did a good work out, you know”.
D.J. Demers: Wow, that-I like that psychology.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah-
D.J. Demers: No, for real. Cause if I go to the gym sometimes, I can half-assed because I’m like “Well, I’m at the gym but”-
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, I can’t –the gym doesn’t work for me cause I can’t make myself do that much stuff the way they make you do it at hot yoga. And it’s competitive, because there are people around and I’m like “I wanna do it better than that shit, I can”- you know-
D.J. Demers: Really?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, I’m so competitive.
D.J. Demers: That’s amaz-I’m competitive too.
Kelsey Cook: Are you?
D.J. Demers: I was just bowling with a friend last night, I said to him like “I’m really competitive” but I don’t think in a bad way, like “If you were to win, I would be happy for you, however I want to beat you”.
Kelsey Cook: Yes, exactly! Like I’m not gonna be a sore loser but deep down I’m like “Yeah, I wish I’d won”.
D.J. Demers: I’m going to figure out what went wrong so that I can beat you next time. [laughing]
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] So I can improve upon my bowling forms, very important priorities.
D.J. Demers: I’ve never heard anyone described hot yoga in a sort of competitive way before.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, well I mean- maybe L.A. has just ruined me but you’re in there with all these like- it’s just very beautiful and naked people essentially. Everybody’s in there like in sports bra and tiny little shorts and so, it’s- I mean you evaluate yourself pretty quickly, I’m like “Okay, how am I doing, am I doing OK? Uh, I probably shouldn’t have those four cookies last night or whatever”-
D.J. Demers: And you’re in L.A., so it’s like-
Kelsey Cook: Yeah of course, so anyway- lots of Instagram models and what-not on there, in the class but yeah.
D.J. Demers: I know, I see all their stories, I follow them all. [laughing]
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] You’re a big fan- all the stories. It’s always amazing to me when people will –cause like I- do people tell you that you should do –um, like produce vs. consume, that us comedians supposed to be, like putting a lots of content but if you’re taking in too much that you’re kind of avoiding work or comparing yourself too much? So, I try to avoid watching too many people stories cause I’m just like- sitting on a toilet and all of a sudden like an hours gone by, and I’ve just watch and I’m like “What am I doing, I just peed, I’ve been sitting here for like 55 minutes, too long”.
D.J. Demers: I know. And you get off the toilet and your legs don’t even work anymore. [laughing]
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Yeah, no, yeah. Veins are sticking out.
D.J. Demers: The other day I was on the toilet for so long that when I went up to move my feet, I was certain like “I can do this” and I looked down and my
big toe was under my foot, like I would walk it on it wrong. That’s how asleep my foot was.
Kelsey Cook: Oh my God. Wow.
D.J. Demers: I was on- I was looking on my phone too long. This is becoming recurrent theme on the show – everybody’s addicted to their phones.
Kelsey Cook: Oh, everybody. Yeah.
D.J. Demers: We can’t get off it. At the gym today, I don’t bring my phone into the gym, that’s my one place where I can-
Kelsey Cook: Oh, good for you.
D.J. Demers: Oh, thank you.
Kelsey Cook: Do you listen to music there?
D.J. Demers: Uh, there’s music on- I take out my hearing aids, actually. I don’t talk to anybody, I just- I take out my hearing aids and I go into full deaf mode, yeah.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] I go full deaf.
D.J. Demers: [laughing] Yeah. And it’s actually great for my concentration, I do my best thinking, I think of jokes, but today I brought my phone in because I needed it and uh- cause I just dropped my car off and they were gonna tell me when- anyway, I didn’t really need it but I make an excuse. And I was looking at it between every set I did, and I look around and everybody’s looking at their phones, I’m like “What are we doing, people?”.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, it’s –it’s so hard. I’ve tried really hard to, to spend less time with it or delete certain apps, like I’ve just deleted Snapchat cause I just felt like it was one more thing that I don’t- I’m just like “I don’t need this” but-
D.J. Demers: But stories are kind of become the news now.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, Instagram’s just absorbing everything, so-
D.J. Demers: Let me ask you this: How long after hot yoga do you wait before you look at your phone?
Kelsey Cook: Oh boy, that’s a great question that makes me full ashamed, D.J.
D.J. Demers: The second you get-
Kelsey Cook: The second! The second. The whole time I’m in that hour, I’m just like- I’m like a dog waiting for its owner to come home, I’m just like “Oh”. And when you have no notifications, I’m like “Oh, I’m a loser that nobody wants to talk to me this hour” but-
D.J. Demers: That does happen, though. I go to the gym, I come back to my car and my phone’s in there and there’s nothing, and on one hand I’m like “See, I don’t need to be on my phone and I feel good”, but on the other hand I’m like “No, I’m a loser”.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, I know, I’m like “Why didn’t anybody- Why wasn’t my phone blowing up this whole time?” but yeah, it’s, it’s- plus you don’t have to curse these phone, obviously they helped us in so many ways but really is- I think that they’ve done these studies that show us, especially in young children that’s like physically changing the make up of our brains and stuff-
D.J. Demers: We have to have stronger necks now, I’d imagine that, probably from looking down-
Kelsey Cook: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
D.J. Demers: Oh, you meant the physical make up in our brains, yeah. Oh yeah, for sure.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, chemically like ADD, stuff like that, I mean it’s just- it’s a nightmare.
D.J. Demers: I can’t read anymore, I used to read all the- I read articles on my phone but in terms of sitting down and reading a book-
Kelsey Cook: So hard.
D.J. Demers: Very hard for me.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, the girls- so I have a new podcast now called “Self-helpless” with Delanie Fisher and Taylor Tomlinson and this- it’s almost become like my book club because I have two other people that are forcing me to, you know
what I mean like- we’re like “Okay, we’re talking about this self-help book on this date, so it has to be done by then”, and then I actually, like I have real pressure to do it, so.
D.J. Demers: That’s great.
Kelsey Cook: But if I did and I wouldn’t.
D.J. Demers: Yeah but- yeah, but the thing is even if you’re doing it like you are right now, it’d be easy to just like kind of skim through.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, just get a couple of talking points, like when you’re in class, the teacher calls on you, just have a couple of things to say.
D.J. Demers: But you don’t want to be the weak link in the podcast.
Kelsey Cook: No! Again, so competitive.
D.J. Demers: Is it Delanie or Delanee?
Kelsey Cook: Delanie Fischer, yeah.
D.J. Demers: Taylor and Delanie will catch on pretty quickly.
Kelsey Cook: They know.
D.J. Demers: “So, what do you think of Chapter 5, Kelsey? Oh, uuh I don’t know”.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, no, they are- they’re amazing, I’ve been having so much fun so go- go check out “Self-helpless” on iTunes if you’re a- if you’re down on getting a new podcast.
D.J. Demers: And you’re what- 4 or 5 episodes in now?
Kelsey Cook: We just put our episode 6 or 7 out but already we’re so excited- we’ve had the podcast for month now, we just hit 10,000 downloads in a month.
D.J. Demers: Amazing.
Kelsey Cook: So, we’re like super stoked and helped that it just keeps going up and we’ve got a lot of positive feedback so far, it’s very like a positive, fun podcast but we’ve got also kind of like sh- can I swear on this?
D.J. Demers: Mhm.
Kelsey Cook: Oh, okay. Like we shit on self-help stuff occasionally cause we basically tackle a new thing every week and decide “Okay, is this actually helpful or is this a big dog turd?”, like you know. Tony Robbins and stuff like that and so-
D.J. Demers: So, is your goal to mainly help people or to take down self-help kind of fraud-
Kelsey Cook: I think both, I think it depends on what it is, cause there’s been some- there’s been some books or some documentaries that we’ve watched that we’re like “Oh, this was- this was life-changing, like this is a hugely helpful thing, everybody should go do this” or there’s ones where like “Okay, this is a hot-crocka shit like nobody should follow this, this is so silly” so it just depends on what it is. But we have had a varying reactions to that, so it’s kind of fun.
D.J. Demers: You think Tony Robbins is full of shit?
Kelsey Cook: You know, we- there were some parts of Tony Robbins- he had a documentary called “I’m Not Your Guru”, did you watch it?
D.J. Demers: I watched like the first 20 minutes of it-
Kelsey Cook: It’s intense.
D.J. Demers: It surprised me because I did not think he swore and then he was swearing every second word.
Kelsey Cook: I know, we talked about it in the podcast cause I, I have his- like one of his CD’s that’s just purely, you know, like motivational, helping people, whatever. And he does not- I mean, there was not even one word that’s close to a swear word, that whole CD. And then he talks about that he intentionally swears in the documentary to try and keep people’s attention.
D.J. Demers: Yeah.
Kelsey Cook: And it just felt so unnatural, like it was so forced.
D.J. Demers: I know. And totally unnecessary.
Kelsey Cook: Totally unnecessary, yeah. Taylor, she made a good point, she’s like “But those people are in a room with him for like 17 hours a day”-
D.J. Demers: I don’t care, but still not to say Taylor’s wrong but I- he’s already like a 7 foot 8 Hulk of a man, with the deepest voice like, his voice hits notes that we can’t even register, and he thinks he need to swear like “You got it, dude”. You have commandered the room right now.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] We hear you. Yeah, so that was one of the- we had mixed reactions, like some of the things were like “Oh, you know, I can see how this could help some people” and then other things you’re like “Uh, that seems like a kind of an extreme approach to something” but um-yeah, it’s been really a fun podcast so far, so go check that out – “Self-Helpless”.
D.J. Demers: “Self-Helpless”. What made you three wanna take on the issue of self-help?
Kelsey Cook: So, Taylor actually-so I have had my podcast called “Cook’d” for the last four years and-
D.J. Demers: Are you still doing that?
Kelsey Cook: I’m not, I transitioned out of doing that into doing “Self-Helpless”. I also have like a web series called “Stand-ups Doing Makeup” and so it got to a point where I was like I have too many things and they’re kind of suffering, so I decided to kind of like, put “Cook’d” away and-
D.J. Demers: On the back burner, obviously.
Kelsey Cook: On the back burner, yes. I loved it, had so much fun but um- also I don’t know if you feel this way, I found that it was kind of exhausting after 4 years to try and get a new guest every week.
D.J. Demers: Well, I’m only 16 episodes in right now, so I haven’t experienced it yet, but I can certainly imagine that happening after four years.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, I mean it got to an episode like 160 and it just –also cause I have always interviewed comedians as well and comedians can be like the flakiest people on the planet-
D.J. Demers: True.
Kelsey Cook: And it just got to a point where I was like “Man, this is- this is getting kind of tough” but Taylor approached Delanie and I with this idea for like “Hey, I really have a love-hate relationship with self-help, how do you guys feel about it?”, turned out we’ve all felt the exact same way and I was looking for a new podcast project, so we’ve already been working together on something else and it just- it made sense, so I love those girls very much, they are hilarious and smart and fun and it just been awesome so, yeah-
D.J. Demers: I don’t know- I know Taylor very well, I don’t know Delanie, she’s a stand-up as well?
Kelsey Cook: Yes, she’s a stand-up, she’s a writer, she’s awesome like just the most instantly likeable person ever so, yeah, she’s great.
D.J. Demers: Cool. “Self-Helpless”, check it out and- uh, I wanted to ask you about hot yoga- oh, are you like meditating when you’re doing hot yoga, what’s your- where’s your mind going when you do it?
Kelsey Cook: I’m personally not meditating, unless they tell you at the end like “Focus on this thing” or whatever, and then I’ll try to make my mind shut off, but oh my God, it’s- it’s pretty tough. The classes that I take are a little bit more boot-camp style, where’s like push-ups and there’s like, weights involved and stuff like that, so it’s not so much that Zen-Namaste type of stuff. It’s kind of intense but then at the end, there’s a cool down where you try to meditate. Do you meditate?
D.J. Demers: I try, I’m not good at it. I do like a 10 minutes a day but I fall off of even that.
Kelsey Cook: That’s good, though. And do you find that it gets better the more you do it?
D.J. Demers: Yeah, but you know what’s happened, there was a while when I wasn’t working out, but I was like focused on the meditating, I say focus 10
minutes a day, but now I’m going to the gym and get back into that cream and I’m fine, and I’m not really like meditating or doing any of that.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: I don’t know, I need self-help, I got a lot of- I ostensibly have my shit together, but I waste so much- like I go to sleep at night and I’m like “Where the hell did the day go?”.
Kelsey Cook: I talk about that so frequently, where I just, I feel like- I think especially doing comedy full time, it’s not- it’s just not a normal job where you have this like, structured amount of work that somebody has assigned you. It’s all on your own, like you decide for yourself what is done for the day and –it’s so hard, like I’m so hard at myself, I almost never go to sleep feeling like I did enough that day.
D.J. Demers: Yeah, me too. I mean, me neither I guess.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, it sucks, right?
D.J. Demers: I almost wish somebody would be like- cause I went to a couple production meetings with companies where they’re like “Hey, we love your stand-up, we’d love to see if you have a sit-com” and I’m like “Oh, for sure, I got a sit-com” and I’m totally lying to them. And I just need to sit down and write this- like I wanna do that but I’ve lied to like three different people at meeting and I’m like “Why am I not just sitting, writing a sit-com right now?”, and I can’t do it. But I do stand-up like every night, I love stand-up so that’s how I tell myself “You’re fine, it will come to you in a flash”-
Kelsey Cook: Right.
D.J. Demers: But I just- I don’t know. And then all of a sudden it’s like, you know, 6 or 7 and I’m like “Time to go do comedy, another day I didn’t” -and then there’s all that administrative shit you gotta do, like nobody’s doing-
Kelsey Cook: Oh, I know.
D.J. Demers: Anyway, I’m making excuses – point is even like two hours a day if I just sat down and write-
Kelsey Cook: Oh, I know, I tell myself that with stand-up writing too, where I always feel like “Well, I just have to get hit with an idea for a new joke”, and then like two weeks will gone by where I haven’t written like a new thought, I’ve just been kind of like running stuff that I already have and- I don’t know. Who I was talking about this? I think I was talking about it with Taylor and Delanie, where it’s like- I’m not sure what the standard is, like what were all supposed to be feeling every day- I know that Jerry Seinfeld had always said that you- that he writes an at least like two hours a day, or something like that-
D.J. Demers: I know. Everybody always brings up Seinfeld, I’m like “Damn you, Seinfeld”. [laughing]
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] I know, “God damn it, why did you have to even share with the world that you do that, because now we all feel like shit all the time”.
D.J. Demers: Yeah. “I’d rather think you were like this genius with thoughts that just came”- like Chappelle, right. I’m sure Chappelle sits down and writes too, but he’s not bragging about it, so when I watch him, I’m like “Oh, what a genius, just thoughts coming to him”.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] He’s just thinking that right now, these are brand new jokes. Yeah, it’s uh- it’s really frustrating. I’m trying to find some more, like mental peace and focus to just do it, but the phone is the worst, I mean the phone is my biggest distraction and my biggest –mental block, for sure.
D.J. Demers: 100%. Don’t you find out if you sit down like to write a joke, you’re like “I’m going to create a joke out of thin air”, it’s always a horrible joke?
Kelsey Cook: Oh, yeah, it’s so forced.
D.J. Demers: Yeah, I’m like looking at like “Uh, there’s a refrigerator. Aren’t refrigerators weird?”, it’s like nobody wants to hear about a refrigerator.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Right. I found that I’m actually making an effort to do –have more life experiences just to get some material from them, because I think we’re always trying to, like “I just need to be doing this for comedy” and like “I need to go to this show or this show” but sometimes you just need to be
a normal person to have something to write about, so I went home for my 10-year high school reunion last weekend-
D.J. Demers: I saw that on your Instagram.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, which honestly –like part of it was to see a couple of my best friends I decided to go to, but a large part of it was just like “I know some weird shit’s gonna happen and I should get some material here”, so- and I did like-
D.J. Demers: Yeah?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, I mean the people there- oh my God, the people I went to high school with-
D.J. Demers: Where’s your hometown?
Kelsey Cook: Spokane, Washington.
D.J. Demers: Oh.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, Washington State, but then I went to high school in Cheney, which is like 20 minutes outside of Spokane, it’s very like country bumpkin-
D.J. Demers: Pretty right wing in Spokane, isn’t it?
Kelsey Cook: It’s, um- I feel like Spokane has a lot of liberals but like the more east you go, you’re getting rid into Idaho, we’re not that far from Idaho, we’re like an hour so Spokane itself has –I think a very, very large liberal population but yeah- you’re getting over toured Idaho and you’re like “Okay, everybody here has a gun, good to know, this is a little sketchy”, so yeah-
D.J. Demers: So, what happened?
Kelsey Cook: Oh, just like-I don’t know, I walked in and I saw a lot of face tattoos, I was like “Okay, okay, this is the-“
D.J. Demers: In Oregon?
Kelsey Cook: No, in Washington.
D.J. Demers: I’m sorry, in Washington, not Oregon. And Washington is just outside of Spokane?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, well Spokane for a while was like the meth capital for America, so there’s like a lot of meth-
D.J. Demers: Really?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah. Just picture like “Breaking Bad” extras, you know like a lot of those type of people were in parts of Spokane, so yes, saw some face tattoos, um- one guy, he was like the bouncer of the bar we were going into had a face tattoo of a gun, which I was like “Damn, I mean like both of those things separately are intimidating”. Like you see somebody with a face tattoo, you’d assume they have a gun-
D.J. Demers: Yeah.
Kelsey Cook: You know what I mean- it’s such a- Jesus, like it’s a lot, so saw that. What else did I see? Just- just a lot-
D.J. Demers: A tattoo of a gun on your face-
Kelsey Cook: On your face.
D.J. Demers: Wow. I’d like to know what he was thinking when he got that.
Kelsey Cook: I do too. [laughing]
D.J. Demers: That purely intimidation, right? There’s no reason to get a gun on your face that didn’t let people know-
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] I do not to be fuc- yeah, it’s- it’s pretty scary. So, I saw that, um- a guy came up to me and was like “I just wanna let you know I wanted to say sorry for –when in sixth grade, I made fun of you for having- like you cut your hair short and I made fun of you for having a haircut like a boy” and I was like “Oh, I don’t –I don’t remember that” and he was like “Oh, maybe I just- was like saying that to people behind your back”. I was like- great, I don’t think we’ve really resolved this issue. [laughing] I think we’ve just made it worse, but appreciate the thought, I suppose.
D.J. Demers: It would’ve been amazing if you had short hair right now-
Kelsey Cook: I know. God damn it, this guy will not let this in. Yeah, just uh- it was just a really interesting night, it was very weird.
D.J. Demers: Was it a fun night?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, I think overall it was fun, but there were also these kinds of things where I was like “I need to get the fuck out of here” like “I need to like get on a plane right now”, it was just, so much weird in one group, you know what I mean.
D.J. Demers: Yeah.
Kelsey Cook: People you haven’t seen for 10 years and all of a sudden like- their faces right there and it’s just weird.
D.J. Demers: I know. And have you kept in contact with a lot of these people on Facebook or anything or was it completely like, ten years had gone by?
Kelsey Cook: Most people, it was like completely hadn't talked to them, had maybe seen a Facebook picture to go by, but like no conversation really. Um, can I ask how old you are?
D.J. Demers: Uh, yeah, 31.
Kelsey Cook: 31. Did you go to your 10-year reunion?
D.J. Demers: No, I don’t even know if we had one.
Kelsey Cook: Okay, I was gonna ask-
D.J. Demers: How old are you?
Kelsey Cook: Uh, 28.
D.J. Demers: 28, okay.
Kelsey Cook: I was gonna ask how people like felt about you being a comedian at your reunion if you went, cause I had very mixed- I had some people that were like “Wow, we're so proud of you, it’s so cool to see the things you doing” and then some other people who are still very like, these small town people that like popped out a couple of kids at 18 and they’re like “So, how’s your, you know, your little comedy skit”, you know, we’re just like so-
D.J. Demers: Patronizing.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, so patronizing but anyway, it was kind of fun.
D.J. Demers: Yeah, there’s no real in between.
Kelsey Cook: No.
D.J. Demers: There’s no just kind of indifference, it’s like “Wow, you’re so cool at what you’re doing” and “You ain’t shit”.
Kelsey Cook: Right, yeah. “How’s going being a clown” it’s like “Alright, well”-
D.J. Demers: Yeah. Any ex-boyfriends in there or anything?
Kelsey Cook: No, no- my high school boyfriend wasn’t there but um- he and I we’re still like friendly, you know what I mean, like he’s great guy, didn’t end in a bad way or anything like that. My high school crush, like the guy I had a crush on in middle school and high school before I started dating my boyfriend, he was there. Um, I hope he doesn’t hear this. Because like he’s the sweetest but he, I guess went through kind of like rough patch and for a while became the janitor at my old high school, I was like “Wow, my taste in men is – just on point”. [laughing] I have no daddy issues obviously, I was like “Oh, Jesus” when I found out but he’s a sweet guy but yeah, I was like “Okay, this is”-
D.J. Demers: Is he still working there?
Kelsey Cook: No, he got out of that but it was, you know, obviously a negative information, I was like “Okay, that’s pretty interesting”.
D.J. Demers: What you just said that brings up an interesting conundrum because- it’s so hard to come up with stories like this and then not hurt people’s feelings, you know what I mean, like-
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: Like how do I tell the story of my high-school crush turning into the janitor of my high school without meant being a- like the story is depending on you specifically outing this one guy.
Kelsey Cook: I know, I know and I like- I would love to talk about that on stage but I also- I don’t know. I’m afraid the older I get, the more like I’m aware of
that how can hurt somebody’s feelings, even if there’s a chance than they’ve never heard it, just a chance if they’ve heard it once, it would be so devastating and so hurtful, and I don’t wanna-
D.J. Demers: And it’s also like not that big of a deal to be a janitor of a high school. Like everybody have different jobs-
Kelsey Cook: Right, right.
D.J. Demers: It’s just like- for the sake of the joke, it’s pretty funny that the guy you dated turned into the janitor at the high school you went to.
Kelsey Cook: At the high school I went to, yeah. And for me, it’s like a personal story like “Oh my Gosh, I was obsessed like with this guy for years and that’s so funny that he ended up being on this path or whatever. So, yeah, exactly the way you said, I don’t know if I could actually talk about on stage cause I would just feel too bad.
D.J. Demers: I agree. I had a joke where I insulted my grandma, when I started. [laughing]
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Oh my God, you really just go- low blows, D.J. Taking your gram’ out.
D.J. Demers: Basically she’s not the friendliest woman, and my joke was like if you’re like a bitch at the age of 20, you’d still be a bitch at 80, like you’re not gonna-
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] That’s so funny.
D.J. Demers: And-and that was the whole joke, and I was like- I was fine with it, cause I was like new with comedy and I was like “These are the issues we need to tackle, we can’t be afraid of telling our grandma a bitch”. And now I’m like, you know, 8 years later I’m like “What were you thinking?”-I guess you need to push the line to figure out what your line is, but I would never insult my grandma now.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Right, that’s so funny. Yeah, Gosh, did I called my grandma a bitch? I did not call her a bitch, but I- I think I called her dumb because she asked- um, oh she rented a DVD from the library, which is just the
most grandma thing to do, like the fact that she even is aware that you can do that, amazes me-
D.J. Demers: Like she did it recently?
Kelsey Cook: This was- I had this joke probably like four years ago, so-
D.J. Demers: I think a lot of people were renting DVD’s from the library.
Kelsey Cook: You think? Gosh.
D.J. Demers: I think so. There was a large opening that needed to be filled when Blockbuster went away but people were with the digital evolution, yeah, libraries stepped in, they were like “What’s up? You’re looking for DVD’s?”. [laughing]
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] See, I think that the digital thing already happened, so that’s what it made it more like “Oh my God, she’s the only person doing this” but she asked me- she asked me and my dad, like “How do I re-wind this to the beginning to return it to the library properly?” and I- did a joke about it and “Oh grandma, you’re so dumb” like something just totally putting her down for being old and not knowing what the fuck she was doing, but like- it’s not that harsh but I don’t think I called her like a dumb bitch or anything like that, cause she’s very sweet woman, but definitely I called her dumb.
D.J. Demers: I love the idea of an alternate universe where your grandma is a stand-up comedian, being like “My granddaughter doesn’t even know you can rent DVD’s from the library”.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] “This dumb hoe. She don’t know nothing”. That would be the greatest thing, if my grandma called me a dumb hoe, I would like rejoice on that.
D.J. Demers: My grandma’s called me that several times, that’s what I’m saying. [laughing]
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] She writes your birthday cards “Dear dumb hoe”.
D.J. Demers: No, my joke about my grandma actually cost me a job.
Kelsey Cook: What?!
D.J. Demers: Yeah, I was like just new to comedy at the time, and I graduated at school of business and marketing, so I’m new to Toronto which is where I lived before L.A. and I’m looking for marketing jobs during the day while I’m doing comedy at night, and I had this interview with these two women who worked at the company, they loved me, I had a second interview at the two women again and some guy and they’re like “We’re gonna bring you for third interview with the president of the company”. And at that time I was taping at lot of my sets and putting them up- I don’t know if you did that-
Kelsey Cook: Right, as you do-
D.J. Demers: To all the new comedians, like “Check me”-[laughing]
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] “Let the people know, yeah. The thunder has arrived”. Has it? No, it really has not at all, yeah.
D.J. Demers: [laughing] So, I was doing that on the regular, and the president of the company was like “Hey, the women and the guy who met with you before said you were great, you’re everything we’re looking for, but you do comedy too?”. I’m like “Yeah” and he’s like “Oh, yeah, so I was looking through your videos, I found this video you put up a few days ago of you calling your grandma a bitch”. I should also say in the interest of full honesty, I not only called her a bitch, I used the C-word-
Kelsey Cook: You called your grandma a cunt, oh my God! That’s-
D.J. Demers: At the time, I was- my-
Kelsey Cook: Amazing, wow.
D.J. Demers: My girl- well I was also like “This will make the joke even more powerf”- and my girlfriend and I at the time were using that word, so I felt like the power, I’m like- it was a bad time in my life, I mean it was a great time, but it was a bad time for me using words that should not be used.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Oh my God, that’s hilarious.
D.J. Demers: So, he’s like “So, you called your grandma-“ and I’m like “Yeah”, so he’s like “What would our stakeholders think if they saw this video of you?”, I’m like “I think the stakeholders would be able to separate D.J. that’s at your
job and the one who’s doing stand-up” and he’s like “No, you don’t have the job”, so-
Kelsey Cook: Wow.
D.J. Demers: Yeah, calling my grandma- and then I never call my grandma a bad words again. That president taught me a lesson.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Oh my God.
D.J. Demers: Yeah, but I don’t know what I was thinking, cause I’ve always been a good guy, I think but apparently there was a part of me that thought it was okay to get up on stage-[laughing]
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Just let the C-bomb fly towards your grandma. You know, I think something that happens, especially in the beginning of doing stand-up, where you’re really like, finding your boundaries of like- “Am I this dirty of a comic, do I talk about this much” cause I have some- oh my God, looking back sometimes, I’m just like “What, that wasn’t even a joke, that was just like me doing a TED talk about my pussy” like no one needed to hear that infor-like “Why was I sharing these things”, you know, it’s just- oh, some of the things early on- yeah, no one needs to know that, yeah.
D.J. Demers: But I almost envy it when I see a new comic get on stage and they just talk about all that shit that don’t wanna get into anymore, and I’m like “Oh, man”, like “I feel bad for you but I also envy”, I don’t feel bad but I’m like “You learn not to do that but I hope you never learn”. [laughing]
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] “But I hope you never learn”. “I hope you never get to our love refrigerator jokes cause now we’re dead inside”.
D.J. Demers: [laughing] It’s like the Bob Seger’s lyric: “I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then”. I’d still be calling my grandma all sorts of pejoratives every time- “Oh,that’s the guy, yeah you gotta watch this guy, he just insults his grandma for 10 minutes” [laughing]
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] “This guy’s on fire, you would not believe it”. Oh my God, so funny. I’m really gonna just treasure that, that you said that, that’s amazing.
D.J. Demers: I might bring it back. [laughing]
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, right! Oh, that’s so funny.
D.J. Demers: You have a interesting past, that your parents are both like- world class ath- what’s- athletes?
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] I don’t know.
D.J. Demers: I don’t wanna say hobby, so I’m not sure how to describe it-
Kelsey Cook: I appreciate you trying to be like, respectful of this sport though, cause- so it’s foosball. Now you can all have a good laugh about picturing my parents being called “foosball athletes” cause it’s not- [laughing]
D.J. Demers: Well, wrist control, lot of- but also yo-yo, right?
Kelsey Cook: Yes, and my dad- my dad is really like one of the most talented people but, just like the weirdest things like foosball champion, um- he’s a professional trumpet player for living, international yo-yo man, like slam poetry champion, it’s all these, just so many unusual things but he’s brilliant and so talented. And then my mom, is the French and German teacher at my high school that I went to, so she was my French teacher, and she is in the “Hall of Fame” for foosball, so like my parents met playing foosball, which is always so weird to me that I like, wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for foosball, which is just like “Oh, that’s just so tragic, right?”, like foosball is what made me, uh-
D.J. Demers: Everybody’s gotta come from somewhere-
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, I guess.
D.J. Demers: There’s many more pathetic things than a foosball.
Kelsey Cook: That’s true, that’s a good point, yeah. I talked about it, like some of you wouldn’t been here if it weren’t for boxed wine, so it’s like you know, we’ve all got our-
D.J. Demers: Don’t tell me they weren’t drinking boxed wine while they were playing foosball!
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Yeah shit, maybe I was- maybe it was both for me.
D.J. Demers: Actually, based on how it sounds, it sounds like they were pretty dedicated, they weren’t drinking-
Kelsey Cook: They were sober, yeah. They were there for the money, for the gold. Um, yeah, they- I know they are both very competitive, so probably is where I get it from, but um- yeah, so these like champion foosball players and they-
D.J. Demers: They travel around the world doing it?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, my mom was traveling a lot for it, and they had me, and they taught me how to play at like- they would stand me on a stool, so I can see the top of the table, there’s pictures of me playing when I’m like two years old and obviously not doing shit, but like- they are moving my hand around and stuff like that, and kind of teaching me so- yeah, and my mom and I took first in Vegas this uh, this last March-
D.J. Demers: What?!
Kelsey Cook: For Women’s Doubles, yeah. We were super excited, Women’s Expert Doubles, yeah.
D.J. Demers: That’s amazing!
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, thank you.
D.J. Demers: Just this past March?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, like uh- whenever that was, few months ago, yeah.
D.J. Demers: And this is like an open tournament or you have to qualify for it-
Kelsey Cook: It’s an open tournament, so it’s called “A Hall of Fame Foosball Tournament”, it’s like one of the bigger, national ones that’s in Vegas every year around spring break time and uh- it’s pretty crazy, it’s like four days, four or five days of just straight like- 20 hours a day foosball like, just craziness. But it was- my mom and I’ve played it together in the past and haven’t had good chemistry for whatever reason but like, stars aligned this time and it just worked and we were so happy, it was cool.
D.J. Demers: And you didn’t practice with your mom going into it or anything?
Kelsey Cook: I mean, when we got to the tournament room, we would try to like get together and play around a little bit, but with my comedy sketch I don’t really have time to be practicing that much, unfortunately, but when I do have like a free night here or there, if it lines up with either the weekly tournament in L.A. or New York, I’ll go play, which is really fun.
D.J. Demers: Amazing. Do you have a foosball table in your home or anything?
Kelsey Cook: We don’t. Cause we live in an apartment, and foosball tables are the loudest thing you can have like- we would be our neighbors’ just worst nightmares, so-we don’t have one, but someday with a home-
D.J. Demers: That’s the dream.
Kelsey Cook: Yes, yes. I have like- I carry like, my foosballs and my- handle grips in my purse with me-
D.J. Demers: Really?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, I have them with me all the time, so-
D.J. Demers: So what, if you see a foosball table, you put your own grips on it?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah yeah.
D.J. Demers: WHAAAT?! Really?!
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, yeah.
D.J. Demers: I didn’t know that was a thing.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah. Well, when you’re playing, usually your palms get kind of like sweaty and it’s easy to not have the grip, yeah- you know how I do, I’m just rabid at the table, just- [laughing] That’s so funny. Yeah, so that’s what every foosball player, like rewrap it. It’s the same wrapster on tennis handles, tennis racket handles- you just like buy them at “Big 5” or sporting stores and you wrap it and put a little band on it and that way you have grip through you whole match.
D.J. Demers: Wow.
Kelsey Cook: It’s intense.
D.J. Demers: That’s cr- foosball’s one of those games where I got into at college, some friends of mine had it, but before that I never really played it and then I loved it, but I was never like- I never took that step to be like great at it.
Kelsey Cook: Right.
D.J. Demers: But I got good at it, but I was always like- I didn’t take that next-
Kelsey Cook: It takes a lot of dedication. I’m actually upset that I didn’t take it even more seriously because I have the DNA to be like the Michael Phelps of foosball, you know. Like, not many people come from having both parents be foosball players-
D.J. Demers: Foosball royalty, you can say it.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] “Don’t be ashamed, girl. Don’t be modest. You let the people know what your parents are”. Yeah so, I kind of went through a period of time where I was like playing a bunch of sports in school and that takes up so much time and I just- but man, I wish I had been practicing more consistently, but I’ve been playing for so long that it comes back to me pretty quickly, even if I’ve been away from the table for a while but-
D.J. Demers: I have thoughts like that, I played baseball, competitively hockey-
Kelsey Cook: Oh did you?
D.J. Demers: Sometimes I’m like “What if I had take it a lot more seriously?” but there’s a reason you didn’t.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, exactly.
D.J. Demers: I used to- I did kung-fu and karate when I was young, for like 5 years.
Kelsey Cook: Did you?
D.J. Demers: For the time when I was six years old to eleven.
Kelsey Cook: Amazing.
D.J. Demers: But I went to like tournaments every weekend, I had like hundreds of trophies.
Kelsey Cook: Wow.
D.J. Demers: Yeah, like I was into it, my parents were into it, my dad was really into it, but my dad would always say now- we watch- he watches UFC, I watch UFC and uh- he’s like “Man, that could’ve been you if you would’ve stuck with it”, I’m like “Why would you want that to be me? You see the beating these guys take?”
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] I know. There’s a guy that’s unconscious, like “That could’ve been you, son, we wanted that to be you”, you’re like “I just wanna peacefully tell a jokes, without any competition.
D.J. Demers: Yeah, he says that-There’s a guy I used to fight, named Sam Stout from Canada, he made the UFC, had a long career-
Kelsey Cook: Really?!
D.J. Demers: Yeah, like we used to- they used to make these monthly books that said who is in first place and- first, second and third and I’m like-forms and sparing, which are the two kind of things you would do, and me and Sam would always being like the top 3, one of the places-
Kelsey Cook: Really?
D.J. Demers: And uh, he ended up growing up being an UFC fighter, I quit when I was like eleven, um my dad- “You could’ve been Sam Stout” and then, no offense to Sam Stout but if you look at him now, his face is flat. He’s taken so many beatings, he’s my age-
Kelsey Cook: What?
D.J. Demers: He’s knocked a bunch of guys out too but he was a brawler-looking, so my dad’s like “You could’ve been Sam Stout”, I’m like “Sam Stout is gonna be- I don’t wanna speak poorly of Sam Stout, there’s no way he’s gonna listen to this, but his brain is”-
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: He’s taken so many punches to the face-
Kelsey Cook: Oh, God.
D.J. Demers: When I watch these guys, every punch I see like- five months taken off their life-
Kelsey Cook: Wow.
D.J. Demers: I feel I can see five months just flying away.
Kelsey Cook: Just *phew*, just fluttered out.
D.J. Demers: Yeah.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, it’s- I actually had a hard time watching UFC for- for a while because I’m- I get very like girly about it, I’m like “That kneeding huuurt and I just wanna make it stop”, you know. And then I was watching- so Jim Norton who I toured with, he’s a huge UFC guy and I watched it with him one night and I was like “Oh my God, this is so exciting”, like it’s almost impossible not get into it and get worked up but- God. If you’ve just stopped from a like a human point of view and be like “That guy just got kicked in the face and now can’t open his eyes”. Like, if you were to see that outside of the grocery store, you’d be like “Call the fucking cops, like that’s crazy”.
D.J. Demers: I know. But he went into it.
Kelsey Cook: I know.
D.J. Demers: I have the same view, I’m thinking of a joke on this, but this is a joke maybe 24-year old D.J. would have done and not the current: but about how I watch UFC and I have the same thoughts you just said, but I kind of have the same thoughts I do when I like watch porn, where I’m like “They knew what they were getting into”.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] That’s great.
D.J. Demers: But it’s really heartless cause some of these girls don’t know what they’re getting into, so-
Kelsey Cook: Oh, that’s true, yeah. On like a service level, I’m like “Oh, that’s so funny” and then yeah, when you think about it, of course there are really bad situations.
D.J. Demers: It’s 2017, you got to be careful about the jokes you’re making now.
Kelsey Cook: Oh, man, I know! It’s uh- it’s pretty- you know what’s so funny, I was gonna tweet about this: I feel so overly, like scared to offend anybody now, my- the guy that has designed my website in my past, he’s Asian and I was having some issues on the website and I was gonna e-mail him saying “Hey, the site’s being a little wonky” and then something in my brain was like “Is wonky also maybe a bad, like Asian slang term or something?” and I just- [laughing]
D.J. Demers: [laughing] Wonky. It’s true, it got that kind of-
Kelsey Cook: It got one of those sounds to it that I’m like “Is this something- I just don’t know but maybe is offensive”. That’s where my brain is at, like at that level where I’m like “You know what, I’m just gonna say “My website is not working properly””. I’m just gonna dodge “wonky” all together because- I just don’t know. Poor Asians, there’s so many weird, made-up slang words all the time where people says, where I’m like “I don’t even know that that word existed”, so now I’m hearing words that could possibly be that, I’m like “I’m just not gonna say it, cause I don’t want them to ever think I’m- you know, think anything badly”, I’m just so-
D.J. Demers: I think you’re safe with “wonky”, though.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, I’m sure I am. But I just, yeah-
D.J. Demers: You can’t be too careful.
Kelsey Cook: The PC stuff- is, it’s endless.
D.J. Demers: You go a little blue though, right?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, but with a- it’s always just with like sexual things, I never really get into like race at all on stage, just-yeah. But I’m pretty open about sex stuff, I mean the-Ari Shaffir’s “This is Not Happening” for Comedy Central-
D.J. Demers: How was that?
Kelsey Cook: It was amazing, it’s was such a good experience-um, but that story is all about how, like the first time I tried masturbating, I ended up in the
emergency room. So, like that’s my Comedy Central debut, is just this like horribly graphic story about just like, doing something so stupid to my poor crotch and-
D.J. Demers: I know you’ve done this on TV, can I- what’s the cliff now- how did you end up in the hospital?
Kelsey Cook: I was- I ended up being allergic to latex.
D.J. Demers: Oh, yeah-
Kelsey Cook: Like I used my mom’s manicure tool-
D.J. Demers: You did this on stage, right?
Kelsey Cook: Not that night on the Ice House, but I talked about having a latex allergy at that show-
D.J. Demers: Oh, that’s right.
Kelsey Cook: Not about how it happened, so- yeah, it was like this manicure tool thing my mom had and it was made of this grippy, rubber material, and I didn’t know yet that I have a latex allergy, so my whole crotch just swole shut, I had to go to the emergency room- just like such an adolescent nightmare, like the first time you’re ever-
D.J. Demers: [laughing] What a traumatic-
Kelsey Cook: Oh, so traumatic, so fucking traumatic. Like I was burden for like a decade, I mean just so ashamed-
D.J. Demers: You haven’t masturbated ever again- [laughing]
Kelsey Cook: So ashamed, yeah- well, never with an object, ever again. Like most girls I know have sex toys, I don’t own a single thing, like nothing-
D.J. Demers: Do you need an non-latex-
Kelsey Cook: I’m still scared, I’m still scared that like- I don’t know. That was just so bad, just so horrific, I’m like “The only thing going in there are like fingers, dicks and tampons”- like nothing else, I won’t put anything up there ever again, cause it was so embarrassing.
D.J. Demers: No Diva Cup for you?
Kelsey Cook: The- what’s it called, the Diva Cup? Oh, no. I hate- uh, do people talk about doing that- doesn’t that as a guy makes you- I told my boyfriend about that and he almost passed out, cause he was so grossed out by that.
D.J. Demers: I dated a girl in college who started using them and one got stuck up there, and I had to watch her cause I didn’t know how to help but I was home, so I was like looking at- I just watched her for 10 minutes, just crying, trying to remove a Diva Cup.
Kelsey Cook: Oh, my God. For those of you who don’t know, Diva Cup is like an alternative to tampons or pads, and it’s like a little saucer that you put up there, that you bleed into and then you take it out and pour the blood in the toilet, and then you put it back up there- and I’m just like- it’s 2017, like that is some “Little House on the Prairie” shit, like put a piece of cotton up there and be done with it, like, uh-
D.J. Demers: What’s the main reason for- so that you’re not putting, like the kind of chemicals of the tampons?
Kelsey Cook: I think so.
D.J. Demers: And environmentally friendly, are those the two main things?
Kelsey Cook: I think so, but you know what, I mean there’s opposing cons to all this shit, like- you know the whole thing about the IUD, the people doing an IUD on their uterus-
D.J. Demers: How safe is that?
Kelsey Cook: Well, there’s all these issues but it’s- basically it looks like a little Lego, people are putting these fucking Legos in their uterus, instead of taking the birth control pill every day. Cause people are “Oh, there’s all these safety risks on the pill” which I agree, it’s not good, like it’s- you take a pill and then it goes through your whole body as opposed to this, which is just targeting your uterus, but also like- do you- I don’t know, I don’t feel like I want a piece of plastic in my uterus for five years, and it can like attach, it can like implant into your uterine wall and-
D.J. Demers: Gotta be complications like that- what’s it doing, is it like killing semen or something?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, she’s like *pow*, like a little football dude, just blocking them out – “Get out of here. Not today, Timothy”, just pushing them out. [laughing] I don’t know, I think is like a giving out doses of the birth control, but just there in your uterus, I don’t know- like I haven’t done enough research on it, but I still just I’m like “Uh”, so yeah. That, Diva Cup, anything that – I don’t know, it just weirds me out.
D.J. Demers: Yeah, I mean there’s so much- the onus is so much on women that I can’t even relate to what you’re saying cause I do nothing to help in the birth control discussion.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, it’s- I’ve been trying to write some of that cause that’s amazing to me, the- like I’ve been trying to do natural deodorant, which is not been going well for me-
D.J. Demers: Why, because of the chemicals?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, cause that’s all like aluminum and it’s been linked to breast cancer and so it’s like- well, if it’s been fully linked, I don’t wanna keep using this, but there is no- they have not made a good alternative, it’s like that.
D.J. Demers: You’re gonna smell-
Kelsey Cook: You smell, yeah. You smell and you’re wet like- you are gross. It’s like either using the cancer stick and be fine or people are like “Just rub a baby carrot under your armpits” and I’m like “No, I sweat”-
D.J. Demers: And don’t go out in public. [laughing]
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Yeah, just stay alone, forever. I sweat like a man, like I just- I need actual deodorant-
D.J. Demers: If you sweat like a man, I sweat like some future gorilla man that- I sweat a ridiculous amount.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Yeah, it’s crazy so-
D.J. Demers: And there’s no- I bought these T-shirts called “Thomson Tee’s”, where they have padded armpits. So, cause I was doing “America’s Got Talent” last year and I knew I was gonna be sitting in the morning from like 9 AM to like 11 PM and I knew- I was sweating ever more than I was going through some, I knew I would just be covered in sweat and I’d go on TV and just be drenched. So, I got these “Thompson Tee’s” and they just soaked up all the sweat-
Kelsey Cook: Seriously?
D.J. Demers: And they are ama- and they have like really low cut V, so if you don’t wanna people to actually know you’re wearing the shirt, they have that option with the low cut V-
Kelsey Cook: Really?
D.J. Demers: It works amazing! I- all day long, on “America’s Got Talent”, no sweat showed.
Kelsey Cook: Do they make them for women?
D.J. Demers: They do.
Kelsey Cook: Really?!
D.J. Demers: And they’re amazing. The only thing is – I haven’t worn them lately cause now when I’m on stage- if I do TV, I might wear them again but on stage I’m just like “Yeah, I sweat a lot”, whatever-
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
D.J. Demers: But on TV, I think I’d still wear them. They do work but I have to buy new one cause since they just absorb all the sweat, they stink so bad.
Kelsey Cook: What?
D.J. Demers: Cause it’s just taking all the sweat you have-
Kelsey Cook: Oh, yeah- damn, see- this is what I’m talking about, there is- like how, how can we have self-driving cars but we cannot be BO, like we just can’t defeat our body’s doing this.
D.J. Demers: I wonder- well you can get botox.
Kelsey Cook: I was just gonna say, that’s-but again that’s like “Do I wanna inject botulism into my armpits?”. Cause also it that’s what supposed to like, deaden those cells, but I’m like “Well, isn’t the sweat gonna go somewhere else then?” I’m just gonna have some really sweaty knees or something-
D.J. Demers: Chelsea Peretti had a joke about that on her special, where she said the sweat just comes out of your asshole-
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] That’s so funny, I love her and I watched her special but I don’t remember, I might have to go back and watch the joke cause that’s hilarious.
D.J. Demers: I love that special too.
Kelsey Cook: Me too.
D.J. Demers: It’s funny, specials like from around that era like Chelsea Peretti, which is about 2 years ago- they feel like they came out of the perfect time-
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: Because now these Netflix specials- there are so many coming out, and it’s great for comedy on the whole, but I feel like those people who came out right before the big- um, what’s the word I’m looking for, you know, big output-
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, totally.
D.J. Demers: Um, they kind of had, had more eyeballs on them.
Kelsey Cook: Yes, for sure. Well I mean, it’s hard to keep up, like it’s so oversaturated now, it’s- it’s tough, so.
D.J. Demers: I’m waiting for the bubble to burst when nobody gives a shit about stand-up anymore.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] And then you slammin’ in with the grandma bitch jokes. Comin’ in hot.
D.J. Demers: [laughing] What’s it like touring with Jim Norton?
Kelsey Cook: It’s amazing. I- Gosh, how long is it? Been like little over two years now, he hasn’t mentoring this much this year but like the last year and a half, two years before that was, uh, just so cool. I got to do the “Mouthful of Shame” tour with him, which was all like theaters and it was just amazing. It was like 50 or 60 cities in the last couple of years, something like that, and he’s the best-I mean, he treats me so well, his crowds are awesome like, just people who came to laugh and are not, like PC at all, anybody don’t have to worry about offending anyone or anything like that. Um- just so cool, yeah, great great experience.
D.J. Demers: Do you feel like you tailored your comedy to match Jim Norton’s crowds a little bit? Doing it that long?
Kelsey Cook: Um- I think that I ended up just getting lucky that my material was already in that kind of vein, like you know, on the- on the dirtier end, sometimes. Not all the time- like I can’t- I’ve worked with totally clean headliners who asked me to be completely clean for 20 minutes, 30 minutes and I can do it, no problem, um- I feel a little bit more like myself when I cannot have to be super, super clean, um-but it’s- I think it’s good to try and work both muscles but I like knowing that going into Jim’s shows, I can say whatever jokes I want and it’s not gonna like make anybody get tied by whole, like it’s gonna be accepted and probably more actually like, accepted and-like I just said, but like celebrated, you know what I mean, it’s gonna be, like they want that, so yeah.
D.J. Demers: And you said he’s a good guy offstage- I actually listened to your episode-well, not your episode, Taylor Tomlinson’s episode of “Cook’d” when you had her on-
Kelsey Cook: Oh, yeah.
D.J. Demers: Yeah, and you were saying that Jim Norton eats so healthy, like it kind of inspired you to start eating healthier.
Kelsey Cook: The road is such a trap for just-
D.J. Demers: Oh yeah, garbage in your body.
Kelsey Cook: It’s really tough-I mean the comedy clubs, most of them do not provide healthy food at all, it’s still like a mostly chicken strip-yeah, hamburger type of situation-
D.J. Demers: Which I love.
Kelsey Cook: Oh, I know. So, so good but uh-yeah, Jim has been, he’s been eating so healthy for at least the last few years and um-really is disciplined, like I don’t think I’ve seen anyone so disciplined with what they eat, like turns away shitty food all the time, is very strict about like “Okay, I want this but no-please don’t cook it in butter or oil”, like no anything, just very, very careful and- so, it makes me eat better too, cause I’m not gonna order a bunch of cake and look like a fucking asshole, you know like-
D.J. Demers: [laughing] “Jim, you sure you don’t want some of this cake, it’s amazing”.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Yeah, so it makes me be healthy too, which is-it’s nice, so.
D.J. Demers: And what constitutes-did he have a health scare or something, what prompted him to start?
Kelsey Cook: No, he just-I think he just decided that he wanted to feel healthier and so, he got on-it’s kind of like “The Whole30” diet, I think that’s what it is, where it’s like lot of chicken, and nuts, and veggies, egg whites, like just very high-protein, yeah.
D.J. Demers: I got to get more into this- I just had “Subway” before you came over here. It’s the worst.
Kelsey Cook: There’s worse things you could eat, but yeah, it’s tough.
D.J. Demers: It’s bread, I’m putting so much bread in my body, garbage meat- I was eating and I’m like “You piece of shit”. Like I was hating myself but I was like enjoying it so much- [laughing]
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Just both like angel and devil on your shoulders, battling back and forward. Yeah, it’s- we’re about to talk on “Self-helpless”, cause the girls and I watched the documentary called “What The Health?”, it’s
on Netflix right now and it’s basically, basically promoting like the vegan lifestyle and you do watch it and go “Okay, I suppose to be vegan, like I should be vegan”. But they are also-they are pushing their agenda and like all of these documentaries have their own agenda, so I feel like I’m out of point where I don’t know what information to trust or what really is best for my body and it’s really confusing, it’s tough. I don’t know.
D.J. Demers: Do you feel like you have your shit together, on the whole?
Kelsey Cook: Uh-you mean like food-wise, health-wise?
D.J. Demers: Food-wise, lifestyle-wise, uh-you know, mentally-
Kelsey Cook: I think on the whole, yeah, but I’ve struggled with a lot of anxiety and that kind of like comes and goes in terms of how intense it is, there’s times where I’m like “Jesus Christ, I cannot get myself to calm down right now or not be thinking horrible thoughts or whatever”, um-and then there’s times when I’m little more chill. L.A. is not good for my anxiety.
D.J. Demers: No?
Kelsey Cook: No. I feel much happier when I’m in New York.
D.J. Demers: How long have you lived here, in L.A.?
Kelsey Cook: Almost three years.
D.J. Demers: Three years- and you came from New York?
Kelsey Cook: No, I’ve- we’ve came from Seattle, but I go to New York once a month for shows, so I’m-over there like, I just feel like the city itself is so much-there’s so much more going on and even if that seems like it’d be more anxiety-inducing, it’s somehow calms me down more than when I wake up in L.A. and I just feel very isolated. It’s very like, you know, car city, you’re primary in your car, it’s not like casually walking to go get something or interacting with people, so-
D.J. Demers: That’d been a recurring theme on this podcast, as well. Me trying to figure out if I like L.A. and what you’ve just said is exactly what I don’t like about it.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: Like Toronto is like New York, smaller but that same vibe and I like that. I don’t like- I like looking down, it’s beautiful and sunny right now and I see the hills, and it’s beautiful but I wish I could walk out of my door and know that I didn’t have to hop in my car to go do something worthwhile and fun and nobody wants to get in their car and go anywhere and-
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: I like the city, I’m still getting used to it, but I think I’d like New York a lot better, I really do.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah. How long have you lived here?
D.J. Demers: Six months.
Kelsey Cook: Okay, and why here instead of New York, like why did you come here?
D.J. Demers: Well, I got my green card and I was just like-I’ve lived in Canada my whole life, I mean I’ve travelled around but I’ve lived in Canada.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: So, I was like “Let’s not do winter for a while, let’s go down the sunny L.A.”
Kelsey Cook: I got you.
D.J. Demers: I have friends here, I have a manager here-just made sense. And I still think it makes sense but the times I’ve gone to New York- I love that energy man, it’s like- it’s New York.
Kelsey Cook: It’s amazing, I agree. Um- I always thought that I would be too intimidated by New York because- there’s just so much going on, but I actually like I love the subway, like I pref- I’m don’t know, I’m kind of introvert, like I don’t wanna talk to a lot of people but I like other people around, something about that makes me feel more human that more than just like indoors, not having action, getting in a car, going somewhere, it’s just- I don’t know, it’s very weird.
D.J. Demers: And I get squirrely, like it takes me like- when I go out in public, like for example when you came over today, I haven’t talked to anybody.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Yeah.
D.J. Demers: Words aren’t coming out of my mouth, like “How do I talk to people?”. Yeah, but I like that, I like my alone time but if-like if I wasn’t doing comedy, I could easily sit in my apartment for a week and not go out and nobody would notice.
Kelsey Cook: Me too, yeah. But it’s almost like I need the environment just outside to have stuff going on or else I feel crazy. Like if I’m in a quiet home and I just look out and it’s like- I don’t see anybody, it’s just fake palms trees, I’m like “Okay, I’m going fucking crazy, like this is too isolating”, it’s just too weird, so I get a little- I get some anxiety if I’m here for too long.
D.J. Demers: So, why are you here then?
Kelsey Cook: Kind of same as your words, like at the time I had a manager who was telling me like “I can’t really help you if you’re in Seattle, but I can help you if you’re in L.A.”, and so that and the move from Seattle to L.A. is far easier than from Seattle to New York. I mean, we literally like we packed up our cars up and drove like 18 hours down, or is if you go to New York, it’s just a whole different thing, so at the time numerous people here, it just, it’s the same coast where I came from, it just seemed easier but um-then the tour with Jim happened, like it started about four months in thus being here, happened right away, so-
D.J. Demers: How did that happened?
Kelsey Cook: I had him on my podcast. It all happened from through a tweet, it’s was like very weird, serendipitous thing where I connected with him through a tweet and then had him on my podcast, and I knew that he had um-typically used women as his openers in the past, like Amy Schumer was his opener for a couple of years, so I just mentioned to him like “If you ever need one, I’d love to work with you” and I did one weekend and it went well and then his manager basically sent me like the rest of the dates for the year and I just- I was like at a day job, I was just start crying like “Oh my God” cause that’s just like-that’s just something you dream of happening, is just like that- that
opportunity to do it full time is what we all just so badly want, so I mean- I will be forever grateful to him cause now I’ve been able to do it full time for almost three years, two and a half, like he gave me that ability to do that, you know just-best gift ever, so yeah.
D.J. Demers: Does he play foosball?
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] He does not play foosball.
D.J. Demers: No?
Kelsey Cook: I’ve gotten him to play once, I think we were in San Francisco, he was like “I like this, I don’t wanna do this”, so-
D.J. Demers: It’s a tough game to just pick up.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, if you’re- foosball makes you feel stupid really easily, because it’s like very tiny movements and if you’re off by even a millimeter, the ball goes in a weird direction, and like it’s easy to feel very uncoordinated. Even there’s moments where I’ll mess up with the ball, I’m like “I thought that looked so bad”, you know.
D.J. Demers: And your mom and dad are like “Kelsey, you idiot!”
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] “God damn it!”, they’re flipping chairs over, “Oh!”.
D.J. Demers: Here’s a question, I played both ways – are you allowed to score with the back two rows?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, you are.
D.J. Demers: Cause some people play-you gotta pass it up to the first two, you’re only allowed to score-
Kelsey Cook: Oh, that’s weird. No, it’s-
D.J. Demers: Anybody can score on the table.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, I mean it’s more admirable if you score from the back because you have so many men to go through, you know, it’s so much harder than just if you have it on your three-bar and you’re just trying to get the best to goalie.
D.J. Demers: Well, yeah, if you’re playing, if there’s one person who’s superior to everybody, they can score from the back, no problem- cause I can see the opening- like I’m not using all the back rows well to protect the net. Lot a gaping holes in my defense.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Lot of holey, very Swiss cheese defense you have, yeah I got you.
D.J. Demers: I went bowling last night and I just- I’ve always bowled my whole life, just like fingers in the holes, thumb in the hole, straight down the line. Never span it-
Kelsey Cook: Right.
D.J. Demers: Span it? The past tense of “spin” is “span”, right?
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] I like “span”, that should be a word.
D.J. Demers: “I never span it”. Can you say “span it”? The more you say it, the more times like it could be right.
Kelsey Cook: I love it, yeah.
D.J. Demers: “I’ve never span it”.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Yeah.
D.J. Demers: And I was always afraid cause you know I can spin a basketball, I took curve- I know how to spin balls. [laughing]
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] I bet you do, D.J.
D.J. Demers: I span a lot of balls in my life [laughing]- but I’ve never wanted to try the spin in bowling because you’re always playing against somebody and you know it’s gonna take a few frames to learn it, and my competitive nature was like “I don’t wanna give up this, however long it takes me to learn this”-
Kelsey Cook: Oh, right.
D.J. Demers: To learn and maybe you did have- anyway, I didn’t wanna go on my own in practice but last week my girlfriend and I went bowling and I was
like “You know what, screw it, I’m gonna learn how to spin” and took me like two turns and I had it.
Kelsey Cook: Really?!
D.J. Demers: And now I’m addicted to spin- once-do you bowl at all?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, I love bowling.
D.J. Demers: Do you spin it or you just go straight?
Kelsey Cook: I’m mostly straight down, yeah.
D.J. Demers: Once you learn-last night I went and tried to go back to just throwing it straight and I couldn’t do it.
Kelsey Cook: Woow.
D.J. Demers: The spin is in me now. I dreamt of it. I woke up and the guy I went bowling with, Lance, I woke up-
Kelsey Cook: What a nerdy dream. “I’m bowling in my dreams”.
D.J. Demers: No, but what’s crazy is I woke up and I was like “Oh my God, I-I dreamt of bowling” and I checked my phone of course, and my buddy that I went bowling with, Lance, texted me “I’ve dreamt of bowling”.
Kelsey Cook: Weird.
D.J. Demers: Yeah, of the spin in particular, cause he had never span in his life and last night I’m like “Dude you gotta do this”, “No, man, I don’t know”, I’m like “I’m telling ya- I got all Tony Robins like “You gotta fucking do it, dude!” [laughing] and he did it and then he was like immediately hook too, he’s like “Oh, I’ll never not spin again”.
Kelsey Cook: Wow.
D.J. Demers: It feels so cool watching it go towards a gutter, watching it go and then last second – bam, comes in on that angle.
Kelsey Cook: I need to watch some bowling videos, and like check this out and really see if I can study and do it.
D.J. Demers: You gotta- and I hold it, I don’t know if this is cheating but I hold it in my right hand so I got my- oh, I don’t put my thumb in the hole. A guy who’s really good at spinning, when I went last week with my girlfriend, a guy beside us, he was spinning and I looked and then I ended up asking him. I’m like “You don’t put your thumb in?”, he’s like “No, I spin- I don’t do, I do my two, like peace fingers- uh, put them in and my thumb just outside of the hole, so I can get a better grip on the spin”.
Kelsey Cook: Ooooh.
D.J. Demers: And I did then and then I used my left hand to even get more of a spin, I like used it as kind of a focum, I don’t think I used focum correctly there but never mind, and it’s amazing. It’s like a drug.
Kelsey Cook: Damn. Okay, yeah I gotta try. I love bowling, I love all the- I mean, obviously with the foosball stuff, I love all sorts of weird shit like that, so.
D.J. Demers: It’s such a good- every time I bowl, I’m like “Why don’t I do this more often?”
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, right?! I never leave bowling going like “I regret it that”, like I’m always like “That was so much fun”.
D.J. Demers: I know. And I bowled two strikes to start, and –it was my first time hanging out with this guy Lance, and I was “You wanna go bowling?”, “Sure” and he’s like “Do you bowl a lot?” and I’m like “No” and the first two strikes he’s like “Dude, what the fuck?” and in my head I even started to think “Maybe I like apply for the PBA and be a professional, I got the spin”. And then it all went away after that, I got cocky.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: But I think mentally I did it, because I didn’t want him to have a bad time thinking he’s playing with too-good of a bowler, so I think the empathy in me- yeah, I think my brain was like “Dude, friendship’s more important than winning right now”-
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] That should be the name of this episode – “Friendship’s more important than winning”.
D.J. Demers: That’s not true.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah it’s really not, no.
D.J. Demers: Absolutely not. Same with billiard- you play pool?
Kelsey Cook: Uh, a little bit, yeah.
D.J. Demers: Okay. What’s- so foosball’s number one, what games and sports come after that?
Kelsey Cook: Um-well, so volleyball and basketball have always been like my two main major sports. I mean, I did soccer for like 10 years to gymnasium and tennis –I’ve played almost everything but volleyball and basketball were like my main ones, and then foosball’s the one where it’s like, it’s technically a sport but it’s kind of like, you know, not quite in that group. Uh- I love ping pong- I really do like pool and bowling, I love all that. I have good hand-eye coordination so anything that’s like that words, you know, meeting those things together, I’m- yeah.
D.J. Demers: Ping pong?
Kelsey Cook: I like ping pong, yes.
D.J. Demers: I love ping pong. Did your boyfriend play foosball?
Kelsey Cook: Um, he gets better and better every time we play but again he was just like your words, like “Okay, this feels weird, I don’t have a lot of experience doing this”, but he also has great hand-eye coordination, he played baseball for a long time so he picks up on that pretty quick-
D.J. Demers: Cool.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, yeah.
D.J. Demers: What would you tell me after- how many episodes are you in “Self-helpless”?
Kelsey Cook: I think we just put up our 7th, yeah, just put our 7th one up.
D.J. Demers: 7 episodes into reading and watching all those self-help stuff. What would you say so far is the main thing you would tell people to preserving their mental health or be better in it?
Kelsey Cook: Better in it- you know, some of its really helped me is the- kind of like minimalist movement, that was one that we did an episode on. We did one on minimalism and one on the “Magic art of tidying up”, which is like, sold like zillions of copies, it’s this Japanese woman who has this like really interesting way, kind of like cure to keeping your house tidy and it’s actually suppose to bleed like in other parts of your life, where you’re like, you’re looking for a relationship or friendship or something like- “actually I don’t need this in my life, like this person isn’t making me happy” or whatever, so um-
D.J. Demers: Just sweep’em in-
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, just- yeah. Goodwill note, dude. But that one has really made me feel happier to get rid of so much shit in my place. I was “Why I was holding onto this?”, um, so yeah, I don’t know, I like that a lot. That’s made me feel a little bit more peaceful, little less anxious, that kind of a thing.
D.J. Demers: Who has their shit together the most between you, Taylor and Delanie?
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] That’s a really good question. They’re both so good with like organization and getting shit done, I mean they’re both so successful. Delanie always amazes me how like quickly she responds to e-mails, she’s one of those people where’s like “I’ve just wrote all this out, I’ve got this together like what’s our plan for next episode, what’s this?”, like she’s really, really good at that so that’s what personally I’m like “Damn, okay, you know what you’re doing with that”. Um, Taylor’s like killing the stand-up game, she’s in Montreal right now for “Just for Laughs”, so Taylor’s work ethic is amazing, both of them are so so good, yeah.
D.J. Demers: Not gonna throw anyone under the bus?
Kelsey Cook: Nooo, I love them!
D.J. Demers: That’s what this podcast is all about, before we go we throw one person under the bus.
Kelsey Cook: Oh, you didn’t tell me that, I don’t-
D.J. Demers: No, that’s the opposite. Anytime somebody starts to, I’m like “Hey, hey, hey, hey”-
Kelsey Cook: “Hey, we don’t talk shit on this podcast”. I’m like never talk shit right now, cause I did the minimalism thing and I’m getting people out of my life that I don’t like, so-
D.J. Demers: That’s nice, that must be pretty satisfying. Grandma, you’re gone!
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Beat it!
D.J. Demers: I wanna say before I forget, grandma I love you.
Kelsey Cook: If you listen, grandma. That’s so funny.
D.J. Demers: She rents my podcast at the library.
Kelsey Cook: Gets in on DVD. That’s great.
D.J. Demers: I miss DVD’s.
Kelsey Cook: I miss DVD’s too, that was a whole big thing with the declutering that my boyfriend and I had to go through each DVD and be like “Okay, we probably are never gonna play “Anchorman” on DVD ever again”, but oh-giving it away feels so sad.
D.J. Demers: I know. I did that when I moved here. I just left all my DVD’s and my mom was like “What do you want me to do with them” cause I have them stored in her basement, I’m like “Throw…them..out?”
Kelsey Cook: “Just do it when I’m not looking”. Yeah, I can’t be around for it, can’t be around for it.
D.J. Demers: But everything else that we have now around is so ephemeral, like it’s gone. It’s like it’s on a screen but I can log in tomorrow and it won’t be there anymore.
Kelsey Cook: I know, I know. It’s so weird, we have so much dependence on our technology to like keep our, keep our shit safe but yeah, it’s weird.
D.J. Demers: Even just like a- I’m releasing an album pretty soon.
Kelsey Cook: Oh, congratulations.
D.J. Demers: Thank you but I’m not gonna put it on like CD or anything and I’m like- “so just online and that’s cool but I’d like something in my hand”.
You should order one, can you order one? Or like twenty, so you can give them to like friends and family.
D.J. Demers: That’s true.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: Yeah, maybe I’ll do that.
Kelsey Cook: Don’t order like a thousand but just like have like a little box of “I made this. This is a physical thing I can hold in my hands”.
D.J. Demers: Some comedians still make CD’s and sell them on shows.
Kelsey Cook: It’s so weird to me.
D.J. Demers: Who’s using them, I don’t know. Maybe?
Kelsey Cook: I’m always amazed like Aries Spears sells CD after shows, I’ve opened for him a couple of times and- I think the CD actually came out many years ago and they sell like hot cakes. He sells so many of them, it’s amazing.
D.J. Demers: Is he selling them on stage, does he mentioned them?
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, I think he makes a joke like his divorce and that he needs help with the divorce or something like that, but I mean they, they sell like crazy-
D.J. Demers: I have T-shirts that I’ve used to- I shouldn’t even say used to, I still have ‘em, they’re sitting in boxes, but I don’t even bring them to shows anymore cause I’m so bad at selling them. I’m like in the middle of my set, I’m like “Oh, I have T-shirts here if you wan-oh, never mind, you don’t want them”.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] I know, I’ve gotten to a point where I feel like uh-it’s such an important part. Honestly, I make more money selling my merchandise than I do in actual, like comedy money. It’s amazing to me how well merchandise sales can do, but God, like pedaling them on stage or after shows,
I’m always just like “Uh, this is not a good feeling but just kind of necessary right now”, at least for me, when it’s mostly feature pay, then merch really helps.
D.J. Demers: But the thing is nobody cares. I’m like “Uh, I shouldn’t be doing this” but people have no problem listening to your sales speech.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah. It’s only weird if you make it weird. Like I’ve learned that, where if I say something that’s like “uh, that just made it sound awkward” or like I feel uncomfortable doing this, then they feel uncomfortable.
D.J. Demers: Yeah, exactly. As soon as you bring it up, they’re- even if you have in the bad set, you can got through it and thought “Oh, that was good” but if in any point you’re like “This is not going well”, they are all like “You’re right, it is bad”.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, yes. So funny, I’ve seen people like step on their own momentum so many times where it’s like- they didn’t like one person’s reaction or that one person didn’t laugh at it, and it makes the whole set weird. Just don’t worry about that dude and whatever shit is going in their life, like everybody else is having a great time, just do your set.
D.J. Demers: And it’s funny when that person is in the front row so nobody else can even see.
Kelsey Cook: Oh, yeah.
D.J. Demers: And the comedians are messed up by him, but the rest are like “I don’t know what you’re talking about”.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, you just tank your own shit, it’s weird.
D.J. Demers: I did a show a couple of weeks ago where so many people in the audience had face and neck tattoos.
Kelsey Cook: Really?
D.J. Demers: Yeah, I talked about it actually last week but yeah, I could not address it, it’s like I just got a mention “Many of you really scare me right now”.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] “Just so you know I’m terrified of you”.
D.J. Demers: I’m okay with that kind of shit cause it’s like-let everyone know you’re present in the moment. But the worst is when like somebody’s not laughing, like “Why are you not laughing at any of my jokes, man?”
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, that’s just-the recipe for disaster, I don’t know.
D.J. Demers: Before we go, Kelsey, what is your goal with stand-up comedy?
Kelsey Cook: Oh boy, what a load of question, I mean, I think most comedian’s goal would be-
D.J. Demers: Money.
Kelsey Cook: Many. [laughing], HBO, HBO special. Like yeah-
D.J. Demers: Netflix hasn’t surpassed HBO in your mind?
Kelsey Cook: Oh, Gosh. Maybe it has, maybe just like uh- I’ll just say an hour comedy special. You know what I mean like, it’s that- what’s yours?
D.J. Demers: Uh, you enter first, I don’t want you to- you might be doing what I do is “what’s yours, that’s also mine, we are so similar”.
Kelsey Cook: I got you. I, I think that would really- do you know the book “The Artist’s Way”?
D.J. Demers: Yeah.
Kelsey Cook: Okay.
D.J. Demers: I haven’t read it yet, somebody else told me about it.
Kelsey Cook: It’s the reason I started stand-up.
D.J. Demers: Really?
Kelsey Cook: Cannot recommend it more, we’ve just talked about it on “Self-helpless”, um, it asks what your true north is, and relationship to like your specific goal or carrier, whatever, and that’s always what I’ve think of like, what is the thing that points to the most, like the part of you that makes you feel the most proud or something like that, and I think to have an hour long
Comedy Central- now I’m saying literally everyone, HBO, I’m so thirsty, just anybody get me one, anything is- please. [laughing] No, just an hour comedy special would be just awesome.
D.J. Demers: And how far away are you from that right now, in your estimation?
Kelsey Cook: Hmm, from an hour maybe like- maybe like four years? Three, four years, something like that. Three to five, I’ll say three to five.
D.J. Demers: Is there a road map you following, anybody who’s career that you particularly kind of admire that you’d like to follow?
Kelsey Cook: Hmm, well-it’s probably cliché to say but you look at Amy Schumer’s carrier, it has a particular resonation with me, because- does that work the same way, the resonation or resonates with me?
D.J. Demers: Resonance, I think. Yeah, in particular resonance.
Kelsey Cook: Cause it’s sounds like I always say like I’m resigning from office, a resignation but I took out the “G”. Oh, that’s so funny, you and I with our words today.
D.J. Demers: We’re making up a lot of great words.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, we’re making people so dumb listening to this podcast, like “What are they talking about?”, um- her path resonates with me because she opened for Jim for a couple of years, so like- it’s so, I can see almost exactly what she did and I’m like performing with Jim at the same places that she did and it’s so- I just think what’s she done is so admirable, like to create a TV show, and then she wrote her own movie script, and then she did a movie, and she wrote a book, and it’s like- I want all those things, you know – I want TV show, I want movie, I want book, everybody I feel like a lot of stand-ups want more than just the pure stand-up. You know that’s still like my number one love and priority, there’s still other creative outlets that- yeah, I think she does very well, so yeah.
D.J. Demers: Amy Schumer.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: I’m trying to think- yeah, I couldn’t argue with the Amy Schumer path, either. She’s done it already, she’s like mid-thirties at this point?
Kelsey Cook: I think she’s 35, yeah. So when I say like three to five for an hour comedy special, it’s-sometimes you see somebody that like it takes one thing and all of sudden within an year, it’s just like *wloop-wloop*.
D.J. Demers: You can see it happening in real time.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, and then sometimes it’s so- it’s the whole like “You can’t control the opportunity but you can control the readiness” thing, so I just, you know-try to keep working and do the best we can and just hope that opportunities come, so yeah.
D.J. Demers: One last question.
Kelsey Cook: Yes?
D.J. Demers: Who’s your favorite rapper?
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Do you ask this for everybody?
D.J. Demers: I’ve asked it twice but I always forget but I like to ask everybody.
Kelsey Cook: Oh my Gosh, I have so many.
D.J. Demers: Really?
Kelsey Cook: Yes.
D.J. Demers: Nice. The first one I’ve asked was Taylor actually, and she was like “I’ve never listened to rap, I don’t listen to rap” and I forgot to do it ever again.
Kelsey Cook: Oh, so- just like I love all that shit. Uh, love Eminem, love Ludacris, I love me some Luda-
D.J. Demers: Oh, man, you’re naming all my, I love the Emin-Luda back in the day –“Cadillac grills”.
Kelsey Cook: Oh, no one better than Luda back in the day.
D.J. Demers: Oh my God. And when he would feature on another song, like Missy featuring Luda, he’d come in from the roof of the place.
Kelsey Cook: Fucking love Missy Elliot, like-gotta love some Jay Rule-some Ja Rule back in the day-
D.J. Demers: [laughing] Some Jay Rula.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Some Jay Rula-well, J. Lo, Ja Rule, that’s a good combo.
D.J. Demers: Oh yeah. “Cause I’m real”-
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] Yes.
D.J. Demers: Just everybody know I did dance-
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] There was a full choreography that just happened.
D.J. Demers: You know when you first started saying it, I didn’t know it was gonna be Ja or J. Lo that came out of my mouth and all of a sudden I could feel the essence of J. Lo in my body.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, J. Lo overtook you, it was a full salsa movement, it was beautiful. I honestly love- who are your favorites?
D.J. Demers: Uh, Kanye.
Kelsey Cook: Kanye is also probably top 3 for me.
D.J. Demers: Love Kanye, I don’t know if this is just of the Canad- no, I’m not adding any disclaimers- I love Drake.
Kelsey Cook: And I love Jay-Z.
D.J. Demers: And I know- anyway, no one could not like Drake anymore, I feel like that ship sailed. Now the whole world loves him. He’s a bit cheesy, but I kind of love the cheesiness.
Kelsey Cook: I do too. Uh, I love Nicki Minaj.
D.J. Demers: Did you ever heard “Monster”?
Kelsey Cook: Yes.
D.J. Demers: Her verse on “Monster”-
Kelsey Cook: Unbelievable, so fucking good.
D.J. Demers: Jay-Z’s verse on that song?
Kelsey Cook: Uh, amazing.
D.J. Demers: Yeah? I was gonna shit on it.
Kelsey Cook: Really? Oh, I like it.
D.J. Demers: You know what, I like it more- where it first came out, Kanye’s verse was so good, Nicki’s was so good-
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, Jay-Z is not the highlight of that song-
D.J. Demers: He’s literally rapping about monsters, like everyone’s doing metaphors, he’s like “vampires, goblins”-
Kelsey Cook: It wasn’t like a high point of his carrier-
D.J. Demers: And I hate the lyric where he’s like “Everybody want to know what my Achilles heel is, looooove, I don't get enough of it”. Did you just say love is your Achilles heel?
Kelsey Cook: Were you having a midlife crisis, Jay-Z? What the fuck’s going on? Um, yeah. What’s your favorite Kanye song?
D.J. Demers: Uuuh, man, I love so many. Uh, of the top of my head, uh- I was gonna say “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” but that’s old school but I think I like even new Kanye-
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: And I even like “Fade”, I was listening to “Fade” this morning.
Kelsey Cook: Oh my God, “Fade” is so good.
D.J. Demers: So, it’s not even like rapping but it’s like- I was talking with my girlfriend about that, we were driving and “Fade” came random, we were like “Oooh, this is so good” and was like the perfect evidence in my mind of why people need to evolve. Cause I love “College Dropout era” Kanye but everyone’s like “Oh, I wish you did that more”, and you’re like “Well, listen to “Fade” and just listen to the sonic masterpiece that is like, making you wanna dance and”-
Kelsey Cook: Yeah!
D.J. Demers: It’s so good, it’s such a great song.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah, Kanye as a person – hard pass, no thanks, don’t wanna spend time with him, but as a rapper I’m like “Whatever you put out, I love”. Like “Black Skinhead”-
D.J. Demers: Amazing.
Kelsey Cook: Oh my God! Have you heard the mash-up of “Black Skinhead” and “Personal Jesus”?
D.J. Demers: No.
Kelsey Cook: From “Atomic Blonde” trailer that’s out right now, and there’s a mash-up and it is so amazing, it’s so so good.
D.J. Demers: I’m gonna look that up.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: I love- yeah, “Yeezus”, that whole album, and then after that like um- “Life of Pablo”, that whole album is amazing. That album was so good that when “Views” from Drake came out, and it made me “uh”, cause I loved “Pablo” so much. “Famous” on that one, “Real Friends”-
Kelsey Cook: You know what I love is “Otis” with Jay-Z and Kanye.
D.J. Demers: Yeah, with Aziz Ansari in the video, just chillin’.
Kelsey Cook: What, is he in that?
D.J. Demers: Yeah, he’s in that video with them. I’m almost positive he is.
Kelsey Cook: I cannot picture that. That came on, there was a Spowershop show in New York and after that, they play rap and hip-hop and I was just, it was like me and these like really thug dudes and I’m just like “I get it custom, you a customer, you ain't accustomed to going through customs, you ain't been nowhere, hah?”, they’re like “Oh shit, look at her go” and I was “This was like so- I love that song so much”.
D.J. Demers: It’s so good. My favorite cheesy lyric of all time from Kanye is a “I'm like the fly Malcolm X, buy any jeans necessary”.
Kelsey Cook: Oh shit, yes.
D.J. Demers: So, it’s like using a Malcom X to talk about buying jeans is so wrong, but I’m like –I remember that and I will for the rest of my life.
Kelsey Cook: Yeah.
D.J. Demers: I’ll be rapping it in the nursing home.
Kelsey Cook: [laughing] To your grandma.
D.J. Demers: Well, my grandkids called me an old loser on stage. I hope my grandkids push the boundaries like that.
Kelsey Cook: I’m sure they will. Yeah, I’m so happy you asked that, what a tantrum we went on, but I love rap.
D.J. Demers: Oh, I’m so glad. Well, I’ll try to get Taylor on too it then, I don’t know what she listen to, but it’s not rap.
Kelsey Cook: Taylor – if she listening to like Christian rock, I’m gonna smack her.
D.J. Demers: She’s gonna come back from Montreal, listening French folk music.
Kelsey Cook: I’m like “Get out of this shit”.
D.J. Demers: Where can we find you online, Kelsey Cook?
Kelsey Cook: You can follow me on Twitter at Kelsey Cook, K-E-L-S-E-Y-C-O-O-K, Instagram is “kelseycookcomedy”, website is “kelseycook.com” and uh-go subscribe to “Self-helpless” on iTunes, give us a 5-star rating and review and go to YouTube, I’ve got a great web-series called “Stand-ups doing makeup”, where I’ve had like Jim Norton, Trae Crowder, Brad Williams, all these very very fun comics on where I do their makeup for 10 minutes and then they do my makeup for 10 minutes. I make them look beautiful and they make me look like a disaster, but it’s really fun.
D.J. Demers: Amazing. Kelsey, thank you so much for coming back.
Kelsey Cook: Thanks for having me, bye.
D.J. Demers: See ya everyone!