I particularly wrote about the diminutive Amy Hoggart and tracked down some of her comedy work online. She’s absolutely beautiful – if anyone ever makes a project with Isla Fisher, they should hire Amy as her younger sister. But also whip-smart, wildly funny and willing to go out on a limb and make herself as rude, obnoxious and offensive to audiences as possible, though with a sort of innocence and sweetness. Sort of like in the spirit of Andy Kauffman. And not something you expect from a beautiful woman, often putting herself in the worst light possible. In her comedy work she has several character, one of whom is 'Pattie Brewster,' who has written a book on happiness, but admits to "straddling the line between small and creepy."
My favorite ad-lib of hers was during an episode of Almost Royal in Washington, D.C. where a political consultant is giving her "brother" tips on running for the town council back in England. He tells the Georgie that “You have to make it about the people you’re talking to. This is about you, it isn’t about me. It’s about you. It’s all about you. It’s about you.” Amy (as Poppy) interrupts and in her snooty, serious, but utterly dry, matter-of-fact way says, “Yes, that’s what I tell all my ex-boyfriends whenever I break up with them. It isn’t about me. It’s about you.”
My second favorite line of hers comes when they’re with a fast-talking wrestling promoter. He’s talking himself up, and explaining all his hard work. And in sort of a snarky, self-righteous way says to these effetes, “You know about hard work, don’t you??” The “brother” Georgie says, “Yes” – but Hoggart jumps in and instead says, “No.” The young promoter is stunned, and scathingly and pointedly snarls, “Well, then, how do you earn a living??!” She looks at him and in as drippingly mundane and snobby way possible answers, “We’re very rich.”
The funniest episode was probably one where they hear about a “tea party” and being British love the idea of tea and get invited as royal guests to give a talk. But it turns out to be a meeting of “the Tea Party.” Obviously, the show and leads know that, but they act as if they’re clueless in their dealings with everyone and with the speech that Georgie has been invited to give -- which goes on endlessly about his school pals and playing cricket -- that are gut-wrenchingly funny and annoying the bejeepers out of the Tea Party people there.
Anyway, I wrote about the show social media, as well, and heard back very appreciatively -- and hilariously-- from both Hoggart and Gamble. (I'd tweeted that the leads were both smart and funny. She wrote back that it was the first time she'd been called smart. He wrote back that it was the first time he'd been called funny.) I even exchanged a few private Direct Messages with Hoggart, and noted she should be on The Daily Show, which she said would be a dream. (I don't think she had any idea that I worked in Hollywood and seriously meant it.).
But I did seriously mean it. Someone this funny and this talented and this beautiful should succeed. But having an unexpectedly edgy personna can be a hurdle. A couple years passed, but then I had an idea. I have a friend who had been a writer on The Daily Show for a long time, and then amicably parted ways to work with Conan O’Brien. I wanted to give him time between the two shows before broaching the subject, which is why I didn't press the matter, but eventually got together with him for lunch. I knew he still had friends with The Daily Show and pitched him the idea of Amy Hoggart as a correspondent, since she would have been perfect with her sardonic humor and skill ad-libbing. He was intrigued and thought he’d be willing to do that. But then a thought occurred to him – didn’t he just see her as a correspondent on Samantha Bee’s show Full Frontal a few weeks back? Yes, I said, she was on it periodically, maybe once every six weeks or so, not much. But because she was on at all, and because Samantha Bee came from The Daily Show, too, and they were all part of the “family,” my friend thought it would be too awkward pitching her. I understood completely – but it was a shame, since that would have been daily. Ah, well.
Time passed. That was about two years ago. Which finally brings us to today and the point.
The other day, I just saw an ad for a new show starting next week, It's Personal with Amy Hoggart, which is produced by Samantha Bee. So – Huzzah!! (I have this odd skill of recommending relatively unknown performers to friends for projects they're casting, who often later become really big stars, or at the very least successful. The list is bizarrely long.)
The show seems perfect for her, though we’ll have to see if audience’s like it. Apparently, she helps people with issues “despite having no qualifications at all.” And the trailer shows her putting herself in the most annoying and stupid light. Audiences will either love that and find it totally endearing -- or think she's...well, small and creepy.
Here is the 90-second trailer, so you’ll get to see her and see what I mean.
(By the way, she tells a knock-knock joke in it that at first I had absolutely no idea of the joke – which, being Amy, Hoggart is sort of her point -- telling a joke that makes her look idiotic. But as I thought and thought, I finally figured it out, and it’s hilarious – as a joke and for its stupidity.)