Thursday, December 9, 2010

Single White Friendster Update

Okay, so I'll be the first to admit, this is odd.

I woke up this morning wanting to add something to one of the 365 scenes. A scene I wrote almost two years ago!

It's "Single White Friendster" about a lonely co-worker trying desperately to develop a friendship with her co-worker who prefers to keep things professional. I love scenes where people awkwardly try to connect with others. Little too much like my own life, really.

Anyway, you can read the original scene HERE.

Here's what I changed near the end...


Happy birthday. Really. Happy birthday. I just like to keep my life in different compartments, Wendy. I have my co-workers; I have my family and friends. I like to leave my work at work.


Sure. I understand. I’m the same way, really. I have work and I have my “not” work. Work stays here. Birds, Scrabble, decorating my jeans jackets with rhinestones and metal studs, washing my mother’s hair, all stays at home.


Good. What are you doing for your birthday?


I just told you.


You’re washing your mother’s hair on your birthday? (Wendy nods.) Well, your mom must like that.


It’s hard to tell since the stroke. I play for her in Scrabble. I usually “let” her win. And then she watches me decorate our matching jeans jackets.

(Awkward hopeful pause)


Sounds like a good time.

Yep. I gave Wendy's mother a stroke. All in the name of comedy, of course.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I wrote a piece about self publishing at my other website. I use 365 Sketches as an example. You can read it by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We Open Friday!

My first project post-365 Sketches was to adapt and direct a really bad movie. We had such a great time, we added some songs and scenes and turned it into a badass movie, but on stage.

Click HERE for tickets.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shows You Would Never See If You Didn't Know Someone in the Cast: REMOUNTED

Director Scott Olson and his crew had such a great time doing "365 Sketches" last June that they are remounting and reconfiguring their show. Scott kept the scenes he and his cast liked the most and then picked up some other 365 scenes they liked including "Everybody Poops, Even Neil" and a very, very twisted take on Pinocchio. I look forward to seeing their show.

Shows You Would Never See If You Didn't Know Someone in the Cast: REMOUNTED

The sell-out sketch comedy show is back and packed with new sketches.

The Best of Joe Janes's 365 Sketches.

Feel the Bang. Get the Clap.

Show Dates and Times

Sunday September 26th at 7:30 P.M.
Thursday September 30th at 7:30 P.M.
Sunday October 3rd at 7:30 P.M.
Thursday October 7th at 7:30 P.M.

CALL 773-598-4549 FOR TICKETS! TICKETS ONLY $10!!!!


Cassie Ahiers
Jack Bourgeois
Kevin Branick
Jessica Cook
Dylan James Hackworth
Meg Harkins
Sam Hubbard
Daniel Planz
Liz Siedt

Directed by Scott Olson
Assistant Directed by Jackson Haywood

Written by Joe Janes

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

365 Sketches is Recommended Reading

According to the folks at The Laughing Parrot.

The Original 365

Looking for the original posts and their comments?

Here's a link to Day One - "Laid On"

Click on "Newer Post" at the bottom of the page to move through the year.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Why Do It?

This video explains why I took on the 365 project better than I can.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Taste of 365 - Friday Night!

“365 Sketches” Book Release Celebration

Hosted by Michael Gellman
Interview and Q&A with Joe Janes
Featuring 10 scenes from “365 Sketches” performed by original cast members from the June Strawdog shows.
Friday, August 13 Tickets are $5, $3 for students de MAAT Studio, 3rd floor of Piper’s Alley, North and Wells, 312-337-3992

I am very excited about this event. It's going to be a great time and you really can't beat it for five bucks! There's so much entertainment value packed into this, you might actually make money from your investment. First off, I get to share the stage with Michael Gellman, a mentor and constant source of inspiration for me. You get to see us talk about sketch comedy, unrehearsed. You also get to ask us any questions you have. That alone is worth the cost of a ticket. In fact, you're probably up ten bucks at this point.

What really makes this event worth your while is this line-up of scenes and talent. These are ten scenes I picked, which, out of 365 scenes, was very difficult. Michael and I will also do some DVD-style commentary after every scene.

"A Gospel Song for Atheists" – directed by Chris Othic, featuring Geoff Crump, Becca Levine, Chris Othic, Nat Topping and Susie Gutowski

I picked this one because it is one of the songs I wrote for 365. And when I say "wrote a song" I just mean the lyrics. Groups were on their own to set them to music. All the groups did a fantastic job at this. They all exceeded my expectations (except for that one where the group set it to a Barry Manilow song. Oh, my.) This was a difficult song and these guys nailed it. Here's a stripped down rehearsal of the song.

"Pawn Broken" – directed by Scott Olson, featuring Dylan Hackwoth and Jack Bourgeois

I wanted a two-person scene that utilized biographical elements. "Pawn Broken" deals with a man selling an engagement ring. Good times.

"KAT-JITSU" – directed by Jason Fleece, featuring Jill Olson, Chris Brown and Andy Cameron

This was an important scene for me during 365. It's one of the few where I can tell you when I wrote it. It's scene 15. After two weeks of writing scenes, I realized I could be silly. Kat-Jitsu is silly.

"Bullet Flu" – performed and directed by Neil Arsenty, Tim Huerlin, Heather Muth

It was difficult to be topical during 365 because I wanted scenes to be able to hold up after the project was over. This is my satirical take on media hype over flu "epidemics."

"French Is Easy" – directed by David Rocco Facchini, featuring Matt Noonan, Heather Muth, Becca Levine, Lisa Burton

This scene makes no sense at all, which is why I included it. I believe there's room for the odd in a sketch revue. This group also just did a wonderful job with it and made it very entertaining.

"Your Improv Coach" – directed by Jen Ellison, featuring Mary Jo Bolduc

This isn't exactly a comic monologue even though it is a one-person scene. If you have ever been in an improv workshop or on an improv team, this might make you very uncomfortable. In a good way.

"Waiter Scene No. 6, Op. 68, F Major, Pastoral” also known as "Recollections of a Country Life" Written By Joe Janes and Sir Jasper Turlington III – directed by Rinska Prestinary, featuring Pat Whalen, Chris Petlak and Matt Steffen

I love this scene because it's like Masterpiece Theater for blackouts.

"Anna.2" - directed by Jen Ellison, featuring Dave Stinton, Mary Jo Bolduc and Merrie Greenfield

There's no way I could get through 365 scenes without a robot or two. Here's the best robot scene, in my opinion.

"Everybody Poops, Even Neil" – directed by Wendi Weber, featuring Jackie Durruthy, Rammel Chan, Govind Kumar

My students will be happy to know I don't have a problem with poop jokes, as long as they are smart poop jokes and forward the story.

"Ain’t That Love" – directed by Rose Kruger, featuring Joel Reitsma

This is a scene that when I wrote it, I liked it, but didn't think much about it, except that I knew it could be deadly if the actor played it for laughs. Rose and Joel did such a magnificent job with this that it became one of the highlights of the Strawdog shows that folks talked about it for weeks.

So, come on out. Have a good time. Meet Michael, the actors, the directors and me. We'll have t-shirts on sale. You can also buy the book at a 15% discount.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Put My Face On Your Chest!

The t-shirts from "365 Sketches" are now being unleashed upon the world. They are $20. If you are going to be at the 365 Book Release Event this Friday at Second City, designer and one of the 365 directors, Jen Ellison, will hand yours to you in person and you'll save on shipping and handling. You can order your t-shirt by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Barnes and Noble On Board

Now also available on-line at Barnes and Noble!

August: Joe County

August is shaping up to be a very busy month featuring some 365 events. You can check out the madness here...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Get 15% off "365 Sketches" at

Get 15% off "365 Sketches" at

Purchase 365 Sketches with 15% off with coupon code BEACHREAD305

Disclaimer: Use coupon code BEACHREAD305 at checkout and receive 15% off 365 Sketches. Maximum savings with this promotion is $10. You can only use the code once per account, and you can't use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offer ends on August 15, 2010 at 11:59 PM so try not to procrastinate! While very unlikely we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Now on Amazon!

"365 Sketches" is now on Amazon. So, that's cool.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Where YOU Can Buy "365 Sketches" Around the World

"365 Sketches" is starting to make its way into the world.

Here are some places where you can acquire it to complete your collection of books written by Joe Janes.


Langton Info Services, England



Quimby's at 1854 West North Avenue in Wicker Park. There will be a live in-store event on Saturday, August 21st at 7pm featuring me and some of Chicago's finest comedic actors performing monologues from 365.

The Book Cellar at 4736 North Lincoln Avenue in the heart of Lincoln Square.

The Second City Training Center on the fourth floor of Piper's Alley at North Avenue and Wells in Old Town. There will be live event on Friday, August 13th at 7pm in the de MAAT Studio featuring Michael Gellman and 8-10 scenes from the Strawdog 365 event. Tickets are $5 and available at the door.

Friday, July 2, 2010

They're Coming Soon!

If you want to look as cool as Jessica McCloud, well, good luck with that, but a styling 365 t-shirt would sure help your cause. It's in the works. We should have them available by the August 13th book event at Second City. And we'll keep them affordable.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Question and an Update

So, the dust has settled on the 365 event at Strawdog. Seems to have been a very positive experience for all involved. Some book events that will feature performances from 365 are now in the works for August. August 13th at 7pm has been confirmed at Second City's de MAAT studio. The evening will be hosted by Micheal Gellman and will feature Micheal interviewing me, us discussing 6 to 8 scenes after they're performed, Q & A and mingling and signing of books. The venue needs to charge admission to cover costs, so there will be a ticket price of five bucks. I'm going to work on getting five bucks off for anyone purchasing the book at the event.

While scheduling these events, a recurring question has been about doing a workshop in conjunction with an event. I'd love to do that, but I'm not sure what it would look like. Not sure how I can teach someone to write a sketch a day in a workshop. Also not sure if that's the most valuable thing to try to get across. Any suggestions? I would love to hear them. What kind of writing workshop would you benefit from most?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Reaction

My reaction to the MetaFilter debate on writing every day is up at Bite and Smile.

Go ahead. Read it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Write Every Day?

Well, if you're a writer, why not?

365 Sketches seems to have inspired debate amongst writers about the value of writing every day.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Well, Wow, Um, What Just Happened?

Not much to say at the moment, but there will be more to come. Nothing but big bouquets of thanks to all the directors and actors who made 365 a huge success. Here are some very surreal pics last night. These are just from my camera. Don took more from the shows themselves and we'll get those up soon.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Knocked 'Em Out Of The Park Last Night

Jen Malinsky and Jeff Hedges in "Kick the Can"

Going into our last trio of Saturday shows, I was nervous. We've been on a really strong streak of shows and we're deep into the number of scenes. One of these shows just had to be a shitfest. The odds were in the favor of me donning a fake mustache and sneaking out. Happy to report, the comedy gods continue to smile of 365. Bina Martin, Rachel Staelens and Danni Parpan and their casts put together an evening of fun, fun, shows. Michael Gellman, an improv instructor stalwart at Second City and whom I consider to be my teaching mentor was there and he had a great time.

Tonight is it! Your last two chances to see 365.

Toni Machi pines as Matt Scott and Steve Hund frolic.

Matt Malinsky teaches Vanessa Menton to fish.

Sasha Smith and Pat Whalen. Yep. I went there, too.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

294 down. 71 to go.

Chris Chemlik, Mackenzie Yeager, Isaac Holter and Zoe Shwartz in "Boxing Day" from "St. Drunken's Day."

Don's computer is acting all fussy, so he was unable to post pictures from Thursday's shows. Friday's shows were kuh-ray-zee. I have avoided warning the audience about what they are about to see, except for last night. I looked over the roster of scenes and this was definitely a period of weird shit. By this time into the project, it was very clear we were going to be presenting them for an audience and we may have had around twenty directors on board. I was more aware of the possibility of repeating myself, if only in where the scene took place. Tried my damnedest to avoid office scenes. There was still one per show. But, there are a lot of scenes where I knew for certain as I was writing them that I hadn't done THAT before. I let the audience know they were in for a strange and often very dark ride. All three shows rocked. Amanda Rountree, Mary Williamson and Tony Soto and their casts all brought their A game.

Scott Whitehair, Kelsie Huff and Mike Carothers in "The Last Unicorn" from "What If They Held A Peace Rally And Nobody Came?"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

One Hundred Forty-One Sketches Left

Last night, John Hildreth and Chris Othic, with casts in tow, knocked out weeks 29 through 32 leaving us with 20 more weeks to go.

One of my favorite scenes out of all of the 365 Sketches was onstage last night.  It involved an actual conversation Joe and I had (I was being the wounded girl in the scene and wondered why I introduced him as my "best friend" and he introduced me as his "friend.") and it underscored for me what many people involved in this project can attest to - truth in comedy.  I'm certainly not the only person who recognizes moments of "ME" in Joe's world and it's a strangely gratifying thing - like being Arthur Miller's girlfriend or something.

Further, as we continue on, the constant standing room only crowds of actors and directors coming out to see other sets has given the whole thing a sense of - dare I say it - "community" which makes the whole thing just a bit more worthwhile.

Come on out and check out a few of the last 141 days of Joe's year.  You won't be sorry.

RobK on 365

Check it:

"I love what Joe's done. It shows the kind of individual get-up-and-go that was so sadly lacking in the improv comedy universe back when I was an active participant. It always seemed to me that people would do everything they could to get the attention at iO and Second City, all with the goal of being spotted by Lorne Michaels some evening and win the right to get paid a decent salary to do really bad children's television on Saturday nights.

But Joe did something to do something, did a hell of a job and all the sketches are being produced even as we speak. I would give Joe kudos, but the word isstill banned on this site."

Some 365 Insight

From Nat Topping, one of our 177 actors and a colleague of mine in Robot vs. Dinosaur.

"Since each show is directed and performed by a wide variety of people from different parts of the sketch comedy landscape, the show is essentially a meeting of comedy minds from across the city. The show is the perfect combination of Joe's writing prowess and this city's interpretive creativity."
Thanks, Nat. He has more interesting things to say about 365, too.

Click here to read more.

Sketch Zero

My friends at Robot vs. Dinosaur are doing their part of 365 tonight. Back in January, at the end of the 365 writing process, they presented me with this...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sold Out on a Tuesday??

We're Officially Halfway Through Joe's Year

And This Train Keeps Rolling!

The 365 Sketch Crazy Tribal Constant Gathering in Celebration of the Mind of Joe Janes continues with an energy that even I, the Self Appointed Energy King, am left astonished.

As the buzz behind the quality of the work grows, the houses continue to become SRO - if you don't have tickets for this weekend, you need to get them very soon or risk being turned away.  We have had oversold houses for Sunday night and Monday night - both tonight and Wednesday are near sold out and I have a feeling that the weekend is going to be ridiculous.

Each director and their casts have been really bringing their A games and the level of talent and creativity is fucking awesome.



Monday, June 7, 2010

a little love from chicago elevated

Margaret Hicks is a tour guide, improviser and an utter delight to behold. She's a friend of many folks who are working on 365. She attended a show on Saturday night and gave 365 a shout out on her blog. Rooty toot!

Thanks, Hixx!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Shows 6, 7 and 8

(Mike Dobbyn, Chris Savell and Bryce Fishman provide thought bubbles for Kate Compton portraying yours truly. Apparently, Wrote a lot about food. And sex. And death. But mostly food.)

Last night was my first night back and it was great to be in the room, live and in-person. Great houses, great shows. Three very different shows under the direction of Dunbar Dicks, Rebecca Langguth and Derek Van Tassel. Dunbar's was very stylized with lots of dancing transitions and each actor trading off - via black ball cap and glasses - playing me writing the various sketches being presented. I was skeptical of this, as I didn't want it to come across as a tribute to me or be full of in-jokes people wouldn't get. Fortunately, neither happened and it made for a really cool, cohesive show. Rebecca's cast had some very rockin' transitions that took the risk of not using transitional lights which sometimes confused the audience as to when a scene began or ended. But the meat in-between the transitions kicked with this really tight and creative cast. Derek's show, comprised of Columbia college students and recent grads, was pretty traditional and straightforward, but you can tell they worked hard on the scenes discovering some really interesting moments between the characters that I never would have guessed was there. All three worked well and, as the writer, I couldn't be happier.

(Brett McGovern is a zombie superhero in the imagination of comic book store employee Trey Hanks who, rather condescendingly, explains his concept to Brianna Hansen in Searching for Joss Whedon.)

(Sadly, even I am not immune of writing more male roles than female roles. Derek handled this masterfully by casting Molly McCormick, Lori Lewis and Mal Merpi as men in a locker room talking about their penises in Weenus.)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Three through Five of Twenty-Six

Last night, we cranked out weeks 5 - 10 in three genuinely hysterical sets.

In the case of the midnight show, it's pretty damn cool to know that Joe Janes is simply a fucking funny guy - his humor cracks up the college crowd just like it cracks up old farts like me.

Tomorrow night we knock out weeks 11-16.  Seriously - don't miss out.  AND Mr. Janes will be in the house.