Andrea Savage On Her Comedy Show, I’m Sorry.
You’ve seen her work on the smash-hit Veep, but Andrea Savage now has her own show on truTV, I’m Sorry. Written, produced and starring Savage, the thirty-minute comedy is the comedy you should seek and watch. Funny, filthy and surprisingly real. She plays a mother, wife, comedy writer going through…life and situations. We have a character who actually loves her husband (Tom Everett Scott) and together they’re playing in situations we can all relate to. Seek out I’m Sorry if you’re after a fresh comedy with a great female character at its core handling motherhood and everything else. because it’s just so well-done and filled with belly-laughing brilliance.
I caught up with Savage hours after she had had Wisdom tooth extraction. Read our chat below and tune into truTV because the show has been renewed for a second season.
What I love about this show is that we haven’t seen anyone quite like her? How did you come up with a character who is so unique and bloody hilarious?
Creating the show was somewhat in reaction to what you’ve just said, “There’s nothing quite like it on TV.” I’ve been working for quite a while. I’m always working. At a certain age, all I was getting was mom roles and they all sucked. They were the typical married mom roles who were like, “Ugh, my husband…”, the mom was lazy and saying, “I hate my kids and I want to drink all day.” I thought I was a mother now, I’m still the same person that I was, I’m still a comedian and I have a lot of funny stories.
I looked at what Aziz was doing, I looked at what Louis was doing and thought that I wanted to do a show like that. I wanted to do a version of myself I could do the real story to my life that I know is funny and show a nuanced female character who happens to be a mom, who likes being a mom. You can’t put her in a box.
Talking about being a mom, the racist daughter episode was insanely hilarious. Where did that come from?
Most of those moments are because they’ve happened in real life. Honestly. That was something that happened and something I went through. I wondered why no one was talking about it. Apparently, every child goes through a horrible racist period, but no one talks about it. Mine was particularly horrifying to me, but also hilarious. I thought, “What are we doing here?” So, we mostly try to base them on a real source, and most are mine. The second season will look at other sources. The bigger the story, the more grounded and very straight, we play them.
What’s the change from season one to season two?
It’s an episodic show. We’re not a comedy in that way as how my character changes. My daughter in the show starts kindergarten and so there’s a general shift towards parenting that we see. Early parenting was trying to keep the kid alive. Later parenting is trying to teach them how to handle the outside world and teaching them about their body. Season two is about tackling these new areas we haven’t tackled before.
You’re taking on the writing and acting. What’s it like in the writer’s room?
I’m not going to sit here and say it’s easy and I can do it for twenty years. Any job you do that’s big has an impact on the family. I do little things like keeping the writer’s rooms hours reasonable. We run it from 9.30 to 5.00. We don’t write exterior night scenes so we never have to shoot at night. I also keep the production offices within a certain radius of my daughter’s school and little things like that.
The feeling in the writer’s room is awesome. We room write everything. Nothing is off the table. We get a lot done but the conversations that happen are all based on real stories so I know everything about every single one of them and they know everything about me. I know everything about their spouse and it’s amazing and it’s great when we actually meet the spouses. Every day in that writer’s room, we laugh until we cry over something.
On the subject of spouses, Tom is great to watch. You don’t make a mockery of the male spouse.
I am so sick of seeing every couple on TV who have been together a few years hate each other, put up with each other, or eye roll each other. They don’t seem to enjoy each other.
I’ve been with my husband now for twelve years and we still like each other. We still flirt. We don’t seemingly despise each other and that’s something I want to see on TV and I haven’t seen it. The show mimics a lot of my relationship and that was a conscious choice when I was creating the show and creating that role.
Another moment I loved was the five-second kiss scene. I love that the show never gets depressing on the viewer.
It’s again that point of view. Someone is getting through their life. It’s about the intrinsic stylings of that person. I’m not a dark person. I’m edgy and dirty, but I’m not dark. That’s the lens that everything has to go through. I don’t make fun of people and I’m not dark.
How supportive is the network of the show?
They’ve never said no. I didn’t know what truTV was when I sat down with them. It’s been so lovely. I’ve never had the freedom nor been listened to like I’ve been with truTV. If they do have a note on something, it’s truly a conversation. They’re not thrown off at all and they’re not worried at all about the material.
That must be great and liberating for you as a writer.
To get the exact show that’s in your brain and to get that support, that is something that never happens.
Surely, you lose the artist creativity when it becomes about No and making those changes.
It becomes a compromise. A compromise is never going to be as clear as one person leading a ship. It’ll be good, but it’ll never be a single vision.
Do you recall when your love for comedy began?
It happened when I was pretty young but I didn’t realize it. It wasn’t like I did something with my parents. I gravitated toward it. I remember loving Betty White. I was a big I Love Lucy fan, but there wasn’t a ton of women to be watching.
I did a lot of theater and I was really academic. It wasn’t until after college when I tried being an actor. I was in acting class with Chris Parnell who was in The Groundlings at the time. He said, I needed to audition and I went and I saw Jennifer Coolidge, she was doing a show and I thought I wanted to do that and it became my, “I want to do that” moment.
Honestly, without having done that class with Parnell, I don’t know if I would have honed directly into comedy. From there, I did stand up and improv and here we are.