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Dev Box Interview: The Jackie Button’s Creator Jackie “The Joke Man” Marling

Jackie The Joke Man Marling Dev Box

Normally in our Dev Box interviews we profile someone that worked on the development of a game, but this week we are making a departure from that on all fronts. This week we are going to feature one of the creative minds behind an iPhone App - “The Jackie Button.” While it isn’t exactly a game, it had to go through a very similar creative and production process at Bolt Creative (”Pocket God”) as most video games, and Jackie “The Joke Man” Marling was the driving creative force behind the App. You may know best for his work on The Howard Stern Show, but he published a number of books, and cds. We tweaked our standard Dev Box questions to try to get inside the head of one of the best known comics around. Find out what he had to say about his career and “The Jackie Button.”

Name: Jackie Martling
Title: The Joke Man
What You Do: Make people laugh.
Most Recent Game Worked On: The Jackie Button

1) What comedian most influenced you, and why?
My main influence was Rodney Dangerfield. His 1970’s Tonight Show appearances were appointment TV for me. No extra words, no potatoes & vegetables, just meat. Set-up, punchline…set-up, punchline. Fast & furious. Make them hurt.

2) What apps are you using most on your iPhone right now?
I love playing with “Pocket God,” and I love showing “The Jackie Button” to people. I’m really proud of it.

3) What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about joke development? Alternately, what has this project taught you about software development?
It always amazes me what some folks find offensive. And I never fail to be pleasantly surprised at how much people love jokes…clean, silly, dirty, whatever. I know everybody wants to & loves to laugh, especially nowadays. Letting go at a silly joke is fun & contagious and it thrills me that such a big percentage of people are willing to go there.

The only thing I’ve learned about software development, from talking to people and observing, is the only way to go is to work with the very best. And I do…Dave Cazz of Bolt Creative. He’s smart as hell, incredibly creative, has a wicked sense of humor, is inexhaustable, and he’s a great kisser. Man, did I get lucky.

4) What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
When I was four, my father put me on the hood of a car and told me to jump into his arms. I jumped, and as I jumped, he turned and walked away, and I fell to the ground in a heap.

He turned his head and said over his shoulder, “That’s how life is.”

5) What do you think is the biggest problem iPhones suffer from? Alternately, what is biggest problem comedians suffer from?
The biggest problem iPhones suffer from is that many of them don’t have a Jackie Button yet.

The biggest problem comedians suffer from is the lack of interesting interview questions.

Just kidding.

Most comedians are incredibly insecure people. But hopefully they’ll never get to the bottom of it, because then they’ll lose the drive to pursue whatever you call this silly path we’ve chosen.

I do know a lot of comedians are very worried that people are texting crappy stuff about them on their iPhones.


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