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Entries in Sara Schaefer (4)



Rose Surnow | Photo: Samuel M. Jayne

By: Meghan O'Keefe

Jessi Klein, Joe Mande, Andrea Rosen, Jared Logan and Sara Schaefer are five of our favorite funny people in New York.

We might love them even more now that we know that this Sunday they'll be coming together for a great cause -- "We Love You: A Benefit For Planned Parenthood." We spoke with the show's producer and host, Rose Surnow, about the serious politics of bringing so many hilarious people together.

Why do a comedy show to benefit Planned Parenthood?
Well, as you probably know, the Republicans in Congress submit a budget proposal that bans all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. This means that at a time when 46.6 million Americans have no health insurance, they want to cut an organization that provides free check-ups, STD and AIDS tests, medication, health care and family planning. It doesn't make any sense. Now, more than ever, we need to protect Planned Parenthood so that the millions of women without health care can continue to take care of their bodies.

So the comics you asked were into supporting the cause?
It's funny, I've been trying to get Jessi Klein on a show for a while, and I think this issue must be dear to her because she immediately responded that she would be involved. I'm lucky enough that I've been able to get all the other incredible comics on my shows before, so we already had a relationship. But generally, I think people are more willing to do shows if they are into the cause. It definitely makes it easier.

You've organized shows to support other political causes in the past. What do you think the relationship between comedy and politics is?
Well, I'm very political and I'd like to use whatever skills and resources I have to support causes I'm passionate about. Also, I'd like to make politics fun and engaging. Let's go out and see New York's best comics, have a blast and support something awesome -- a win-win!

Stand-up comedy is often an entertaining medium to speak up about things that can be subversive and highly political. Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor, Mort Sahl, George Carlin, Janeane Garofalo, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert are all hilarious comics who use their political beliefs to get laughs, but also to make people think more critically. That's the goal, you know?



Sara Schaefer | Photo: Scott MoranBy: Meghan O'Keefe

One of the many things that makes Late Night with Jimmy Fallon so fun to watch is how the show uses Internet culture to connect with its audience. As head blogger/researcher, Sara Schaefer is one of the people tasked with finding new ways to accomplish this.

In addition to her day job, Sara’s also a successful stand-up comic who was profiled last year as one of New York Magazine’s 10 Comics To Watch. I recently got the chance to talk to Sara about her experience at Late Night and her work as a stand-up comic.

How did you get your job as Head Blogger/Researcher at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon?
My first gig as a comedian was hosting a show for AOL, called The DL. From there, I was hired at, and then from there I got this job. I've always wanted to work on Late Night in some capacity. Back in the summer of 2008, I read an article about how Fallon was going to start on-line with digital shorts, and the show was going to place an emphasis on interactivity. I immediately thought: how do I help them with that? I knew I would be perfect for it. But I had no idea who to talk to. I asked around, and nobody seemed to have an answer, and after about a week, I kind of gave up on the idea. But then, a few months later, within the course of a single week, 3 different people told me that had recommended me for a job running the blog at Fallon.  Soon enough, I got a call for an interview. In other words, 'The Secret' works.

A lot of people imagine late night talk show writers huddled around a desk working on monologue jokes all day. How similar or different is your job to that?
Well, I'm not a monologue writer for the show, so I don't huddle around a desk writing monologue jokes all day. From what I can tell, there's not much huddling. More like sitting at computers in shared offices joking and talking through ideas. Not all the writers sit in one room, but they gather daily for meetings.

As far as the blog goes, we are a tight little group. We often huddle around a desk watching a viral video. That's the equivalent I suppose. We sit in an office with no windows, and including a couple other staff members, there's 7 people sharing one tiny space. We call it The Cave, and we have a lot of fun in here. I'm very involved in the day-to-day of the show production as well, attending the writers meetings and doing backstage invterviews with our guests almost every day. It's a crazy, fun, big-ass job that exhausts me, but it's worth every second.

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News of the World

--Earlier this week, Jon Glaser showed us how to feel comfortable in a ski mask during the summer. Tonight he'll be showing us how to feel comfortable inside another person's body -- he's hosting a preview screening at The UCBT of The Virginity Hit, a film produced by Funny or Die that comes out September 10th.

--The bell tolled for Sara Schaefer's weekly Bell House comedy show Get Off Your Knees. The venue reportedly no longer wanted to host stuff in the front of the space and last night was the final installment (pending relocation).

--The Awl is prepping to launch a comedy site soon called Splitsider; it's helmed by Adam Frucci, a former writer for Gizmodo and current UCB house team member.

--Does anyone remember The Norm Show? The preservationists at Shout Factory did and they're bringing the complete 3-season series to DVD next week.

--Snakes, the rap duo comprised of Billy Scafuri and Adam Lustick, are releasing their second CD next week and its called The Network Takeover. Here are some tracks.

Snakes - I Got a Dollar

Snakes - Where in the World is Snakes

--AND FINALLY:  In a matter that's as concerning as when 4-year old Shiloh Jolie Pitt turned to her parents and said, "I want to live and dress like a big burly man!" it's looking like Matt McCarthy's puppy is also refusing to follow the path laid out for it--the darn dog is camera shy!


The Honey Shot

Sara Schaefer | Photo: Anya Garrett

  • THE PLUG: Don't miss "Get Off Your Knees," happening TONIGHT @ 8:30PM at The Bell House (149 7th Street bw 2nd & 3rd Ave in Brooklyn) | Free
  • FEATURING: Michael Showalter (Michael & Michael Have Issues), Morgan Murphy (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon), Kumail Nanjiani (Letterman, Comedy Central), Jon Friedman (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon), and a special performance by Kirk Douglas (The Roots) and Mike Dicenzo (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon) and Owen Biddle (The Roots)

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