8 Things to Know About Crashing’s Newest Star Jamie Lee
A Season 1 writer turned Seasons 2 lead, comedian Jamie Lee opens up about coming up in comedy, working with Pete Holmes and booking her dream role.
Lee began stand-up with an epiphany.
When Lee first graduated college, she was a publicity assistant at Comedy Central: “My job there was to watch a bunch of stand-up and familiarize myself with the comedians on their network,” Lee noted. “The more I watched stand-up, the more I realized it was the culmination of everything I was interested in; I just hadn’t realized it until I was working in comedy.”
Starting out in the industry was rough.
Lee characterized her “crashing” phase as “the most devastating.” Her career began with open mics after her day job: “I would be out until two in the morning and then roll into work. After four years of that, I was like, ‘This feels like a conflict of interest.’”
After quitting her job “to become a part-time nanny,” Lee was able to devote more of her time to comedy, but the cash was not exactly flowing in. “I was so broke that I had to dip into my 401K. Then I started asking my aunt if she could pay my rent for me for a little while. It got so bleak and embarrassing. I was a stain on my family,” Lee joked.
“I had an apartment on the Upper East Side that wasn’t fancy, but was livable. I had to downgrade to the grossest apartment you’ve ever seen. It always reeked of chicken.”
“My roommate didn’t have a day job and was dating someone at the time. They would literally just f**k all day long. I would hear them. I was single and I was like, ‘This has to be my rock bottom, because if it goes beneath the rock, like down into the deep sediments, I don't know what I’m gonna do.’ ”
...but it all worked out in the end.
Despite the horrors of Lee’s early days in comedy, she got her big break on Last Comic Standing, which helped her feel “more legit and validated” in her career.
She and Pete go way back.
“Working with Pete is a dream,” Lee explained. “I’ve known Pete since 2008 and he’s actually my good friend. We’re mutual fans of each other’s work and comedy. I started writing on Crashing when it got picked up, and then when the role of Ali Reissen [Lee’s Season 2 character] came up, I auditioned for it.”
Fun Fact: She’s a cocktail connoisseur.
Lee’s go-to drink for a two-drink minimum? “Usually sugar-free Red Bull and vodka,” she admitted.