It’s one thing for Amy Schumer to have become redhot famous over the past 18 months, but lookee here – somebody actually has been smart enough to interview the head writer of Inside Amy Schumer. We’re all richer for this:
by John Williams
Jessi Klein is the head writer for “Inside Amy Schumer.” She has also written for “Saturday Night Live” and “Transparent,” and has performed as a stand-up comedian. Her book, “You’ll Grow Out of It” (July 12), is a series of autobiographical essays about her life, career and aversion to taking baths. In a recent email interview, Ms. Klein discussed the book. Edited excerpts from the conversation are below.
Do you remember how old you were the first time you wrote down a joke?
I was always interested in comedy and was obsessed with Groucho Marx when I was 9. In college I joined a sketch comedy group (as one does) and I wrote mostly terrible, dumb stuff, but I do remember the first time something I wrote got a big laugh onstage and how thrillingly powerful it felt. I thought, “Oh … maybe this is what hot girls feel like all the time.”
Do you prefer to collaborate with people?
I’ve always loved collaborating because writing alone is so profoundly lonely. TV writing in a group is the most fun because in that situation, writing turns into mostly talking, broken up by occasional snacking. The pure isolation of solo writing taps into different kinds of thoughts. Things that are buried deeper in the mud get unearthed.
Does it feel liberating to have your name alone attached to something like this book of essays?
It’s pretty straight-up terrifying.
Did you set out for these essays to have a common theme?
I started to recognize a theme after I’d been writing a little while, which was exploring how, throughout my life, I’d always felt like an outside observer to my own experience of growing into a woman. I was really excited when I realized I’d discovered a theme, because it felt very book-y to have one….