Friends of the People, TruTv’s new sketch comedy gem, is just what the doctor ordered. The show premiered in late October and is a breath of fresh air, boasting a cast of seven of the hottest comedians around. Kevin Barnett, Jennifer Bartels, Jermaine Fowler, Lil Rel Howery, The Lucas Bros., and Josh Rabinowitz come together each week to deliver hysterical skits that will remind you how overrated reality tv is. The combined talent of the authentic, multi-faceted cast makes each skit unique and exciting to watch. They are not afraid to take some risks, and hilarity ensues as a result.
CDL caught up with Friends of the People writer/producer Jennifer Bartels, who also stars on the show, and is the only woman in this group of talented comedians. We asked Jennifer to describe the show for those who may not have seen it yet. Jennifer tells us that the hit “moves very fast and explores lots of opinions and ideas.” This has helped the crew gain a bigger audience. Jennifer says the show is “a fresh new voice for TruTV. It truly is a breath of fresh air.”
She should know! Jennifer has done everything from live theatre in New York, to producing web-based series, to commercials, to films. She is most excited about her latest gig because of the freedom she and the others have with the creative process. She shares, “With this, it’s really cool because we have much more control. Even though there are lots of voices, [everyone’s] voice matters.”
We were intrigued by the thought of this dynamic cast meeting together to brainstorm idea, so we had to ask Jennifer for more details. Jennifer tells us the gang usually “get in a room together, pitch their ideas, and run with it.” She adds, “It isn’t easy. It is a lot of hard work,” when referring to remaining democratic with a group full of strong comedic voices, each with their unique ideas and opinions.
Personally, Jennifer uses a lot of observation to help develop the characters she plays. She watches people intently so that she can dive into a character and emulate qualities and characteristics of those she is trying to portray. While her counterparts bring more standup experience to the table, Jennifer brings her training and experience in improv and sketch to the group. In fact, the New York Daily News featured her as one of the Top Five Funniest Women! She hopes her new role serves as an inspiration to women in comedy as she demonstrates the importance of having a “strong, well-developed voice,” explaining that that is how to earn the respect of others.
Jennifer has a few role models of her own. We asked Jennifer who she looks to as inspiration. “The late Robin Williams. His death was one of the hardest things I experienced in my adult life,” sharing that she had the chance to work with him during a 30-minute improv.” She adds, “Chris Farley will always be very special to me. Of course Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball. They were strong and not afraid to be secure with their insecurities.” She also believes Lena Dunham is a big influence on young women and feels she is inspirational as well.
With such a busy schedule, it seems rare that Jennifer would have much free time. We asked her which shows she watches when she has some time off. “Reality TV is so wonderful and plastic. I love the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” she tells us, noting that she enjoys all of the Housewives franchise. Oddly, though, her main escape includes the news — Dateline, and Nightline to name a few. Jennifer laughs that her other favorite pastime is eating, sharing that, “I love to eat. I love to eat a lot of food.” How does she stay so fit, you ask? Well, by honing her hidden talent — channeling Beyonce when dancing in front of the mirror in the bathroom. Now THAT might be an idea for the show!
Jennifer shares that the cast of Friends of the People is truly like a family. They joke, tease, and support and respect each other as families do. Seeing the way the skits are played so seamlessly is proof that the group of seven are close and comfortable with one another.
Jennifer is so sure you’ll love the show, that she is offering CDL readers the chance to win a $250.00 Apple gift card! To enter, simply leave a blog comment about the show and follow the guidelines outlined in our Rafflecopter below.
Watch clips or a full episode of the show on the TruTV Website and leave a comment about your favorite cast member, favorite line, or what you think looks most interesting or funny about the show.
Don’t forget to check out Jennifer’s website, follow her on Twitter, and catch her on Facebook. And, of course, don’t forget to enter this exciting contest and tune in to this incredibly funny show on TruTV Tuesdays at 10PM.
How to Enter: See rules laid forth by our Rafflecopter below.
Prize: $250 Apple Gift Card (Dang, that’s a good-sexy prize, huh?). One (1) Winner.
Deadline: Please enter by Wednesday, 11:59 PM EST (however, we reserve the right to extend the contest should more entries be needed).
Eligibility: U.S. Residents Only.
Disclaimer: Celeb Dirty Laundry has not received any payment as a result of this giveaway. The prize has been provided by a third party; however, this party is in no way sponsoring, nor are they administering, this post. All opinions expressed – here and via social media platforms – are those solely of CDL.