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Women in Comedy: The Material is Getting Better

More from Ora: Women in Comedy: The Material is Getting Better

'Teachers' stars talk difficulties facing women in comedy

Larry King NowMar 03 '17

Katie Colloton & Katie O'Brien — stars of TV Land's smash comedy 'Teachers' — discuss the added challenges they face as women in the world of comedy, and detail their recipe for success in the often male-dominated genre.

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Katie O’Brien: How it came about is we could not get cast in anything.

Kevin Pollak: I’ll say.

Katie O’Brien: We had, I must have been told a million times, please stop doing this.

Kevin Pollak: What entities are saying to you “please stop doing this?” My agent.

Katie O’Brien: My agent, my manager, my parents. No, no, everybody was very supportive. But, in Chicago we audition for everything and we couldn’t get in cast in anything, so –

Kevin Pollak: Same thing here by the way. Hundreds of auditions.

Katie O’Brien: You can’t. And so as women, and female comedians it’s really hard, because unless you fit this box, people don’t really know what to do with you. And so we kind of recognized this trend with all of our heroes like Amy Schumer, Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey – all created their own work.

Kevin Pollak: Yes.

Katie O’Brien: And then people were like, “oh that’s what you do. Now I know what to do with you.” And so as a…

Kevin Pollak: Be proactive.

Katie O’Brien: Be proactive.

Katy Colloton: That’s right.

Katie O’Brien: As a result, that’s really how the web series came about, was we couldn’t get involved in anything.

Katy Colloton: Right.

Kevin Pollak: Well let that be in the inspiration honestly and truly. Because that is something that every creative person out there can do.

Katie O’Brien: Yes.

Kevin Pollak: I have a potentially obnoxious motto which is “if you’re not creating you’re waiting.” And as artists we sit by the phone waiting for it to ring, or you get proactive not just in your life but in your work. And yeah.

Katie O’Brien: Yeah, that’s what we had to do.

Katy Colloton: Because it was. All of us wanted to – you know we were in Chicago and we wanted to do Second City, or we wanted to audition for ‘SNL’ and it was like none of it was happening. So,it was just out of, everyone keeps telling us no, so I just want to keep doing this, so...

Kevin Pollak: Broaden your reach.

Katy Colloton: The only way to keep doing this, was just to do it myself.

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