Ever wonder what it would be like to work with Chelsea Handler? The outspoken funny lady has proven that's she's one tough boss on her show, "After Lately," which goes behind-the-scenes of Handler's late-night talk show, "Chelsea Lately." Perhaps no one knows that better than Sarah Colonna, one of the show's writers and roundtable regular.
Breaking out of Handler's comedic posse, Colonna recently signed on with NBC to write, executive produce and star in a sitcom based on her upcoming book, Life As I Blow It: Tales of Love, Life & Sex ... Not Necessarily in that Order.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Colonna dished about her book, her new sitcom and what it's really like working with Chelsea Handler.
Your book, Life as I Blow It, is being released in February. What was that process like?
It's been a really fun process. I mean, I moved here from Arkansas, so I forgot I had all of these ridiculous stories about growing up in Arkansas and my family. That comes up in my standup too. It's like, 'Oh yeah, I forgot about that. I forgot my family runs a fire department.'
Yeah, a volunteer fire department. It's pretty cool. It's a great thing that they do, and then I turn around and make fun of them for it, so I'm sure they appreciate it.
Did you give them a little warning about the book? Is your dedication page going to begin with, "Sorry mom and dad..."?
I basically kiss their asses in it. I'm like, "Thank you for always supporting me ... I love you ... Bye ... Don't get mad!"
I feel like I've never met a single person from Arkansas.
I know, everyone always says that. I grew up in a tiny town, too -- about 1000 people. It's really great though: beautiful and tiny. My parents drive to the mailbox because it's so far away from their house. I go home for Christmas, and I'm there for about four days, and then I'm like, "Alright, let's get the hell out of here." I have a really good time, though, for the first four days. I think I'm just more of a beach girl.
I have to say, one of the reasons that I'm so excited to read it is because it was already picked up by NBC for a single-camera comedy script.
I've always wanted to do my own show, and setting it in Arkansas, in this small town, is something that you don't really see too much of on TV, so I think a lot of people can relate to it. In the book, I move to California, but in the show, the idea is that I never moved, and the character stayed in her small town and is now dealing with being in her mid-30s and stuck in this town. Everyone around her is married with children, but she doesn't necessarily want that, so it's very unapologetic. There's a couple more steps to go. I have to write the script until they decide, so hopefully, I'll write a really good pilot and they'll do it.
Was it always your intention to do a single-camera comedy?
I really like multi-camera shows. I enjoy watching them, but for my own sensibilities, I wanted it to feel real, especially since it's set in such a small town. I feel like with a single-camera, it just feels more natural. It should be a little rough around the edges, more grainy. I love "Modern Family" and "The Office." I think you get a little bit more freedom to have more fun and to be set in weirder places.
It's been a banner year for funny ladies. Female-driven comedies are striving at the moment. Does that add more pressure?
No, I think it's great. There's so much room for everyone. It's like, the more successful those shows are, the better chances I have. If people are responding to it, that's great. I love "New Girl" and Whitney [Cummings] is awesome. She's an amazing writer, and to have those two shows and be behind them like that... I don't know when she sleeps. The more successful all those shows are, the better.
Do you have any TV guilty pleasures?
I still watch "General Hospital." I can't stop watching it. I don't know what my problem is. I've watched it for years. Sometimes, I just fast-forward it, but I still watch it. I know that everyone else is watching reality, but I can't stop watching "General Hospital." I can't deal with the "Real Housewives." New Jersey was my favorite when it first started, with crazy Danielle and Teresa flipping tables. I was just obsessed. Someone almost punched somebody out every episode. It was amazing. Now, it's kind of changed. I like to turn on "Beverly Hills" and just look at their crazy faces and then turn it off.
What can we expect on the second season of "After Lately"?
It's just so fun because so many of the stories are based on things that have happened around here, like last season with Chelsea sending out terrible emails from your computer when you're not at it. You can't believe it would happen in real life, but it really did, and of course, we have a little bit more fun with them by the time we put them on the show. It really allows our personalities to be seen a little bit more than just joking around at the round table on "Chelsea Lately." We have a bunch of great guest stars this season too -- even more than last season.
I feel like it might be the most fun office ever.
It's definitely work, but it's also a lot of fun. There are things that are said in the meeting, and we'll laugh, and then we'll realize that we can't talk like that. It's so hard for me to survive in a normal, public situation now because I'll just say things and then be like, 'I can't say that word to somebody! I can't just come out and start talking about people's genitals or whatever the hell we're talking about in the morning meetings.' Just terrible things come out of people's mouths.
Life As I Blow It: Tales of Love, Life & Sex ... Not Necessarily in That Order hits bookshelves on Feb. 7, 2012. Want to know what it's really like to work for Chelsea Handler? Watch the video below.