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Forward 50 2017

Julie Klausner

The Future of Comedy Is Deplorable

The future of comedy is definitely female. No one exemplifies this more than Julie Klausner, whose Hulu show “Difficult People” just finished its third season. The New Republic called the season “its most mature iteration of the show… [Difficult People] has finally found its groove and its glory zone.”

Before “Difficult People,” Klausner wrote two books, hosted the podcast “How Was Your Week?” and worked on a number of television shows. She is now the creator and head writer of “Difficult People,” which she stars in with comedian Billy Eichner.

The show is about two quick-witted, narcissistic comedians. But it’s not just the comedians who are deplorable. Everyone around them — from a churlish, transgendered 9/11 truther to Julie’s self-obsessed Jewish mother — is equally, disgracefully, self-involved.

The show is an amped-up version of a web series, featuring an embarrassment of celebrity cameos. It’s at its best when it’s speaking truth to two of its favorite targets: the entertainment industry, and Jewish American culture. The show is as scathing about Woody Allen’s misogyny as it is about Julie’s mother’s late-in-life bat mitzvah.

“I think the likable/unlikable philosophy is bullshit, because any character that’s funny is likable,” Klausner, 39, told Rolling Stone. “People want to hang out with a character that’s fun to watch, and that could be Hannibal Lecter.”

If Klausner is a Jewish female Hannibal Lecter with a sense of humor, we’ll take two.


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