Josh Heller is a native Angeleno who has spent the last decade “working for the Internet” as a news editor, comedy producer, meme tracker, travel writer, and managing editor. He currently co-hosts a podcast about being Jew-ish and makes tons of dope beats. He lives in an East Hollywood studio apartment that was built in 1927.
1 piece of good news you’ve heard this week/end?
My friend just bought 4.5 acres of land on a secluded island in the Pacific Northwest.
Describe yourself in 2 words:
What do you do?
I am currently focused on 2 Jews Talking, a podcast I co-host with Erika Brooks Adickman. We compare notes on pop culture, gender, politics, & life, because we think that when you’re Jewish, everything you do comes out Jew-ish. I recently revived my beat-making career. I have a weekly show where people suggest samples that I make beats out of. I’ve also been composing music for other podcasts.
What don’t you do?
Commute to a cubicle.
Who / what is your spirit animal?
Okay so I realize it’s not quite a spirit animal, but I really identify with the buff cactus emoji (🌵) because he looks strong, fresh, and ready to seize the day!
Favorite childhood cartoon?
Muppet Babies. Dope theme song, and it always seemed so fun to hang out with those cute little Muppets. Fozzy Bear made me want to pursue a career in comedy.
What makes someone an Angeleno?
Being able to navigate different worlds within this city.
What do you love and hate most about living in LA?
I love our chaparral climate and the sweet smell of California sagebrush (AKA Cowboy Cologne.) Sometimes I wish there weren’t as many people living here.
How does the identity of your neighborhood tie into who you are?
I am not Thai or Armenian, but my neighborhood is. I’ve always been a traveler, so when I walk around the block it feels like I’m globetrotting. Oh yeah — yesterday the lady at the baklava store gave me THREE FREE BAKLAVAS!
First concert you ever attended?
My dad took me to Lollapalooza in 1995 at Irvine Meadows. His friend offered to introduce me to Courtney Love, but I got shy.
If life could resemble any song, it would be…
Who Let The Dogs Out — because for the last decade and a half, I have been working tirelessly to solve this mystery.
If you won the lottery tomorrow, what’s the first thing you would do?
I’d find a banquet hall to throw a really big party.
Your favorite Jewish tradition?
What was your Bar/Bat Mitzvah theme? (if applicable)
It was alternative rock-themed. Every table was named for a different CD. I made t-shirts for a fake band called The Babylonian Exiles, which came straight from my torah portion. Their logo was a mohawked happy face with X’d out eyes with text that said: “oy oy.” My grandma really appreciated it but I don’t think she got the punk rock subtext.
A piece of advice you would give 13 year old you?
Just keep doing your thing, man. Don’t let other people dissuade you.
What do you wish to be remembered for?
Bringing people together.
What would be your super power and why?
To be able to keep eating and never get full.
If you could invite anyone dead or alive to chat on your show, who and why?
I think it’d be cool to talk to Abbie Hoffman. He made the revolution look so fun and so cool. I’d probably ask him how his Jewish heritage played into his worldview.
A past trend that you wish would come back?
A sustainable business model for high-quality journalism.
What do you wish to be doing 5 years from now?
I’d love to be doing the same thing, “creating content on my own terms,” but have a larger audience! Oh I also hope to own land to start building my ranchito on.