Interview: Brian Huskey, Comedian and One of the Stars from the new TBS Show, People Of Earth!

Brian Huskey

The very funny Brian Huskey!

Today I am overjoyed to ask some questions of one of the funniest and most entertaining people on television. Brian Huskey may not be a name that you recognize immediately, but you’ve seen him in numerous movies, television programs, and commercials. Brian has been a staple on Comedy Central and Funny Or Die. He’s been making us laugh for years. Now, Brian has a new series coming out that I am looking forward to seeing. I have seen ads for the show and they are funny.

Beginning this Halloween on TBS, Brian stars with a collection of former Daily Show comedians and other cast members that you’ll recognize on People of Earth, a comedy about a support group for people who encountered alien abduction.

Brian, thank you for speaking with me. We both come from North Carolina. North Carolina has been in the press a great deal, lately. North Carolina has had an impact on many great comics and entertainers, like Andy Griffith, Lewis Black, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, and you, just to name a few.


Did growing up in North Carolina mold your comedy?
Absolutely. I think wherever you grow up has an influence on your art, sorry had to get real and deep right out of the gate. But I would say that for some it could be something to react against, but I love NC, and something about that place and the people made me feel able to look at things from the outside, as many folks do with comedy- deconstruct things, question things, satirize etc. But at the same time I had a real feeling of home and safety, and love for all the beautiful quirks of the south.
How did you get to where you are to be on a major new series? Did you do the stand-up circuit or do you prefer improvisation?
I have only tried stand up once or twice, and very half assedly when I did try it. It’s all been improv for me. That was my acting school, and my comedy education. Truly, finding the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater was the most important shift in my life. It is what help set me off on what had been a life long dream, but one that I deferred until I was 28.

And to answer how I got where I am to get on a series, I worked really hard for many, many years and had many disappointments. But over time, my reputation led to more work, and then people became more familiar with me, which I think makes the decision making process easier bc you are a known quantity. Dare I say I became more Starbucks and less Local Coffee Place You Don’t Know So Why Risk It? I know in that analogy I am sort of the evil corporate entity, but remember I am not the consumer in the analogy, the networks are. Networks aren’t known for shopping local so much.
Do you prefer stand up or improve? Where does your comedy come from?
Improv. I prefer to work with other people. I do love doing solo bits, but I don’t think I am disciplined enough to do stand up- working the same joke over and over until it’s perfect, building a set from those jokes. That works perfectly for some people. I’m sure it’s a personality type thing, but I like the discovery of improv- it’s a different kind of comedy high. It’s like a jazz sampler you would find near the checkout of the Starbucks analogy mentioned before.
I saw you play a doctor on Marketing to Doctors: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO). I laughed so hard that it hurt. Was your performance scripted or improvised? (Brian is the actor playing the doctor at the end of the clip.)
Thank you! Happy to cause pain with my comedy. That was all scripted, But a lot of the script was just action line descriptions of my action, so I messed around there.
Will your new show, People of Earth be scripted or improvised?
It is scripted, but we would always do a take or two where we came up with new lines. I think that is essential in comedy, bc sometimes the writing continues once it’s up on it’s feet. What you thought was a killer scene or bit and then when you do it, it might need that extra tweak or even a different take on the joke. But it always has to be in service of the scene. I think some scripted shows are too rigid about the script, but I also think they trust the actor’s to “write”. One of our directors told me he knew I could write from my improv. That made me happy.

Have you worked with many of these actors and comedians, before?
Da’Vine Randolph, who plays Ivonne, were on ABC’s Selfie last year. Nancy Lenehan, who plays Margaret, used to be on a ABC series called Worst Week and I guested and got to do my scenes with her. I did a kid’s play reading improv show with Oscar Nuñez once.

Do comics hangout with other comics?
Yup. So much so that we refer to noncomics as “civilians”. We are a weird people.
How do you determine what is funny?
I have no idea. Behavior is funny, or it can be.
Were you the original “Sonic guy”?
No, I Pete Grosz and TJ Jagodowski were the original guys. Then they wanted a heterosexual married couple scenario bc some of their fine customers were asking why they had two gay guys selling their burgers? Because apparently in Arkansas where the company started, two guys can’t sit in a non truck car together and not have it look gay.
I would say that you are the “every man” comic. You look mild-mannered but when you speak and act out, the results are hilarious and surprising. Is that accurate? Do you like to shock and surprise?
Oh yes, I do like to shock and surprise. Less so as I have gotten older, but still I love being the package I am, which is very straight, and then having some dark or insane thing come from me is a nice combo. I have a TV special coming out Dec. 2nd on Adult Swim called Mr. Neighbor’s House, and it is just that- very off but in a straight package. It’s a kid’s show that plays in a damaged mind.

Many thanks to Brian and best of luck to him on his new show and upcoming TV special!


I hope everyone enjoyed this interview.

Fall Beauty!

Virginia Fall!

This is a beautiful time of the year. Take advantage of it before winter weather gets here. Get out and enjoy it!

The Mystery Goes On!

coolcomicIt has been several months since I experienced the strangest of days–a day without Parkinson’s symptoms, after living with it for over 30 years. What occurred was inexplicable, lasted 24 hours, and ended the next morning.

Try as I might, I search to duplicate the event and all that went with it. Right now, I have no conclusion–a few theories, but no answers. I will continue to analyze and deconstruct that day in hope to manufacture more of them.

What an amazing event to experience and now to ponder, just how to re-create. I don’t know how common it is for someone with over 30 years of Parkinson’s disease symptoms to experience a symptom-free day, but I am going to guess that it is probably a rare happening. This unlikely event just reinforces my deep belief that we can all uncover new pathways to our brain using both eastern and western medicine. Don’t stop looking for what might benefit you!

Our Health Is On The Line!

Future Health?

Future Health?

In just over a month, the United States of America chooses a new leader. One wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the other supports providing insurance to those who had none. One said they heard terrible things about the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the other will support funding research. One denies climate change and the other has concern about the global impact that it does, and will have on our planet.

As someone with Parkinson’s disease, I want a leader who will move science ahead, take a hard look at research for all illnesses, and  expedite funding for promising studies. This really hasn’t been a topic that has been thoroughly discussed by either candidate.

Our health is on the line and the decision of our next President will play a huge role in our  future health, on so many levels.

Interview with The Shoe Maven – Tonya Walker and more from WPC2016

Tonya Walker on the cover of More Than Motion!

Tonya Walker on the cover of More Than Motion!

While in Portland,OR for the 4th World Parkinson Congress 2016 (#WPC2016), I visited several vendors and their booths. Here are some of the interesting products and people that I had the opportunity to encounter:

I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with the creator and owner of the blog, The Shoe Maven (, Tonya Walker, at the More Than Motion booth. Tonya has been living with Parkinson’s disease since the age of 32. Not only is she a mother of a young son, a law professor, a wife, someone with Parkinson’s but also a clothing designer of her own cause-based fashion label (TSM Originals). I appreciate her strength, determination, and drive to make the community more aware. Her positive attitude and passion to make a difference shone through our discussion.

I spoke with Ms. Walker about her blog and her passion for sharing her journey, improving awareness about young-onset Parkinson’s disease, and her love for fashion. With over 120 pairs of shoes, I can say that Tonya blows away my measly 5 or 6 pairs. Tonya found benefit from DBS or Deep Brain Stimulation first by having the surgery on her left side in 2013 and then her right side in 2015. You can watch Tonya’s video at

As I have shared with my readers for over 8 years, Parkinson’s disease requires a proactive pursuit to search for a combination/recipe of complementary therapies, medications, or medical procedures that work exclusively for you. No two Parkinson’s patients are exactly alike, and what may work for me, may not work for you.

Here are some useful tools that I found at the vendor exhibits that might be helpful to know about:

Global Kinnetics Corporation
Global Kinnetics Corporation just released The Personal KinetiGraph, a movement recording device to assist doctors in treating and managing their patients with movement disorders. The PKG Data Logger is a wrist-worn device that was recently FDA cleared for the recording of movement, associated with Bradykinesia, Dyskinesia and Fluctuations. The unit is a nice looking watch capable of providing important mobility information to your doctors. As of 2 weeks ago, the device was not yet approved in Virginia, but some states are currently using it right now. You may want contact them for information in your state at

I dropped by the LiftWare booth to try out their stabilizing handle and attachments for people having hand tremor and difficulty with a fork or spoon. The product worked well, appeared to be durable, and was comfortable to hold. If holding a fork or spoon is a challenge for you, due to tremor, I think LiftWare is worth investigating as an option. For more information go to

I dropped their booth to take their upright walker for a test drive. My first spin in the walker took getting used to, but I did see the benefit of this device. Unlike many walkers, the LifeWalker keeps the user upright and at eye level, allowing for face to face contact. I found the units well-built at first glance and well designed. To learn more go to

These are not product endorsements. I encourage you to do the research for yourself and make your own decision. I hope that this was helpful!

Here are some more of my photos from WPC 2016:

A great crowd!

A great crowd!


Keith, Mike, Lisa, Linda, Angela, and me in Portland!


Author, lecturer, John Baumann, my GoPro, and I!


Exploring the WPC2016 book nook and finding my book!


Ran into my friends– fellow author, Jackie Hunt Christensen and her husband, Paul!


Ran into my friend, blogger,humorist, and author Bev Ribaudo (YumaBev –


Sharing a seat with my friends and authors Michael and Gretchen Church and behind us fellow authors James and Helen Buell Whitworth!


Great to see my friend, Adolfo Diaz!

Back from Portland–The 4th World Parkinson Congress (WPC)!

Portland Parkinson's Event!

4th World Parkinson Congress in Portland, Oregon, US!

Last week, over 4000 Parkinson’s advocates, patients, researchers, speech pathologists, neurologists, authors, those living with Parkinson’s, carepartners/caregivers, family and friends, and those interested in Parkinson’s disease all convened on the beautiful northwest city of Portland, Oregon. #WPC2016, an event only held every 3 years (next to be held in Kyoto Japan in 2019), assembled news makers, scientists, doctors, and patient experts who discussed the latest information in Parkinson’s.

Vendors spanning the globe brought the latest in equipment, tools, medicines and procedures, and therapies for improving the lives of those living with Parkinson’s.

Due to flight delays and adverse weather, my updates have been delayed, but watch for my next post for more pics and my talk with the Editor of the blog, The Shoe Maven, the fashionable and inspirational Tonya Walker, as well as some other observations from this wonderful event.

Here are some photos:

Sonia and a smaller Parky.

Sonia and a smaller Parky.

GLynis from New Zealand and me.

Dylis from New Zealand and me.


Saying "Hi" to Parky the Raccoon.

Saying “Hi” to Parky the Raccoon.



What a coast!

What a coast!

Great Parks!

Great Parks!


DC’s newest museum! Before it was done.

Do you know this museum?

Do you know this museum?

afrmuse4enh picofafrmuse1enh

Five or More… with Robin Elliott, Executive Director & CEO of PDF

Meet the people leading the Parkinson's organizations!

Meet the people leading the Parkinson’s organizations!

I am so pleased to have Robin Elliott, the Executive Director and CEO of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation answering my questions on my blog today. This is right before the World Parkinson Congress  in Portland, Oregon, where thousands will congregate to discuss, share, convene, and educate one another on the latest research in this illness.

Here are eight questions. Five of them are strongly encouraged that you answer them. The remaining three questions are your choice whether you want to provide an answer or not. Thank you for participating.

Required questions:


Chinese, Thai, Italian, Mexican, or Ethiopian—what is your favorite cuisine?


What do you like on your pizza?


Of the four seasons, which is your favorite time of the year?


How many World Parkinson Congress events have you attended?

Four (including this one in 2016)

What are you looking forward to most in Portland, site of the WPC 2016?

Riding a bus tour (if time allows) of the one major city in America that I have never visited



Tell us something about yourself that we might not know about you that you would like to share.

I love to play the piano — preferably in private — and the church organ

Where would you like to go, that you have never been before?

Australia and New Zealand

What is the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) working on that you would like to tell us?

PDF ‘s new program of research and education on the special problems that are confronted by women who have Parkinson’s Disease

On Turning 50 – Just a few observations

 Getting Older

Star Trek and I turn 5 decades, 2.5 scores, 1/2 a century, or 50 years old, tomorrow. Needless to say, I am being overly contemplative, reflective, hopeful, and curious for what is to come in the next 50.

Here are a few observations of getting older and turning half a century:

  1. You are only as old as you feel.

  2. Often the greatest joys come from personal and simple pleasures.

  3. Don’t overlook accomplishments that move you closer to a goal.

  4. The older you get, the faster time seems to move.

  5. Do something that makes you happy, everyday.

  6. Savor, appreciate, and share your gratitude with others.

I am excited to announce that RobbWorks’ second book, our soon to be released workbook will be available soon–more on that coming shortly. Stay tuned!

Five or More with Todd Sherer, CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation

Meet the people leading the Parkinson's organizations!

Meet the people leading the Parkinson’s organizations!

Five or More…

My thanks to Todd Sherer, PhD, CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) for contributing to my question/get to know you experiment.

Here are eight questions. Five of them are strongly encouraged that you answer them. The remaining three questions are your choice whether you want to provide an answer or not.

Required questions:

Chinese, Thai, Italian, Mexican, or Ethiopian—what is your favorite cuisine?

Italian – See next answer


What do you like on your pizza?

I’m a New Yorker.  Plain cheese, bent with the oil dripping onto the plate


Of the four seasons, which is your favorite time of the year?

Spring because baseball season starts. Go Mets!


How many World Parkinson Congress events have you attended?

3 – DC, Scotland, and Montreal


What are you looking forward to most in Portland, site of the WPC 2016?

Unfortunately, I am unable to attend this year but am looking forward to hearing all the reports from the MJFF team.  I always love the interactions on the exhibitor floor and hearing what people are really interested in and concerned about.



Tell us something about yourself that we might not know about you that you would like to share.

I’m extremely scared of heights.


Where would you like to go, that you have never been before?

Hawaii – how about they have the next WPC there so I can go?


What is the Michel J. Fox Foundation working on that you would like to tell us?

We are working really hard to develop better diagnostic tests and ways to monitor disease progression through our Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) .  These measures are critical to allow the field to test new disease-modifying treatments – with the potential to slow the disease.  I’m excited that all the data from this study is made available to the research community in real time at



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