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Ten Minutes with Tim Washer

A Corporate Comedian switches from “SNL,” & "Conan O’Brien," to Pixar, IBM and The White House.




Tim Washer studied improv under Amy Poehler, comedy writing with the executive producer of “The Colbert Report,” and has appeared on “SNL,” Conan O’Brien, the Onion, and HBO’s “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.” He’s emceed events featuring Pixar CEO John Lasseter, Emmy Award–winner Tony Hale, and Nobel Peace Prize–winner Desmond Tutu. Washer has performed at corporate events for IBM, Cisco, Deloitte, CDC, Google, and The White House.

So you’re a comedian. Say something funny.
Well, okay, but it would require a live orchestra and sock puppets, and I don’t see them here.

What exactly do you do?
I have a day job with Cisco, writing and producing videos. Half or more of them are meant to be humorous, in an effort to humanize the brand. The goal is to try to connect with customers in order to invite them into our blogs and our videos by showing things in a humorous light. It’s good for a company to show its personality. It can be quite effective.

So they pay you to make fun of them?
Haaa! Yes, that’s exactly right. 

You are a standup comic too.
Yes, I took an improv class at the the Upright Citizens Brigade and studied under Amy Poehler, who as you know has gone on to do great things. I did standup in the clubs in the city for awhile and then found a niche emceeing for corporate events, adding humor using PowerPoint. 

How did you end up on John Oliver’s show?
Getting an agent is difficult—and I tried for years. I was working at IBM and a colleague said, “My sister’s an agent.” We got introduced and they signed me. I did TV commercials. In fact, for T-Mobile, I spent a day with Catherine Zeta-Jones on a sofa, playing a dimwitted husband who’s in awe of her. And then I did John Oliver’s show—I debated Bill Nye. That was so much fun. 

Is comedy a gift?
Yes, it’s a gift. For people who can make people laugh and bring joy to the world, it is very powerful. We forget about that in the corporate world, where we just want to be so buttoned-up. 

Seinfeld says he worked with Tony Bennett on timing. Does that make sense to you?
Very interesting. There is rhythm in music and that can certainly be shared for comedic timing. Aaron Sorkin, a dramatic writer, is very musical, and he hears the beats when he is writing for television.

Do your kids think you’re funny?
My daughter just says I’m weird. My son once said about a camp counselor he liked: “He’s funny like you, Dad.” That really made me feel good.

Do knock-knock jokes work in a corporate setting?
No. No. No. Unless you are in the door business.

You are involved at Jesse Lee Church.
I’ve been a member since 1999. My faith there has definitely grown. I facilitated a Sunday-school group about the writings of Paul. Now I work with the youth group. I actually did some comedy shows for the church. We really wanted to get people who had never been in a church to feel comfortable just being in one of the buildings. 

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January 2019

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
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Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

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Cost: Tickets: $25 | Members & Seniors $20 | Students $15

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: The Ridgefield Playhouse
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Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
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Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free for members and with Museum admission

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

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Show More...
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Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

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Wednesday, January 23rd at 7:00 PM Create a cool yarn hat in a single evening! All materials will be provided. This event is free and no registration is required. Ages 12 and up. Hosted by North...

Cost: Free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
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Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

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Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

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Cost: $12; $10.80 member

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Thursday, Jan. 24 Author Talk: Stephanie Land - Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother's Will to Survive, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Maid is showing up on almost every best of, must read, don't miss list of...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Contact Name: Wilton Library
Website »

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Show More...
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Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

Original members of the Billy Joel Band featuring Liberty DeVitto on drums, Richie Cannata on saxophone and Russell Javors on rhythm guitar. The band recorded and toured extensively with Billy Joel...

Cost: $40

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The Ridgefield Playhouse
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Telephone: (203) 438-5795
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Winter Guided Hike @ Woodcock Nature Center Saturday January 26th, 10-11:30am, FREE ​ Join Mr. Sam for a hike where we'll investigate whats going on in nature in the winter season and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Woodcock Nature Center
56 Deer Run Road
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Sponsor: Woodcock Nature Center
Telephone: (203) 762-7280
Contact Name: Sam Nunes
Website »

More information

Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

Saturday, January 26th from 1:00 - 2:00 PM, Ages 4+ Attend for groovy crafts, snacks, games, and more in celebration of the Pete the Cat book series. This event is free and no registration is...

Cost: Free

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Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
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View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

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Cost: Advance Sale-$25; Door-$30; Students-$10.

Where:
The Chapel at Maryknoll
55 Ryder Rd
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Sponsor: Hudson Chorale
Telephone: 1-800-838-3006
Contact Name: Anne Norum
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