8 Comedians Who Started As Pages Or Interns
We all have to start somewhere, and somewhere is usually at the bottom. In the entertainment biz, the bottom looks something like this:
Working as a comedy intern or network page is the $18.50-an-hour job that just might give you the chance to ride in an elevator with Trevor Noah’s assistant. Sure, it might not sound like much, but a lot of today’s top comedy talents got their start doing just that. (Our big takeaway: If you want to make it big, intern for Conan.)
Pretty Much The Entire Office Cast
Ellie Kemper, Jon Krasinski, and Mindy Kaling all interned for late-night legend Conan O’Brien. “I was the worst intern that ever worked in the program,” Kaling admitted to Conan years later. “I wanted to work there not to photocopy things but to watch you. So I wouldn’t do the things I was hired to do. I would just follow you around.”
“I had a blast,” Krasinski told Conan in 2006, five years after his intern days. “My job was to hang backstage with you just before you went on. You’d run through some monologue jokes. I was laughing and laughing and you’d say ‘You think that’s funny? No, you don’t! All you kids do is smoke pot and go home and listen to Pearl Jam.’”
As for Kemper, she not only found a career but a life partner: She met her husband, comedy staffer Michael Koman, while she “was an old intern and he was a young writer.”
Meyers, who interned at Comedy Central, received a lousy review upon his exit interview. His bosses told him that he’d worked hard during the first half of his internship, but spent too much of the latter half watching Kids in the Hall.
Meyers admits: “They weren’t wrong.”
Before Plaza played an unmotivated intern on Parks and Rec, she was an actual unmotivated NBC page. Cackling Today Show hosts Hoda and Kathie Lee confronted Plaza about her legendary internship, which may have involved security escorting her out of the page program (an accusation she denies).
“We heard when you gave tours, you made up all kinds of facts,” alleged Kathie Lee. Plaza’s response?
“I like to lie. I get paid to lie. And it makes me happy.”
Plaza’s Parks costar got his start interning at The Onion. You’d think professional joke guy Aziz would have been whipping up funny headlines, but that wasn’t the case. “I just interned at the advertising department,” confesses Aziz, who was too shy to tell anyone he’d just started doing standup. “I just hung around and played foosball, pretty much.”
“It was a fun internship, but it wasn’t like I was in the writer’s room or anything like that. I was just going around and delivering checks and stuff.”
Related: 14 Jokes For The Hall Of Fame
The Sleepwalk With Me star posted about his internship on Instagram: