“So even if I was getting stuff on TV which was seen by millions, it wasn’t 100% “my own” creation or voice. So, that’s probably why I continued to make things online.”
John Wyatt Haskell
Is a New York City comedy writer who formally wrote sketches for the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Currently he is in Los Angeles, where he is writing for the new Sarah Silverman show on Hulu.
Anyone who knows Haskell will tell you he’s one of the most endearing people they know. They fall in love with his refreshingly impulsive and honest sense of humor. He has a contagious laugh and a childlike goofiness that just makes you giddy when you’re around him.
Besides the fact he’s just plain FUN to talk to, we wanted to chat with him to find out what drives him to continue to create digital content for himself even when he’s busy working on some high profile shows.
RP: How would you describe the digital content you create for yourself?
I’d say the content I create is usually very impulsive, or done in a stream-of-consciousness style. I’ll typically have an idea then act on it right away – maybe it’s a small photoshop, or a little video. This process has its pluses and minuses. On the plus side, I make a lot of stuff. On the minus side, sometimes it’s not as good as it could be. Oh well, hehe.
RP: As a writer for a nationally televised show, you were getting your work out there on a daily basis, why do you feel the need to create online content for yourself?
This is an interesting question. I guess it’s because if you’re a “creative” person – whether it’s comedy, music, art, etc. – you probably have some drive in you to make things that are your own. So even if I was getting stuff on TV which was seen by millions, it wasn’t 100% “my own” creation or voice. So, that’s probably why I continued to make things online.
RP: What do you think the hardest part about creating digital content is?
That’s another interesting question. I mean, I think online content is easy to create, because you don’t need to book a show or schedule anything to do it. You can just make something and post it. But I guess one tricky thing is that there’s so much online content out there now, sometimes it might seem like you’re just throwing something out into a void.
RP: How have your own personal projects helped you in the actual workforce?
Sometimes my own personal projects led to ideas that could be used on the Tonight Show. For instance, I used to enjoy photoshopping people’s faces so they looked really bizarre, and I would call this “Bonking” them. Then that became a segment on the show, and also an app.
RP: Have you received any negative feedback from your personal creative content? How did you handle this?
I guess I haven’t received a *ton*, but that’s just because I don’t think my content is viewed by enough people to take a strong stance on it. And personally, I’m fine with that. People online can be pretty brutal.
RP: What are your favorite apps or programs to work with?
I like video editing. I still use Final Cut 7 but will switch to Adobe Premiere once I have to. I like making music on Logic. I’d like to learn After Effects more – you can do a lot of fun stuff with that. Oh, I also like Instagram because it’s fun to post dumb pictures.
RP: Do you have a regular website or media outlet you read that inspires you?
Not one that I can think of specifically. I often fall into the trap of clicking between tabs like Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. That sucks and is the opposite of inspiring.
RP: How do you get ideas for your project?
I sometimes get ideas from things that aren’t necessarily comedic. For example, maybe it’s a drama that’s shot really well or has a cool song that makes you feel an emotion. I like to get inspired from things like that.
RP: What project are you most proud of?
Probably Real Big Boys, which I did with Dan Opsal. We just made one web short a few years ago for fun, then decided to continue making them as a little side project. Making fun stuff with a friend? Now THAT’S what I’m talking about, baby!
Check out Real Big Boys here!
If you want to be featured on a Royal Piranha Profile, tag us in your work and use the hashtag #royalpiranhaprofile