Jill Kargman is quite the comedian. She’s just wrapped season two of Bravo’s Odd Mom Out and is about to head off to the UK. Yesterday was deadline day with Emmy voters, and we managed to squeeze in ten minutes before midnight to talk Odd Mom Out and where her apt for comedy came from. London beware – Kargman is always on the lookout for new material…
Where do your comedy skills come from?
It’s pretty innate because my parents are hilarious. My mom is French and has a very witty, dry observational humor. My dad is a total ham. He did stand up during business school at Columbia. He’s a riot. I feel like his business career because aside from having natural business acumen. He used humor as a way to connect with people. He made work fun.
When did you realize you could turn this into a career?
For the last 20 years, I’ve been writing books that are comedies. It was a natural extension. I was an actress first in college. I was never going to pursue it because I thought the odds were crazy. It never occurred to me to go on auditions or try that. I wanted a job, so I went from college right into working with a magazine. The articles turned into TV work, which turned into books .Things seemed to grow organically into one another. The transition on to camera seemed natural as it was my first love.
How different is that for you now? You’ve transitioned from writing to delivering it.
It feels like one thing. People would ask if I was nervous. I wasn’t. I was always on stage in college, in TV it’s so much more challenging and something that feels so artistic. I love what we’re doing with the show. You get chances, if you screw it’s not the end of the world. It’s not nerve-wracking at all.
How do you get the great guest stars that you have?
I feel lucky. With the exception of Drew Barrymore who’s my sister-in-law, everybody was sent the script. I sent it to Drew too. She wasn’t just going to do anything. She really responded to it. With season one we were an unknown entity, and Bravo who are known for their unscripted productions, so people weren’t quite sure what we were going to be. So, it wasn’t an alluring hook for the TV community.
Now, it’s been proven and critically acclaimed, agents started pitching us on guest stars. It was interesting. When we threw the hook for season two, it was easier, and there was way more fish. Once something is a known entity and appreciated, I think everyone wants to be a part of it.
There are plenty of reality show about the rich wives, how did you manage to turn that into humor? Was it a deliberate choice to write it that way?
It started about not having the same affluence or trappings of a wealthy family. It’s so much more than that because in this season I go out of the Upper East Side a lot. I still feel awkward, even when I went to Brooklyn last season. It’s not just about money, it’s about fitting in. Even though mom is in the title, it’s about keeping up. It’s really relatable no matter where you live. The latest thing you have to see whether it’s Hamilton, or a a restaurant you can’t get into.
With social media, everyone you know is posting about something and you feel on the outskirts. It’s just my interpretation of that. A lot of the time, people say to me how much they relate to my character. It’s really about how you feel. It’s about how I felt at 28.
What were some highlights?
Working with Molly Ringwald was such a highlight because she’s such an icon and really represents what I looked up to in my childhood. I was so obsessed with her. It was very surreal for me, and I was pinching myself. All the guest stars I did that with, but her particularly. I feel like I spent the most time with her because when you see someone’s movie’s dozens of times through your life, it’s strange acting with them. We also did lots of fun locations this year too. We have an awesome locations department that managed to get some great places.
What lessons have you learnt from season two and growing as a film-maker?
I feel so much more that we hit our stride because we were given so much freedom. Bravo is an amazing network for us. In season one, I was a 39-year-old, a total unknown. There were checks and balances, and going over everything. Once they knew we had a following and they could see what the show had crystallized into, I got to be me more. It was almost like the balsamic reduction of myself. I felt I had a lot more freedom which made me a lot more creative. One of the writers wrote, let Jill be Jill and that was great. They said, she’s way more kookier, and you see that.
Odd Mom Out airs on Mondays at 10pm ET on Bravo.