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The Need to Fail with Don Fanelli

Forever Dog

What do all of your favorite comedians, actors, writers, and artists have in common? At some point, they’ve all completely failed. Comedian Don Fanelli sits down with folks at the top of their game to talk about the times their dreams felt more elusi...Show More

1:36:13 | Jul 30th

Cipha Sounds (Chappelle's Show, 25th Hour), the self proclaimed Forest Gump of Hip-Hop, denied his gut and turned down touring with people like Rhianna and Jay-Z in order to be loyal to his radio show. We talk about the fear of leaving Hot 97, his ho...Show More

1:24:41 | Jul 23rd

Anna Drezen (SNL, Reductress) talks about battling an alcohol addiction and her nightmare job as a concierge. We also chat about how she wrote her SNL packet a week after sobriety, being okay with a B+, and her constant fear that she picked the wrong...Show More

1:10:26 | Jul 16th

Special guest Bobby Moynihan (SNL, DuckTales) takes us through his early years at UCB, his strategy the second time he auditioned for SNL, some of his failed characters, and how he was both grateful and scared after he left the show, when his sitcom ...Show More

1:21:44 | Jul 9th

Richie Moriarty (What We Do in the Shadows, Search Party) was going through a major personal low while experiencing his first professional high. We chat about his divorce, his Just for Laughs experience, and a particularly awkward interview with famo...Show More

1:36:02 | Jul 2nd

Justin & Jordan Shipley (Wrecked, Deadbeat) sold the first thing they ever wrote together. Then they had to figure out how to make a whole season of it. Writers rooms, sets, budgets, locations, time frames - the brothers admit they were out of their ...Show More

1:33:33 | Jun 25th

Jesse David Fox (Vulture, New York Mag) admits that he was not a good writer for years. We talk about the ins and outs of his podcast, his biggest writing regret, and how his desire to be heard outweighed his desire to be good at first. CONNECT W/ TH...Show More

1:18:47 | Jun 18th

Alex Fernie (Children's Hospital, Do You Wanna See a Dead Body) had six different pilots in eight years fall through. We chat about his blind spots as a director, the frustration of seeing projects he's directed sit in purgatory, and how listening to...Show More

1:15:56 | Jun 11th

Mitra Jouhari (Big Mouth, High Maintenance) felt herself tanking her producer's session mid-audition for a big pilot. We chat about how her bad days are filled with a sense of desperation, the genesis of Three Busy Debras, and how putting on a staged...Show More

1:21:26 | Jun 4th

James Adomian (Trump vs. Bernie, BoJack Horseman) tells his biggest bomb story - opening for Joan Rivers. We chat about how he approaches his impressions, why he likes mistakes and not over-polishing anything, and how he would have never have tried s...Show More

1:18:52 | May 28th

Jonathan Braylock (Black Men Can't Jump pod, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) takes us through a series of setbacks - from thinking he booked a pilot to realizing his sketch duo was over when his partner booked a tv show to getting lines cut from a movie a...Show More

1:12:52 | May 21st

Blair Socci (Ladylike, Just for Laughs) lived nine lives before trying to pursue comedy as a career. We talk about seeing her costars' careers skyrocket after her show was cancelled, the endless jobs she's had to keep her afloat, and how some rough r...Show More

1:20:58 | May 14th

Michael Hartney (School of Rock, Throwing Shade, Current AD of UCB) talks about crushing it at Just for Laughs but failing to be seen for SNL. We chat about oscillating between self-confidence and delusion after being dropped by an agent, the amazing...Show More

1:14:35 | May 7th

Brandon Scott Jones (Isn't It Romantic, The Good Place) had a pilot he wrote and shot passed on by a network. We chat about how his competitiveness as an adult is waning due to a childhood of intense athletics, the plethora of odd jobs he's had over ...Show More

1:03:01 | Apr 30th

Eva Anderson (You’re the Worst, Briarpatch) had three projects fall through last year. We talk about how not having an agent when everyone else on her sketch team did put her in her head, the productiveness of getting to her writer's room early and m...Show More

1:43:04 | Apr 23rd

Joanna Bradley (SNL, The Break with Michele Wolf)  took a really long time to process the feeling of not being asked back to SNL. We chat about the pros and cons of not having a brand, feeling emotionally unsafe in the entertainment industry, her dee...Show More

1:13:26 | Apr 16th

Jackie Johnson (Natch Beaut, Fresh Off the Boat) regales us with hilarious stories from her time as a background actress. From staring into the camera to squirting grease on her cocktail dress to accidentally tripping down a flight of stairs in a pac...Show More

1:08:42 | Apr 9th

Joel Kim Booster (The Other Two, Shrill) performs on gay cruises and doesn't give a shit what you think about it. We chat about the difficulty of being an earnest person in this industry, how he started doing standup because he was a failing as an ac...Show More

1:40:45 | Apr 2nd

Sean Clements (Hollywood Handbook, Workaholics) opens up about his battle with addiction, some of his rock bottom moments, how he got sober, and how he found his purpose. We also chat about not working for a year and having a huge swing and miss inte...Show More

49:31 | Mar 26th

Zach Cherry (Crashing, You) was dropped off at the wrong gate and walked for an hour through a studio lot, sweating profusely, to get to his callback. He booked it. We talk about the oddness of seeing your competition at a network test, why he enjoys...Show More

1:18:35 | Mar 19th

Eugene Cordero (Tacoma FD, The Good Place) talks about the important advice he got after he did not book MadTV. He also chats about pushing past that disheartening feeling about not being represented more on screen, feeling broken about the coldness ...Show More

1:02:25 | Mar 12th

Emily Heller (Barry, Ice Thickeners) talks about the difficulties of selling her stand up special. We chat about hosting a "comedy shabbat" for friends to develop new material, how she deals with feeling the lack of control in her life, and how it's ...Show More

51:53 | Mar 5th

Sudi Green (SNL, Golden Globes) talks about what she's learned in her first couple of years writing for SNL. We talk about how her definition of success has changed, the difficulties of giving yourself a whole day to write, and the importance of stay...Show More

1:18:03 | Feb 26th

Brian Huskey (Mr. Neighbor's House, Veep) takes an introspective look at his personal and professional battles and shares the lessons he's learned along the way. We chat about his awkward interview for The Office, how the definition of success and fa...Show More

1:06:51 | Feb 19th

Emma Willmann (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Secret Keepers Club) was stuck in a leaky airport hotel and had an awful ten hours where multiple projects fell through. But those setbacks opened the door to multiple successes. We chat about how her rocky childho...Show More

54:52 | Feb 12th

Keiko Agena (Better Call Saul, Gilmore Girls) talks about what led her to write her book, No Mistakes, which embraces and encourages failure. We chat about how she keeps her anxiety under control, what she would change about her Gilmore Girls experie...Show More

1:07:43 | Feb 5th

Jessica Harper (Suspiria, It's Garry Shandling's Show) experienced her first taste of failure while taking summer classes at a high school known for its theater department. We also chat about bombing off-broadway with Richard Gere, how professional u...Show More

1:08:07 | Jan 29th

Jon Glaser (Jon Glaser Loves Gear, Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter) talks about how not getting SNL helped put his career on track. We also chat about what helped him deal with writers room adversities, the jealousy of hearing Mr. Show film next door while...Show More

48:02 | Jan 22nd

Julie Klausner (Difficult People, How Was Your Week) chose to pursue a solo project instead of joining a soon-to-be-popular TV show writing staff and things don't quite pan out. She also chats about dealing with the cancellation of Difficult People, ...Show More

1:14:23 | Jan 15th

Lennon Parham (Playing House, Veep) talks about how she rocked her SNL showcase, bringing her one step closer to her dream, but was never asked to officially audition. We chat about using visualizations to help with pre-performance jitters, getting i...Show More

2:00:51 | Jan 8th

In our Season 5 premier, guest Tami Sagher talks about depression, shame, and the fear of doing this podcast. We chat about her extensive experience with The Artist's Way and the group she checks in with weekly, the time she got "Housed" by Hugh Laur...Show More

2:57:14 | Dec 25th, 2018

Thank you for listening to Forever Dog podcasts this year and please enjoy this year-in-review clips show! Listen to find a new favorite podcast to subscribe to in 2019 or just a killer back catalog to binge during your holiday travels. And please fo...Show More

1:52:52 | Dec 18th, 2018

Our Season 4 finale ends with a resonating yet jovial bang from guest Arthur Meyer (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, High Maintenance). Arthur takes us through the myriad setbacks throughout his career; everything from not being able to get on...Show More

1:49:39 | Dec 11th, 2018

Kate Spencer (Forever35 Podcast, The Dead Moms Club) takes us through many years of setbacks. She chats about her early doubts on the UCB Stage, trying to cope with the death of her mother, and what happened when she gave up on selling her book after...Show More

1:26:22 | Dec 4th, 2018

Eliot Glazer (Broad City, New Girl) chats about the difficulties being a multi-hyphenate (actor/writer/producer) in this current comedic climate. He also talks about the mini-breakdown he had while editing his book, his love of 2010's Howard Stern, a...Show More

1:17:00 | Nov 27th, 2018

Singer/Songwriter Rayland Baxter (Wide Awake, Imaginary Man) tells us the story of how getting arrested in college and losing his scholarship led him, in his darkest of hours, to discover his life's passion. We chat about how he changed his expectati...Show More

1:15:13 | Nov 20th, 2018

Craig Rowin (Search Party, Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later) opens up for the first time publicly about an extremely scary, three day long manic episode that landed him in a hospital for a week. We talk about the perfect storm of events that l...Show More

1:12:31 | Nov 13th, 2018

Josh Sharp (The Opposition, 2 Broke Girls) and Don were both recently part of cancelled television shows. They try to break down how they feel and what they've learned from the process. Josh talks about how he sees his failures as more like icing on ...Show More

1:15:45 | Nov 6th, 2018

Alice Wetterlund (People of Earth, Silicon Valley) went years without booking anything while battling personal demons, and even when she started to book, didn't feel like anyone was in her corner. We chat about how a cat shelter saved her life, how b...Show More

57:02 | Oct 29th, 2018

Gary Richardson (SNL, High Maintenance) tested three times and was put on hold twice before getting hired as a writer for Saturday Night Live. He talks about how the inability to work on other gigs while on hold sparked him to make his own short film...Show More

1:00:14 | Oct 23rd, 2018

Joe Mande (The Good Place, Parks & Rec) spent many years flailing around doing open mics in NY, directionless, and getting heckled by other comedians. We chat about his first hour-long set and how he immediately offended a bunch of Canadians, how bei...Show More

1:06:20 | Oct 16th, 2018

Wayne Federman (The History of Standup, The Zen Diaries of Gary Shandling) talks about why after decades of being a standup comedian and actor, he feels like he still hasn't made it. We chat about what he learned from Jerry Seinfeld and Gary Shandlin...Show More

1:22:38 | Oct 9th, 2018

Will Hines (Wrecked, How to Be the Greatest Improviser on Earth) reveals his failed sketch show that he wrote about New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. He dishes out advice on his writing routine that led him to bang out 4 pilots in one year, talks ab...Show More

1:27:36 | Oct 2nd, 2018

Kevin Avery (The Jim Jefferies Show, Last Week Tonight) shares multiple stories of professional rejections and "why am I doing this" moments. He dishes out advice to anyone thinking of moving to Los Angeles and talks about how a rejected piece of wri...Show More

1:05:44 | Sep 25th, 2018

Kevin McDonald (Kids in the Hall, Arrested Development) was devastated when he was kicked out of his college acting program. But this led him to The Second City in Toronto, where he started taking classes and met his future collaborators. We talk abo...Show More

1:17:39 | Sep 18th, 2018

Megan Neuringer (Portlandia, Kroll Show) was not able to show up for her career the way she wanted to these last couple of years as she dealt with personal losses. She talks about why a lot of her anxieties went away when she switched from improv to ...Show More

2:04:34 | Sep 11th, 2018

Frank Garcia-Hejl (First Impressions, Difficult People) worked tirelessly for many years, overcoming personal demons and honing his skills only to fall just short of achieving his one dream of performing on Saturday Night Live. In this vulnerable int...Show More

1:36:45 | Sep 4th, 2018

Matt Besser (improv4humans, Upright Citizens Brigade) goes through various setbacks at different stages of his career and tries to explore the definition failure within the UCB system. We chat about failing on your own terms, envy vs. inspiration, an...Show More

55:45 | Aug 28th, 2018

Aaron Jackson (The Opposition, Broad City) talks about not being able to land representation for many years, even while he was performing on a hit show. We chat about his novel mishaps, how a particularly brief open call drove him from musical theate...Show More

1:25:49 | Aug 21st, 2018

Rob Huebel (Transparent, Do You Want to See a Dead Body) takes us through his many ups and downs in the acting and developing world. He talks about locking himself in a hotel room for five days to rewrite scripts and the necessity for creating your o...Show More

56:09 | Aug 14th, 2018

Hallie Cantor (Arrested Development, Lady Dynamite) discusses the realities writing on popular TV shows and still experiencing long droughts of employment. She talks about her awkward Emmy's experience, getting a job at a candy store to bide her time...Show More

1:09:20 | Aug 7th, 2018

Natasha Rothwell (Insecure; Love, Simon) faces some serious imposter syndrome the more successful she gets. She discusses the key take aways auditioning and writing for SNL, the importance of protecting your solitude, and how it is vital for those th...Show More

1:18:26 | Jul 31st, 2018

It took Gil Ozeri (Big Mouth, Brooklyn 99) six times to get on a UCB house team, before he wound up being on three of the best. Gil talks about how he was motivated to Snapchat after a lot of his projects failed to get made, how sometimes to fix the ...Show More

1:37:00 | Jul 24th, 2018

Kristen Bartlett (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, SNL) lost her husband's father and then her father within a 4 month period while pursuing her dream of working in comedy. After multiple rejections from UCB sketch teams, she decided to form her own t...Show More

1:16:57 | Jul 17th, 2018

Special live episode from the UCB Franklin Theatre with Jessica St. Clair (Playing House, Veep)! Jessica shares hilarious and heartbreaking stories about being fired from two of her first pilots and also as an extra in a soap opera for a poorly timed...Show More

1:18:20 | Jul 10th, 2018

Dan Gregor (How I Met Your Mother, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) worked as a development assistant at HBO for two years and shares what he learned and failed at when trying to develop his own shows. We also talk about his first failed pilot (which led to an i...Show More

1:05:28 | Jun 26th, 2018

Betsy Sodaro (Disjointed, Another Period) had particularly bad audition - she was hungover and anxious in the waiting room and things only got worse from there. We dive into her audition process, talk about an uncomfortable encounter with some mean g...Show More

1:24:19 | Jun 19th, 2018

Johnathan Fernandez (Lethal Weapon, Girls) had the unfortunate experience of being replaced on a show... and not being told about it. We chat about how that show caused a shoe-in roll to fall through, the mindset he keeps to push through stagnation a...Show More

1:19:12 | Jun 12th, 2018

Adam Lustick (Corporate, Adam Ruins Everything) learned early, by a very sobering acting teacher, that he would most likely fail in this industry. But he returns to this philosophy often to quickly shake off his setbacks. We talk about the early days...Show More

1:22:33 | Jun 5th, 2018

George Kareman (Search Party, Silicon Valley) takes us on a spiritual journey of self-improvement and discipline, leading us to rename today's podcast, The Spiritual Bros. George talks about his failed UCB Harold audition, possibly inheriting self-sa...Show More

56:50 | May 29th, 2018

Jen Bartels (American Woman, Friends of the People) gets cut from her Harold Team at UCB and has a series of career ups and downs, until she finds herself running out of money and being confronted about changing careers from her mother. We nerd out a...Show More

1:32:21 | May 22nd, 2018

Veronica Osorio (Hail, Caesar!, Treks and the City), after performing for hundreds of people a night for over four years in Venezuela, struggles to overcome the relentless biases she experiences when immigrating to America. We talk about how having a...Show More

1:19:05 | May 15th, 2018

Carl Tart (MadTV, White Women) opens up about multiple setbacks. We talk candidly about the difficulties performing in Amsterdam with Boom Chicago and the chaos that is Just For Laughs auditions. We also chat about the differences between the NY/LA i...Show More

1:14:37 | May 8th, 2018

Maggie Carey (Silicon Valley, Last Man on Earth) gets candid about what it is like being a working mother of three in Hollywood. She opens up about the fears she had of being judged and possibly not having a job to come back to while being a new mom ...Show More

1:25:00 | May 1st, 2018

Neil Casey (Ghostbusters, Silicon Valley) was homeless for almost 5 months in 2012 and wrote half of his SNL packet living at the Greenpoint YMCA. We chat about how getting rid of a lot of baggage freed him up and helped him focus on what he really w...Show More

1:10:29 | Apr 24th, 2018

Lauren Adams (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Deadbeat) was waking up at 5:30am, waiting in line for hours at hopeless equity calls, and after three particularly disturbing weekends as a server she decided to step away from the business. We talk about los...Show More

48:55 | Apr 17th, 2018

At 33 years old, after a lifetime of career trial and errors, David Reichelt (Color Switch) starts to develop games, and over a two year period, creates forty... which all failed. Overcoming depression, major debt, and myriad jobs, David's 41st game,...Show More

1:02:17 | Apr 10th, 2018

After not passing an improv class, Sasheer Zamata (SNL, I Feel Pretty) is motivated to create her own group, which gets a run at the theater a couple of months later. We chat about a standup meltdown, the fear of not having enough money to continue p...Show More

1:26:36 | Apr 3rd, 2018

Dru Johnston (The Chris Gethard Show, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) was living off a daily supply of coffee, pizza and beer his first three months of living in New York, as he slowly drained his savings and put all of his effort into winning a short pla...Show More

1:15:31 | Mar 27th, 2018

Adam Conover (Adam Ruins Everything, BoJack Horseman) talks about his most humiliating time on stage and the practical ways he moved past it. We also chat about how he develops his standup, how he has moved past quantifying his performances and how h...Show More

57:51 | Mar 20th, 2018

Jamie Lee (Crashing, GirlCode) shares a story about two stand up sets that got her in her head and caused her to reevaluate things. We chat about having a calendar as a companion, the most important tip she's gotten from her acting coach, the importa...Show More

57:39 | Mar 13th, 2018

Dr. Samuel West (The Museum of Failure) talks about the failures associated with launching his Museum of Failure. He also cuts through the bullshit and talks about the realities of productivity, yearning for the relatable, some of his favorite produc...Show More

1:02:16 | Mar 6th, 2018

Josh Gondelman (Last Week Tonight, Physical Whisper) talks about a pretty tumultuous week doing standup at a casino in Atlantic City, NJ. We also chat about various ego blows, how being genuinely positive has given him an advantage in comedy, and som...Show More

44:37 | Feb 27th, 2018

Jo Firestone (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Search Party) has put on her fair share of live shows in New York. Many did not go according to plan. We talk about failed shows that led to fist fights, lost money, and fourteen cases of expired, pic...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Feb 27th, 2018

Jo Firestone (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Search Party) has put on her fair share of live shows in New York. Many did not go according to plan. We talk about failed shows that led to fist fights, lost money, and fourteen cases of expired, pic...Show More

1:03:35 | Feb 20th, 2018

Zhubin Parang (Head Writer of The Daily Show) joins the podcast to talk about the hallmarks of a failure spiral. We also chat about balancing law and comedy, the failure culture in a writers room, tips on submitting a packet, and how Zhubin thought h...Show More

1:15:06 | Feb 13th, 2018

On a very special Valentine's Day episode, Don's brilliant, beautiful, incomparable, caring, fantastic, amazing wife, Laura Willcox (The Jim Jefferies Show, I Am Bride) joins the podcast and talks about failing a pivotal improv class, a particularly ...Show More

1:20:15 | Feb 6th, 2018

In our Season 3 premier, renegade comedian Chris Gethard (The Chris Gethard Show, Beautiful/Anonymous) explains why failure has been his greatest ally and how he kept moving forward after so much rejection. We talk about panic attacks, his delicate d...Show More

1:09:07 | Dec 19th, 2017

Anthony King (Search Party, Silicon Valley) was one of the most influential figures to come through the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, acting as Artistic Director for almost a decade, helping to launch the careers of many writers and performers wo...Show More

56:51 | Dec 12th, 2017

Mary Holland (Veep, The Good Place) has been steadily employed for the last three years here in LA. But the first 7 years were a much different story. We talk about the point when she realized her dreams might not come true and why she started to que...Show More

1:20:53 | Dec 5th, 2017

Mike Castle (Action #1, Clipped) takes us on an honest and self-reflective journey through personal and professional loss. In a six month span, Mike loses his father, his dog, and two pilots he was excited to act in, and gets hit on the highway by a ...Show More

1:23:38 | Nov 28th, 2017

Shaun Diston (Wrecked, Playing House) had to reevaluate his life after getting arrested at age 22 in Florida. We chat about what kept him motivated after getting cut from a UCB Harold Team, how long showers and smoking weed are part of his creative r...Show More

59:05 | Nov 21st, 2017

Nate Dern (Funny or Die, Not Quite A Genius) talks about the tumultuous two months after graduating as a teacher for Teach for America. We also chat about his oopsies as Artistic Director for the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, the one major regret...Show More

1:06:56 | Nov 14th, 2017

Paul Briganti (SNL) makes the difficult decision to transfer colleges and attempts to find his creative people. We talk about directing at Saturday Night Live, his love of editing, and the ongoing, seven year struggle to land a manager.

1:14:57 | Nov 7th, 2017

Adam Newman (Silicon Valley, Letterman) talks about how he honed his stand-up for over a year preparing for his one hour special, only to have the network that was hosting it, shut down. We talk about his fitful journey towards Letterman, panic attac...Show More

1:02:42 | Oct 31st, 2017

Fran Gillespie (SNL, Wet Hot American Summer) performed at the highest level in NY in both sketch and improv for over 10 years, but did not make the cut when she auditioned out in LA. We talk about the realities of a backup plan, the etiquette of ask...Show More

1:05:17 | Oct 24th, 2017

Nick Kocher (SNL, BriTANick) had a pilot passed on by Comedy Central at the same time that his roommate had one green-lit. We chat about early BriTANick video blunders, going a little too "method" for his NYU audition, the many unrelated meetings tha...Show More

1:01:35 | Oct 17th, 2017

D'arcy Carden (The Good Place, Broad City) had a creative purge and accepted the fact that acting was just not going to work out for her... then she booked The Good Place one month later. We share audition tips, talk about the success/failure pattern...Show More

53:29 | Oct 10th, 2017

Doug Mand (How I Met Your Mother, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) gives a sobering account of the realities of being a professional writer. We talk about what it's like to sell scripts but never see them get made, the qualities of a good writers room, and what ...Show More

56:52 | Oct 3rd, 2017

Emily Altman (Kimmy Schmidt, Big Mouth) knew it was going to be difficult transitioning from an Italian professor to a comedy writer. She just didn't know it would be as soul crushing. We talk about what it was like getting some bad news in front of ...Show More

48:08 | Sep 26th, 2017

John Milhiser (SNL, The Guest Book) talks about his early struggles to get on a UCB sketch team, his ups and downs at Saturday Night Live, and why he stopped using wigs for his characters. We also chat about goal setting and how it's important to see...Show More

48:33 | Sep 19th, 2017

A few years after Kassia Miller (Last Man on Earth, Trial & Error) quits her job as a lawyer to pursue comedy full time, she is sat down by her father and asked to reconsider her goals. She also talks about being motivated by fear, books on creativit...Show More

1:22:33 | Sep 12th, 2017

Andrew Law (Silicon Valley, The Good Place) knew he hit a financial low, when he discovered moths in his rice. He talks about why he briefly quit performing and how he found a surprising mentor who gave him the opportunity to face his fear and pursue...Show More

40:46 | Sep 5th, 2017

Alison Bennett (You're The Worst, LA > Vegas) talks about how she quit her job to take her first professional TV writing gig, only to be put through the ringer and not asked back. We discuss how that opportunity led to forming lasting friendships and...Show More

1:06:57 | Aug 29th, 2017

Alison Rich (The Goldbergs, SNL) discusses the pressures of working at Saturday Night Live and what she took away from the experience. She also talks about the humbling experience of interning again at UCBLA after she had been regularly performing on...Show More

51:20 | Aug 22nd, 2017

I chat with my friend, Phil Jackson (Key & Peele, Brooklyn 99), about how following the mantra "onward and upward" helped him push through different failures and setbacks. We talk about testing for his first major television show as an actor, booking...Show More

1:14:40 | Aug 15th, 2017

I sit down with Long Island's #1 Comedian/Sandwich expert, Jon Gabrus, and chat about how he was almost cast in TBS's Wrecked, why he did so well auditioning for roles that he knew he would never get, and other personal road blocks this insane busine...Show More

1:05:13 | Aug 8th, 2017

Actress/Comedian Nicole Byer tells a heartbreaking story about being fired on set at one of her first gigs. We also go into the trials and tribulations of auditioning, how to get over a show being cancelled, and why Columbus, OH is such a difficult p...Show More

44:24 | Aug 1st, 2017

After a four year hiatus, Don Fanelli is back and talks to his friend, writer/actor Dan Klein (Great News, Wet Hot American Summer) about what it was like doing some of his best work on stage, only to watch his friends get hired by Jimmy Fallon and S...Show More

21:53 | Jul 25th, 2017

A short episode where I talk about why there was a 4 year hiatus with The Need to Fail and how it relates to some professional ups and downs. I give a brief history on where this concept started and how I failed to pitch the concept to production com...Show More

07:34 | Jul 18th, 2017

A quick update on the new Need to Fail and a teaser on what to expect this year! New episodes released every Tuesday starting August 1st! Follow @theneedtofail on Twitter and like our Facebook page for future updates and episodes!

40:27 | Jul 29th, 2013

After a minor summer hiatus, the Need to Fail is back with a fun interview Matt McGorry (Orange is the New Black) talking about his acting journey.

52:21 | May 10th, 2013

In this episode, I have a super fun conversation with Abbi Jacobson (Broad City, Color This Book) about Philadelphia, The Mighty Ducks, her Atlantic Theatre meltdown, and her journey through the UCB system.  Note this was recorded before the Boston b...Show More

42:27 | Apr 9th, 2013

Josh Patten (SNL's Weekend Update, UCB's Grandma's Ashes) delivers a captivating interview filled with improv and life gems. Josh discusses the couple of times throughout doing improv where he accepted failure and recommitted to the love of improv an...Show More

48:37 | Mar 20th, 2013

I sit down and talk to Josh Ruben (College Humor, UCB) about how getting rejected from a couple of collegiate acting programs led him to study with some of the most accomplished teachers in the business.  We also talk about a haunting 30 Rock auditio...Show More

40:51 | Mar 4th, 2013

I sit down with friend and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writer Benjamin Apple (www.benjaminapple.com) to talk about the couple of times he did not get onto a UCB Harold Team and how it led him to a professional writing job in comedy.

36:42 | Feb 15th, 2013

The first episode of The Need to Fail! Don talks with his first guest Lauren Lapkus (Are You There, Chelsea?, Orange is the New Black, UCBLA) about high school rejection, the road to improv, and vision boards! Don also starts off with a quick story a...Show More