It’s rare to become acquainted with someone after having sex according to their detailed instructions, but that’s exactly how I first found Lane Moore. More on that in a bit.
Something of a digital jill of all trades, Moore is a stand-up comedian, a writer, an editor at Cosmopolitan.com, the songwriter behind the much-buzzed about band It Was Romance, and the creator of Tinder LIVE!, an interactive Brooklyn comedy show in which Moore and friends swipe their way through Tinder, well, live. Non-New Yorkers can sample some snippets of a Tinder LIVE! show on YouTube but anyone near The Knitting Factory can experience an upcoming show in person.
Moore was also selected as Paste’s 19th best Twitter account of 2014—a well-deserved title. Just take a peek at some of this high-grade Twitter gold:
Oh, and about our fateful first meeting: Unbeknownst to me, Moore was part of the crew that put together an illustrated set of lesbian sex tips for Cosmo, which I was assigned to review for another outlet. And that’s how I met Lane Moore.
A while back, she and I hopped in a video chat to talk about Tinder LIVE!, Are You Afraid of the Dark and the secret to her Twitter glory. Here’s an edited version of what went down.
Paste: How did Tinder LIVE! with Lane Moore get its start?
Lane Moore: I was not on Tinder and I came into my kitchen and my two roommates were both sitting at the kitchen table on their separate Tinders at the same time. They didn’t even realize they were on Tinder at the same time and I was like, “OK, so this is a thing.”
So I sat down, I downloaded Tinder myself, and as we were going on Tinder, I grabbed my computer and I was like, “I’m gonna record us going on Tinder!”
The same day that I had that idea, I started talking to theaters and brainstorming what the show would look like.
Paste: What’s your go-to Tinder horror story?
LM: I had a guy who invited me out the same night. I don’t usually do that sort of thing but I was just like, “I’m gonna take a risk, I’m gonna go!” So I go out to meet him and he was very pleasant—horrible jeans, awful shoes but very pleasant. We had a nice time, we had a nice talk, and he walked me home, It was really great.
And then we talked about going on a second date. He was looking into all of this really extravagant, over-the-top stuff for us to do. It was really sweet, really romantic.
And then he texted me back and said, “I really want to go out with you again but I still have a girlfriend. We were gonna break up and that’s why I joined Tinder, but the breakup fell through.”
And I was like, “What do you mean the breakup fell through? That’s the weirdest way to say that.”
Paste: Shifting gears a bit, I have to ask you about one of my favorite things you’ve done: a podcast called “Are You Afraid of the Snark?,” in which you and other comedians discuss episodes of the beloved 1990s Nickelodeon megahit Are You Afraid of the Dark?. What is it about that show that inspired you to podcast about it?
LM: I was obsessed with Are You Afraid of the Dark? as a kid. It was like my reason for living. When Are You Afraid of the Dark? ended on Saturday nights, I got legitimately sad and nothing could be done to remedy it. I’ve always loved being scared. I know as an adult it’s not that scary but, as a kid, that show was terrifying.
So years ago, I had the idea among friends to bring over an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? that had Ryan Gosling in it and an episode of Goosebumps that had Ryan Gosling in it as well, and I wanted to riff over it Mystery Science Theater-style. And then a while later, I decided to make it a podcast.
Paste: Do you think the show holds up with age?
LM: I think it does and I have to say, I don’t really lean toward irony. That’s not really where I go. I’m not like, “Oh, Are You Afraid of the Dark? is so dumb it was cool!” I loved it. And if you listen to the episodes, I know way too much about the episodes, I get way too excited about stuff. I’m legitimately into it.
I’m trying to kinda usher in an era of earnestness. I genuinely love to love things and I think that that’s cooler than just loving to think you’re cooler than something.
Paste: Tell me about this era of earnestness. It seems like that might be a theme that runs through Tinder LIVE! as well.
LM: If that show were in somebody else’s hands, I think it would have been real easy to just go through profiles and be like, “Oh, look at this piece of shit!” but that’s not funny to me. The fact of the matter is, I still operate under the idea that most of these people are decent people who are maybe actually looking for something. I don’t wanna just pick on somebody because they happen to be on this app. Like, I’m on this app and I’m not really a shithead so…
Paste: Let’s talk about a different app. What’s your secret to being the 19th funniest person on Twitter?
LM: I work really, really hard at it. I’m writing and creating things pretty much all the time and I don’t really sleep. My roommates would tell you, too, I’m constantly analyzing things: “Is this better? If I put a period here, is that going to ruin the joke?” I’m super analytical about it. And I really focus on why something did well. I probably take shit too seriously but it’s important for me to do something that I’m really proud of.
Paste: Tell me about the particular shame of the tweet that doesn’t land.
LM: I’ve gotten better at waiting for them before I panic and delete it. When I write a tweet and in two seconds, there’s already twenty people who like it, I’m like, “OK. This is about to take off in some way. Cool.”
But then there are some cases where the tweet goes up and it gets two faves and I’m like, “Clearly I failed. Horrible joke. I really thought this was funny. I spent so much time making sure!” Your head goes to these fucking stupid places.
But then again, there are some tweets that don’t get a lot of faves in the first few minutes but when I go check back in an hour, they have 400 faves. I have to remember that obviously not everyone is on their phones all the time just waiting for my specific tweets. So I’ve been able to kinda tame that part of my brain that stresses out about it.
Paste: Do you ever feel like you need to save your Twitter material for stand-up?
LM: I don’t feel like it’s ever wasted material because you’re able to see what sticks, and what people like, and then figure out if that’s something that can be made into something longer for stand-up—even if it’s just a concept.
Paste: Important final question: When you pin a tweet to the top of your profile, do you choose your most popular joke or do you try to rescue a joke that you feel went underappreciated?
LM: I go for the winners, man.
Samantha Allen is the Internet’s premier alpaca enthusiast as well as a Daily Beast contributor. Follow her on Twitter.