EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
with catie lazarus
EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH with Catie Lazarus is the only, objectively speaking, fun and fascinating talk show about work. We spend most of our time working, so what does it take to (mainly) love what you do? How do even the most gifted, talented, intelligent, ambitious, disciplined, imaginative, inventive, lucky, and plucky develop their point of view, find meaning, serve a greater good, deal with work place politics, rejection, finances, boredom, red tape, logistics, and creative roadblocks? What are the perks or enjoyable about forging your own path? Catie Lazarus and her guests delve into beauty, banality and absurdity of work, jobs, and labor.
After hosting a hit weekly show for three years at Comix and then Ars Nova, the 92nd St Y asked Catie Lazarus what she wanted to do next? Lazarus wanted to write for TV, but after stomaching a few too many rejections, she started asking people who she admired how they not only broke in, but sustained a career. She decided to share her interviews, which, unlike other talk shows, were never canned, contrived or promos. With a background in psychology, journalism and comedy she wanted the guests to be engaged, as much as the audience. She created an original and vital, but also fun, funny and fascinating space, where everyone wanted to be, as alumnus Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote: "in the room where it happened." Employee of the Month was the only late night talk show, at the time, hosted by a female, and one which made interviews the heart of the show. From the get go, Employee of the Month developed a following.
Want more history? Lazarus debuted Employee of the Month at the 92nd St Y in 2009, before heading to Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, where she'd performed for years. For four beloved years, Employee of the Month ran as a monthly show, and she added a weekly podcast to share her interviews with folks who could not see it live. She then brought Employee of the Month closer to her home, at The Bell House in Brooklyn, before a three-year monthly residency at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater in New York City. In 2018, Catie Lazarus ventured out into the world hosting Employee of the Month at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Gramercy Theater, Abrons Arts Center & Largo at the Coronet in l.A.. She also teamed up with Slate.
So wait it is a podcast and a live show? Yup. The weekly podcast offers this intimate lens with in-depth and extended conversations, featuring one-on-one interviews as well as music and conversations from the live recordings. So then why do people even go see it live? It is, objectively speaking, super duper fun. See for yourself what it is like to catch sublime conversations and performances from musical guests like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Martha Wainwright, Patti LuPone & Tituss Burgess, Maya Rudolph & Gretchen Leiberum, Chris Jackson, Emel Mathlouthi, Daveed Diggs, Laura Benanti, Reggie Watts, Mitski, James Monroe-Iglehart, Bodies Be Rivers, Binky Griptite, Inyang Bassey, Big Thief, Okkervil River, Diane Birch, Sharon Van Etten, Edie Falco & Stephen Wallem, Taylor Mac, Arthur Lewis & Sarah Kay, Bradley Whitford, Bobby Cannavale, Michael McKean, Alex Borstein, Keegan Michael Key, Lady Rizo, Bridget Everett, and Mr. Lee Fields.
Each live show, Lazarus is always joined by Employee Of The Month’s fabulous house band. Led by her intern beatboxer Chris Shockwave Sullivan and her intern's intern MC Andrew “Jelly D.” Bancroft, both of FreeStyle Love Supreme, these two wonders are joined by Eric Biondo (Antibalas) as well as guest musicians such including: Rob Jost (Antibalas, Dear Evan Hansen), Justin Carroll (Moondrunk), Jordan Katz (De La Soul, Indigo Girls), Arthur Lewis (FreeStyle Love Supreme), Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, Clipping), Jared Dixon (In the Heights), Adam Busch (Common Rotation, Dan Berns), Grey McMurray (Knights on Earth), Eric Kufs (Indigo Girls), Camille Harris, Yair Evnine (Waitress), Ashley Perez Flanagan (Great Comet), Homer Steinweiss (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Amy Winehouse), and Smoota (Gong Show, TV on the Radio). There are often live drawings from illustrators such as Michael Arthur, Mike Hollingsworth and Ella Trujillo. Each live show culminates with a rap-up and Award Ceremony, where guests receive the coveted Employee of the Month Award, which falls, as most awards do, somewhere between a Nobel and a free cup of coffee.