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What people say about my book, and how I interpret it.

I’m truly humbled that someone spent hours of their day reading my writing. And I love nothing more than to hear people’s thought’s on my book, both on and offline. But sometimes those comments are backhanded. Or I’m a cynical asshole. Probably the latter.

Below are comments I’ve received, and what I really think the person is saying…

What people say. How I interpret it.
I read your book in a day! Did you crank that thing out in a week? I paid $20 for this! I wanted to labor over your book for weeks, if not months!! Editing is for pussies.
It was an easy read. You have the vocabulary of a 3rd grader. Take those residuals and buy yourself a thesaurus.
It wasn’t that funny. You think you’re funny? Well I’m much funnier! I could have written a funnier book on this exact topic. If I wanted to. But I’m too busy writing critical reviews of people’s creative endeavors.
You published a book? Like a real book? Any hack can self-publish nowadays. Anyone can get on Amazon. Did you get a REAL publisher? I thought landing a publishing deal was difficult. I guess not.
You really put yourself out there! Phil, you’re embarrassing yourself. And our family.
I bought your book, and it better be funny!!!! :-) I’m a douchebag!!
You should write the book “How to divorce a Finnish girl”!! Hey, here’s something that’s clever, funny, and totally original!!
I could never write a book. Phil, you have way too much time on your hands. Seriously, get a life.
It should have had more of “this”, and less of “that”!! Why didn’t you write your book EXACTLY the way I wanted you too?!? Don’t you care about what I want!?!
There were typos! If you don’t know the difference between “desert” and “dessert”, how the hell are you able to write an entire book? This is clearly your editor’s fault, but I’ll blame it on the author.
Frankly, I didn’t like it. I am in pain and full of hate! I put my cries for help in the comments section of!!
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Your $3 million viral video didn’t go viral – now what!!

The Old Spice guy…The Chiptole farmer…The Paris Hilton Hotels sex tape.

Viral videos. They’re the ultimate marketing campaign. Spend your company’s entire marketing budget on a KILLER video that’ll spread like volcanic ash clouds. The stylish Swedish ad agency promised “it wöuld gö virål!” right before they took you out for a 5am night of meatballs and blow.

A week after it’s live you’re up to 3,000 views – about 2,997,000 shy of what you promised your psychopathic boss. “Annoying Orangejuice” was a lock!! The Swedes’ answer is a follow-up video which’ll make the first video gö virål. All they need is another million euros to make that happen. But that ain’t gonna happen.

So here’s what you do…

Hire a viral agency that guarantees views

For just $50,000 they promise 500,000 clicks!! Sounds too good to be true, but their British accents make them sound credible. When asked how they work their magic, they smile (bad teeth) and say something too witty for any American to understand. The “Filipino refresh team” await your cheque so they can get to work. High five? F5!!

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Re: Results from the employee satisfaction survey

Dear KICKASSSSSS TechCorp Team!! (YOU!!)

I wish I could present the results of our latest company satisfaction survey in person as required by HR (Human RESISTANCE! LOL!!!), but as you all know I’m up to my chiny-chin-chin in meetings and traveling. Until they install video conference units into the Virgin Atlantic lounges, we’ll have to do this on e-mail.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey, we had a 55% participation rate which is our best yet! Go team go! But allow me to comment on some of the more “polarizing” results if I may…

TechCorp offers career paths in my job
68% Completely Disagree / 22% Somewhat Disagree
Let me tell you a little story about handsome young guy who started at TechCorp seven years ago, worked his way up from manager, fought to senior manager, battled to director, then two sexual harassment accusations and one lawsuit later, is now senior director. It can happen to you too!! (HINT: That person was ME!! :-))

TechCorp values diversity
72% Completely Disagree / 18% Somewhat Disagree
Ummm…I guess none of you have met Jose, Maria, Carlos, Dwayne, or Rogit?? I strongly suggest you take a walk down to Level -2 and introduce yourself (after 6pm of course, when they arrive)

TechCorp’s has high standards for business ethics
94% Completely Disagree / 6% Somewhat Disagree
“Innocent until proven guilty” is a cornerstone of American democracy, and I think each of you should remember that before judging Mr. Roberts and our board of directors.

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The Appster Changelog – App Store Top 10 here we come!!!!!

The Appster Team!! From left to right: Pete, Jim (me), and Mary

Appster is the latest and greatest mobile phone app coming out of Silicon Valley. It’s bound to be #1 in the Apple AppStore. Below are changes made to improve Appster, as logged by the app’s CEO Jim Taylor (me)…


01/12/11 – v1.0

Appster has gone GOLD and is ready to download!!! Special thanks to Pete Thompson and Mary Egerstein for their countless hours developing this app. App Store Top 10 here we come!! –Jim Taylor

01/13/11 – v1.0.1

First bug found…and squashed!! Your Appster password may now include numbers, characters, and the letter ‘E’. Hat tip to our coder Pete Thompson for the fix.

01/14/11 – v1.0.2

‘Nuther day, ‘nuther bug…SWAT! Appster will no longer publish your full credit card details onto Twitter.

02/01/11 – v1.1

First new feature!! Appster now suggests mp3’s for your listening pleasure. Enjoy! App Store Top 100 here we come!!

02/02/11 – v1.1.1

Weird, Appster only suggested the extended remix of Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough”. This has been fixed.

02/03/11 – v1.1.2

Appster now suggests more bands than just Depeche Mode.

02/20/11 – v1.2

Some personal news – I’ve asked our developer Mary Egerstein for her hand in marriage…AND SHE SAID YES!! In celebration, Appster is now FREE throughout the rest of February. FREE!!

02/21/11 – v1.2.1

Yup, that was a inside of a walrus’s asshole uploaded to your Flickr account. Apparently coder Pete Thompson had a crush on fiancé and fellow coder Mary Egerstein, and decided to sabotage Appster. Sincerest apologies. Needless to say this has been fixed and Pete is no longer with the Appster team.

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How to Perform Stand-up in an Arena –by Russell Peters

This guest post was submitted by international superstar comic Russell Peters…

Gee, I wish I would have had this blog post when I was first doing arenas. I’m actually jealous of young comics who will read this and not make my same arena mistakes.

Performing for the King of Jordan is one beast, taping your first DVD is another (don’t get me started on recording your fourth DVD…fourth is the worst), but killing in an arena or arena-like setting is harder than a Karuvaattu kozhambu on Sankranti! (Sorry, Mom!)

So against my agent’s, manager’s, and Carlos Mencia’s request, here’s tips on how to perform in an arena…

Make the room feel small

Arenas are HUGE, but a proper comedy room is small. Pretend the room isn’t an arena, but rather a large to mid-sized theatre. Think Carnegie Hall from the eyes of a midget. Now double that. Place a stool on the stage to make it feel “clubby”.

Appeal to each and every audience member

Your audience just paid upwards of $250 for a ticket, they deserve to laugh. Even those who just paid $80. You need to appeal to the lowest common denominator, which means dumbing down your material. Master what I call the “Triangle of Joke Telling”: DICK – ETHNIC – GAY. Start with a dick joke, then a solid 90 minutes of ethnic stereotyping, close on a gay joke. (Then, RAKE IN THE CANADIAN $$$ !!!)

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Compliments friends and family give me about my comedy

Friends and family offer unsolicited feedback for their creative loved ones. I wish Verizon have a special phone plan where I can call them all for free to thank them. Here’s some encouraging messages…

  • “Hey, how’s the big stand-up comedy star doing??”
  • “That was a great set! You killed! But I didn’t get that one joke. Everyone else was laughing, but I didn’t get it.”
  • “You’re really getting better!”
  • “What do you do when no one laughs?”
  • “I really love your tweets. But they’re not ALL funny.”
  • “You really have a lot of time on your hands!”
  • “You know who was really funny? That guy who went last. He was my favorite.”
  • “How would describe your comedy style? Is it like Seinfeld? I really like George Carlin.”
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    Buy my fucking book! (please)


    Phil’s debut humor book, “How to Marry a Finnish Girl” is out now on Gummerus Publishers.

    About Better! Funner!


    Better! Funner! is a blog written and curated by Phil Schwarzmann. You’ll find funny original pieces, some not-so-funny pieces, plus stuff that made Phil laugh from around them internets. Enjoy!