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9 questions for Whitney Cummings

The comedian on Sean Hannity, cancerous cell phones, and not being boring.

Javier Zarracina

This week, Whitney Cummings — comedian, actress, creator and star of the NBC sitcom Whitney, and part of the upcoming film Unforgettable — answers our questions.

What’s the first piece of media you consume every day?

I’m on a couple text chains with comedians, so I wake up to news in the form of offensive memes, which is oddly less offensive than the actual news. Am I supposed to put the word news in quotes now?

Name a writer or publication you disagree with but still read.

My twitter @replies. Also, I got into a Sean Hannity worm hole recently because of his drama with Jon Favreau and Ted Koppel. Dark stuff.

Who is the person who has most influenced the way you think?

George Carlin — he inspired me to question everything.

When was the last time you changed your mind about something?

I used to think being busy was a sign of being successful. I now see it as being terrible at time and energy management.

What’s your worst intellectual habit?

Overthinking. I tend to conflate the amount of time spent on something with how good it is. Sometimes intuition is better than proof, and gut instinct better than hours of “work.”

What inspires you to learn?

A deep, deep fear of being boring.

What do you need to believe in order to get through the day?

That everything happens for a reason and that cell phones don't cause cancer.

What’s a view that you hold but can’t defend?

That humans aren’t wired to see their reflection given there are no mirrors in nature and that constantly seeing and taking photos of ourselves is a maladaptive behavior that’s going to have some kind of troubling repercussions down the line.

What book have you recommended the most?

Tie between Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and The Fantasy Bond by Robert W. Firestone.

You can read last week’s edition of 9 Questions with Henry Rollins here.