June 2008


I was watching an SNL sketch on Hulu yesterday with a male co-worker when this exchange occured:

AMY POEHLER (ON SCREEN)

I made out with Kevin Parker and he told everyone I smelled like Doritos.

ME

Story of my life.

MALE CO-WORKER

I can see that.

Which got me thinking… I am kind of a mess. Here is a running tally of food/drink I’ve spilled on myself lately, and how long it took for me to notice:

1) Yellow mustard all over my lapel… 20 minutes

2) Plain oatmeal stuck on my nose… 30 minutes

3) Vanilla yogurt pretty much everywhere… 1 hour

4) Coors light on my lap… immediately

5) Shrimp empinada on my lap… immediately, but I still ate it (don’t hate, that shiz was expensive)

6) Popcorn down my shirt… this took a couple of minutes

Something needs to change.

Recently I wrote about lady comedians, and I wanted to revisit the subject…

There are five female comedians who I have looked up to for a very long time. These women are consistently creative, daring, and hilarious without comprimising the fact that they are a woman. Too many times girls feel like they have to be one of the guys, super slutty, or super vulgar in order to be successful in the comedy world, and my girls below show that you can be whatever or whoever you want, as long as you have the chops and drive to back it up. Enjoy… (they are alphabetical)

1) Liz Cackowski– Liz wrote for SNL for a very long time, and you might recognize her from Saving Sarah Marshall, Fat Guy Stuck in the Internet, or The Jeannie Tate Show. Pretty much any sketch you hear me talking about was written by Liz (like the Conda-lies-a-lot sketch, or the Black Eyed Peas Parody, or the Couple that Should be Divorced), and she taught me a lot about finding my voice. Her work tends to be goofy yet grounded, any vulgarity is justified, and it always has heart. I look forward to seeing where her talent takes her.

2) Tina Fey– I think everybody knows by now that Tina is amazing, but I’d like to try and add my two cents to the ongoing praise fest. Tina is not afraid of hard work. She gets an idea and she follows through with it. Half the battle in any creative field is actually doing the work and achieving a final product. As former head writer of SNL, current everything at 30 Rock, and lady in charge of two hit movies, (all while having a baby at home) Tina is a constant inspiration to stay away from the always tempting procrastination station. She also brought ladies back to the Weekend Update desk, which is something I will always be grateful for.

3) Paula Pell– A lesser known SNL writer that deserves a whole bunch of attention… Paula was an unofficial head writer at SNL for a while (I think), and still is on the forefront of the writing staff. She has a hand in almost all the sketches that make it to air, bringing her sharp wit and seasoned eye to the writers table. Paula has made cameos on 30 Rock and Conan, and she is someone that all these other women I am writing about admire and respect.

4) Amy Poehler– We all know and love Amy at this point, present company included. Amy is the reason I decided to pursue comedy. Watching her in the Caitlin sketches (and everywhere after) made that “thing” click in me where I knew what I was supposed to do. She brings such confidence to each character she plays, and even when she is playing herself you can see that she doesn’t hold anything back. Amy has that something special that you can’t put your finger on. She also is a founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade, bringing longform comedy to New York City, and giving countless people a place to practice, master, and share their craft. You can see her almost every Sunday performing at UCB, and I urge you to go check it out.

5) Emily Spivey– It is logical to follow up Amy with Emily because she has written a lot of what you have seen Amy perform on SNL. Emily wrote a lot/most of the Caitlin sketches, in addition to that hilarious/almost too smart for its own good Sbarro sketch where the wind blows every time the door opens. I like Emily cause she isn’t afraid to go to crazytown, but always finds a way to keep stuff grounded.

Dear Readers,

It is really important in life to have a good friend, and I am lucky enough to have several. There is one however that I use the term “best” with Her name is Katie Cheek, and I want to take this time to tell you a little bit about her.

Right now, on a Thursday afternoon, for no particular reason, she is dressed up like this:

Yes, that is an authentic wig from the movie Hairspray, and yes her dress and glasses are from a vintage store, and the final yes goes to the fact that she put them all on just to spice up the day. This is kind of her whole personality in a nutshell, and I wouldn’t have my best friend be any other way.

Love,

Brianna

Every Wednesday, I post my sketch of the moment. For anybody who doesn’t know me, that is the sketch (usually from SNL) that I am watching repeatedly at any given time.

This week’s sketch:

Horatio Sanz and Will Ferrell: “I Just Died in your Arms Tonight”– SNL 

Sorry it’s so grainy, but whoever uploaded this wasn’t hip to the digital age. Regardless, this sketch is memorable for a couple of reasons. Both Horatio and Will commit like crazy, which makes the Cutting Crew song a perfect catch phrase and button to highlight their performances. The structure is a little ordinary and predictable, however the character work really keeps it going. It just goes to show that if you have strong characters with strong points of views, you don’t need to get too complicated. It is all about simplicity with this sketch.

 

I was reading The Apiary recently, and came across this picture of The Office’s writing staff. They are the cream of the comedy world crop right now. I respect and admire all of their work, and The Office continually sets the bar for quality comedic television. The only thing that grates my cheese is that according to this photo, there are only TWO lady writers. Surely we know that there are more than two female characters on the show, so why isn’t there more estrogen representin’ in the writers’ room?

Before I go any further, I am hoping that perhaps this picture is missing some writers, and those writers are of the XX Chromosome variety. I also want to state for the record that The Office’s female characters are some of the best treated on television, however I am still disappointed in the lack of ladies.

I know the Vanity Fair article this year decided it liked women in comedy, and I read said article in full agreement. My opinion might be invalid though cause I like anyone in comedy… any type… any kind… except Carlos Mencia… he is lame, even when he is playing a woman. Regardless, I am baffled that Miss Guided starring the amazing Judy Greer was cancelled and that Samantha Who isn’t getting more attention. These are two examples (30 Rock being the obvious third) of quality “sitcoms” worth watching carried and written by lots of women. I also want to give Jane Espenson a shout out. Jane was a principle writer on Buffy and Angel and now works her magic at Battlestar Galactica.

I guess I just want you to prove me wrong Office. Show me that you DO have more women writers, because for every person like me who knows and believes that gender only mildly affects comedy, there are a hundred other dummies with a world’s best boss mug who would disagree.

To everyone who made my Kiefer Sutherland birthday weekend so special, I want to say a big thank you! You all are my favs.

Kisses,

Brianna “now 24” Jacobson

Come join us tonight at my second annual Karaoke Birthday. If you know where and when it is, great! If you don’t, ask me, and then you will. See you bear!

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