Emmy award winning comedian and writer Sara Schaefer cut her comedy teeth online with her own show on AOL called The DL, before appearing on Comedy Central, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and making it on to the Huffington Post’s list of favourite female comedians. Now Sara is making her Edinburgh debut show Little White Box, we talked to her about comedy on the internet, coming to the UK and why she can’t pick her favourite funny women…
Funny Women: What is your show Little White Box about?
Sara Schaefer: Little White Box is a introspective yet silly look at my Christian upbringing and how it intertwines and complicates my identity as an American in this political climate, and how it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to live by your ideals as the world feels ever more complex and polarised. Also there is one poop joke.
FW: What does it mean to to you performing at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?
SS: Aside from having the opportunity to perform at such an amazing festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe means that I get to visit the UK for the first time in my life – something I’ve been wanting to do since I was a little girl.
FW: Have you noticed much difference between the UK and US comedy scenes for women?
SS: I’m not familiar with the UK comedy scene, but I got to meet and see some great acts at the Melbourne Comedy Festival last year – including Sara Pascoe, Felicity Ward, and more… I can’t wait to see everyone perform. I will say that if the UK comedy scene is anything like the US scene, it’s exploding with diverse female talent, as more and more people are letting go of their old stereotypes about women comedians. I hope that’s the case!
FW: We like to think so! A lot of your comedy has been for online content (two podcasts, blogging, the DL for AOL, Woman Online), do you think the internet has made comedy more accessible for women to get their work out there?
SS: I definitely think the internet has opened up more opportunity for all comedians – especially women. Before the internet, women had to manoeuvre through a more antiquated boys’ club system. Now, a female comedian can network, post videos, and promote and make sure more people see their work, outside of the traditional structures that used to limit them at times. One major development provided by social media is the ability for female comedians to communicate and really see that each other exists. When I first started out, there would be only one or two women comics on each show I did in New York City. We didn’t really know each other. Now, with social media, we’ve realised how many of us there are, and we are using Facebook, Twitter, etc. to support each other and foster community.
FW: Who are some of your favourite funny women?
SS: I get asked this a lot, and I always feel pressure to include everyone I know – I actually keep a complete list of as many female comedians as I can on my website. But right now I really am loving Tig Notaro, Sarah Silverman, Mae Martin, Nikki Glaser, Carmen Lynch, Aparna Nancherla, Desiree Burch, Mindy Raf, and so, so many I mean I hate answering this because I’m leaving out literal hundreds!
Sara Schaefer’s show Little White Box will be at The Pleasance Courtyard – That, for the month of August at the Edinburgh Festival. For tickets go to www.edfringe.com