Jonny Sun

First Draft Episode #198: Jonny Sun

Jonny Sun, Canadian author and illustrator of Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too and Gmorning, Gnight!, TV writer on BoJack Horseman, screenwriter, one of TIME Magazine's 25 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2017, and a doctoral candidate at MIT and a creative researcher at the Harvard metaLAB.

Links and Topics Mentioned In This Episode

  • The presenting sponsor of today’s episode is Libby, the free app that lets you connect directly to your local library and immediately borrow ebooks and audiobooks! Check it out!

  • Jonny remembers watching The Muppet Show as a kid (even though in some ways that really isn’t a kids show), and later he realized that was why he loved sketch comedy

  • Jonny loved reading Calvin and Hobbes as a kid, and he read a good amount of Charlie Brown, Zits, and The Far Side, all of which were comedy

  • The Wayside School books by Louis Sachar was Jonny’s intro into absurdist humor

  • He watched American Pie (movie) with his family, lol

  • Playwright David Ives, who Jonny calls the theater version of sketch comedy

  • Jonny played Nathan Detroit in a production of Guys and Dolls, and his best friend played Sky Masterson — Jonny’s best friend went on to perform with Second City and is now appearing in Come From Away in Toronto

  • Bruce Springsteen’s show, Springsteen on Broadway, is an interesting example of an artist engaging with works from every phase of their life

  • Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern and As Seen on Tumblr was part of a wave of books made from things that were funny on the internet

  • Winnie the Pooh is used as a reference for how Jonny structured Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn too like a social media site

  • Jonny recently gave a TED Talk!!!!

  • The Perry Bible Fellowship is a webcomic by Nicholas Gurewitch

  • He didn’t hesitate to illustrate Lin-Manuel Miranda’s book, Gmorning, Gnight! and he’d been a fan of Miranda’s plays, especially “In the Heights,” for years

  • Jonny made TinyCareBot after the 2016 election as a way to gently nudge himself to be kind to and take care of himself

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Every Tuesday, I speak to storytellers like Veronica Roth, author of Divergent; Michael Dante  DiMartino, co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender; John August, screenwriter of Big Fish, Charlie’s Angels, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; or Rhett Miller, musician and frontman for The Old 97s. Together, we take deep dives on their careers and creative works.

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