Catherine Cohen, a 27-year old comedian from Brooklyn, is truly a star on the rise.
Cohen made headlines with her Wednesday night show Cabernet Cabaret at Club Cumming in New York City and her funny and flirty podcast Seek Treatment, with friend and fellow comedian Pat Regan––which offers hilarious anecdotes and thoughtful advice on navigating relationships, sex, work and life in general.
Jerk sought treatment with Cohen and asked her some burning questions regarding college hook ups, the inevitable presence of social media in our lives and how to manage our daily mental breakdowns.
Here’s what she had to say:
Just a quick fast facts question: Where are you from, where did you grow up, where/when did you go to college?
I was born in NYC, raised in Houston, and went to Princeton.
What is one word that truly encompasses your comedy?
What made you want to do comedy? Did you realize this before, during, or after college?
When I moved to NYC after college, I got sick of sitting around waiting to be cast in something—comedy was a way to meet people and make my own work right away.
Who are some of your icons and inspirations (comedians or not)?
Cher, Kate Bush, Lena Dunham, Jenny Slate, Amy Schumer, Joni Mitchell…the list of powerful women goes on…
Some people describe their college experience as the time of their lives. Some people met their best friends in college, discovered their passions and partied uncontrollably. Other didn’t peak until post-graduation. Looking back, how would you describe your college experience?
I would describe my college experience as running around campus drunk and sobbing about boys!!! Wouldn’t change it for the world!!
How have the experiences you’ve had while in school influenced your comedy?
I learned how to fuck lol.
Your podcast, Seek Treatment, is a podcast about boys, sex, fucking, dating, and love. Of course, college boys are an entirely different breed of human, and navigating romantic relationships in college can be stressful and annoying. What is some advice you can give, and lessons you have learned, in regards to boys, sex, fucking, dating, and love while in college?
I have two gorgeous words of wisdom:
1. If you think he’s into to you…he’s into you.
2. People do what they want to do.
A major highlight of the podcast is when you ask your guests, “Who were you, who are you, and who do you want to be?” Looking back, who were you in college and what kind of person did your younger self want to be?
When I got to college I thought I knew exactly who I was—when I left? I had no idea! I want to be the kind of woman who knows how to blow-dry her hair…still working on it.
I personally can relate to your song, “Look at Me,” and the lyrics “Boys never wanted to kiss me / so now I do comedy,” truly hit close to home. What is your songwriting process, and when you write a new song, how much of it is drawn upon your own life and experiences?
Sadly, everything in my songs is a fully true personal experience…When something makes me laugh alone, I think, “Hmm…This should be a song!” I then take the lyrics to my friend Henry Koperski who is a genius pianist and we play around until we find something that makes us both laugh.
Your form of comedy is very performative and outgoing, and it comes across as so natural. Often times, it’s hard for college students to put themselves out there and be outgoing because we’re at an age where we constantly fear rejection, or we’re worried about what others would think of us. How can we move past this fear? Are there some moments when you feel this way too?
I’ve never felt insecure!!! Hahaha, can you imagine? I get nervous all the time—I just tell myself to try to enjoy my one life…No one else is going to put me out there so I simply must do it.
As college students, it’s easy for us to experience one minor inconvenience, like a bad grade or being ghosted by someone, and immediately think the world is ending. How can we work past that intense feeling of “the-world-is-crumbling-at-my-feet?” How do you get yourself through these moments of stress and panic?
I just tell myself that no feeling is final and one day I will be walking down the street listening to a bleepy bloopy song and the sun will hit my face and I will think, “Wow, life is amazing!!!!”
We are currently living in a major digital age where everyone is always updating each other on their lives, via Instagram or Twitter or Snapchat. This constant validation is even more prevalent in college environments. How do you navigate the inevitability of social media in our lives, and does it play a role in your comedy?
Social media has done so much for my career!! I am so lucky to have people reading/watching my work on Twitter and Instagram—the feedback really helps when it comes to developing a more fully formed live act. I’m addicted to my phone and it’s addicted to me!!!
Your approach to comedy is very fresh and easily accessible to the millennial/Generation-Z demographic, which—I think—is a stark contrast from many well-known comedians from the past. Do you think there is a new era of comedy on the rise, and do you see yourself as a part of it?
Hell yeah!! There will always be new, exciting stuff happening in NYC. I’ve met so many amazing, inspiring comedians here—particularly my closest friends & collaborators Mitra Jouhari, Patti Harrison, and Pat Regan.
What is some advice you would give to your freshly-20-year-old self?
And, what is some advice you would give to current college students, specifically those looking to be comedians, actors or entertainers?
Go to shows, meet people and hang out with them—that’s how the magic starts <3
Check out Cat Cohen at her following handles:
YouTube: Cat Cohen