Before he was a tech entrepreneur, Dick Costolo wanted to be on “Saturday Night Live.” Although that didn’t pan out, he continued to be an ardent comedy fan while founding companies like Feedburner and serving as Twitter’s CEO from 2010 to 2015.
And with comedy getting smarter and more diverse, it’s a good time to be a comedy fan, Costolo said on the latest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher. However, despite the “explosion of comic talent” enabled by the internet, most of the tech industry itself is not in on the joke.
“There’s a surprising lack of self-awareness,” Costolo said. “I feel like, how does this person just not know this is something you would never do or say or think? Or at least, there used to be a little bit of, ‘I know this is outrageous, but ha ha ha, I’m in on the joke!’ ... Maybe it’s the money.”
You can listen to Recode Decode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Costolo praised the fact that “nothing is off-limits” in comedy, and said he was confused by the complaints about political correctness coming from techies like Sam Altman and Tim Ferriss; the latter recently lamented on Reddit that many “topics or dissenting opinions are simply out of bounds in Silicon Valley,” calling it a form of McCarthyism.
“I haven’t been in any group of people where I thought I’m being made fun of or mocked for saying something,” Costolo said. “I just haven’t seen that.”
On the new podcast, Costolo also talked about who he thinks is funny in tech, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.
“I like that you're never quite sure if Marc thinks he’s in Hawaii,” he said.
Other people who make Costolo genuinely laugh include Slack VP April Underwood, Yahoo SVP Jeff Bonforte and the person who replaced him as CEO of Twitter: Founder Jack Dorsey.
“Jack has an amazing sense of humor,” he said. “As Jack would tell you, he’s also an introvert, so he's not going to walk into the room and [say], ‘Oh, this amazing, hilarious thing happened that I want to tell you all about!’ But he’s extremely funny.”
If you like this show, you should also sample our other podcasts:
- Recode Media with Peter Kafka features no-nonsense conversations with the smartest and most interesting people in the media world, with new episodes every Thursday. Use these links to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
- Too Embarrassed to Ask, hosted by Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode, answers the tech questions sent in by our readers and listeners. You can hear new episodes every Friday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
- And Recode Replay has all the audio from our live events, including the Code Conference, Code Media and the Code Commerce Series. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on Apple Podcasts — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Kara.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.