A conversation with Josh Ruben


    Alexandra Wallace spoke with Josh Ruben about not having abs, covering a floor with mousetraps, the first impression he ever did and narrowing in on the familiar yet unexpected.

    Everyone had abs and in real life, and, as a man without abs in real life, life wasn’t as easy without the abs.

    Alexandra asked Josh what he believes to be the single most notable trait of each of these figures.

    f Lindsey Buckingham

    Oh man. I feel horrible that I don’t know who this person is, but I bet her notable trait is answering questions pointedly.

    f Martha Stewart

    Making Beef Wellington wearing an ankle monitor.

    f Fozzie Bear

    Making children laugh and, coincidentally, making Beef Wellington wearing an ankle monitor.

    f Ice Cube

    Ice Cube can say anything tough, but somehow come off as sweet.


    Alexandra Wallace

    My introduction to you was your first appearance on You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes. I was in the car with my my boyfriend, and he played the episode for me. Years later, we are still weeping at your impression of Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart. When we can’t find something, we’ll call out, “Buuuddddy!” across the house. The magic of your impressions is how specific they are; it’s not the Walken voice we’ve heard a million times, or the one-off “What’s the deal with airplanes?” — they all narrow in on something so familiar, yet unexpected. What was the first impression you felt absolutely confident in?

    Josh Ruben

    That’s so kind! Thank you for saying so! Technically, the first impression I felt absolutely confident in was Jim Carrey. I feel like all young kids my age were confident impersonating Ace Ventura or The Mask. Now my most confident impression is Guillermo Del Toro Breathing Hard Talking About Friends.


    What is the best purchase you ever made?

    I want to say something funny, but probably my first laptop; a white and easily smudged MacBook. Or Final Draft. Both helped me get my ass writing.


    Favorite movie trope that you love to hate?

    I am a sucker for any time people rip off Edgar Wright with a whipwhipwhip-filled montage of “gearing up.” Everyone does it now. I just did it directing a sketch for James Corden.


    What problem or situation did TV or movies make you think was common, but you grew up to find out it wasn’t?

    I’m not sure this answers your question, but everyone had abs and in real life, and, as a man without abs in real life, life wasn’t as easy without the abs.

    I had the linear goal of seeing a handsome, multi-talented actor investigate a floor covered in mousetraps.


    You wrote and directed a sketch for CollegeHumor in 2012 titled Patrick Wilson’s Stock Photos. Were you present for the photographing of all of the images? How much impulse is there to write something absurd just so you can witness it happening in real life?

    I sure was! I wrote and directed that sketch with the linear goal of seeing the handsome, multi-talented Patrick Wilson investigate a floor covered in mousetraps or pretend to freak out as a bucketful of golf balls spilled down the steps of the Capitol Building.


    What’s the best hidden gem in Woodstock, New York?

    There’s this little path called Magic Meadow and it’s just a real treat.


    Who’s the last person you said “I love you” to?

    The person I’m in love with!

    Thank you.


    Conversation: 225
    Curated by: Alexandra Wallace
    Conducted by: Email
    Edited by: Morgan Enos
    Published: September 5, 2018
    Total questions: 4 + 7
    Word count: 494
    Reading time: Two minutes
    Hyperlinks: 5


    Goal: Achieved
    Montage: Accessed
    Impression: Confident
    Smudge: Noticed
    Draft: Final
    Monitor: Worn


    About the subject

    Josh Ruben is an actor, writer and director who has directed and starred in shorts for CollegeHumor, The Late Late Show With James Corden and more. He resides in Woodstock, New York

    About the curator

    Alexandra Wallace is a photographer, visual artist and the founder of Coyote + Oak. She resides in Orcutt, California.

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