How ‘Teachers’ Finds the Fun in a Sometimes Thankless Job

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“Watch out, the Katydids are on the scene. Six improvisors from Chicago, all with names derived from Katherine (Caitlin Barlow, Katy Colloton, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O’Brien, and Katie Thomas) have released the second season of their hilarious TVLand comedy series Teachers. If you’ve ever worked as a teacher or sat in a classroom, the heightened personalities and antics of these elementary school teachers will feel frighteningly familiar. Executive produced by Alison Brie, the show is almost exclusively created by women. The writers, directors, and producers are mostly women which makes for some truly original plotlines. The Katydids take on breastfeeding, slut-shaming, girls in STEM, and sexism in politics. The show is hilarious, unique, and smart, providing an excellent reminder of why women should have greater representation in writers rooms. I talked to Katie O’Brien and Katy Colloton about the making of season two, the response from real life teachers, and bananas.”

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Dressing the Women in Blue

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Officer Pat Johnson with her child, in Los Angeles 1971. Cal Montney/Getty Images

“On a Friday afternoon in a small suburb of western Cleveland, Sergeant Tanya Sirl was finishing her shift when she spotted a burglary suspect on the run. Wearing her standard police uniform, she pursued the suspect on foot, leaping over a chain link fence in the process. She succeeded in detaining him, but not before ripping open the seam of her pants. “My pants got caught on the fence because the crotch was so low,” said Sgt. Sirl. “It ripped them from appetite to asshole. Everyone got to see my hot pink thong.” She made her way back to the station holding her pants together with one hand, and writing up her report with the other.”

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Wanda Sykes on Standup, Parenthood, and This Nightmare Election

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“In her dazzling new one-hour comedy special, What Happened…Ms. Sykes? airing tomorrow night on EPIX, comedian Wanda Sykes is quirky as ever. Though familiar in style, her new material on motherhood, aging, and breast cancer reflects how much life has changed since the days of The Chris Rock Show and Pootie Tang. Since quitting her job at the NSA in her thirties, she’s won Emmy awards, written a book, started a family, hosted the White House Correspondents dinner, advocated for the LGBT community, starred in her own late night talk show, and lifted millions of people up with her comedy. What a life! Ms. Sykes took some time to talk to me about her insights on work, love, politics, and parenthood.”

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A Look at Flight Attendant Uniforms Through History

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Braniff International Airways hostesses in uniforms by Emilio Pucci, 1965. Photo credit: Braniff International Public Relations Archives, History of Aviation Collection, UT-Dallas

“Before you fasten your seat belts and prepare for takeoff at San Francisco International Airport, stop by International Terminal Level 3 for the new Fashion in Flight exhibit. Over 70 airline uniforms are on display, dating from the pre-war 1930s to present day. If you think you would rather spend your pre-flight time at the gate listening to the blood pound in your ears and staring into the abyss, think again. The SFO Museum Fashion in Flight exhibit is on display for your entertainment from now until January 8th, 2017. Aviation Museum and Library hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily and the Main Hall galleries are always open. Why waste your time at the gate feasting on an overpriced airport sandwich and reapplying deodorant when you could dress up your brain with knowledge of flight attendant fashion? Enjoy the following preview of this San Francisco treat.”

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Creating All the Time with Kate Micucci

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“Mike Birbiglia’s new gem of a film, Don’t Think Twice, explores the relationships between members of Commune, a long-standing improv troupe. When the troupe’s theater is sold to Trump and a key member of the group garners a big gig on “Weekend Live”, the friends are forced to reassess their individual values and sense of identity. Kate Micucci of Garfunkel and Oates plays Allison, a peculiar improviser and illustrator. Although in real-life Micucci had no previous experience with improv, you wouldn’t know it from her relaxed, imaginative performance. I talked with Micucci about her creative spirit, knowing your own butt strength, and one particularly hard day.”

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Ana Gasteyer Gets Into Character in ‘Lady Dynamite’

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“Legendary SNL cast member Ana Gasteyer lives up to her reputation on the brilliant new Netflix streaming comedy Lady Dynamite, on which she plays talent agent Karen Grisham. Created by Arrested Development‘s Mitch Hurwitz and writer/producer Pam Brady, Lady Dynamite follows comedian Maria Bamford (playing a version of herself) as she struggles with mental illness and her career in Hollywood.

If you’ve ever met a talent agent in the flesh, you’ve probably met someone like Gasteyer’s Karen Grisham. She chatters at the speed of light, flatters with abandon, and is prone to deranged bouts of irrational anger. Saying so much crazy so quickly was a challenge, but Gasteyer makes it look easy. Be forewarned: the jokes land swiftly, so it can be difficult to catch all the funny over the sound of your own laughter.

I caught up with Gasteyer on Lady Dynamite, her jazzy musical act, and method acting at the guacamole table.”

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