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Episode 28 — Creativity

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Paul F. Tompkins is remarkably dapper, hilarious, and creative. If you'd like to be more like him you can buy a nice suit and write some good jokes, but can you teach yourself how to be creative? Today on Professor Blastoff we discuss the neurological phenomenon of creativity and how it controls us (as well as how we can control it). I'm sorry this description wasn't more creative. I really dropped the thematic ball this time.

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Found myself tuning out on this one...

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enjoyed this one as well.....but Aaron, as a Cohen, I don't appreciate your anti-semetic remarks! Luckily I will continue to listen to future epi's.

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i am so satisfied with this show every time i listen that i never have anything to comment on.
super great episodes again guys. love it. LOVE IT!

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I guess since I listen to you guys here on Earwolf that I don't go to Itunes and vote, but, this show is the highlight of my podcasting week. Just wanted the Mgmt. (not the band) to know this.

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Hey there T&K&D(&PFT),

Thanks so much for the newest Professor Blastoff w/Paul F. Tompkins-throw this one in the vault (or launch it into orbit with the Professor)-this was a great episode! Y'all are knockin' 'em out these days...

Jamey
Austin TX

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Is it too late to call the afterthoughts blog Professor Blastoff: Afterburn?

That or Aft-thruster-thoughts. Either works.

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One thing I gleamed from this episode is that I have god damned ugly hands.

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I sincerely wish this show was daily. David,Tig and Kyle's chemistry is so damn entertaining and I always learn so much.

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Two of my faves - Professor Blastoff and PFT - comin' together! What a great episode. I found out that pouring a bottle of wine over one's own head is not a way to get drunk. (((((((((learning))))))))

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I love Ken Robinson's talks on education and creativity. I assume the clip used in this episode was taken from one of his talks? Here's a good RSA Animate of one of his speeches.

Pictures make learning fun.

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This episode was phenomenal.
(Now m'gonna rant about it for a bit)

Creativity, for stand-ups, becomes an especially important issue because of the material conditions of stand-up as a cultural technology. To say "material" for the product of comedy has major implications for the way we think about the less apt term of "writing" as the process of creating that product. All throughout the episode it is easy to see the tension between "writing" as an oral process and "writing" as a written process, and it is at this juncture that we might think about the conditions of stand-up specifically to locate the shaky grounds on which we present models of orality and literacy (and we might even nod gently over to current discussions of electracy and systems of "pun-cepts" which exists as a clear point of contact between comic genres and technologies of immediacy).

This is not to say that improvisational genres don't put pressure on that boundary (since after all it is the "vanguard of the postmodern". ho), or that comic forms with written commitments (such as sketch) don't impact discussions of orality. Certainly they do. But "writing" for stand-up is one of those murky and complex starting points because it exposes how the process of writing is both written and not-written. Comedy in general exposes the deep implications of contextual consideration, but at some point we must address the implications of laughter for the civic mind beyond Freudian exposition of the unconscious or the mechanics of incongruity. Discussions like the ones in this podcast, the kind that try to describe the incipient moments of the comic machine (of the "laugh factory" if you will), are vitally important for the conversation before us.

This conversation revolves around a comedy that isn't just dressing up "truth" to make the audience more interested through laughter. It is a comedy that also goes beyond active criticism where every mode of production deserves scrutiny, beyond "resistance." It is a comedy that supposes laughter as the starting position and the joke as it's product, instead of the other way around. I feel like this episode plays off the growth of this conversation in that "creativity" is really just a code for "how do we MAKE this thing we call comedy?"

ANYWAY....that's my rant. I feel like there is so much here to talk about. People that really want to think about the process of comedy and how it's made: this is one of the top episodes on the Earwolf network to listen to this year.

I've got this epi in my archive.

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I loved this episode. I watched that video about the sideways hat wearing professor turning off the left hemisphere of the brain and noticed something peculiar: His hat has a picture on it. It is a picture of himself wearing a hat. What the hell?

[attachment=10444,242]

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