Former MTV star Sara Schaefer cracks jokes at the Kennedy Center

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Comedian Sara Schaefer, 35, could have lashed out when she got word last November that MTV would not renew “Nikki & Sara Live,” the late-night series she co-hosted with Nikki Glaser. Instead, she took to Tumblr and posted a poignant essay about one of her earliest comedic fails, a ill-conceived sketch about a German and a robot. “In both cases,” she wrote, “I dove headfirst into a world I barely understood, and I gave it my f—ing all.” This weekend, she’ll give her all during a free stand-up show at the Kennedy Center.

Odd Jobs

Before she went all-in as a comic, Schaefer worked as a financial analyst at a New York law firm, performing comedy on the side. In 2008, she got a job editing pop culture content on VH1’s Best Week Ever blog. The next year, she became head blogger for “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” where her work earned her a pair of Emmy awards. In 2011, she added to her résumé with a gig writing for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

Best Friends Forever

With “Nikki & Sara Live,” Schaefer and comedy partner Glaser gave tween culture a talk show, cracking jokes about pop stars and living out their dream of interviewing Justin Timberlake. The two were a natural pairing on TV, thanks to the rapport built on their hilarious, intimate (and currently on hiatus) podcast, “You Had to Be There,” which they record in Schaefer’s Brooklyn apartment.

Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW; Thu., 6 p.m., free; 202-467-4600. (Foggy Bottom)

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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