She’s the creator of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, developer of Air America Radio, host of “Wake Up World” with Hope and Davis, a regular on The Ed Show on MSNBC, is currently writing her book of personal essays and supports tons of amazing causes. And has two rescue dogs named Buddy and Edie. She’s the ONE AND ONLY Lizz Winstead, who I was utterly humbled and totally honored to talk to (and completely doubled over in hysterics)!!! Here’s what’s going on in Lizz’s world right now…
Love and Water- Hi Lizz! I’m so excited to be talking to you! I’m a huge fan!!
Lizz Winstead- I’m so thrilled that you’re having me on your blog!
L&W- I’m thrilled that Norn Cutson put us in touch, and feel forever indebted to him.
LW- Norn is amazing.
L&W- So I have to ask you, as one of the creators of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, can you talk about how that show came to fruition?
LW- Jon and I had been friends for years- we used to do stand-up together. Jon had a show called The Jon Stewart Show, which I was a producer on. When Jon was asked to work on the David Letterman Show, Comedy Central asked myself and Madeleine Smithberg, another producer of The Jon Stewart show, to develop a daily show for their network. So we decided to call it The Daily Show, because we’re super original, and Jon wasn’t available to be the host so, Craig Kilborn hosted it for the first three years until Jon came back and took over.
L&W- Your current show on the web is “Wake Up World” with Hope and Davis, which is totally brilliant. Can you talk a little about it?
LW- Yes, Wake Up World is a webseries that was originally a live theater show that we did in New York Off-Broadway and then took it on the road to DC and Minneapolis. It’s a satire of morning shows. So we’re doing a giant Christmas extravaganza right now. Because as you know, when you watch morning shows and they talk about Christmas they just go on for hours. And it’s really just about Christmas. It’s like they could care less about the other types of holidays because Christmas is what brings in the most for the economy. Other religions should probably jump in more to see how they can contribute to the economic machine. I mean look at those Hindus- they want for nothing! What are they doing? How are they giving back to the economic machine? Peace? Peace does not keep the engine of capitalism going. So, anyway, we dubbed “Wake Up World” The Six Hour Morning Show, because it just seemed like we were going to have a 24 hour morning show at any moment. The Today show is four hours long- and I just don’t know what they have to say after four hours, aside from “does this bracelet make your butt look fat?” And Kathi Lee openly talking about her Cougar thoughts out loud. It’s a little creepy. So it just seemed ripe for parody.
L&W- So how long does the show really last?
LW- We’ve miraculously condensed The Six Hour Morning Show into an hour. We take you through some parodies and an encapsulated version of the six hours in the first half hour. And then I sit down as myself and interview someone in the news who I think is doing good work and we talk about what’s going on in the world and media. For this show coming up with have Greg Mitchell, who is the editor of Editor and Publisher Magazine, who is amazing. So he’s going to talk about the media’s role in 2009.
L&W- My favorite Wake Up World skit, aside from “Darfur Seasons,” which cracked me up to no end, is “freetorturereport.com,” because I love the “freecreditreport.com” song so much.
LW- How fun is that? Combining torture and the catchy credit song in your head- singing about torture walking down the street.
L&W- It’s pretty brilliant. You also have a podcast with Darbi, your partner on “Wake Up World,” right?
LW- Yes, it’s called “The Broad Cast,” because we’re broads, and it’s sort of a chicks-sitting-around-talking about the week’s news. So the two of us talk about life, and the news, and the stuff we care about. It’s our weekly wrap-up of comedy and fun. You can hear us at http://www.thebroadcast.us/ every week.
L&W- And you’re doing a huge show for New Year’s Eve in Minneapolis?
LW- Yes, a huge talk show/year in review with Ed Schultz from The Ed Show on MSNBC. It’s kind of like a crazy drunken Lizz Winstead version of the Dick Cavett show. It’s an all-out variety show.
L&W- You support many causes. Can you talk about some of them?
LW- I’m involved with any and all causes that have to do with women’s reproductive health. I started a stand-up for choice in Minneapolis a number of years ago for young med students, which gives them money so they can learn the abortion procedure. That is something very important to me, because a lot of times they don’t learn that procedure in school and have to go elsewhere to learn it. Which makes absolutely no sense to me. I’m also actively involved in the NRDC- I’ll do benefits for them. I fully support IAVA, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, which my friend Paul founded. It helps vets who are coming back from those two wars get their medical benefits and helps them get their lives on track, so it’s a truly amazing foundation. And any animal foundation, I’m all for.
L&W- What else are you working on right now?
LW- I’m writing a book right now of personal essays about my life and how I got my belief system going. It will come out in 2011. It’s been really fun to write.
L&W- What shows can we see you on right now? Are you on the Rachel Maddow show?
LW- I’m on The Ed Schultz show every Friday on MSNBC at 6:00. I haven’t been on the Rachel Maddow show, but she’s a dear friend. I met Rachel through a mutual friend when I was launching Air America Radio. We were looking for some talent, and a friend of mine recommended Rachel. We liked her demo and asked her if she wanted to come in, and she said, “how about in three hours?” and immediately hopped a bus from Western Massachusetts and we met. I immediately fell in love with everything about her. Everyone does. You occasionally meet people in your life who are wholly genuine, and that is Rachel. It’s just an incredible thing to have in your life because its such a rarity. She’s funny and smart and is a joy to work with. Working with her for a year on the radio was just amazing.
L&W- And you also know Norn Cutson, our most popular featured artist. (see Norn’s featured interview here: http://www.loveandwaterinternational.com/2009/11/artist-feature-norn-cutson-back-by.html) How do you two meet?
LW- Norn was a listener of the radio show I did with Rachel Maddow. We had a very active blog on our show, and I would blog throughout the show and communicate with my listeners and Norn and I had the carziest things in common. I would mention some off-color comment on the air about Grey Gardens or this soap opera that I watch, and Norn happened to have all the same weird tastes that I had. He’s kind of the boy version of me, so I thought we should meet, and we did and we became best, best friends. He’s one of my closest friends. And he did these wonderful drawings of my dogs. (Buddy and Edie begin to bark)
L&W- They know you’re talking about them!
LW- Yes they do.
L&W- Well I thank you so much for taking time to talk with me today, Lizz.
LW- Thank you for having me. I think what you’re doing with Love and Water is just great. What a great idea. We should have you on one of our podcasts to talk more about your company.
L&W- Thank you so much!! I would love that!
Watch “Wake Up World” here: http://shootthemessengernyc.com/
Get Tickets to “Wake Up World Christmas Special” here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/89749
Experience the Broadcast here: http://thebroadcast.us/