Nancy wrote:Kristen has a great part on Modern Family tonight, playing the blind date of a guy she met online - Manny, the little kid. She's sporting a really different look for her, too.
Schaal got her first break when she was included in New York Magazineâ€™s â€œThe Ten Funniest New Yorkers Youâ€™ve Never Heard Ofâ€. Since that recognition, Schaal has achieved much more; she performed at the 2006 HBO US Comedy Arts Festival where she won â€œBest Alternative Comedianâ€. Schaal has also won the Andy Kaufman Award, for â€œBest Female Stand-Upâ€ at the 2006 Nightlife Awards in New York and â€œBest Female Stand Up Comedianâ€ at the 2007 ENCY Awards.
Schaal has also performed and written for television and films roles, including, a role as Mel in the Flight of the Concords, a writer and consultant for the Season 11 South Park, as well as, appearing on the Daily Show as the â€œSenior Womenâ€™s Issues Commentatorâ€.
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ARTS & EVENTS
Funny Girl: Kristen Schaal
KRISTEN SCHAAL MAY be most famous for playing superfan Mel on HBO's "Flight of the Conchords," but the Colorado native is surprisingly busy: In addition to appearing on "The Daily Show" and "Modern Family," she has spent years toiling on the stand-up and improv circuits, telling her oddball jokes to audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Between stints opening for Jemaine and Bret, she is currently headlining her own tour with comedy partner Kurt Braunohler.
Â» EXPRESS: Part of your stand-up routine seems to depend on twisting the audience's expectations for a joke. Can you tell me about writing toward that end?
Â» SCHAAL: To me, the most entertaining thing is to be surprised. The jokes that make me laugh the most are the ones that you think are going in one direction and then all of a sudden it's completely different. It just makes you think a different way. I don't know how I do it or if it works every time, but that's usually the goal. It shouldn't be too absurd, I think, is the trick.
Â» EXPRESS: In that regard, there's almost a parody of stand-up comedy built into your stand-up comedy.
Â» SCHAAL: I would agree with that. I spend a lot of time making fun of the art form of stand-up, or even making fun of the monologue. I just think it's so ridiculous sometimes. Stand-up can take itself too seriously, so it's fun to break it open to parody. I try to make my set a little more theatrical than regular stand-up.
Â» EXPRESS: How do you feel about "Flight of the Conchords" ending? Was that a surprise for you?
Â» SCHAAL: I felt like it was over when we were filming the second season, because during the first season there was a lot of talk about what we should do for the second season. But during the second season, there was really no mention of what should happen during the third season. So I got the vibe that this would be their last.
Â» EXPRESS: But you're all still touring together later this year.
Â» SCHAAL: It's exciting to be out with them for a couple of weeks. It'll be interesting to see how the live act will persevere after the show. I love to open for them. It's really a blast. But I'm not sure if this is their last one or the beginning of a new era of them touring live.
Â» Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington; with Kurt Braunohler, Fri. & Sat., April 9-10, 7:30 & 9:45 p.m., $20; 703-486-2345.
Written by Express contributor Stephen M. Deusner
Photo courtesy Avalon Management
Posted By Express at 12:00 AM on April 8, 2010
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