Welcome to this week’s captivating episode of the “Talk About Las Vegas Podcast,” where your host, Ira Sternberg, engages in a fascinating conversation with the incredibly talented comedian Noah Gardenswartz. Known for his unique blend of humor and insightful observations, Noah has established himself as a prominent figure in the comedy world. This episode offers an exclusive look into the life and career of Noah Gardenswartz, a name synonymous with laughter and thought-provoking entertainment.
In this in-depth discussion, Noah Gardenswartz delves into his early beginnings in the world of comedy. He reminisces about his first foray into stand-up, starting with open mikes in Atlanta during his senior year of college. This journey marks the humble beginnings of a career that would see him become a nationally touring headliner and an award-winning writer. Listeners will get a rare glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of Noah’s journey, providing an inspiring story for aspiring comedians and fans alike.
Noah Gardenswartz Career
Noah’s career is a tapestry of diverse experiences, from his time on the road, where he ironically managed to avoid becoming cynical, to his remarkable stint as a writer on the acclaimed Amazon series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” His role in the series not only showcases his versatility as a comedian but also as a skilled writer, contributing to the show’s success across all five seasons.
Moreover, Noah’s appearances on various television shows, including “Conan,” “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” and his own Comedy Central special, are discussed. These appearances have not only solidified his status as a top-tier comedian but also brought his unique brand of humor to a wider audience. Fans of Noah Gardenswartz’s stand-up will appreciate the behind-the-scenes insights into these performances.
Before embracing comedy full-time, Noah’s life was as colorful as his jokes. His diverse background includes stints as a journalist, hedge fund day trader, elementary school teacher, and even a period when he grew weed. This eclectic mix of experiences has undoubtedly shaped his comedic style, making him one of the most interesting figures in the comedy scene today.
Noah Gardenswartz Personal Life
But there’s more to Noah Gardenswartz than just stand-up and writing. This episode also touches on his personal life, including the heartwarming story of how he met his wife. Interestingly, their first encounter was on a podcast, a twist of fate that adds a romantic layer to Noah’s already intriguing story. Listeners interested in knowing more about Noah Gardenswartz’s wife will find this part of the conversation particularly engaging.
Now residing in Las Vegas with his wife and two children, Noah Gardenswartz continues to balance his writing and performing careers, bringing laughter and joy to audiences both on and off the screen. Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to his work, this episode is a must-listen, offering an intimate look at one of comedy’s most dynamic figures.
Don’t miss this opportunity to join Ira Sternberg and Noah Gardenswartz on the “Talk About Las Vegas Podcast” for an episode filled with humor, heart, and a deep dive into the life of a comedian who has truly made his mark. Tune in and be part of a conversation that’s as entertaining as it is enlightening.
Introduction and Background (00:00:08 – 00:06:05)
Ira Sternberg: My guest could be a hedge fund trader, elementary school teacher, or even a weed grower. In fact, he was all three, but now he’s given up the money, the education, and possibly the drugs to take on comedy. Award-winning writer and nationally touring headliner Noah Gardenswartz is performing in the Comedy Cellar at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino through November 12th. Showtimes are 7 and 9:30. For ticket information, go to thecomedycellar.com, and for everything about Noah, go to noahgardenswartz.com, and follow him on Instagram at noahgcomedy. Noah’s special “Sweatpants and Perpetuity” is now available on YouTube. And Noah, welcome to the show.
Noah Gardenswartz: Thank you so much for having me. Pleasure to be here.
Ira Sternberg: Yeah, it’s a pleasure. Why did you give up weed for comedy, or did you?
Noah Gardenswartz: I mean, I didn’t give one up for the other. Life just kind of happens. I started as my comedy career took off, I stopped being as risky with my other endeavors, but I still indulge from time to time, though certainly less as I’ve gotten older and the weed got stronger.
Ira Sternberg: And now that you’re a parent with kids, you wanted to take on the serious role of comedy instead?
Noah Gardenswartz: Exactly.
Ira Sternberg: How did you get started in comedy? I know that you were a semi-finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, but even before then, obviously, you were performing stand-up, so how did that all begin for you?
Noah Gardenswartz: Oh yeah. Last Comic Standing probably wasn’t until I think I was seven or eight years into comedy at that point. I started comedy, I was going to open mics in Atlanta right before my senior year in college. I was a sociology major, didn’t really know what I wanted to do, didn’t have any job offers or necessarily career direction, as evidenced by all the different things I tried out that you discussed. But I’ve always been a creative writer growing up. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I’ve tried different formats, everything from short stories and journalism to eventually just writing jokes. I started writing jokes just… I’ve always loved stand-up, I never thought about pursuing it. But my junior year in college, I broke my leg and had to take a medical withdrawal for a semester, and that six months back at home, I started writing jokes just as they came to me. And I decided to hit up some open mics that summer when I went back, and kind of the rest is history.
Ira Sternberg: You mentioned Atlanta. Did you grow up in Atlanta?
Noah Gardenswartz: No, I grew up in Denver, Colorado, but I went to Emory University for college.
Ira Sternberg: Okay, yeah, because I didn’t notice any kind of accent from you that would indicate Atlanta.
Noah Gardenswartz: No, no Southern accent.
Ira Sternberg: That makes sense. Who did you look to at that point for mentors in comedy, or did you have any mentors in comedy?
Noah Gardenswartz: No, I mean, to be perfectly honest, I’ve never had what I would call a mentor in comedy. I never had like a successful older comedian kind of take me under their wing and show me the ropes. Growing up, I was always a fan, like Chris Rock, Mitch Hedberg, those were kind of my two favorites. I watched a lot of like George Carlin and Chris Rock, their HBO specials were kind of what I grew up watching and loving as a young child. And there’s so many comedians I grew to admire over the years. One person in Atlanta that definitely was a professional comedian that kind of helped me out in terms of figuring out a writing style was a guy named Tom Simmons. So I would say Tom Simmons is probably the closest I’ve had to a mentor, but like I said, I’ve never had someone take me out on the road and show me the ropes. I kind of went my own way.
Ira Sternberg: You find you ended up getting cynical by being out on the road?
Noah Gardenswartz: No, definitely not cynical. I mean, I loved being on the road. There’s a time and place for everything in your life. So the kind of things that I would do on the road back then, I can’t do now. I’m married, I have two children, so my life and my lifestyle is quite different. But being out on the road definitely did not make me cynical. I actually felt incredibly grateful for the opportunity to see the country, see the world in some regards, and kind of live like a very carefree artistic lifestyle. I had no real responsibility other than performing at night, and you know, I wasn’t making a lot of money, but as long as I had enough gas to get to the gig and a couch to sleep on that night, it was kind of great.
Ira Sternberg: Did you meet your wife on the road, or was that a relationship that was there before you hit the road?
Noah Gardenswartz: Uh, neither. I met my wife on a podcast. So not on the road, but we did meet through comedy, certainly in like the new version of comedy’s way of meeting. Yeah, we met on a podcast, and then from there, the romance grew.
Ira Sternberg: I love that. That’s great. That’s the first I think you’re my first guest that ever met their partner or their soon-to-be partner on a podcast, as opposed to so many other ways that you meet someone. So that’s great.
Noah Gardenswartz: Yeah, well, she’s a comic as well, so it wouldn’t be like doing a road gig and then seeing a woman in the stands, you know, or out in the crowd. We’re peers and co-workers, and it works well.
Ira Sternberg: If you want to give her a shout-out, you’re more than welcome to, or give her a plug.
Noah Gardenswartz: Yeah, of course. Her name is Esther Steinberg.
Ira Sternberg: Almost yes, I like it. Yeah, not Sternberg, but I got a Steinberg.
Noah Gardenswartz: I know, I know. Steinberg is more popular than Sternberg as a name. So yes, Esther Steinberg, great.
Ira Sternberg: Okay, well maybe we’ll have her on the show in the future. That’d be great.
Noah Gardenswartz: Yeah, I’m sure she’d love to.
Comedy Competitions and Writing Career (00:06:06 – 00:08:56)
Ira Sternberg: How did you go from being on the road to becoming a writer, especially for the marvelous Mrs. Maisel? That’s a quite an established show and quite a popular show, and a lot of writing goes on. In fact, if you were paid by the word, you’d be a millionaire on that show, wouldn’t you?
Noah Gardenswartz: For sure. It was certainly a long journey from the time for me being a road dog in Atlanta to writing for Mrs. Maisel, as span probably close to a decade. But I was in Atlanta doing comedy for about eight years before I moved to New York. And so most of my early road years were those Atlanta years, and then when I moved to New York, that’s when I moved to be there for more serious professional opportunities and kind of like really give it a go to make a life out of comedy. And so while I was up there, it was, I think my second or third year in New York, I got a Comedy Central half-hour special. And that happened to be the year that Mrs. Maisel got a pilot order at Amazon. They were looking for writers, and they wanted to have a stand-up comedian in the room to help kind of be a consultant with just the stand-up. And so my agent sent Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, the executive producers and creators of the show, sent them my half-hour special, and they liked my comedy enough to interview me. And when I went in an interview, we just hit it off just as people. It really wasn’t even about comedy or writing at that point because in a writer’s room, you spend so much time together, you know, you’re talking eight or nine hours a day in a small room, so it’s got to be someone that you can tolerate and get along with. So I think the fact that they liked my comedy and personally we hit it off, they were willing to take a chance and give me my first job. And what a first job it was.
Ira Sternberg: Oh yeah, I mean, that’s an amazing show. I don’t think anybody has not seen it at this point. It’s… there are so many elements of that show. We won’t get necessarily bogged down in discussing the show because you have so much more in terms of especially your upcoming performance at the comedy seller at the Rio through November 12, but I’m just fascinated by how you went from being on the road to writing for such a major show, and it wasn’t as if you were writing for other shows for five or ten years before you got the Mrs. Maisel arrangement.
Noah Gardenswartz: Yeah, I mean, again, it really was a matter of luck meets timing and preparation, where it was absolutely lucky to even be considered or have the opportunity to submit for that, but it was right after I had this great… this half-hour special is like a great body of work to showcase my stand-up talent for them to look at. And so it was, you know, it’s years of doing stand-up to put yourself in the right situation when the opportunity arises.