JOE MANDE was once named the Best New Comedian by Time Out New York, was a writer for Parks and Recreation and Kroll Show, and put together the hilarious blog-turned-book that should be required reading for every Burnside 26 resident, Look At This Fucking Hipster.
For all of those accomplishments, and his great stand-up career, what Mande's become best known for is his Twitter account. When he's not retweeting insane messages from corporations and pissing off low-level celebrities like Fox News personality Greta Van Susteren and former NBA player Gilbert Arenas (both blocked him), he engages in ridiculous stunts like buying a million followers via companies in Moldova and Sri Lanka.
"I'm not psyched about it," Mande says of his Twitter-based infamy. "But that's also why I'm excited to do these shows, so people can see that I'm actually a comedian rather than just a faceless angry voice on the internet. That really doesn't reflect how I am as a human being."
In real life, the Minnesota-bred comic and writer is all Midwestern graciousness. During our conversation, he was in the middle of running errands and apologized profusely for being distracted as we spoke. Onstage, he does let a bit of his dark side show, but mostly, he tends to throw himself under the bus. The best material from his 2014 stand-up album Bitchface delves into his most embarrassing moments, like accidentally stepping on a cat in a bodega, getting mugged frequently, and the night he chopped up a bunch of jalapeños and chilies for a stir-fry and then went to pee without washing his hands first.
The difference between his online and offline personalities is even more stark on Bitchface. The album is constructed like a hip-hop mixtape, complete with overblown shoutouts from famous friends (rapper Earl Sweatshirt, L.A. Laker Roy Hibbert, and his Parks and Rec co-worker Amy Poehler) and interruptions from air horns and skits.
The good news is that it seems like Mande is just now hitting his stride as a writer and stand-up. He's got an Adam Scott-produced pilot he's working on for NBC and will soon embark on a tour of New Zealand and Australia. The added benefit of those career advancements? "Now that I'm not in a writers' room as much, I can hopefully change my Google results in the process," he says, chuckling, "and show people I'm a much more rounded human being."