Thousands of people in Chicago have seen CJ perform (as a Second City After Hours regular and one of the hosts of the podcast Lakeshore & Limbo) but he’s also one of the hilarious writers on our team! CJ is frequently the author of some of our funniest blog posts. You can learn more about the origins of the word “Zeeple” or get tips for cosplaying Jackbox characters thanks to him! CJ is also indisputably the best dressed person in our office.
Read on to learn more about CJ!
What brought you to Jackbox Games?
I had been cast in a sketch show written by Jackbox Director/Writer Warren Arnold where I played a drunken, belligerent John Hancock and an exasperated Superman. When Warren announced a call for writers, I applied.
Also, when I was a Lyft driver, I once gave a ride to Jackbox Director/Writer Ryan DiGiorgi and Artist Owen Watson. I overheard them talking about the launch of Quiplash 2. I didn’t tell them until a year working at the company. It was my little secret.
What is your favorite thing about writing for Jackbox?
I am obsessed with riddles, brain teasers and those other weird types of questions that can be annoying when done poorly. Jackbox really encourages us to be both clever and fun when challenging players. And now I would say I’m successful almost a quarter of the time! (and our talented editors keep my failures out of the games).
Also, as one of the few improvisers in the city of Chicago who hates swearing, lewd humor, etc., I really appreciate having a medium to create comedy for wholesome family get-togethers… or at the very least, I create clean prompts that people can make dirty on their own.
Aside from the work associated with your role, what do you enjoy most about working at Jackbox?
Jackbox provides many, many opportunities to do very exciting things. I love taking part on the stream and playing games with Jackbox fans, meeting new people at cons and working with my fellow writers and other creative people.
The engineers and artists at Jackbox give me a chance to work with creative people in mediums that are pretty alien to me. I get a chance to observe very talented people and learn the basics of animation and programming.
Plus, I got to play Quiplash with Breckin Meyer while dressed like a Jeff Goldblum character, so that was pretty good.
Do you have a favorite Jackbox game?
I am very attached to Push The Button. It was the first game where I was an editorial lead and I’m a huge fan of The Thing and other paranoia based sci-fi.
This was also the first time I dug really deep into anticipating player reaction. It felt like diving into the deep end as I tried to anticipate what would be most fun about playing the game and how I could really destroy friendships through baseless accusations.
What might surprise people about writing for Jackbox?
In order to write bizarre versions of trivia questions, you have to do a good deal of research. It’s impossible to copy/paste facts from the internet when crafting uncommon questions, so you have to spend some time to ensure your pun makes sense in the broader context of the science, history, etc., you are trying to reference.
What are some hobbies you enjoy outside of work?
I love a LOT of things comic books, movies, murder mysteries and if you read the Jackbox blog you know that my wife and I are big cosplayers.
My wife and I recently just had our first child and nothing makes me prouder than the fact that his favorite toy is a stuffed Dr. Doom.