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...
An open letter to lazy motherf%*&ers voting for Trump (because they think it’s a joke)

An open letter to lazy motherf%*&ers voting for Trump (because they think it’s a joke)

It’s all there, black and white, clear as crystal. In a campaign season that’s been marked by questions of transparency, this candidate may tell you nothing. But he is showing you everything. Critics of the Democrat candidate for President like to say “it’s one scandal after another”, but in fact it’s been one long witch hunt beating dead horses in a fruitless search for major improprieties. The recent Clinton Foundation “Pay to Play” story is a perfect example: the A-rated charity recognized empirically for its good works is in the sites of critics claiming donors paid for access to the Secretary of State. There’s no evidence anyone got anywhere, and the Foundation is planning the necessary changes should Hillary Clinton become President. Yet the operative note is that any speculation of wrongdoing is merely speculation (a forced, desperate witch hunt, to be blunt). The Republican candidate, however, is the epitome of impropriety, and his own Foundation is just the tip of the crooked iceberg. Impropriety abounds, it envelopes him, it seeps from his pores. A new issue erupts each day. It is evident and inescapable. In the face of this, Donald Trump merely projects the same crimes upon his opponents or critics, describing them as he himself is being described. But the naked eye doesn’t lie, and therein rests the definition of a con artist: he shows you his cards, because you see what you want to see. You give him your money, and he takes it. You – the non-deplorable voters to whom I address this article – are out there in the void, the stories and sound...
Donald Trump is a middle-aged comedian. With nothing to lose.

Donald Trump is a middle-aged comedian. With nothing to lose.

Donald Drumpf is NOT a middle-aged comedian, of course. A middle-aged comedian is worthy of respect. I’m merely projecting my own traits onto him. The point is, I’ve noticed that if you want to know who Donald Drumpf IS, all you have to do is look at the traits he projects onto others. It’s a fun little game, and it gets better each day. For example, Donald Drumpf is: crooked mentally ill a liar thinks of African-Americans only as votes, not people unfair weak a disaster he worst thing that’s ever happened to America dangerous… But there’s more. As Drumpf has “evolved” this past week – from obnoxious extemporaneous orator to obnoxious TelePrompTer reader – he’s added another level of insult to injury. “Addressing” African-Americans, Drumpf paints a bleak picture: they’re broke, jobless, homeless, uneducated and living in squalor, in a war zone. As such, “Take a chance on Drumpf!” he bellows in desperation. “What the hell have you got to lose???” Let’s zipline past the laughable, amateur-hour authoritarianism, and the fact that he always sells despair and fear (in fact, his new slogan shouldn’t be the alt-right ‘America First’; it should be ‘Fear Uber Alles’). The (raw) meat here is that, as usual, Drumpf is talking about himself. “What?!?”, you ask incredulously? “Hersh, now you’re pushing it! Drumpf is a billionaire!” Oh, really. You know who’s a billionaire? Mark Cuban, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Steven Spielberg. Can Drumpf hang with these dudes? In fact, another fun game to play is to see if Drumpf actually has ANY friends who are billionaires. Sheldon Adelson – the notorious Republican kingmaker...
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...