The Insider: Max Silvestri


If you’re in NYC and haven’t been to Big Terrific, the weekly stand-up show that Max Silvestri has hosted with Gabe Liedman and Jenny Slate for five goddamn years, well, what are you doing?! (PSA: Get your half-decade anniversary tix here.) If you don’t live in NYC, sorry to rub it in like jerks: You can get a taste of Max’s hilariousness below and deep-dive into his funny-as-hell archives over at Grantland and Eater. —carlye wisel  

Q: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever worn?
A: When I first moved to New York, I scored a ticket to a fancy charity party—the first like that I’d ever been to. It was in the spring, and outdoors, and a friend convinced me that the occasion called for “summer suits.” He had some linen H&M thing, and I went to Men’s Wearhouse and bought the cheapest khaki suit they had, off the rack. We rolled in together feeling like a million bucks only to see that nearly every single person there was wearing black tie. It was like that scene in Dumb & Dumber. All we needed were canes and top hats. I ended up drinking a lot of stolen vermouth, and as I was leaving, I got into a nonsense fight—one that I started—with a very dapper European man on his way out. I was probably yelling something about his accent, and as he stepped into his limousine, he angrily snapped, “If you are going to get a suit, get it tailored to fit your shoulders.” That is an outrageous thing to say during a fight—but also he was 100% right, and I knew it. I looked like when Tom Hanks becomes a kid again at the end of Big. I now try to follow that guy’s advice, and I ended up reusing the suit in this video.

Q: What website can you absolutely not live without?
A: I refresh a billion times a day. It is crucial that I am one of the first people to know about cool stuff like “Brett Ratner Boards ‘FarmVille’ Animated Series.” Because if Brett Ratner is boarding that train, I want to be boarding that train. Conductor, any extra seats on the train? That is a train you do not want to miss.

Q: Do you own any Of a Kind editions?
A: I own the Ernest Alexander Finch Briefcase. It’s very nice, but I’ve since learned that the guy behind it, Ernest Alexander Sabine, went to high school at Belmont Hill. I went to St. Mark’s, and we played Bel Hill in sports, and all the kids who went there were tools. So for that reason I regret my purchase. Go Lions.

Q: What’s your one reliable life tip or life hack you’d like to share?
A: My favorite phone app is WxQuickie. All it does is tell you if the weather today feels warmer, cooler, or the same as yesterday. Best way to figure out if it’s okay to wear a bathing suit to work.

Q: Who’s your #1 favorite person on Twitter?
A: @JohnCusackNews. It is a bot that automatically rewrites news stories to be about John Cusack. Every single time it makes me laugh. For example: “John Cusack says he’s resigning for the ‘good of church.’”

Q: What’s the first good joke you ever came up with?
A: When I was seven and sitting at the dinner table with my parents, I decided to try swearing? I was a weird kid. They were talking about a coworker of my dad’s, and I interrupted and yelled, “Who the hell is that goddamn guy?” I think I got sent to my room, but in hindsight. yelling, “Who the hell is that goddamn guy?” out of nowhere is a very good joke.

Q: If you could switch wardrobes Freaky Friday-style with anyone, who would you pick?
A: Did they switch wardrobes in Freaky Friday? I thought they just switched bodies. Do we have to get struck by lightning or fall in a magic fountain or something, or can we just exchange clothes? Or do our clothes have to get struck by lightning? If our clothes get struck by lightning, they’d probably be ruined. Anyway, I’d probably switch wardrobes with Chloë Sevigny, because everything she wears looks expensive or one-of-a-kind, and I could probably sell it all for cash. I hope you like J.Crew button-downs and underwear I buy at Marshalls, Chloë!

Photo © Eric Michael Pearson.

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