We are proud to kick off Oxygen52, our year-long celebration of women, with Megan Amram, who is widely known for her perfect Twitter jokes and her Chins-On-Fleek trademark avatar (see below). Am I right, or am I Amram?
After graduating from Harvard in 2010, Amram began unleashing razor-sharp, weirdo dark comedy on her Twitter account every day. By the time she moved to L.A. a few months later, she had already developed a large network—including other comics and writers—on the strength of her tweets alone. As her following grew and grew (it now exceeds 500K and counting) her renown earned her writing credits for Parks and Recreation, A.N.T. Farm, The 83rd Academy Awards, and Silicon Valley. She is the author of the comedy textbook Science for Her! as well as this hilarious essay in The New York Times. Incidentally, she's also made quite a few lists of "comedy people to watch," and it's easy to see why.
Career success aside, Amram happens to be a pretty cool dudette who gave me the goods on what it means to be a Twitter celebrity, and what she and Hannibal Lecter have in common. Bon Appetit!
Scout Durwood: First thing’s first! How did you become a twitter celebrity?
Megan Amram: I just tweeted jokes every day until people started to notice me. Also, this super hot picture of me couldn't have hurt.
SD: How did tweeting translate to a career in comedy writing?
Tweeting is a great way to practice writing jokes, but there is so much more to comedy writing than just jokes. Jokes are a necessity, but you also have to learn how to write characters, to break a story, to keep coherence between episodes. I've learned more by being a TV writer than I ever could've on my own.
SD: Alright. If you're so smart, make me laugh in 140 characters or less!
Megan Amram: Um….well...wow this is way harder than i thought, to be honest it's pretty hard to think of a joke right here on the spot but how about t
SD: Well done! You nailed it. Your book is entitled Science for Her! I’m confused. Can women use regular science, or should we stick to science that specifically tailored for us?
MA: DEFINITELY stick to lady-science, or "sci-aunts." I wrote Science For Her! because I found normal, manly science textbooks to be too intense for my small, size-0 brain, and I found normal science textbook to have covers too heavy for my dainty, size-0/size-2-with-bloat hands.
SD: This year has been a big one for celebrities being exposed as monsters in their private lives. I won’t name names, but I think we all know what I’m talking about. As the comedy idol of many, do you have any dark secrets you are hiding that secretly make you a monster?
MA: I have this little embarrassing secret: My closet is filled with the skins of women I've murdered. But you should've seen the way they were dressed, they were asking for it.
SD: Let’s talk about your twitter avatar. It’s you making a pretty ridiculous face. What gives?
MA: If you set the attractiveness-bar really low, people have to compliment you on your looks when they meet you in person. I'm pretty much a genius. I'm actually applying to work at the Genius Bar based on this trick.
SD: Was it difficult to make the transition from social media fame to full blown comedy fame?
MA: Yes. I had to start showering at least every third day. Plus, now when I buy a sub sandy at Quizno's, the people making the sandies always stop me and say things like "ma'am you have to pay for your sandwich" and "stop sticking your fingers through the middles of the cookies or we're gonna call the cops."
SD: Mary, bury, screw: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Please explain your answer.
MA: Screw them all!! I am a real slut for electronic apps!!! ;-)
SD: What is your favorite emoji? Explain.
MA: Shrimp. Hands down. It can be used for anything, like the word "shalom." The shrimp emoji is the universal language.
SD: You’ve accomplished quite a lot in your career. I’m curious, what’s left on your bucket list?
MA: My dream of dreams is to write Broadway musicals. All of this Twitter and TV writing is just a day job.
SD: I understand you graduated from Harvard. It just so happens that my father dropped out of that prestigious institution because he said it was a stuck up “boys club” and that most of the students only got in because their parents are rich. Thoughts?
MA: Oh, I didn't GO there, I just worked as a maid/indentured servant! I tell people I went there, it's easier to explain.
SD: Fair point. My father was there in the 70’s. I’m sure plenty has changed since then. Back to jokes. What is your favorite joke you have ever written that no one else thinks is funny?
MA: Probably this one:I feel like it should be my magnum opus.
SD: If you had a magic genie lamp, but it only could grant wishes related to the comedy industry, what three wishes would you make?
MA: They would all be wishing for more seasons of The Comeback.
SD: And finally, please ask yourself one more question that you feel is particularly relevant to who you are and what you stand for as a comedian. Please choose a question that perfectly wraps up this article.
MA: Q: What is your name an anagram of? A: My name, Megan Amram, is an anagram of "Mme. Anagram." That's somehow important.
SD: What are you working on now? Anything awesome?
MA: Just finished writing for Silicon Valley season three and started a 1,000 piece Thomas Kinkade jigsaw puzzle (Christmas cottage scene), so I'm doing great!
Follow Megan at @meganamram soon, and don't forget to check her out on Amy Poehler's Smart Girls in the meantime!