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Forward 50 2018

Abby Schachner

Coming Forward Is No Joke

It takes a lot of courage to be a performer and comedian. Illustrator and storyteller Abby Schachner may have more than most.

In November 2017, Schachner was one of five women to speak to The New York Times about Louis CK’s inappropriate sexual behavior. The choice to come forward about a phone call she had with CK in 2003 in which he acted inappropriately played a role in his subsequent confession to sexual misbehavior, as well as in his partial ostracization from the comedy community.

Schachner’s comedy often plays on her own fears and anxieties. She has written over a dozen solo shows including “Jew Must Be Crazy,” “Plate,” about eating disorders, and “Shadow Kissers,” about her fear of intimacy. She’s also been known to use events from her life as creative fuel. Her parent’s divorce, which allegedly involved her father Sheldon hiring a hit man to kill her mother (the attempt was unsuccessful), was the subject of her solo show “Schachner v. Schachner.”

“I was told never to talk about my life,” Schachner, a graduate of Wheaton College, a liberal arts school in Massachusetts, told the Wheaton Quarterly in 2016, “yet I wanted to slip it in almost everything without explanation, and some things warrant an explanation … if only for yourself.”

— PJ Grisar

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