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Comedian Joe Mande is Transforming into L. Ron Hubbard

In a new interview, Mande hints at plans to get rich by transforming into a "legit cult leader/con man"

Screenshot from JoeMande.com

Joe Mande is up to something. From the looks of the comedian’s recently redesigned website, he’s refashioning himself as a makeshift L. Ron Hubbard. JoeMande.com features a brief teaser for something called ‘Achieve Omega’ that includes symbols akin to Scientology (the symbol appears to be Joe’s initials attached to an omega: Ω).

Mande is best known for his work as a writer on Parks and Recreation (he also played a character named Morris on the show). In 2014, he released the hilarious and inventive standup album Bitchface, which employed a pastiche of hip hop mixtape conventions. Joe is the funniest person on Twitter.

I emailed Mande and asked him some absurd questions about film and music for a new feature I’m calling ‘Culture Questions.’ Thanks Joe! I don’t know what Omega is yet but I look forward to achieving it.


 

CULTURE CREATURE: In 2014, you launched a Kickstarter project intending to raise $1M for a podcast. What entrepreneurial projects are you working on in 2016?

JOE MANDE: Oh yeah, I got big plans for 2016. I’m currently overhauling my website to make myself a legit cult leader/con man. Hopefully I can quickly make about 300-400 million dollars so I can buy the Minnesota Timberwolves.

If you could go back in time to 1905 and play one song on a boombox to people on the street, what song would you pick and why?

If I had to choose a song, I’d do David Banner’s ‘Play,’ because it’s filthy. But, ideally, I’d also be able to show all the 1905 people a DVD of Avatar. I’d tell them it’s a documentary.

What single piece of art (movie, standup, music, etc) made you laugh the hardest laughter of your life? 

No film has affected me more than the first time I saw Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. I remember the cold open (where he’s dressed up like a UPS guy kicking a fragile package all over the place) almost making me throw up from laughing. Obviously, at this point I know the transphobic elements of that movie are now super #problematic, but 11 year-old me did not give a fuuuuuuck.

If you could go back in time and see one concert or tour, what would you pick and why?

I guess I would go back to 1940’s Germany to see Zarah Leander. (I’d use that as an opportunity to find and kill Hitler.)

What single piece of art (could be a movie, standup, music, etc) made you laugh the hardest laughter of your life? Please describe the experience or its impact on you.

My best movie-going experience was definitely the time I saw Original Kings of Comedy when I was in high school. A friend and I went to  a packed theater in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was one of those mutliplexes that offers free refills on popcorn if you buy a large. The guy next to me had one of those giant buckets of popcorn, and every time he laughed it would jiggle and spill popcorn all over him. He must have refilled the bucket two or three times during the movie. It was nuts. But then at the end, I guess dude found Bernie Mac’s portion of the movie so enjoyable, that instead of spilling the popcorn all over himself, he began to run up and down the stairs of the theater throwing handfuls of popcorn at random people’s heads. The crazy thing was no one cared at all. If anything, they understood his enthusiasm and encouraged it. To this day that man is my hero. And the movie was good, too!

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