Catie Lazarus Wiki – Biography
Catie Lazarus was a writer, storyteller and talk show host, and her full name is Catherine Simone Avnet Lazarus, has died. Lazarus was awarded “Best Comedy Writer” at the ECNY Awards and named one of New York’s “Top 100 New Yorkers. Theater Mania called her a “comedy darling and Lewis Black has described her as, “more brilliant than she’ll ever know.” Lazarus is best known as creator and host of the Employee of the Month show (EOTM), a monthly comedy show and podcast filmed live at Joe’s Pub in New York City where she interviews famous people about their jobs. EOTM has been called “beloved” by The New York Times, and “hilarious” and “ambitious” by BlackBook.
Born in Washington D.C., she attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
Lazarus is largely known for her presence in the comic scene in New York City, as well as her position as a podcast host for Employee of the Month, which has been running for 10 years, and featured Lazarus working as a bonafide talk show host, interviewing celebrities, politicians, and the like.
Her bio on the podcast website reads in part, “Between her insatiable curiosity and innate compassion, she may have been born, or, at least, bread to host a talk show and to interview folks. Her utterly unique background in psychology, journalism and comedy is why The New Yorker found that, ‘Lazarus gets people to open up in ways that others cannot.’”
Lazarus’s bio also reveals that her career as a comedian was literally determined by a chance run-in with Tina Fey.
The story goes:
“She was studying for her doctorate in clinical psychology— until she met Tina Fey. While researching Mean Girls, Tina Fey (alongside Jack McBrayer) taught a little improv to Catie and several others at an Empower Program event… Afterwards, Fey recommend Lazarus check out Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York… [Lazarus] dropped out of her doctoral studies, moved to New York, started taking improv classes, and hopped on a stage for the first time at Stand-Up New York, where she won a contest she hadn’t even entered. Lazarus landed on the cover page of a local paper and the rest is herstory. Lazarus lives in Brooklyn with her dog Lady Lazarus.”
Catie Lazarus Age
Catie Lazarus’s age is unknown.
Family & Siblings
Lazarus wrote about her late godfather Lenny Ross’ interview with Mike Wallace for The Daily Beast. She is a descendant of the Lazarus family, who built the first major department store chain and persuaded President Franklin D. Roosevelt to change the date of Thanksgiving. Her paternal great-grandfather Simon Lazarus was President of F. & R. Lazarus, which featured the first escalator, employee commissions, and price tag. Her maternal grandfather Lester Avnet was the CEO of Avnet Inc., and her uncle Jon Avnet is a movie producer. Her father Simon Lazarus III, served as a policy adviser to President Jimmy Carter and brother Ned Lazarus co-founded the Co-Existence Center for Seeds of Peace.
Lazarus dropped out of her doctoral studies to write comedy after an impromptu improv lesson from Tina Fey at an Empower Program conference in Washington, D.C. Three months later, Lazarus performed for the first time at Stand Up New York, where she won a contest. She then won another stand up contest at the Laugh Factory. She has performed storytelling at The Moth, The Rejection Show at The Bell House, RISK!, Story Collider, and Upright Citizens Brigade Theater’s Asscat.
Her first article was a spoof of The New York Times wedding section. Vitamin W described her animated pilot MYC as offering “more than a few good laughs. Her most autobiographical work, according to Tubefilter, is a puppet show. “We get a peek into the devilishly candid and inventive mind of the young performer with her first original series, The on Time Show with Petunia Van De Twirp.
She is also a talk show host. Lazarus has interviewed, hosted shows and moderated panels for Women in Film, Brooklyn Jewish Film Festival, 92nd Y, Writers Guild of America (WGA-East), and the Tribeca Film Festival. In 2004, she created and hosted “Stand for Peace,” a now annual comedy benefit for Seeds of Peace. She then produced and hosted the ECNY nominated comedy variety show “The Chosen One” at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater for Heeb Magazine, when she edited the magazine’s Kvetch section. In 2006, Comix opened in New York and the booker plucked Lazarus to host the first alternative comedy showcase to feature younger talent and alternative comedy. Fresh Meat ran at Comix weekly for three years and then at Ars Nova. In 2007 she began hosting on the Couch for Tango Mag.
In 2010, Lazarus started the talk show Employee of the Month, praised by The New Yorker for its “extremely notable” guests and Lazarus’ “decidedly unorthodox” interview style. It became a podcast in 2012. Lazarus hosts live taping at Upright Citizens Brigade in New York and Los Angeles, 92 Y, The Bell House, and Joe’s Pub. Lazarus has interviewed numerous comedians, musicians, journalists, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, and social activists. Notable guests include Gloria Steinem, Rosie Perez, Wallace Shawn, Martha Plimpton, Dick Cavett and Lewis Black.
After Jon Stewart announced his departure from The Daily Show, the first public comments he made about it were on Lazarus’ Employee of the Month show on February 19, 2015. He follows many of his Daily Show collaborators, including Aasif Mandvi, Dave Attell, Wyatt Cenac, Buck Henry, Mo Rocca, David Wain, and Lewis Black, as guests on the show; Lazarus herself appeared in the Daily Show in a sketch about a prequel to Hot Tub Time Machine. Stewart discussed some of his future plans, assuring fans that he was not retiring. Though he plans to spend more time with his family, he suggested that he would continue writing – he joked, “I’m going to be a featured blogger on The Huffington Post’” – and even that he could return to stand-up comedy.
Cause of Death
Catie Lazarus, the prolific New York-based writer, podcast host, and comedian, has died, according to a tweet from her friend Miriam Gottfeid.
Gottfried tweeted on Monday night, “Devastated to learn of the death of my friend
@catielazarus, a brilliant interviewer and host of Employee of the Month show, who bore terminal cancer with incredible grace for the past six years. May her memory be a blessing.”
Gottfried added in a subsequent tweet, “The nights I attended her show were among the best I’ve spent in NYC, especially the after parties where all of the guests mingled at the Library bar at the Public. I desperately miss that kind of NYC night, and I will always associate it with Catie.”
A cousin of Lazarus’s provided a little bit more information on the timing around her death. He wrote, “My cousin @catielazarus departed this world last night. At the end of this brutal year, my heart is broken. She was a bright light. RIP 😢”
Lazarus didn’t post publicly about her health struggles on social media. Her last Instagram post was on November 7, and showed her and a friend supporting the Biden/Harris presidential ticket.
Lazarus wrote, “In shock, I walked my dog and then saw a Rabbi blast the #shofar in honor of @repjohnlewis and #rbg, and @senschumer cheering “Go Home Donald Trump.” I am happy to send him masking tape for his move. bidenharris2020 #sanity”
In the wake of her death, the New York artist and comedian community in particular paid tribute to the loss of the comic at such a young age. Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted, “Catie was the funniest, kindest and sweetest. Grateful for every #EmployeeOfTheMonth show I got to see, she was never less than brilliant. Heartbroken for her friends and family and @offbookbeatbox & @arthurlewis, who played in her band and adored her. #RIP”