cheap ray bans Comedian Jessi Klein Plays Not My Job

Comedian Jessi Klein Plays Not My Job

And now, the game where we invite on interesting people and try and hold their interest. Our guest, Jessi Klein is a comedienne you’ve seen on Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, most hilariously of all, CNBC. So my understanding is you are not like the typical comedian. You were not, like, the class clown in the fifth grade. You were not performing.

KLEIN: Oh, no, no, no. I was like a big nerd.

KLEIN: I wore big glasses and I was very shy.

SAGAL: Right. And it wasn’t until you were working at Comedy Central as, like, an executive.

SAGAL: Until you started performing.

KLEIN: Basically, I was always very interested in comedy, but I was much more sort of academic. And then, after college, loaded with my art history degree, I decided to go work at Comedy Central as a temp.

SAGAL: That makes perfect sense, actually.

KLEIN: Yeah, no, no, no, my parents were thrilled.

KLEIN: But, no, I was working for the talent department and I had to go see a lot of standup comedy to scout people. And basically the more standup comedy I saw, the more convinced I became that I couldn’t be as bad as the people I was seeing.

SAGAL: Right. You were like, my God, the bar is so low, I can simply step over it.

KLEIN: Yeah. If there’s a low goal.

KLEIN: I will try for that goal.

SAGAL: How did you then make the transition to performing? It’s not that easy, the standup.

KLEIN: You know, it’s actually I guess it’s easy if you have no dignity and your boyfriend just broke up with you and you have lots of time. And believe it or not, I had both of those things going for me.

TOM BODETT: Yeah, most people turn to Ben and Jerry’s when that happens.

KLEIN: I did. Oh believe me, there was a lot of Chunky Monkey being absolutely guzzled in my house at the time. But the very first time I did standup, I went to an open mike on the Lower East Side at a place that doesn’t exist anymore. And it was one of those open mikes that wasn’t really just for comedy.

KLEIN: By which I mean it was really more for people to, like, read poetry about their dads and cry.

KLEIN: Which was a lot of things. So I went and but they would do basically you could just go and you would pay them three dollars to go onstage.

KLEIN: Yeah, which gets into the whole "no dignity" thing.

SAGAL: Not only did you have to pay, but it was so cheap.

KLEIN: I know. Three dollars, it’s like exactly the right amount of money.

SAGAL: Come on, I’m worth bribing you at least a hundred. So tell me about that first. So you get out there, you’re going to do your what was your first act like?

KLEIN: Oh my God, it was so bad. It was very terrible. You know, most comedians go up onstage and maybe they have like a no buck, you know and a couple of like some words written down.

KLEIN: I had typed everything out, like, word for word.

SAGAL: Oh yeah. Are they proud of you now that you’re a confessional comedian?

KLEIN: Oh, they are just they are so proud that their daughter who went to Vassar College to get an art history degree now tells jokes on stages all around.

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