If you’re a millennial woman, you’re used to trend pieces telling you how hard it is to be female. Eggs for Sale, a hilarious sketch show from Molly Cahen and Ariel Carlin, will help you recover from trend piece fatigue. The show explores Kim Kardashian, uptalk, “Bad Feminism,” and yes, selling your eggs. If you’re a fan of Inside Amy Schumer, snag tickets to Eggs for Sale at Upright Citizens Brigade New York. BUST talked to Molly Cahen and Ariel Karlin about the show and more.
There’s a sketch in the Eggs for Sale about listening to feminist music to get pumped up to perform the show. Do you have anything in real life that inspires you to be a strong woman, like a song or a quote?
AK: Well, we do, before the show, listen to "Ring Them Bells" by Liza Minnelli...
MC: We're both just really inspired by the Broadway fanfare of it, but also, the message of the song is she has to leave her apartment to go out and find what she really wants, and it turns out that what she wants was right next door the whole time, but she had to be adventurous and take some risks and put herself out there. It is that what she wants is a relationship with a man, but we sort of reimagine it to be our success and our creative outlet.
We will sometimes share that "Hey, did you see this person said this person said this in an interview," whether it's Amy Poehler taking something on, or another comedy icon or role model saying something that really resonates with us, we'll share that with each other to remind ourselves of what we're up to.
AK: I also like to watch the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where she gives that speech to all the other slayers and she's like, "Are you ready to be strong?". I find that very inspiring.
What are your feelings on Kim Kardashian? In the show you have a sketch portraying her really positively.
AK: I used to work at a website and I wrote a lot of articles, basically just clickbait, about what the Kardashians are up to, and I ended up having to wade through a lot of really toxic internet commentary about her. So we think of that sketch as criticizing a lot of the toxic and sexist ways that people discuss Kim Kardashian, and how crazy the whole conversation around her can be...
MC: Yeah, I would say we have both dabbled, Ariel much more [than I have], in the Kim Kardashian app and explored some of her media presence. But, I would say I don't have a super strong opinion about the Kardashians and I don't watch their show often or anything like that, but it does feel like people have this assumption that they're just these idiots who wouldn't possibly be in control of their public image, and that just seems so misguided considering how clearly they have a vision for what they're putting out there and how they want to craft their public persona.
I was pretty neutral on her and that sketch made me appreciate her and really change my mind about her.
MC: [We love that] that sketch is doing good work and entertaining people.
AK: We love when people come up to us after and are like, "Oh, that really made me learn something about the Kardashians."
MC: Yeah, and it's great, because it's also consistently the sketch that gets the biggest audience laughs and biggest audience response, so it's really cool to feel like the sketch that's hitting the top comedically is the one that people are taking away some more thoughtful experiences from.
My favorite sketch was the one about the feminist cheat day. Some of the purportedly unfeminist things you do in the sketch—calling fellow women bad names and flirting with a bartender to get drinks faster—are things all women definitely do. Do you think it’s important to let ourselves be “bad feminists” sometimes if we need to?
MC: Yeah, I mean, obviously in the sketch at a certain point we take it to a certain extreme that we wouldn't advocate for, and I think in our everyday lives, both of us tend to not give ourselves a ton of leeway or cheat day space when it comes to a lot of these things, so it was fun to write the sketch and see what it would be like. But I definitely think it's sort of in the same vein as the Kardashian idea. Some of this stuff is so intensely scrutinized and judged and sometimes it's not about good or bad feminism, it's what you want to say and do in the moment and letting yourself do that. The big one we talk about is, there used to be more Bachelor-watching references in the sketch... consuming media that isn't necessarily sending the best message but it's entertaining for other reasons. And allowing yourself to enjoy it for those reasons and pause the part of your brain that is saying this is terrible feminism.
Are there any female comedians at UCB or elsewhere that you think BUST readers should know about?
AK: One person who we're very inspired by is our director, Karin Hammerberg, who's a UCB writer and performer, and we were really excited to work with her because we really loved the show that she and Glenn Boozan did at UCB recently called This Is Going To Hurt. And we also love Chelsea Clarke, she's such a hilarious improviser.
MC: And we've both been taught by her and both had really positive experiences because there are a lot of amazing male comedians and male influences at the UCB, but when you get to have a teacher who's also this incredible improviser who can also be someone that you can relate to and see yourself moving in that direction, that's very cool.
Did you both take classes at UCB before Eggs for Sale?
AK: Yeah, we both went through the improv/sketch program at UCB.
What was the process like from first taking those classes to eventually Eggs for Sale put up at UCB?
MC: So the track is somewhat separate. Ariel took the classes earlier than I did, but basically, we met doing improv and knew that we were also interested in sketch writing and so we started putting together this show. And then the process for getting a running show at the theater is you submit the script to the artistic director and then she gives you a one-off audition slot called a Spank, and depending on how she feels about that performance, she will or will not give your show a run. So those were the steps involved in getting to that place. Technically, you can do that without classes, but it helps for them to know that you can write in the style that they teach and promote and for them to be familiar with your work in other settings.
See Eggs for Sale on 2/18 at 8pm, 3/3 at 8pm, and 3/24 at 8pm at UCB Chelsea.
Image Via Shark Party Media
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Madeline Raynor is a New York City-based writer. She is a Blog Editor at BUST. She has written for Splitsider, The Billfold, Death and Taxes, Mashable, Indiewire, and Time Out New York. She loves all things Tina Fey. Word to the wise: her first name is pronounced with a long “i,” like the red-haired girl from France. Follow her on Twitter @madelineraynor_.