JANN KARAM – Standup, Writer, Actor, Director Winsome comic’s comic Jann Karam – whose blithe and incisive standup work has long brightened national television screens and top-tier comedy stages – found her comedy career footing while attending Arizona State University performing in an improv group and regularly turning up on open mic nights at Macayo’s Mexican Food Restaurant in Scottsdale. She was paid one chimichanga per joke. After developing her act (and gaining 13 pounds), she moved to New York City, where she began working as a professional comedian. Her numerous TV credits — stand up performances and series acting roles — include repeat appearances on both The Tonight Show and The Late Show with David Letterman, HBO’s legendary 13th Annual Young Comedians’ Show, How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life), Comics Unleashed, The Arsenio Hall Show, Norm, Mad About You, Politically Incorrect, Dr. Katz, and many others. She was a regular sketch player in the last incarnation of The Carol Burnett Show and, in the now-classic Seinfeld episode “The Switch,” Jann played Sandy (the one who never laughed)—rated #1 all-time inamorata by UPROXX in the 2014 feature, “A Very Important and Scientific Ranking of Jerry’s Girlfriends on ‘Seinfeld.’”
Jann’s critically acclaimed handpainted solo show, Reclining Nude on La Cienega (special intro by Dana Carvey), was recently produced and recorded for broadcast by legendary comedy icon and Laugh-In creator George Schlatter: https://youtu.be/vh3oIyMeB5U. As a filmmaker, her inimitably mischievous perspective is quite naturally enhanced in Under the Big Muu-Muu, Jann’s half-hour short that quirkily explores the universal agonies of seeking motherly approval. The Castle Rock Entertainment produced 35mm film earned multiple laurels on the festival circuit, as well as the deep admiration of the famously unsentimental Jerry Seinfeld: “Funny and original. If you have a mother, when you get to the end, you can’t not cry.”
As a stand-up comedian (“a woman blessed with looks, talent and the gift of restraint,” declared the LA Times early on), Jann headlines nationwide and regularly tours with Dana Carvey and, incidentally, just played a role in Dana’s latest film project. She’s released two successful comedy albums—Live at the Blue Loon and Same Guy, Different Shirt and taped her own documentary special, Beyond the Set, a jarringly intimate behind-the-scenes look at the emotional thrill-ride of stand-up comedy through her unique lens. In addition to theatre studies at Arizona State University (Jann graduated cum laude), she studied Improv at Chicago’s Second City with Del Close and was a longtime student of a renowned acting teacher, Sanford Meisner (himself) in both New York and L.A.
Jann’s latest single-camera half-hour pilot scripts include The Accidental Madam – Jann plays a struggling standup comedian (with national T.V. credits) whose fear of running into one of her many famous friends, like David Spade, while bartending at rich Hollywood parties, is quickly assuaged when her colleagues’ interests point toward, fortunately, dating one of Jann’s hot, female (and sometimes male) co-workers. Me & Tata is about a sweet, naive grandmotherly Syrian immigrant, Tata (based on her own Syrian-born grandmother), who, after making her way to L.A., inadvertently becomes the new roommate of Jann, a single (half-Syrian, half Lebanese, all-American) struggling actor/fitness teacher who lives modestly but with compassion and awareness (and two cats) in Koreatown.