Will the real Hersh Rephun please stand-up?

Will the real Hersh Rephun please stand-up?

He helped build the careers of Oscar-nominated film directors, only to dive headlong into Standup, and emerge as a podcaster bridging the worlds of comedy and industry. From the time I was an actual child I’ve been building an arsenal of characters, impressions and stories that help me get through life, work through my mommy issues, be a functional husband and daddy and, as a byproduct, entertain others. As a comedian, a lot of my material revolves around my life as a “rowdy dad” with five kids aged 3 to 25 years. Onstage, in the branded arena, and as host of a podcast, I seek to engage, move, inspire and entertain. My struggles have played out for the amusement of people across the country in legendary venues such as The Comedy Store, StandUp NY, Comic Strip Live, Funny Bone, Flappers, Caroline’s, and The Ice House. In 2015, I embarked on the first leg of my “20 Years to Kill” tour, performing in LA, Vegas, NY and staging a branded comedy concert called “3 Bitches Ain’t Enough!”, sponsored by Manatawny Still Works and 3 Bitches Wheat Vodka. This tour runs intermittently through 2025, when I plan to retire from standup. In 2014, I did something even God has not done: I created a “A Woman with 3 Nuts”. It’s a very strange and entertaining musical stand-up comedy show that played regularly at the iconic Pig ‘N Whistle in Hollywood. In addition to work in Film & Television, I’ve voiced numerous characters for brands (and people who like to hear voices but can’t do them on their own). I’ve also written...
Hashtag TimeForANewPost.

Hashtag TimeForANewPost.

I thought about deleting all of those old posts from the election. It occurred to me, because my website is evolving. With the work I’m currently engaged in on behalf of Ccilu USA, its partnership with Soles4Souls, the YES, BRAND Podcast and my other creative pursuits, I’m doing more writing and less standup comedy. Political satire is certainly evident in my Twitter feed. But I’m trying to make this site a more balanced hub for all of my interests and pursuits. However, deleting articles just because they’re dated is silly. Some of the articles offer insight into where we were 6 months ago, or more. They aren’t really dated – I just wish they were. But it’s time for a new post. Having been heavily engaged in social media these past few months – more so on my clients’ behalf than for myself – I need a break from hash-tagging, tagging, and the game of tag in general. This isn’t a backlash post, though. It’s a breather post. I love my work, and for the past few years, in fact, I’ve been loving what I do. This newfound happiness was hard won, because in order to find my way I had to take a leap into the unknown. For me, it was a leap into comedy. 2013 marked the fulfillment of a foray into standup comedy that began in 1991, when I did my first-ever set, at the Comic Strip. That night, the late talent manager and booker Lucien Hold had agreed to give me five minutes late into the night. As I was about to step onstage, Eddie...
It doesn’t have to end in a bunker: an open letter to Melania Trump

It doesn’t have to end in a bunker: an open letter to Melania Trump

Dear Melania: In the madness of this unusual campaign season, too much time has been spent comparing your mate, Donald Drumpf, to Adolf Hitler, and far too little time dedicated to the parallels between you and Eva Braun. Let me explain: I’m in no way seeking to vilify you, Mrs. Drumpf. Quite the contrary, I’m hopeful that we can save your life. In fact, I should acknowledge that you two women are really more different then you are alike: Eva was born in Germany; you, Melania, were born miles away in Yugoslavia When Eva met Adolf, she was 23 years his junior, and was working as a model – yet there are 24 years difference between you and The Donald (although, as this election cycle has shown us…what a difference a year makes!) While both of your husbands have a spotty record in terms of their treatment of women, to date only one of these lucky fellas has actually murdered millions of them. What you ladies have in common are the worrisome trajectories of your beaus. Let’s set aside the violence taking place at Donald’s live shows – the NC Sheriff’s Department has already cleared him on those possible incitement charges, and as hubby himself has explained, the clashes are part of the entertainment. You don’t see Civil War reenact-ors suing the Gettysburg Foundation over the occasional bayonet prick! Too soon? Anyway, the problem isn’t the women-bashing, racist, xenophobic rhetoric, or – on the other side – the hurt feelings of people who just can’t take a joke (they should learn from Donald, by the way, who doesn’t even remember being called a short-fingered vulgarian in Spy magazine more than 25 years ago. That’s how thick his skin is.). The...
This “We’re funny & have good ideas for brands” boutique has a brand-consumer entertainment strategy to engage consumers

This “We’re funny & have good ideas for brands” boutique has a brand-consumer entertainment strategy to engage consumers

I love reading Adweek. Not because I’m in the ad biz or anything (maybe I am). But because (ok, I am) it’s comforting to wake up to a mag that’s appropriately cynical yet hopeful. Adweek covers the trajectory of a crazy business that by turns is crumbling, commiserating, surviving, and celebrating (great work, survival, whatever it is, we’ve got a statue for it). The recent “Why today’s ad agencies are reluctant to call themselves ‘Ad Agencies’” piece by Patrick Coffee hit one issue on the head: how do we help brands spread their message if we don’t even know what to call ourselves? I come at this from the comedy angle, so at least there’s some specificity here. I’m starting something new, a complement to my PR business and the culmination of all my experiences and misadventures, both in standup comedy and sit-down marketing/promotion. So there isn’t exactly a template for this endeavor. But I know what we do: we entertain consumers. That’s it. And I say we’re a creative comedy boutique. Because you can come here and shop for custom-made comedy. To entertain your consumers. I call this company YES, BRAND. A splash page is HERE. I have a section on WHO were are, WHAT this is and WHY this will work HERE. This is an entertaining trailer for a Branded TV Series I created with Stu Wilson: To see what’s really going on behind this silly year-old teaser and to find out why it matters to YOU, contact ME: Hersh@YesBrandCreative.com. This article is an ad. It is also branded comedy content. And strategic creative marketing. And it is a...
#Trump #Branding & #Buttcare in 2016

#Trump #Branding & #Buttcare in 2016

I’d planned to write a post about my recent adventure as an unofficial Butt Ambassador at RAGBRAI – the biggest bike ride in the world. I was going to write about the process of creating branded content without being hired by the brand. But the wonderful Erin Schroeder ended up interviewing me and fellow comedian Joe Beadle for her Cornfed Comedy blog, so it’s all here, black and white, clear as crystal: TWO COMEDIANS LEAD FIGHT FOR COMFORTABLE REAR ENDS AT RAGBRAI As such, I’m just gonna share my thoughts about the intersection of politics and branding, something that crossed my mind as Joe and I were shooting this campaign. To be clear, I’m not a political satirist and I derive greater pleasure from writing and directing the occasional comedy campaign than commenting on political ones. But I wanted to evaluate the following branding efforts: Anti Monkey Butt, “Fight friction with Anti-Monkey Butt Powder and keep the chafing at bay!” The Trump Campaign, “Make America Great Again” For the record, neither brand has hired me to do their bidding. Joe and I bought some AMB swag and some product and gave it away as an example of the kind of campaign we might do if the brand hired us. We happened across the Trump bus while filming RAGBRAI’ers in Hiawatha, IA. They gave us free water, with no strings attached. On the face of it, both brands do a good job of messaging, as far as logos and slogans go. The people we met from the Trump campaign – ranging from volunteers to his Midwest Co-Chair Tana Goertz – were...
FunnyMen vs. FunnyWomen? The answer is Transparent

FunnyMen vs. FunnyWomen? The answer is Transparent

I’m feeling unloved, defensive and more than a little bitter. With the ubiquitous Amy Schumer suddenly synonymous with comedy, it’s obvious that the road of the male comedian has become a lot more perilous. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Mindy Kaling… The list of A List Comedy Powerhouses is so long it’s boring, and there’s not a male in the bunch. Even Judd Apatow is only relevant because his last movie was a collaboration with Amy Schumer. There are plenty of solid funnymen out there, of course, but there just isn’t the same…excitement. The truly great male standups like Bill Burr – and even the brave and brilliant Louis CK – are all overshadowed by the Amy’s (remember when Amy Schumer was the “female Anthony Jeselnik”? AJ is now hosting “Last Comic Standing” and is less well known than JB Smoove). In film, Steve Carrell and Will Ferrell are poised to accomplish what Jim Carrey only dreamed of – spend their sunset years in highly regarded dramas. On stage and in movies, Kevin Hart’s on a winning streak but let’s be honest, he’s the black Dane Cook; he works so hard to be funny you wish he’d take a laxative. On TV, Dave Letterman and Jon Stewart have retired. And while John Oliver and Larry Wilmore are solid, they’re carrying the torch, not lighting anyone’s fire. The closest we have to a king of comedy right now is the great dramatic actor Jon Hamm, and if his performance in “Minions” is any indication, his funny juice dried up when he stopped serving as a...