No Joe Schmo’s Monthly Roundup

It’s almost the end of July, which means taking a look back at the top-shared and top-viewed posts within the past month. And the winners are…

> The Filmmaker & The Film Editor

> The Editor

> Foodie Friday: The Head Beer Brewer

> The Elvis Impersonator

Which was your favorite? Who would you like to see a Q&A with in the future? Comment below!


The Editor

Photo credit:

After making a name for himself at his badass college newspaper, Streeter Seidell joined the crew at in 2005 to help write the site’s first book, The CollegeHumor Guide to College. Since then, he has co-starred on MTV’s Pranked, forced CollegeHumor interns to belt out karaoke during Intern Appreciate Night, and embarrassed a coworker in front of 18,000 people. But more on that later.

Seidell was named editor in chief of CollegeHumor just two weeks ago, so he’s still shaping his responsibilities. He begins our chat with an apology: “Sorry if you can’t understand me, but I’m eating a Twix,” he explains. “I admit that I sometimes take part in a little midday candy.” See also: cheeseburger enthusiast.

Title: Editor in Chief,
Age: 28
Graduated from: Fordham University, degree in communications
Previous jobs:
Intern at The Gersh Agency; restaurant waiter; landscaper
A landscaper? I never mowed lawns as a kid, and I couldn’t believe what I had been missing out on. There’s something really satisfying about looking at how straight you made the lines.

Job description in one sentence: I’m responsible for the overall tone of content, including videos, articles, and photos.

How you got the job: In college, I wrote for the badass student-run paper – you know, the paper that said f*ck. I stumbled upon and emailed some of my clips to [editor and co-founder] Ricky Van Veen. He put my work up on the site, and I started working for CollegeHumor the day after graduation.

How you moved up the ranks: Early on, I had a theory that proved correct: If I aggressively sought crappy work, I’d be indispensable. I noticed that Ricky was doing tons of manual labor, like sorting through links and pictures, so I relieved him of those duties while still writing.

You acted in skits, too? We started making videos at CollegeHumor before anyone else did, which was a real game changer. Our initial ones were 15 minutes long without professional lighting or sound.

Check out Streeter’s favorite sketch he was in:

Something people don’t know about your job: There’s this image of CollegeHumor being a no holds barred party. There is quite a bit of joking around, but it’s much more serious than people think. Sometimes, interns are surprised they have to do real work.

Formula for a successful CH video: There’s no set type or grand plan, which can be frustrating, but is also crucial to our success. It means we can try weird stuff all the time. You might spend forever writing a sketch you think will be huge, but nobody likes it – and then a video of a kid falling off a coffee table is the biggest hit.

Turnaround time for videos: About two weeks. Less if it’s super-timely.
Staff size: About 100, plus freelancers.

Were you the class clown growing up? No. I was really hoping for that superlative, though.

I’m sorry. Was the kid who won funnier than you? All kids are funny, but it takes a certain type to think, “Okay, I’m funny. Will someone pay me to be funny?” That’s the type of kid who ends up with a career in comedy.

Best prank: When I convinced [my co-worker] Amir that he won a half million dollars for talking a half-court shot at the University of Maryland basketball game. It was one of the single greatest moments of my life – 18,000 people did exactly what I told them to do.

Most embarrassing CH moment: In my early sketches, I was 20 pounds fatter and had a little chin goatee going on. Getting on camera right after college probably wasn’t the best for me.

In CH videos, everyone on staff seems so close. I’ve worked with the same core group of six or seven people for the past six years, which is unheard of today. My work friends are my real friends – there’s no separation.

The CollegeHumor writing staff, L to R: Ethan Doughty, Amir Blumenfeld, Streeter Seidell, Jeff Rubin, and Sarah Schneider. Photo credit: Klein

Do you have any special traditions at the office? Lots, actually. An ad salesman who used to work here was notorious for writing bad jokes in reply-all emails. So we created a trophy called the Turby – named after this ad salesman, whose nickname was Turbo. We award the trophy to whoever sends a really shitty reply-all email, and it keeps getting passed around. We have a nominating committee and everything.

That’s hilarious. What else? Whenever it’s someone’s birthday in the office, the entire staff stands at his or her desk and claps for a while. It was much easier with just 15 people on staff – now, it can get out of hand to move 60 or 70 people over to a desk. But we do it anyway. Oh, and we make the interns sing karaoke on Intern Appreciation Night.

Streeter is a pretty unique name – do you go by a nickname? Nicknames have never stuck because my name is just so weird. I’d love one, though.

Favorite TV show of all time: It’s a toss-up between Lost and the British version of The Office.

That face is just asking to be punched. Photo credit:

Celebrity you’d like to punch in the face: Shaun White. I think that would make a lot of skateboarders and snowboarders really happy.

Comedian role model: Mike Birbiglia. His work is sad, moving, and funny; you leave his shows feeling you just watched Forrest Gump.

Go-to joke during an awkward silence: At Christmas, someone will give a very personal gift that they’ve obviously put a ton of thought into. And I’ll yell, “That’s from all of us!” My dad still cracks up every time.

1. Nobody is going door to door asking if any funny people live there. You need to build your own fan base and distribute your writing and videos.

2. The entertainment and comedy industries can be foreboding, but just accept that you probably won’t level up to the huge personalities right away. Identify where you’d like to work, and find an in by interning or writing for the show.

3. Comedians are very cliquey, and recommendations will get you everywhere. Form a group for yourself by performing regularly at the same comedy clubs – you’ll start seeing the same people. A more formal way to meet people is taking classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade.

Follow Streeter on Twitter at @StreetSeidell and check out his personal website at What’s your favorite CollegeHumor sketch?

Foodie Friday: The Fortune Cookie Writer

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Typical cardboard-tasting fortune cookies at the bottom of Chinese food takeout bags are hardly worthy of dessert. After getting snapped open for the message inside, they are often discarded like emptied soy sauce packets.

That’s not the case with these cookies! Lady Fortunes Inc. is known for its homemade hand-dipped giant fortune cookies spanning 19.5” in circumference. After employees hand-dip the cookies in chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter, they decorate the treats with a variety of toppings – from coconut to sprinkles to M&Ms and Oreos. But most importantly, each cookie includes a fortune inside, customized for holidays and special occasions.

Alex Emeira, one of eight confectionary consultants at Lady Fortunes, calls herself a “fortune tailor” – she works on tailoring the messages for customers’ birthdays, anniversaries, new babies, weddings, and even breakups.

Title: Confectionary Consultant, Lady Fortunes Inc.
Age: 28
In the industry for: 5 years
Based out of: Canoga Park, Calif.
Graduated from: California State University Northridge, degrees in music and business
Previous jobs: Violinist, Starbucks barista, bank teller
Job description in one sentence: I ensure that people are happy with their orders, and help customers customize messages to include in their cookies.

Something people don’t know about your job: When I first started at Lady Fortunes, I suggested printing the messages ourselves to save money. My idea was shot down because the FDA regulates printing to ensure the ink is arsenic-free. I didn’t understand why, but apparently, lots of people eat the cookies intact – with the fortune still inside.

How she got the job: After graduating, the economy sucked. My sister, Daria Artem, who owned Lady Fortunes, asked if I wanted to accompany her to a trade show in New York to talk to customers about the brand and make sales. I impressed her, and henceforth began doing marketing for the company part-time. After a few months, I took the plunge, quit my bank job, and went full-time with Lady Fortunes.

Lady Fortunes offers customized cookies for special occasions and holidays, like the Fourth of July. Photo credit:

A cookie order she won’t forget: People call us to make breakup fortune cookies for their boyfriend or girlfriend. They’ll request messages like, “Confucius says, just like this cookie, our relationship is cracked,” or, “A new girlfriend is in your future, and it’s not me.” One time, it simply said, “I hate your guts. Enjoy this cookie, because this is it.”

Best part of her job: It never gets dull. I love working with people to find a unique, delicious product that fits their budget.

Worst part of her job: The customers that yell and scream and demand their money back. Once, someone listed the wrong address for delivery, and then argued that it was our fault. You need to have a kindergarten teacher’s level of patience.

Where did the company’s name come from? My sister always joked that “Lady Fortune” smiled on her every time she encountered good fortune in her life.

What’s the process behind creating fortunes? We interview customers to find out the story behind the occasion. If it’s for a baby gift, we’ll write something like, “Confucius say, a baby is on the way.”

Is Confucius the go-to? We might also write the customer’s name, like, “Alex says…”

Fortune word limit: Our giant foot-long fortunes typically have 10 lines of text, and our small ones have three lines, with 35 characters on each.

Lucky numbers: Those are based on the customer’s phone number, address, date of a trip, birth date, or baby’s due date [for baby shower gifts].

Cookie recipe: A modified version of Martha Stewart’s.
Price tag: $28.50 for giant fortune cookies; $0.99 for regular-sized ones in bulk.

How did your sister, Daria, get Lady Fortunes off the ground? She worked at a public relations firm in Los Angeles, where her trademark became buying giant fortune cookies for potential clients with personalized messages inside that read, “You’re one smart cookie if you work with Daria.” But they were $40 a pop, so she started making them herself on a tortilla press. The concept of giant fortune cookies with messages inside has been around since the 1960s, but Lady Fortunes is different because we hand-dip and decorate the cookies beautifully.

So she baked the cookies as a side job? That’s how it started. She’d be up baking until 3 a.m. Finally, she was faced with a choice: the marketing business or fortune cookies. So she decided to put all her savings – including those she’d saved up for her wedding – into Lady Fortunes.

Do you recycle old fortunes? There are a few stuck sayings, like “I’m so fortunate to have you in my life,” or, “You’re one smart cookie.” Many are play-offs of those.

What’s your favorite fortune? I made one up for my boyfriend that read, “You’re my sweetest cookie and my greatest fortune.” Now, we use that one for lots of romantic messages.

If you could write a fortune for recent grads, what would it say? Don’t be set on one career path – something new and exciting may present itself and take you by surprise. Go with your gut and take a risk on something that sounds fun, and it may be extremely rewarding.

Cookies for a cause: Lady Fortunes’ Pink Ribbon Fortune Cookies, which are hand-dipped in Belgian white chocolate and decorated with edible pink ribbons, help to raise awareness for a worthy cause. A portion of those proceeds is donated to cancer research.

Locate several bakeries in your area that you would be interested in working for, and talk to the manager or owner about offering your services.

Click here for more Foodie Fridays! You can follow Lady Fortunes on their gourmet cookie blog and on Twitter at @LadyFortunesInc.

PLUS: Check out 25 hilarious fortune cookies from!