Benji Weinstein Chats With ‘Shots’

Zoom Comedy Captures Modern Work Life

It is a truth universally acknowledged that there is a particular kind of awkward, loping etiquette to your average video meeting. Just ask Benji Weinstein, the director of the acclaimed Zoom sitcom Join Meeting.

Of course, the coronavirus pandemic changed our lives in a multitude of ways, but perhaps none as significant as forcing us to adapt to that weird little moment at the end of the Zoom call where you don’t know whether to hang up straight away, or do a half wave and that slightly dopey smile.

Weinstein, who has made his name as one of the most innovative and off-kilter directors working in commercials, mines such tiny, trembling moments of humanity to great effect over the course of Join Meeting’s two seasons.

Following an advertising team as they log on each morning and have halting, nuanced chats with each other – full of complex internal dynamics and slice-of-life comedy — the show has become a breakout hit. As Weinstein told Linda Codega of Shots, there’s already parties interested in turning it into a fully-fledged series.

But whatever happens with the future of Join Meeting, Weinstein remains committed to exploring the peculiarities of modern life with his winking, sly style.

“Comedy,” he told Codega, “isn’t an aegis. It can’t protect you. Comedy is about being brave and learning about each other. So often cancel culture is a buzzword, thrown around to discredit folks who are already in positions of power. 

“It’s rare that anyone who already has a huge audience is truly ‘canceled.’ The harm typically comes to the people who are telling hard truths. Bullying … is bullying. It’s usually only funny to other bullies.”

Read the full interview here.