Oxygen has been documenting the lives of six stand-up comedians in Los Angeles, living together and trying to make it in show business. But this isn’t The Real World. This is Funny Girls.
And now it can be told that the stars of Funny Girls, premiering 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, 2015, are Scout Durwood, Calise Hawkins, Yamaneika Saunders, Nicole Aimee Schreiber, Stephanie Simbari and Ester Steinberg. “These six multicultural, sassy women bring real, bold humor to the male-dominated comedy industry,” said Rod Aissa, Executive Vice President of Original Programming and Development, Oxygen Media. “Their courageous, risk-taking personalities and inspiring journeys to follow their true comedic passion in life will resonate with Oxygen’s young female audience.”
Funny Girls will follow these six women from day jobs to night gigs and everywhere in between, including guest appearances and mentoring opportunities from Margaret Cho, Bill Burr, Loni Love, Janeane Garofalo and Horatio Sanz.
Roll the clip!
Take a closer look at the women starring in Funny Girls. Individual bios provided by Oxygen.
Scout Durwood, also known as “Lady Scoutington,” is an acclaimed comedienne and cabaret singer who was recently named one of The Huffington Post’s “20 Burlesque Stars to Know,” Funny Not Slutty’s “10 Women Who Rock Comedy” and Stand Up Talk’s “Five Awesome Women’s Musical Comedy Acts.” Originally from Mission Hills, Kansas, Scout worked as a cabaret singer in New York City before heading to Los Angeles to pursue a career in mainstream comedy. As a stand-up comic, Scout has toured nationally and is known for her unique blend of storytelling, music and whimsy, spreading laughter and joy wherever she and her ukulele may roam. Scout is the author of four solo shows, including the one-woman musical, “Hi, How Can I Help You?” which debuted at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She is a Moth StorySLAM Champion whose work has been featured on MTV, “The Howard Stern Show” and “The Mindy Project.” Scout recently recorded her debut comedy EP which she hopes to release this spring.
Calise Hawkins is a comedian and writer who hails from Jersey City, New Jersey. Mother to her 8-year-old daughter, Asha, Calise has appeared on numerous television shows including “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell,” “Shortcoms,” “Stand Up in Stilettos” and “Parental Discretion.” As a writer, Calise’s work has appeared on several major television networks as well as the Whoopi Goldberg pilot, “Spoil Me Mad.” In 2012, Calise was part of the prestigious “Just For Laughs Montreal New Faces Showcase.” Calise has opened for such notable comedians as Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, Finesse Mitchell, J.B. Smoove, Jay Pharoah, Anthony Anderson and Damon Wayans. She can often be seen at Broadway Comedy Club, Greenwich Village Comedy Club and Stand Up New York. Calise’s style of comedy is painfully revealing and has been called “refreshingly honest.”
Yamaneika Saunders has been captivating audiences across the country with her dynamic stage presence for over a decade. Born and raised in Aberdeen, Maryland, Yamaneika has since tackled both the New York and Los Angeles comedy scenes by combining her high energy improv skills with a unique and vulnerable perspective on life. This combination forces her to go beyond the typical humor expected of stand-up comics and allows her to connect with audiences of all kinds. A recent semi-finalist on “Last Comic Standing” and cast member of Comedy Central’s “In Security,” Yamaneika has worked with many well-known comics from Paul Mooney to Caroline Rhea. Yamaneika says what everyone is thinking but is afraid to say out loud and describes her comedy as “in your face and aggressive,” especially during her weekly podcast, “Rantin’ and Ravin,’” produced by Stand Up NY Labs. She hopes that by sharing her personal truths on air and on stage, her comedy can be used as a ministry to bring comfort to others.
Nicole Aimee Schreiber grew up outside of Detroit with “a life of constant disappointment to her overachieving Jewish mother.” Despite being voted Class Clown for high school senior superlatives, Nicole did not pursue comedy immediately and graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Pre-Med and Art History. Nicole went on to work in international sales and marketing in the fashion industry before working in advertising, focusing on social media marketing. However, Nicole felt like something was missing, so she left her successful career and gravitated towards the world of acting, improv and standup comedy to satiate her need for knowledge, attention and rejection. Now a part time quirky café waitress by day and joke slinging comedian by night, Nicole writes jokes about her own life and how she feels about herself and others.
New York native Stephanie Simbari, a comic, actress and bonafide yogini, is making a name for herself from coast to coast. She can be seen performing regularly at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles and is currently opening for notable comedians Whitney Cummings and Ben Gleib. In 2013, Stephanie was a lead actress in “Coldwater,” an independent film that debuted at the South by Southwest Film Festival and also appeared in the indie thriller, “Liars All.” Stephanie is the co-creator of multiple sketches that appeared on “Last Call with Carson Daly” and co-hosted Glamour.com’s webseries “Why Do Guys: Comic-Con” in San Diego. Her comedy has been highlighted in LATFusa.com, Wildfang.com
Ester Steinberg, a comedy writer and performer based in Los Angeles, started her career performing stand-up on high school lunch tables in Tampa, Florida. While attending New York University, she took full advantage of the city’s thriving comedy scene and quickly became a regular at Caroline’s New Talent Night. Before long, she was touring nationwide. Now at the ripe age of 24, she writes and stars in “Becoming LA,” a web series showcasing her talent for sketch and improv through an array of crazy characters. Ester performs at the Laugh Factory, Comedy Store, Improv and has trained at the infamous Groundlings theater. She hosts her own monthly show at the Kibitz Room at Canter’s frequented by comedians such as Bill Burr, TJ Miller, and Natasha Leggero. Ester has been featured in Time Out New York and most recently performed at the prestigious Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland. Her style of comedy is smart and witty with immense energy, theatrical character act-outs and edgy one-liners.
Funny Girls is produced by Brownstone Entertainment with Jason Sands, Bob Gillan and Drew Brown serving as Executive Producers.