EXCLUSIVE: Joe Hernandez-Kolski and Joshua Silverstein Spill The Tea About Their Monthly Comedy Show
You know we love a good belly laugh! (Who doesn’t?)
Truth be told, finding a comedy act that really makes us giggle without permission is hard. That’s why we’re letting you know of a duo that is taking Hollywood by storm right now — one laugh outburst at a time.
Their smash hit show, The Joe and Joshua Show, just finished a yearlong residency at Sacred Fools Theater where they dove into a different topic every month along with hosting amazing special guests like rappers Blimes & Gab and inspirational poet In-Q.
Now they’re back as part of Sacred Fools’ “Foolish Thursdays” series where they will be diving even deeper into their comedy material.
“We know comedy takes many, many drafts and we’re doing the work!” explains Joe.
We couldn’t help ourselves from fanning out when they stopped by Hollywood Holler to discuss everything about their process.
“Most often, one of us will write a first draft of a piece and then we’ll read it together and revise it,” says Joe, who happens to be an Emmy-winning host and a two-time HBO Def Poet. “As men of color who are also half-white, we think we have a unique perspective. We try to speak from that personal place. Joshua has heard me say this Robin Williams quote way too many times: ‘To reach the largest audience, find the most intimate truth.’”
The Joe and Joshua Show has a new topic every month as a way to “push us in new directions,” explains Joe.
“Sometimes we’ll come up with an idea on the spot,” chimes in Joshua, who is also the resident beatboxer on TBS’s Drop the Mic. “We both try to be as personal as possible… For a long time, all we wrote about was—,”
“—Women,” they both quip about when they first started writing comedy together 10 years ago.
“And sex,” Joe says, before Joshua adds: “And sex with women, or the sex we weren’t having with the women we wished we were having sex with.”
It’s clear that the men’s chemistry is palpable, but turning an idea into a workable script is a whole other endeavor — one we can guess is very enjoyable!
“I really like how ‘Church of Kanye’ went from idea to script,” Joe explains about one of their recent sketches, inspired by Kanye West. “Joshua really wanted to talk about Kanye and I didn’t. But we kept digging into why he was important to discuss, what were we trying to say on a larger scale, and we discovered this idea that he’s like a deity to a lot of people now. So what if we’re like two Jehovah’s Witnesses for Kanye? Joshua wrote a first draft of the script, I wrote a second draft. We then performed it at our monthly show and revised the script into a final version that we shot as a comedy short.”
“That was one of those experiences where things moved rather quickly,” Joshua adds. “There was also a sense of urgency due to the topical nature of that piece. In other instances some pieces can take over a year to become fully realized. We can start off with an opinion about the content that we’re trying to tackle and as time passes, those opinions could change as we grow.”
Joshua continues, “We have a piece that we wrote called ‘From Romance to Restraining Orders.’ We performed the piece a few times and we thought we were both happy with it. We pulled the piece out a couple of years later for another event and I expressed that I wasn’t happy with the piece. We took some time, made some rewrites and some edits, and now it’s one of my favorite pieces.”
Of course, everyone wishes for this kind of work dynamic. For the duo, it became evident in 2008 that they tapped into something special.
“Our first stage show back in 2008 got a standing ovation every night,” Joe reflects, crediting that night as the moment he realized their chemistry could be long-lasting.
When asked about the best and worst part of their working relationship, the men couldn’t help but get deep.
“We’re both passionate and opinionated,” explains Joe. “Sometimes that can lead to heated arguments but I think we’ve gotten better over the years. We both let go more. If one of us really believes in something, the other person tends to go with it.”
“There really isn’t anybody I work better with on stage or on screen,” Joshua says. “I’ve had the luxury of working with lots of amazing people over the years and working with Joe can get frustrating because, with our projects, we have to make it on our own or it won’t get made. That’s a lot of pressure.”
As far as their goals? Without missing a beat, they both say simultaneously: “Our own sketch show.”
“Also…” Joshua sneaks in. “If my wife lets me, I’d still like to have sex with the women I used to talk about wanting to have sex with but never did.”
The Joe and Joshua Show plays every second Thursday of the month (January – April) as part of Sacred Fools Theater’s “Foolish Thursdays” series at the Broadwater — and seats are only $10!