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July 05, 2016

Joy Ride

Sarah Hirsch
  • Robyn Von Swank

For Christine Nangle, a writer-producer of Comedy Central's Inside Amy Schumer, discovering comedy was like "scratching an itch I didn't even know I was allowed to have.

"I never thought, 'I want to be a professional comedy writer,'" she says, "But now that I say it out loud years later, I realize that it's because I was trying to cushion myself for when I failed."

That prediction, of course, was spectacularly wrong.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Nangle started in comedy in her early 20s, when she landed a spot in a Pittsburgh improv group.

After moving to New York City, she enrolled in a training program at the famed improv troupe Upright Citizens Brigade. At one point, she shared a sketch class with future Saturday Night Live performer Abby Elliott, who would later recommend her for a writing job at the comedy institution. She got the gig and started at SNL in 2009.

In her first year there, she recalls, "I shared an office with Abby and Jessi Klein" — who would become head writer at Inside Amy Schumer — "a tiny, inhumanely small office for three people... with no windows."

Now the Schumer team — which Nangle joined in 2014 — is riding high. Nangle has twice been Emmy-nominated for writing, and the show has received two Emmys and a Peabody,

That Peabody win came, fittingly, in the most comedic of ways.

"There was an opening package," Nangle says of the awards ceremony, "with clips from all of these amazingly important, heartbreaking, groundbreaking stories. There was stuff about ISIS, the environment, war.... The clip they used from our show was of Amy turning to a bunch of guys at a bar and saying, 'I'm gonna go make some room,' and then leaving to go use the bathroom.

"You couldn't have written it better. It was the most beautiful way to knock us off of our high horse."

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