Sam Jay

5th July 2022

Sam Jay is a stand-up comedian. She’s been at it for more than a decade. In that time she starred in two comedy specials, was a writer on Saturday Night Live and co-created the sitcom Bust-Down on Peacock. The comedian is also the host of the HBO talk show PAUSE with Sam Jay. The program is a genre-breaking talk show that combines interviews, sketch comedy and real life conversations with some of Sam’s closest friends. Sam Jay talks about PAUSE, what it was like to start comedy a little later in life and so much more. Content warning: There is some references to sexual assault in this conversation. This interview also contains some explicit language and frank talk about sex that some listeners might be sensitive to.

Episode notes

(Photo: HBO)

Content warning: There is some references to sexual assault in this conversation. No graphic descriptions, just a few mentions of it. This interview also contains some explicit language and graphic, frank talk about sex that some listeners might be sensitive to.

Comedian Sam Jay was born in Atlanta, but she was raised in the Dorchester area of Boston, Massachusetts. As a young adult she moved back to her birthplace, and went to school in Atlanta. Sam lived there for about eight years before she went back to Boston. 

At 29, Sam was working in a mailroom in Boston unsatisfied with where her life was headed. It was there she decided to give stand-up comedy a try. Shortly after, she moved back to Atlanta yet again. This time Sam found her voice and grew her skills as a comedian. 

In the decade since Sam embarked on her comedy career she’s starred in two comedy specials, was a writer on Saturday Night Live and co-created the sitcom Bust-Down on Peacock. 

She’s also the host of the genre-bending HBO talk show PAUSE with Sam Jay.

Each episode usually starts at Sam’s apartment (Or, at least, a set that looks like Sam’s apartment). She’s hosting a party, hanging out with her pals. Often over drinks, they discuss a tough topic. Usually something that’s close to home for Sam: queerness, intersectionality, prison, fidelity.

Those casual conversations are interspersed with an interview. Usually something a bit more serious, and there’s often a sketch thrown in. 

Sam Jay talks about her groundbreaking show PAUSE, what it was like to start comedy a little later in life, how that affected her trajectory as a comedian and so much more. 

In this episode...

Producer
Associate Producer
Maximum Fun Producer
Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Guests

  • Sam Jay

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

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Producer

Associate Producer

Maximum Fun Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

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