Hangin’ with Jeremy Warner
Jeremy is one of those rare gentlemen I’ve had the privilege of knowing for about 18 years or so. He was a quiet guy with big dreams. Loved his guitar. Who would have thought that years later he would be the source of comedy all over the globe! For almost two decades now, Jeremy has brought joy to many, many humans. First through a sketch group in college, to being an incredibly funny cast member of Studio C, to graduating to JK! Studios, and finally landing as a director for feature films, Jeremy has allowed comedy to weave through his life. We discussed how comedy has come to us during incredible vital parts of our lives and how laughter can help us heal trauma. So great catching up with this man! Enjoy!
About Jeremy Warner
Jeremy Warner is immediately recognizable by his distinctive (and frankly, immensely impressive) beard, but there’s much more to the man than a stylish piece of facial hair, no matter how often it is the topic of conversation. A certified dude who loves brisket, hamburgers, and pizza (perhaps all at the same time) and was never a fan of Statistics at school, he always had dreams of making it big. It’s safe to say that Jeremy achieved just that — and then some.
So Who Is Jeremy Warner?
Jeremy Warner was born in Idaho, hailing from good old Idaho Falls, on July 18, 1985. He currently resides in Provo, Utah, with his wife Catey Jo and their children: Felix Nicholas, Linus Brian, Blythe, and Lorymore Gerald.
Although comedy and performance were always in his destiny, Jeremy did not immediately dive into comedy. Following his high school graduation, Jeremy attended Brigham Young University for one year and then served as a missionary for two years in Oklahoma for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Upon his return, he graduated from BYU with a film degree. During his time at BYU, he developed a taste for comedy, joining the on-campus sketch troupe Divine Comedy.
Jeremy’s time as part of Divine Comedy introduced him to other members of the famed Studio C group. Here they worked together and came up with ideas that would later be part of the show. Originally the show was broadcast over Brigham Young University’s own BYUtv in 2012, and it later found fame streaming over YouTube, which allowed the group to reach a larger audience.
Jeremy began as a recurring cast member for Studio C before eventually being promoted to a full-time part of the cast in the fifth season. Besides this, he also worked as a writer for Studio C between 2012 and 2014 and was then promoted to staff writer until the show finished in 2019. Jeremy has also directed and edited segments on the show, making him a veritable jack (or, rather, “Jeremy”) of all trades.
Before his work for Studio C, Jeremy also made appearances in several short films and full-length features, including “Dizzy Dizzy Dinosaur” and “Pancake Breakfast.” He also served as a producer on both of these features.
Some might be content with their lot, having found success as part of a sketch group whose work is accessible anywhere in the world. However, Jeremy is never one for sitting still. Since his days at Studio C, Jeremy has popped up in a range of places, including the comedy special “Peculiar People” and a single-episode appearance in “The Adventures of Ravi.” In both of these appearances, he played himself.
In 2018 Jeremy appeared in “The Laughter Life,” a documentary that chronicled Studio C, and when Studio C finished the following year, Jeremy and the rest of the cast moved on to launch JK! Studios.
“Safe for Work” Comedy
Anyone familiar with the comedy trends knows there’s always space for pushing the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in the comedy sphere. This often leads to comedians and sketch groups taking it too far, at least for some sensibilities. However, Jeremy and his group of merry pranksters believed that if you need to be offensive to be funny, chances are, you’re not all that funny at all.
This is where the heart of JK! Studios lies, and it is the crux of what they aim to achieve. This YouTube channel was founded to be free for everybody and can only be found online, rather than through cable or network TV. It partnered with Bring the Funny to produce a range of “safe for work” comedy sketches that are fun for the whole family. JK! Studios was an instant hit and won the Shorty Industry Award for Best Use of Comedy Video, which should tell you enough about it.
Besides his work for JK! Studios and Bring the Funny, Jeremy continues to create independent content for his YouTube channel. Along with this, he has made it easy for fans, both old and new, to check out his contributions for Studio C and JK! Studios, including directorial work.
So while you may recognize Jeremy by his distinctive beard, it’s safe to say that there is much more to the man than this. He initially appears to be a man of enigma, but once you take a closer look, you’ll find that this talented filmmaker is someone who is happy to open up and let you learn a little more about him.
Jeremy Warner Podcast Transcript
Charan: What’s going on, guys? This is Charan Prabhakar with the Lemonade Stand podcast and I’m with my really good buddy, Jeremy Warner-
Charan: … who I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for quite some time now, Jeremy. Let’s discuss this.
Jeremy: 18 years? Almost 18 years.
Charan: Almost 18 years.
Charan: Oh my gosh. That’s crazy. This was well before the creation of Studio C. It’s well before probably even Facebook, I would say.
Jeremy: Oh yeah, it’s before Facebook. I think Friendster was starting to come up or something?
Charan: MySpace might have been a thing.
Jeremy: MySpace. All I remember is there was the BYU directory that you could-
Charan: The BYU directory.
Jeremy: And, the ward … I almost said menu. The ward directory.
Charan: Well, it was like a ward menu. Basically, we’ll find people to date and-
Jeremy: Of everybody in the apartment complex that lives there.
Charan: Oh, man. Those were good times, man. Centennial Apartments. I remember.
Jeremy: Yeah, you lived above me, I think.
Charan: Yeah, I was. I was at one point right above you, and then also diagonal. In that same building, I lived in multiple apartments within that same thing. But I remember you were 18. You were really, really into guitar back then. I feel like you were always jamming out on music and stuff like that.
Jeremy: Yeah, I probably played it way too loud, but 18-year-olds.
Charan: Dude, you’re an 18-year-old. Exactly. But no, we’ve been buddies for a long time, and it’s been awesome to see where your life has grown and gone. In fact, one of my fond memories of you was you taking me to see “Napoleon Dynamite.” “Napoleon Dynamite” had just come out, and we had gone to see it and you were like, “Yeah, this is this cool movie coming out.” I remember watching it and being like, “What did I just watch?” I was so confused.
Jeremy: I think that was probably about the fifth time I had seen it.
Charan: Are you serious?
Jeremy: Yeah, I saw it a lot. I loved, and continue to love that movie.
Charan: It’s fantastic. The first time I watched it, I’ll be honest, I didn’t really enjoy it, and then I gave it some time, and then it became this cultural phenomenon where everybody was quoting it, and then I watched it the second time and I could not stop laughing. I was like, “How is it possible for me to not like something and then a little bit later just think it’s the best movie of all time?”
Jeremy: Perspective changes with time. Things can change. I remember watching … Is this a stream-of-consciousness thing?
Charan: Let’s go for it. Go for it, man. Yeah, this is exciting.
Jeremy: Speaking of enjoyment of something, or something meaning more to you later on in life, when I was 25 my wife was hit by a car that was driven by a dude on heroin.
Charan: No way.
Jeremy: She lived, so that’s good.
Charan: That’s a great thing. That’s a very great thing.
Jeremy: But I remember watching this movie, “The Darjeeling Limited.” It’s a Wes Anderson film, which I had seen many times before then, but after my wife’s accident, I was sitting there watching it, and it suddenly took on a completely different meaning to me, because I never really paid attention to the fact that their father was killed by getting hit by a car, and I was just like, “Oh, this process of healing.” It was very cathartic for me.
Charan: It’s so interesting how different things that may not affect us a certain way, after a certain life experience, hits us a completely different way. Right? I think that’s the beauty of the human condition. That’s the beauty of human life. When we’re going through what we’re going through and having the experiences that we’re going through, it’s pretty powerful stuff.
Charan: The Lemonade Stand podcast is all about the beginnings of your Lemonade Stand story. Your first time you got into business or to become a creator, and for some people, it was having a lemonade stand when they were a kid. Did you have one of those when you were a kid?
Jeremy: No, I grew up in a small town in South Dakota. I don’t think I ever sold lemonade. There just wasn’t a big demand for it. There were 300 people in the town. I remember picking up — I don’t know what they’re called, but they’re hairpin lock things that hold in a bolt instead of screwing it in — I remember picking those up at the meat locker and getting five cents for each one I picked up, and they were just covered in blood and stuff like that.
Charan: That’s quite delightful.
Jeremy: And I went and bought a Gatorade with the money.
Jeremy Warner Talks About His Career Path
Charan: Dude, hey, we all start somewhere with our business adventures, right? But it was cool, because I remember you being a quiet kid. I remember when you were an 18- or 19-year-old quiet kid, but you had this fun personality and you were so excited to introduce me to “Napoleon Dynamite.” And it’s been so awesome to see you go from that kid that I remember, that 18-year-old kid, to being a part of Studio C, to being a part of JK! Studios, to now being a feature film director and doing some of that stuff. It’s really, really exciting to see how your path has gone from where I’ve seen it before. Can you walk me through what led you down that path?
Jeremy: To where I am today?
Jeremy: How far back do we want to go?
Charan: Dude, we’ve got time.
Jeremy: I mean, when I was growing up, I always really loved movies and I loved “Ghostbusters” so much when I was a little boy. I wanted to be a Ghostbuster, and my sister told me that they weren’t real and that it was just a movie.
Charan: So crushing.
Jeremy: I know. So, I was like, “Well, then maybe I want to make movies.” It’s always a crazy pipe dream for the most part, but pipe dreams always have to start somewhere. When I got to college at BYU, my first roommate told me about this group on campus, this sketch comedy group called Divine Comedy. I was like, “Oh, that seems like fun” and I went to some of their shows. It was really awesome. I didn’t know at the time that it was changing my life, but it was, inadvertently. I left BYU after my freshman year and went on a mission, and when I came back, I was like, “I think I want to be in Divine Comedy.” That was just a goal of mine.
Charan: That’s awesome.
Jeremy: So I auditioned right when I got back and I didn’t get it.
Charan: Yeah, I didn’t get in. I auditioned and I didn’t get in.
Jeremy: And then I auditioned the next year, and again, I did not get it. Then, the third time I auditioned and I got in. Simultaneously, I applied to the film program right when I got home from my mission and I didn’t get it.
Charan: Oh, man.
Jeremy: Then I applied one more time, because they let you apply twice, and I got in, luckily. You always get in on your last try, otherwise you didn’t get in.
Charan: You didn’t get in. Right, exactly. Exactly.
Jeremy: So I started doing that, performing, writing performing sketch comedy and simultaneously studying film at BYU. Graduated and just-
Charan: I know, and it went from there, right? Because I remember — I wasn’t in Divine Comedy, but I was friends with a lot of people in Divine Comedy, like John O’Decker, if you remember John O’Decker. He was before-
Jeremy: He was, I think, while I was on my mission. In between, because he wasn’t in when I-
Charan: That’s right.
Jeremy: Joel Hilton-
Charan: Joel Hilton, right?
Jeremy: … got in that first year when I was a freshman and he lived … He was our neighbor.
Charan: He was. That was a huge thing, right? Joel Hilton was there. Will Rubio was also a part of that.
Jeremy: I know Will.
Charan: Yeah, you know Will. So, these guys were all-
Jeremy: Ryan Croaker.
Charan: Ryan Croaker was there too, right? Yeah, man, those were good people to have, because I don’t know if you remember this, but I made a very, very small independent film with all of them called “CTU Provo.”
Charan: Do you remember that?
Jeremy: Yes, I don’t think I saw it.
Charan: That is really perfectly all right, but we made this movie-
Jeremy: I know you shot it at their apartment.
Charan: We did.
Jeremy: Because I slept on their couch for a month before I left on my mission. I gave them a TV in exchange for it.
Charan: You did? Oh, man. No, that was awesome. And it was cool because I didn’t know that you wanted to do the film stuff, but I remember Matt Meese got in and then you circled with that group. I had already left. I think I was already done with BYU and I was moved on, and what was so great was Studio C became a thing and I heard about it, and then it just went so big. It went so viral. I remember everyone’s telling me, they’re like, “Oh my gosh, there’s this guy, Jeremy Warner.” I’m like, “Wait a minute, Jeremy Warner? The Jeremy Warner that I know?”
Charan: What was funny was we actually did a commercial together in California. Do you remember this?
Jeremy: Yes, where we were dressed as [inaudible 11:39].
Charan: Yes, yes. I think that’s the first time I reconnected with you after all of this stuff.
Jeremy: Yeah, because I remember seeing you and I was like, “Charan, it’s been forever.”
Charan: It has been forever, right? We did this commercial and for what was it?
Jeremy: It was for “Yo Gabba Gabba.”
Charan: “Yo Gabba Gabba.” That was what it was.
Jeremy: It was for specifically “Just Dance Kids Yo Gabba Gabba.”
Charan: Which is a very specific kind of “Yo Gabba Gabba,” I suppose, but I remember connecting and thinking, man, it’s so great to see the growth that you’ve had in the years that have come from when I knew you as a kid, as an 18-year-old. But then, you kept going and you started directing some of the sketches, and what was cool was I remember seeing some of the sketches that you had directed … I think Matt was in them and whatnot. They stood head and shoulders above the rest of some of the stuff I saw on Studio C.
Jeremy: Thank you. That’s very kind of you.
Charan: And I was like, “Wow.” I was like, “Whoa, Jeremy, I had no idea that that was your aspiration to want to be a director.” Walk me through the process there.
Jeremy: Of becoming a director?
Charan: Yeah, of being a director.
Jeremy: When I was in college, I made a short film called “Gerald,” and it was my first foray into really working with a crew and stuff like that. I look back on it now and I’m like, “Oh, it’s fine.” I watched it again recently and then there were some things and I’m like, “Oh, that’s pretty funny.” I just think back, “Oh, 25-year-old me. Good job.” But I can critique other things. I was just talking to my wife recently about this and how … After I graduated and she had her accident, I was in a slump and I started just making things. And just making things for fun. That’s where I really found my voice, got some more experience doing that. I started a little group with a couple of friends from college called the Angel Murkurker, and it was just really off-the-wall sketch comedy.
Jeremy: It was fun and it was experimental and that’s how I got my foot in the door, so to speak, just by doing it.
Charan: Well, one of the things that I really like that you just barely said was when you were in that slump, you decided to do things for fun. You created for fun. And, I think that’s a beautiful place to be because there’s no expectations when you’re creating it for fun. It’s almost like a cathartic experience.
Jeremy: Yeah, I always think about this quote from this movie called “Bill Cunningham New York,” and Bill Cunningham was a street photographer for the New York Times and he would never cash his checks. He just said, “If I don’t take their money, they can’t tell me what to do.”
Charan: Okay. Yeah, I like that.
Jeremy: There’s a lot of freedom in things and hopefully if you find that freedom and you find something successful, then you can make money doing what it is that you want, and people won’t necessarily tell you what to do in the sense that you heavily disagree with them, if that makes sense.
Charan: No, it makes complete sense. What’s interesting is I really believe that when you find your own voice, whatever that voice is, and you’re authentic to yourself and you’re creating according to your authentic self, you have so much power there and you’re able to do some really incredible things and share the stories that you want to share.
Charan: I think it’s interesting, because I spent quite a bit of time in LA, and I know I’ve done some shows that you had recognized, and it was fun. I had a great time. It was awesome.
Jeremy: I was super happy to see you. Every time when you popped up, I’m like … The Big Tech CEO.
Charan: Yeah, the Big Tech CEO. It was Silicon Valley, right?
Jeremy: You had Kid Rock play at your house.
Charan: I know, it was so ridiculous. You know what’s funny is that scene was actually supposed to be Green Day. It was supposed to be Green Day and then I think Kid Rock might have been even a little more perfect for that than Green Day was.
Jeremy: I loved it.
Charan: It was a great scene. It was a super fun scene. But I remember I was at the premiere party for that, and they invited me to a couple different events. They were like, “Hey, come hang with us. You’re part of the cast or whatnot.” And I did and I went there, and the whole time I’m there, I just kept thinking, “Man, I got to create my own show. I just got to create my own show.” The whole time I was there, I was like, “This is a great show and it’s so fun for me to be on, but this is not my voice.”
Jeremy: I talked to my wife, just trying to work out of a slump thing. It’s like, “Oh, how much time can you spend building the dream of something else and not yours?” It’s a collaborative thing, especially in filmmaking. It’s very collaborative and there’s a lot of give and take, but you have to always be … You have to be working like the most perfect cook, getting this main dish ready, but also getting all these sides and stuff ready so that they’re ready when they need to be ready.
Charan: Yeah, when they need to be ready.
Jeremy: I don’t know if that’s a good analogy. Spinning plates, it’s like, “Oh, this one’s spinning fast. It’s wobbling. Let’s get this …”
Charan: “Let’s get this going.”
Jeremy: “Where’s the fire? Let’s put it out.”
Charan: Well, you’re making a good point, right? Look, we only have so much time given to us and when you’re a creator, you’re either creating for yourself, your own vision, or you’re creating for someone else and helping them have a voice, but it’s almost like where’s your voice at? I think that’s a beautiful thing to talk about.
Jeremy: And it’s not to say that working in Studio C … I’m very grateful for the time I was there and for the experience and the exposure it gave me, and I genuinely really love it — and loved it. Loved the experience working on it. Again, I was just revisiting some stuff and “Oh, that feels like me.” I see the times when my voice was coming through. There’s just a satisfaction that you can’t get from anything else. It’s like getting a hug from your kid. I made this and it loves me.
Charan: That’s amazing. I’ve never had that experience, but I only can relate. I can sympathize with you, I suppose.
Jeremy: One day, maybe.
Charan: One day. One day.
Jeremy: I hope I don’t come off as insensitive to everybody, but-
Charan: You’re not. Not at all. Not at all.
Jeremy: I lost my train of thought.
Charan: No, we were just talking about creating your own thing as opposed to you had such a beautiful time at Studio C, and you had great experiences there, but now it was time for you to create your own thing.
Jeremy: Yeah, so we left and started JK! Studios, which we kind of have more ownership and stuff over. I mean, not kind of. We do.
Charan: You do, you do.
Jeremy: We do because it’s our company. We’ve made a series of series. We made two series, one’s called “Loving Life,” which is a satire of influencers and lifestyle bloggers. I directed the first season and three episodes of the second season.
Charan: That’s amazing. You directed it, right?
Charan: And Brenna shot that? Is that one?
Jeremy: Brenna Empey shot that. She shot all that and she also shot all of a series called “Freelancers” that we also made, which is about five best friends that are trying to make it in the world as a little production company.
Charan: Which, by the way, “Freelancers” has just been funded for a second season, correct? On VidAngel?
Jeremy: Yeah, we just raised some money to do a season two, so that should be coming down the pipeline here. Mallory Everton was the creator of that and she’s super stoked, and she’s going to be hitting the pavement hard with the writing and the developing of season two.
Charan: What’s funny is I’m right behind you guys because I’m launching a show on VidAngel as well.
Jeremy: Oh, dope.
Charan: It’s a kid show. It’s called “Let’s Get Epic.” It’s funny. We watched you guys, we were like, “Okay, it’s time. It’s time.” We haven’t done a season. We just did a pilot episode, but we did it a couple years ago. But I love that you guys are doing that and that’s so awesome. I remember meeting with you and Mallory and Matt and just talking about JK! Studios and the plans there, so it’s really cool to see that you guys are continuing to create outside of the realm of Studio C.
Jeremy: Yeah, and even we still have made a lot of sketch comedy and stuff like that. We were even on an NBC show in 2019 called “Bring the Funny.” It was a comedy competition for comedy, so they were performing sketches. It was surreal to not really perform in front of an audience for quite some time. I don’t think since we left Studio C, I hadn’t really performed in front of anybody, and then we were all of a sudden in Burbank at Universal Studios doing the show. I remember, I don’t know whether it was nerves or if I was sick, but I remember just throwing up so much right before.
Charan: Really? Really?
Jeremy: My leg hurt so bad and I was limping, and then we got out there and we got on the stage, and the lights came up and I was like, “All right, I guess this is it.” Miraculously, I didn’t limp once because we had to dance and moving stuff, and my stomach felt fine, and then I just stood there and we finished. I smiled, and then we walked off stage and my leg immediately started hurting.
Charan: Are you kidding me?
Charan: Dude, you know what I think that is? I think that’s the process of being alive and being in the state of flow. It was almost like you needed to be in that state until the thing was over, and then once the performance is over, it’s like, “Okay, I’m back.”
Jeremy: Yeah, it’s almost like being in a living shock. It’s like, “Well …”
Charan: Yeah, that’s exactly what that is.
Jeremy: Just smile and bear it.
Charan: And bear it? Yeah. It’s interesting, because I was thinking about live shows. You’re mentioning that show. The only live show I did in LA was a show called “Two Broke Girls.” I don’t know if you’ve ever-
Jeremy: Oh, yeah. With Kat Dennings and, I don’t know the other “Broke” girl.
Charan: Yes. I forgot her name, too.
Jeremy: [crosstalk 00:23:07] I only know her because she’s in “Thor” and she’s in “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist.”
Charan: Which funny enough, this is a random, random fact, but one of her best friends happened to be a LDS woman, so Kat came to church once. I wasn’t there when that happened, but she was very, very sweet. She was a very, very sweet girl and I only had one scene with her, but when we were prepping, she kept coming up to me seeing how I was doing. It was very nice. But I remember that feeling of nerves, because it’s a little bit different. It’s almost like a play, but there’s cameras and there’s a live audience.
Jeremy: Oh yeah, I think there’s benefits of filming things because you can go back and do it again, and there’s benefits of things being live because any mistake is like, “Well, there it is.” But when you’re filming the live thing, it’s the worst of both. It’s this perfect storm of “don’t screw it up” and just added pressure.
Charan: Well, you get to do it over and over and over again. That show-
Jeremy: And there’s people there.
Charan: There’s people there. That show was only a half hour in length, like a pilot thing. But I remember it took us five or six hours to film, and I’m like, “Oh man, this is crazy.” The poor audience just kept sitting there and they have to fake laugh. I was like-
Jeremy: They have that comic that comes out in between that’s like, “Come on, guys [crosstalk 00:24:26].” And they’re playing Spice Girls.
Jeremy Warner Talks About the Importance of Comedy
Charan: Yes. Whatever they can do to get the audience all jazzed up. Oh man, it was a fun time. I want to ask a different question, change the topic a little bit. We talked a little bit about comedy, and a lot of the stuff you’ve done has a comedic tone to it. What has the role of comedy been in your life and why do you think it’s important to share it with the world?
Jeremy: Oh, man. I think that comedy is important because, I mean, there’s just … if there was no comedy, everything would just be sad and not funny. I think sad things are often funny, because it’s just …
Charan: What’s going on?
Jeremy: You can’t come up with it. But I don’t know, I think we’re always attracted to laughter and stuff. Everybody is. My parents got divorced when I was really little, and I don’t know, I gravitated towards really liking movies. I loved “Monster Squad.” I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that.
Charan: I don’t know if I ever did.
Jeremy: It’s really great. It’s about a bunch of kids that love monster movies and they have to fight all these monsters.
Charan: That’s fantastic.
Jeremy: And “Ghostbusters.” Like I mentioned earlier, I love “Ghostbusters.” It’s one of my favorite films. And I never realized it was a comedy until I was a teenager, so I inherently just liked something that was very funny from a young age. I don’t know, I think comedy has just helped me get through a lot of things and it’s a way of getting my feelings out and working through whatever emotions I’m feeling, because oftentimes I think a lot of comedy comes from conflict and-
Charan: Tragic circumstances.
Jeremy: And tragic circumstances and dramatic things. It’s not inherently a comedy, but have you seen “Manchester by the Sea”?
Charan: No. I know that movie, though.
Jeremy: I think that movie is very sad and very tragic because it’s about the worst nightmare of things that can happen to you, but there’s so many real moments where they didn’t … for example, somebody’s getting put into an ambulance and the paramedics can’t get the thing to go. It’s just, “Oh my gosh.” It’s like, “This is so sad, but then this is happening. This guy’s struggling.” And you’re just like, “Oh, that’s funny.” I remember also when … Well, this was when my wife was in the hospital after … it’s comedy in a sad situation. We asked the guy, “Hey, can we change the pillowcase. There’s a bunch of dried up blood on there.” He was like, “Oh no, that’s sand.”
Jeremy: We’re like, “We’ve been here for six days. How is that sand?” He’s like, “No, it’s sand.” I’m like, “I’m telling you. It is dried up blood that came out of her head.” He was like, “No, it’s sand.” In the moment, it’s frustrating but you look back and you’re like, “That was really funny and weird.” I think they say tragedy plus time equals comedy, and I do think that’s true, because a lot of times when we’re in the middle of things, it’s very easy to feel like the world is falling apart all around us and that your world is ending, but sometimes life is full of hills and valleys, and maybe you’re just down at the bottom of your valley or you’re on your way down and you’re just like, “Well …”
Jeremy: You just deal with it and you just try to smile through it and you cope, and I guess comedy is that thing for me.
Charan: I hate saying this, but-
Jeremy: I also really love horror, because I feel like horror is the … I think horror and comedy are very similar in the setup because they both give you the biggest payoff when you’re surprised. It’s just one makes you feel awesome and one just makes you feel like … it’s the peaks and the valleys. I balance it out by just making myself feel-
Charan: So afraid or laugh. Well, I think it’s a great thing that comedy or horror almost … it jars you from the normal sensations of life and it helps you to become awake. I remember when COVID hit and it was this crazy thing and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, the world is going to shut down,” which is a weird thing to think about. Never in my life have I been in a circumstance where it’s like the whole world is shutting down right now. Everything is shutting down. We’re wearing masks. There was that huge scare with “grab the toilet paper, hurry.” It was just this massive-
Jeremy: Oh, yeah. It’s like that’s the thing that we do?
Charan: I remember thinking who would have ever thought that the toilet paper industry would be skyrocketing and making so much money at this time? I remember, I think I was at Walmart and I was trying to go shopping and there were just empty shelves. It just felt like the end of the world, right? There were some people that were just utterly devastated and then the other people were just laughing and laughing, and I was part of the laughing crowd because I’m just thinking, “How did this happen? How did we get to this?”
Charan: The truth is that the earth is still spinning. We’re still going. But it was interesting how laughter and comedy really helped alleviate those tough times.
Jeremy: Yeah. I think you just never would have thought that “Oh, this is what happens, I guess.” I enjoyed the first little bit of it. I’m sure, like many other people, we all had things that we were trying to do and it just got disrupted, and trying to figure out how to pivot that into whatever. I was directing my first feature. I was two-thirds of the way through production and what? One day on set, one of our leads got a call from his agent, and while he was on the phone, our DIT person came up to me and was like, “Justin Trudeau just shut down the Canadian border.” And I was like, “Oh, man.” Our lead was Canadian, so he went home and …
Charan: Hasn’t come back yet.
Jeremy: And,hasn’t come back yet.
Charan: Oh, man.
Jeremy: It’s one of those things I understand. I’m not stoked on it, but it was a hard decision to make, but our hand was forced in that already. In some ways, it’s easier to accept when it’s out of your control because it’s not like-
Charan: You can’t put the blame on yourself.
Jeremy: Yeah, and there are moments over the past year almost … We started principal photography in February of 2020 and we haven’t been able to finish it yet, and there’s been moments where I replay it in my head like, “Well, could we have started a week early?” We could have, I guess, but there was no way of really knowing. I mean, maybe there was, but I wasn’t aware that this was going to be a thing that happened. You can get in your head about “is this my fault? ” And it’s no. Again, in talking a lot with my wife, consulting with her and being like, “What should I do?” she’s like, “Well, a lot of people are in the same situation and nobody wanted to be in it, and it’s no one’s fault in particular, and it’s just we’re all in the same boat. Let’s plug the holes and keep it from taking on more water.”
Charan: Yeah. No, I think that’s a beautiful way to look at it, man. And that’s a great way of “turning lemonade from a lemon” story, right? Because man-
Jeremy: It’s like “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” What do you do when life takes those lemons back? You’re like, “Well, I don’t have anything.”
Charan: I have no lemons to even make lemonade with now.
Jeremy: I have two-thirds of a lemon.
Charan: Yeah. Oh man, well, how is the movie looking? Have you been able to edit some stuff and put stuff together?
Jeremy: Yeah, yeah. I look at it and I’m like, “Oh, I’m really happy with how it looks and I’m proud of it.” It’s just incomplete, obviously, and we’re trying to formulate in our heads, “Okay, when can we finish this?” and making all these contingency plans of how do we pivot this if we need to, because ideal circumstances, everything goes smoothly, but rarely is there ever ideal circumstances. So you run up against something. Even, for example, a day on set. One day on Studio C, there was a day where I had all these things planned and my AD was like, “Yeah, well they built the set and it’s all good.” We walk in and there’s just nothing there and I’m like, “Oh no. Oh no.” You just stand there and you’re just like … and you don’t know what to do.
Jeremy: I don’t want to know what happened or what’s wrong because I don’t want to have any ill feelings right now. I’d rather just, if I ever hear any negativity on set or anything, I just take the headphones off and walk away because it’s hard, because when you’re trying to solve something and things are not going well, removing anything that might be a distraction to the solution I think helps me definitely.
Charan: That’s great.
Jeremy: You had to pivot and adapt and we’re like, “Okay, well I guess this is what we do,” and then it’s like all right, make a decision and you go with it and you hope that it’s the best one. A month later when we were editing it, I watched and I’m like, “You would have no idea.” You have no idea what was behind that.
Charan: Dude, I love that.
Jeremy: A lot of the times people aren’t going to see your work, or they’re not going to know what it takes to do something, and I think we’re all guilty of that. We sometimes don’t know what this person, how much of their heart they put into it, or how little they did. Who knows? We just judge it off of the finished thing. I find that I’ve become less … I don’t think I was ever super harsh of a critic. I just love movies, but I know how hard it is and how much work it takes to make something at all, whether it’s good or bad. Sometimes the difference between it is an extra five minutes.
Charan: Isn’t that crazy?
Jeremy: But it’s hard no matter what.
Charan: Man, I’ll tell you, it’s interesting. We were talking a little bit about this, but I was helping produce a movie, “Alien Country,” and we knew from several of our friends that have shot in the union, we can not shoot in the union if we want to make this during the time that we’re making it because it’s just going to be so tough-
Jeremy: Yeah, that’s another thing we ran into.
Charan: But, it’s interesting, just the scares and “Are we going to get this shot? Are we going to be able to pull this off?” We had a lot of our stuff was at night and when the sun came up, we were like, “Well, we can’t shoot anymore.” It was a lot of action, so there were a lot of things that we had to do, and action always takes longer to film than just basic dialogue. But we had a great time, and that being said, we were sitting around talking like, “Man, I wish we had more time for this” or “I wish we had more time for that.” We’ll be doing some pick-up days and everything, but what I’ve learned from it all is I’m feeling like what you’re saying is it can be a high stress environment, and if you want to really succeed, I think the measure of the character is, “Hey, yes, this is stressful. Let’s figure out a way to calmly do this thing and make it happen, even though it’s just crazy right now.”
Jeremy: You have to be in the middle of the world falling apart and say, “Okay, this is what we’re going to do now.” And some decisions are easier to make than others, but sometimes you …
Charan: I feel like, though, that analogy you just said of you’re in the middle of the world falling apart, and you have to just be calm and make decisions, I think being a film director or a film producer or actor or whatever it is, I think it sets you up for life in that sense of … Like right now, our world is falling apart. It’s like, “Okay, what do we do?”
Jeremy: It’s like when we were on “Bring the Funny” and I was throwing up and I’m like, “Well, this is it.” Sometimes you feel a lot better after you throw up, like purging the sickness or whatever, but then you still have to go out and do the thing.
Charan: Yeah, you got to do the thing now.
Jeremy: You’re like, “All right. Okay, now the work begins.” That’s one thing when you’re a live performance, it’s like well … It’s like sports. You have to do this now. It’s not … This is it.
Charan: This is it.
Jeremy: Regardless of everything else that’s happening outside of everything, because again, nobody’s going to see all of that stuff, they’re going to see the game. They’re going to see what the camera’s seeing.
Jeremy Warner Talks About What Brings Him Joy Right Now
Charan: They don’t see the behind-the-scenes stuff. They don’t see the agony. Okay, so I want to shift topics again and just wrap things up a little bit. I have just a couple questions on what brings you joy right now?
Jeremy: My family.
Charan: Love that. We’ve had the pleasure of eating together. I remember eating with your family and the kiddos and stuff.
Jeremy: How many kids did I have at that time?
Charan: You had two.
Jeremy: Two? Okay.
Charan: How many do you have now?
Jeremy: I have four now.
Charan: Gosh dang it. That’s fantastic. Are you serious? It might have been three.
Jeremy: This is another funny thing. During the production of my film, I had a son that was born as well. February 3, 2020, is hands-down the best day … or not February. March 3rd. March 3, 2020, is the best day of my life cumulatively because it is the perfect conjoining of everything I really love and that I wanted out of my life. I was directing a movie and I had a kid.
Jeremy: It’s like, “Wow.” And then, it all … It didn’t get taken away, but it got put on pause. But the plus side is that because we just had a kid, I got to spend so much time with my family at home. I have just been trying to cherish that because I know that when I’m older, I would hate to look back on this pandemic time and look at it as a lost opportunity as a person, as an individual, as a father, as a husband. Everyone’s life and situation is different, but for the situation that I’m in, I’d rather have that and that’s where the biggest source of joy and comfort and support has come from, has come from them.
Jeremy: I find myself when I feel like I should be working or something, my daughter will come up and give me a hug and just wants to be held by me. I’ll just put things aside, because I don’t know how much longer she’s going to want this, because I already have two other kids who don’t want to do that anymore. And I think I wouldn’t have realized that, I think, if I only had one kid. I think it’s because my older kids have progressed past that [crosstalk 00:42:39] and I’m like, “Oh.” And, I’m in the thick of it right now with the other two, with the younger two and I’m home.
Charan: How old are all of your kids?
Jeremy: Well, in the next two months they’ll be seven, five, three and one.
Charan: That’s good.
Jeremy: Outside of family though, watching movies brings me joy. I don’t really associate, I don’t hang out with people that much. One, because it’s a pandemic and two, because I’m just a dad. That ends a lot of that.
Charan: A lot of that stuff.
Jeremy: Yeah, I like smoking meat.
Charan: No one’s ever said that to bring them joy, but that’s fantastic.
Jeremy: It’s just one of those things. It’s different every time.
Charan: Yeah, absolutely. It’s interesting you’re talking about family. When I was a kid, my dad always wanted me to go play tennis with him because he loved tennis, and I hated it. I was like, “Dad, this is the worst. I hate this sport so much.” My hands were so small and I couldn’t hold the racket properly. Everything I would hit was out. It’s my favorite sport now. I love tennis so much.
Jeremy: Does it remind you of your dad every time?
Charan: Well, we play all the time.
Jeremy: Oh, you play it together.
Charan: We do. So we go and we play and it’s just been really nice, because now we’ve gotten to a point where I can actually hit, and he’s quite a bit older and he can’t move like he used to, so when I hit with him, it’s never a really, really thrilling or engaging game. We can barely even get rallies going, but that’s not the point. The point is that’s our thing. That’s our thing to get us out there and to go do some fun stuff. Especially during the pandemic he’s been overly cautious, but we still try to get out and play, and I didn’t realize … again, going back to stuff that we hated, but now it’s so great. The thing that I hated actually ended up being the thing that bonds us. So it’s great you’re having those moments and able to spend time with your family and all those things. That is awesome.
Jeremy: Yeah, I always say they’ll be plenty of time to make dumb things, but I only get about 18 years with my kids.
Charan: With these little kiddos.
Jeremy: I mean, hopefully beyond that and everything.
Charan: Sure, sure. It’s funny, I don’t have my own kids, but my sister had a baby and he’s just a little over one, and oh my gosh, he is so fun. Just seeing him and seeing his eyes, and his smile when he sees me, it’s like how does he know? How does he know he’s got that personality? How does he know? It’s amazing. It’s so unbelievable.
Jeremy: Yeah, kids are great in how different they are and how … I don’t know, kids are like what a perfect adult would be if they had a functionality of an adult.
Charan: That’s awesome.
Jeremy: They just love and they’re great.
Jeremy Warner’s Advice to His Younger Self
Charan: They’re without guile, man. It’s amazing. So last question, Jeremy. If you could go back in time and talk to your 18-year-old self, what would you tell that boy?
Jeremy: I would just tell him just … I don’t know. If I was 18 and I met me now, I don’t think I would believe any of it.
Charan: Really? In a bad way or in a good way?
Jeremy: I don’t know. Both, the good and the bad. I don’t know, I don’t be like, “Eh.” I would probably just say, “Just do your best.” My motto is “do your best” and don’t be the reason it sucks, because you’re always going to be a part of something. As long as you lift where you stand, things will be good. Or at least you can just have it on your conscious and your mind that you really did what you could. I would also probably tell him, “Buy Bitcoin.”
Charan: Oh, dang it. Yeah, I would definitely tell my younger self, “Buy that.”
Jeremy: But at the same time, I don’t know. I might tell him to just … I would definitely tell my younger self to stay for the Beastie Boys. I left a concert once, and the Beastie Boys were there and I left to go eat at a Perkins ,and they locked the doors right when I got there ,and I realized, “Oh, I missed the Beastie Boys for this.” And then Adam Yauch died and I was like, “I’m never going to see them.”
Charan: Oh, man.
Jeremy: Just stay for it.
Charan: Stay for the Beastie Boys.
Jeremy: Yeah, see it through.
Charan: See it through.
Jeremy: It’s one thing if it’s like, “Oh man, you weren’t even there.” But if you were there and you left, it’s another thing.
Charan: That’s another thing. Right.
Jeremy: Probably not very good advice for an 18-year-old but …
Charan: It’s great advice for [crosstalk 00:48:36]. It’s awesome. No, that’s awesome, man. I mean, here’s the thing. I have definitely enjoyed our friendship and I’ve loved seeing you grow up. It’s not like we hang out all the time, but we get to get little glimpses of each others’ lives and see where it’s at. I was in LA, you were here. You did Studio C, JK! Studios, directing movies.
Jeremy: And I attribute a lot of who I ended up becoming, and it helped me as a young adult when I was home from my mission and motivated me to go on a mission, was you and a lot of the older people in our apartment complex. You particularly were my home teacher and you helped me a lot, and you took me to get my wisdom teeth out. I really wouldn’t be where I am without you.
Charan: Oh, well, I don’t think that’s true at all.
Jeremy: Well, my life would have been a bit different had I never met you.
Charan: I really appreciate you saying that. It’s interesting because I was a kid, too, back then. How old are you now?
Jeremy: I’ll be 36 in July.
Charan: July. Okay, so I’m just four years older, I’m almost 40 and it’s interesting because we were just young kids. I was 22, 23 back then.
Jeremy: You were teaching Chinese at the MTC.
Charan: I was teaching Chinese at the MTC. Yup. And it’s interesting because even back then I had these desires to act, but I never thought I was going to do anything with it. I just thought this will just be a fun little hobby, and now here we are years later, this is our industry and this is what we’re doing. It’s so amazing to think of how life has turned out. I’m super grateful for it, and I think it stems from what you were saying earlier, which is my motto is I just wanted to do something fun that was creative and how it turned into where we’re at. It’s unbelievable when you look back.
Jeremy: So here’s to another 18 years of friendship.
Charan: Here’s to another 18 years of friendship.
Jeremy: When we’re in our 50s.
Charan: [crosstalk 00:50:50]. In our 50s, we can look back and think of what has happened.
Jeremy: Hopefully, good things.
Charan: Hopefully good things, man. Hopefully great things.
Jeremy: I mean, great things. I mean, great things have happened in the past 18 years but with the good, you’ll have your share of the downs but the old adage of “the bitter makes it sweet.” I don’t know if that’s a real thing people say.
Charan: I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s a real thing, but it does feel good when you say it. Awesome, man. Well, thanks again, Jeremy. I appreciate you hopping on to the Lemonade Stand podcast and chatting with me.
Jeremy: Yeah, thanks, man.
Charan: Take care.
Charan: Thanks so much for listening to the Lemonade Stand podcast, and we hope you enjoyed this episode. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you use to be alerted when we release new episodes. We’d also love to hear your feedback in the reviews, and if you or someone you know has an awesome Lemonade Stand story, please reach out to us on social media and let us know. Thanks so much and have a great day.