Let's just get straight to the issue. The real real you're all here: to meet Molly McAleer. If you're unfamiliar with her work, check out THE ENTIRE INTERNET for a bottomless experience of all things Molls. Seriously, just cook a nice, low-cal lunch, make yourself comfortable and google her.
A blogger since she was very young, Molls co-founded HelloGiggles with Zooey Deschanel and Sophia Rossi in 2011. The site offers a positive online environment for women (and men! but mainly women) to get their latest news in pop culture, fashion, humor, work and love. Most importantly, readers can write their own content and get published on the site as contributors, creating a true community of talented young people who motivate and inspire each other every day.
Not only is she co-founder, but she's written a captivating and hilarious portfolio of articles you can find here. If you've ever had trouble articulating a random thought or observation, I promise Molls has probably done it for you in the most perfect way. (Take these for a spin: "The Only Times When Screaming Is Acceptable" and "20 Things I Vaguely Fear (With No Explanation)"). Be on the lookout for her ebook, too!
She's also currently sporting the latest Spring fashion hair trend (it's all about pastels, y'all) and wins my heart for being bolder and more Type B than I could ever be, even in my own dreams.
Molls. I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve spent the past 24 hours down a very real internet rabbit-hole absorbing all things Molly McAleer, and I fear I’ll never return to the physical world. There’s just so much to know about you, and I want to know EVERYTHING. I guess there’s not much I’d be willing to share that isn’t already online. I’m from Lexington, Massachusetts. I was raised by a single mom who cleaned houses and ran a catering business to make sure we lived in a town that had great schools. I went to Boston College, joined a sketch group, moved to LA, worked a lot, didn’t work a lot, struggled, figured things out, struggled some more, made some money, lost some money, found true love, a great dog and a best friend. That’s basically it.
Let’s start with the most recent turn of events in your life. You attended the Bieber Roast which airs on March 30th on Comedy Central. Do you realize my envy right now? Nothing would give me more pleasure than witnessing such an event. Tell me about the experience. The best word to describe the entire evening is “surreal.” We were sitting right up front and it was so bizarre to be that close to Bieber and Martha Stewart and Shaq. Pete Davidson and Natasha Leggero’s turns at the podium were definitely the highlights of the night.
You mentioned you grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts. What was your childhood like? Are you close with your family? I’m an only child who had a single mom. I spent a lot of time alone but I really liked it that way. I read a ton and was very into AOL Chatrooms. I had an unusally close relationship with my mother’s mother. I talk a lot about my relationship with my father (or lack thereof) in my upcoming ebook, “The Alcoholic Bitch Who Ruined Your Life”.
You’ve been blogging since you were 11 years old which blows my mind. There have to be links to your old sites that are still living out there that we can dig up. Any you can share with us? Never ever ever ever. I am so embarrassed to be alive.
You have a very natural talent for articulating your thoughts. What’s on your mind today? I’m home visiting my mom and my step dad, so food is on my mind. I’ve been pretty spiritually exhausted since finishing the ebook, it was a very emotional thing for me to write, and I just needed to come home and sit on my mom’s couch and let her feed me chicken dinners.
Your episode of Drunk History on Comedy Central fascinates me. It’s a video series that films highly intoxicated people (you) explaining true historical events. What was the experience like? It was the absolute best experience of my life.
Your boyfriend, actor/writer Derek Waters, is co-creator of the series, and you met during the filming of your episode. You’ve been together ever since. How did you two re-connect after your consequent hangover the next day? I remember waking up the day after filming and having to go to work and all I could think about was him. It took me by surprise because we’d met briefly a couple times prior to filming and I had no idea I was going to develop feelings for him so very quickly. I kinda just sat around for the entire week after we filmed hoping that he’d text me or call me and ask me out and he did five days later.
Probably even more incredible is your behind-the-scenes video “Molly McAleer Loves Mustard” which is an outtake from your Drunk History shoot where you’re unintelligibly explaining to Derek your intense passion for the condiment. I have to know: do you eat mustard by itself straight out of the jar? Not like I would with peanut butter, but I have been known to stick my finger in a jar of dijon and lick it, yeah.
You can literally SEE how charmed Derek was by you in that video, and he didn’t even know you that well yet. Does the video hold sentimental value now that you two are together? It’s the coolest thing ever. The first time we really hung out is captured on video. Like, who gets that lucky?
There is so much content out there that you’ve created, produced, starred in and written for. Are there any projects you’re still in love with that you’ve started and never completed? I wish I had the great fortune of having a failed pilot or something, but no. I have a few scripts I’ve written that I would love to rework and have made some day, but I’m not too precious about any one idea.
You co-founded HelloGiggles with Zooey Deschanel and Shopia Rossi, which is a website that cultivates positive and relatable content for women. It’s such a healthy place for young girls to consume media on the internet, and it also offers a platform for young female writers to have a voice. What does its impact mean to you? I wish that I had a site like HelloGiggles to turn to when I first started out. Offering a platform to people who are new to writing but passionate about it is something I’m really proud of. It gives writers/performers a chance to be seen alongside professionals and hopefully our contributors feel less alone or like they’re out there building from the ground up with no direction.
You wrote an article for HelloGiggles defending the acronym “LOL” which is a topic on which I firmly disagree with you. But I wanted you to know I respect your opinion, and the beauty of this world is that we can co-exist despite our different perspectives. Do you still feel strongly about the matter? I just think that anyone who cares about language “rules” has a stick up their ass, no offense. The beauty of communication is that it’s an ever evolving thing and it always has been. I still love “LOL”, yeah. It gets the point across, it’s polite, it’s less manic than “hahahahhahahaha.”
You used to be story editor for 2 Broke Girls on CBS. How is writing for television different from your past experiences? Do you find it to be easier or more difficult? Writing for TV is wildly different than sitting alone in your room blogging. In fact, it’s the complete opposite side of the spectrum. In my experience, TV was very collaborative and there are a lot of rules in terms of story and joke format that are not to be broken. Writing on 2 Broke Girls was a great experience for me because it taught me a type of structure and discipline I hadn’t previously been exposed to.
Your podcast, Plz Advise, is so amazing. First you start out with a stimulating 90s hip-hop track as an intro (really gets me going), then you give life advice to people who call into the show. How did you come up with the concept? First of all, total props to my producer Kristina Lopez who finds all of our intro remixes on SoundCloud. The Plz Advise pod is a spin-off of an advice column I used to write for ThisRecording. I don’t know, I really like to tell people what to do. I’m bossy. I love drama. I love feeling like I’ve helped someone or made them feel less alone. I like laughing with my guests and getting to hear different perspectives. It just seemed like an obvious move for me to start an advice pod.
You seem to be very genuine with your advice. Are you the go-to person when your friends need some motivational guidance? I definitely have played that role for a lot of people. I know that my friends have always considered me a mixture of a cheerleader and a realist. I kind of laugh when I listen to the podcast sometimes because I *do* take it so seriously. I mean, it’s a comedy advice podcast and I’m genuinely trying to tend to someone’s feelings. I’m kind of a softie and I might take myself a little bit too seriously sometimes.
Your career has really taken off over the past few years, and you’ve achieved success on so many different levels. What are your aspirations for the future? Really? I basically can’t pay my rent and I’m afraid my car is going to be repossessed so shout out to all the other people who have “made it” and are barely surviving. My aspirations for the future are to protect my heart and stay true to the reasons why I left my family and friends and moved to LA. I just want to make things that I’m proud of because I know that that’s the only way that meaningful success will remain.
What would you say to a young writer who is considering giving up on the industry? I’d tell them that they should give up because obviously it’s not their passion. This life is a sacrifice. If you’re not down for it, then get out and find a vocation.
What currently inspires you? Howard Stern, strangers on the Street, documentaries about passionate people.
I just googled "strangers on the street" thinking it was a TV show I somehow overlooked, but you literally mean people you've never met who are out and about in the world. You should follow @humansofny on Instagram, I think you would find their posts to be very moving. Who would play Molly McAleer in a biopic titled Molls You Gotta Do Is Laugh? Giovanni Ribisi. I’m a huge fan.
I am deeply, deeply obsessed with dogs. Let’s be real about it, I like dogs more than I like people (sorry, people). Tell me about your pup, Wagandstuff. Where did you come up with the name? Do you let him sleep in your bed? Wagandstuff’s name was a fluke. It just kind of came out one morning (maybe the second week of owning him--for two weeks I just called him “boo boo”) and I thought, “Yeah, that sounds right.” He used to sleep in bed with me but it became a problem when he started to think the bed belonged to him. He’d like, attack me if I moved my arms or legs, which I appreciate because I too am a very temperamental sleeper. He now sleeps in a crate, but I think that’s probably better for him psychologically. At least that’s what I tell myself.
You spend a lot of time giving advice to people you barely know, so to close out the interview, I’d love to return the favor. Hit me with a challenge you’re looking for guidance on, and I’ll offer you my best counsel. What’s the proper amount of attention to pay to your dog? I am afraid that I pay both too much and too little attention to my dog all the time.
Okay, first of all, I am obviously not qualified to answer this because I struggle with the same problem, but I'm going to give it my all because I care about your well-being. I would first advise to stop letting your dog lick your mouth. I know that has nothing to do with the issue of time spent, but I can't have it. And enough with the "dogs mouths are cleaner than people's mouths" argument. That is simply not true if we're willing to let go and be logical about it. I think, though, you have to consider the time you spend AWAY from your dog in order to gauge how much attention to pay while you're with him. Let's be mathematical for the sake of giving a true answer and say for every three hours you're away, Wags should get an hour of your attention. Does that seem reasonable? There's also the KIND of attention you're giving him. If you have human people over, and you're spending the most quality time with your dog, there's a glitch in the system that probably needs to be addressed. But if it's just you and Wags watching an episode of Vandy P Rules on the couch, I'd say give that little guy your whole heart, always. Footnote: My dog hates attention, so I think the real question for me is "how much attention should my dog be giving ME?" And the answer is "calm down, Lauren, you're being really needy".