Interview: Morgan Murphy

Morgan Murphy is a brazen lady comedian with cool experiences to share, and amazing bright red hair. Here, Megan Lent talks to her about her enviable career.

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April 25, 2014 | The Future | Print #3

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN FULL IN OUR 3RD PRINT ISSUE, THE FUTURE. TO PURCHASE A COPY, CLICK HERE.

 

Morgan Murphy is pretty damn impressive. Starting as a stand-up comedian in her late teens, she’s gone on to write for Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and now on the sitcom 2 Broke Girls. And all the while she’s been one of the coolest ladies in the business. Here, she talks to us about jokes, dreams, and diner coffee.

inconnu: Interviews are difficult, and you’re definitely the most successful person I’ve ever talked to. So, if you could ask a stranger anything, what would you want to know?

Morgan: I’d want to know who the 2nd most successful person you’ve ever talked to is.

What’s something that’s never not funny to you?

When a friend tells a true story about crapping their pants.

You have one of the best twitters. How do you decide whether something is tweet-worthy? Like I’m assuming you have great thoughts all the time, but how you do determine what to post?

I post most of the stuff I think of. It’s just throwing stuff against a wall and seeing what sticks.

What was it like starting in comedy as young as you did?

I didn’t feel young, but I felt new. I think a comic who starts at 18 isn’t gonna feel that different from a comic who starts at 28. The jitters and nervousness have much more to do with lack of standup experience than age.

Everyone at inconnu thinks you’re a totally boss bitch babe. Could you tell me just briefly how you got to be so rad? I’m talking about early influences, childhood heroes, magic powers. Any and all of that.

Haha. I have never been rad. I was a weird kid, didn’t have many friends as a teenager, and I moved around a lot as a kid (those are my magic powers). As far as influences go, when I was really young I watched any standup that was on TV. I was always fascinated by it. When I finally started doing it, I was lucky enough to make some good pals. If other comics had been mean to me when I first started, I don’t know if I would have had the guts to push through that.

You’ve been involved with working for multiple late-night shows. How did this happen?

I got hired to write on Crank Yankers when I was 21. Jimmy Kimmel knew me from that, and hired me on his talk show. I worked there two years and loved it. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next so I floated around for a couple years and then the Fallon offer came through my friend AD Miles, who they’d hired as the head writer. I stayed there two years as well. I’ve always had this two year mark where, no matter how fun or rewarding a job is, I want to go try something new.

How did you get to be where you are? I know this is a broad question, but you’ve done a lot and gotten to a really great place in a short amount of time, and it’s super impressive! 

Honestly, standup is probably how I got anywhere. I think I’ve gotten a lot of my writing work off my standup.  But everyone succeeds at different rates. I know people who have been doing this for 20 plus years and can’t catch a break, and I know people who became very successful very quickly.  I think I’m somewhere in the middle, and I’m cool with that.

Could you describe a typical day in a writers’ room?

It’s a lot of sitting and thinking…ideas fly around, some don’t work, some are pretty good, and then someone says the perfect thing, and the energy in the room changes. You just sit around a table all day and hope for lots of those moments.

Illustration by Ilenia M.

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