Colin Mochrie may not quite be a household name, but his genius for improvisational comedy has left him an enduring legion of online fans, especially on Reddit. The show that propelled Mochrie to fame, Whose Line is it Anyway, has become a cult favorite on the social news site.
It was a week of minor celebrities at r/IAmA, in fact. Serial fantasy novelist R.A. Salvatore talked about his recent foray into video games; animator and game critic Egorapotor discussed YouTube fame; and James Fallows showed why more journalists should turn to Reddit.
Below, we’ve compiled the top seven posts (seven being our lucky number) from Reddit’s r/IAmA this week, as voted by redditors themselves. We’ve also included a sample question and answer from each. For the complete list, check here.
A note on terminology: AMA stands for “ask me anything,” while “IAmA” is simply “I am a;” AMAA means “ask me almost anything.”
Q: 1) How do you keep your cool when even the other comedians are virtually dying of laughter?
2) What are your thoughts on US vs Canadian vs British audiences?
3) Have you kissed Ryan lately? (Annihilationzh)
A: I) I don't find the others funny. 2) They are pretty similar. The only difference is the suggestions. North America tends to be more pop culture oriented. 3) No, would you?
Q: I'm under the impression that most/all fantasy authors start out writing crappy books. This is important to me, as I currently suck and hope that someday I will be good. How many crappy books did you write before you got your chops down, and wrote something that other people liked enough to publish? (mydoghasocd)
A: Haha, awesome and blunt. I guess it depends who you ask. Some will tell you I'm still writing the crappy ones!
Seriously, there are times I go back and re-read an early book and issue some groans, but here's the thing: while you might mechanically or stylistically improve as you go along, the energy of those early books is unmatched. So it's a trade off, like early U2 vs. "The Joshua Tree." both great, but...maybe for different reasons.
Q: Is there a sequelitis that you're afraid to do, possibly because of viewer backlash or just a game that's too close to your heart to pick it apart like you do? Loving your vids man! (tuggybear323)
A: No game is too sacred to pick apart, in fact the games that are sacred are the ones that need to be picked apart the most because gamers are obsessed with hyperbole (best game EVER etc). If these games are so great, why? And what can we learn from them?
Q: Is there a [Chinese] housing bubble or not? No more iffy statements!
Is China's growth model going to be their downfall? Why are the world leaders not discussing this with China? Or is the whole thing really made up and we should be happy for China? (latentgenius)
A: Yes, there is a housing bubble.
Will it burst? That is what no one can answer.
And here is the meta-point, which is why you should actually welcome rather than scoff at "iffy" statements: If anyone starts telling you with "certainty" what is or is not going to happen in China, you should mistrust that person -- precisely because of the certainty. There are contradictory pressures, trends, and "truths" in every part of the country every day. You can imagine the current system surviving more or less intact for another generation. You can also imagine it blowing up -- and, after it has happened, either would seem "inevitable" and "pre-ordained." So while this may seem like equivocation, it's actually a reflection of how truly complex the dynamic there is. More on this as I get time.
Q: You guys have been doing this for such a long time and developed your characters to quite an extent. Do you feel that because of this, brainstorming episode ideas have become naturally easier? (igsky)
A: Good question! It's easier to write lines but harder to come up with premises... It's like The Simpsons. Where can they possibly go that they've never been? Sometimes we feel that way writing for Amir. What can he do that he hasn't done yet?
Q: What are some of the jobs you turned down? (deebSTR)
A: As shallow as it seems, most of what I've turned down has been money related. Usually anything through my agent is ridiculously lucrative (and my agent will charge prices I would NEVER DARE DREAM to do on my own), but for my own personal stuff, if I get a bid from someone, the only way I turn it down is if it's not enough financial incentive. If I get a 10 page script with a thousand different directions in it, and am offered 40 bucks, I will say thanks but no thanks. After that, I am a voice prostitute in every sense of the word.