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Julie Klausner of ‘Difficult People’ on Creativity

After several years of steadily building a reputation as a merciless and versatile comic—through onstage performances; her podcast, How Was Your Week?; her memoir, I Don’t Care About Your Band (Avery, 2010); and more— Julie Klausner (MFA 2007 Illustration as Visual Essay) broke big in 2015 with the debut of Difficult People, the sitcom she created and stars in on Hulu, the online TV network. Produced by Amy Poehler, the series stars Klausner and Billy Eichner (truTV’s Billy on the Street) as two struggling, pop culture-obsessed comics who rail bitterly (and impotently) against their anonymity, their dreary day jobs, their families ... the list goes on. The show is shot on location in New York City, with a supporting cast that includes Gabourey Sidibe ( Precious) and James Urbaniak (American Splendor); a murderers’ row of well-known comedians (including Rachel Dratch and Amy Sedaris) and New York-centric celebrities (such as Debbie Harry and local newscaster Rosanna Scotto) fill out the guest roles. The second season of Difficult People is now streaming on Hulu.

Meanwhile, Klausner continues to pursue new ventures. She is developing a pilot for a series starring rising comic Shannon DeVido, and she has optioned I Don’t Care About Your Band for a movie, which will, she hopes, feature herself playing the lead (i.e., herself). And though none of her projects have yet to involve her illustration skills, she doesn’t rule out something of the sort in the future. “Lately I’ve been doing stuff with clay, working with it in the writers’ room while we break story,” she says. “I feel like, if you’re creative, you’re creative. You don’t have to be limited to any one medium.”

A version of this article originally appeared in the spring 2016 issue of the Visual Arts Journal.

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