The Knockturnal had the pleasure to talk to Sam Jay about her upcoming Netflix Special “3 in the Morning,” and how she got to where she is.
Sam Jay, an Emmy-nominated writer on SNL, has her first Netflix special, Sam Jay: 3 in the Morning, coming out August 4th. She was named one of Variety’s 10 comics to watch in 2018 and has written on shows such as the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, and the BET Awards.
3 in the Morning features Sam Jay giving you a “trip in her mind” for an hour, hitting every important cultural issue from being part of the LGBTQ+ and Black community. Sam Jay sheds light on these issues in a very tasteful, but also raw performance.
What makes 3 in the Morning work is it doesn’t feel forced. While some material may not be for everyone, it’s still easily digestible. In addition to many social issues, she touches on her personal side as well, giving the audience an insight to her daily life.
This special is coming out at the perfect climate as well. As mentioned before, all of the social issues she jokes about are all relevant, making it that much more important to watch.
3 in the Morning is available on August 4th on Netflix.
The Knockturnal: I wanted to start off by saying congratulations for releasing your special. You must be very excited. Is there anything you hope people take away from it?
Sam Jay: I just try to do material that feels honest and true to me and tell a story that I want to tell. I try to bring people into my world and what I think is funny. I think that’s the overall goal, is to take a trip in my mind and maybe push their thinking as a result.
The Knockturnal: What made you want to pursue comedy?
Sam Jay: I feel like I just always wanted to do it. It was always something that lingered over me. When I hit about 28 or 29, I didn’t really see my life going in the direction that I wanted and I just felt like I needed to do something that was going to make me happy. I always really enjoy making people laugh. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to just try to give it your all and see what happens because if you’re giving your energy to all these things you don’t even want to do, what would it be like to give your energy to something you really wanted to do?
The Knockturnal: You had the pleasure of not only doing stand up but also writing for SNL. Could you share what you learned and incorporated from your time at SNL to now.
Sam Jay: I feel like it made me a better comic all around, maybe a better writer, a better performer. At SNL if you write a sketch, or producing the sketch to some degree, you have to meet with hair and makeup; you don’t just write it and drop it off, you kind of follow it through … and I think that gave me a more well-rounded perspective to take into my standup career.
The Knockturnal: During your special you mention your girlfriend a lot, I would love to know the reaction to that and watching you perform.
Sam Jay: I think sometimes she’s like “ehh, I would prefer you didn’t say that.” But I think she gets the integrity of what I do and my need to be honest. I always try to run things by her and ask her if she’s comfortable or rather me not say something. So I don’t do anything without her approval and I think that also kind of helps with the intention.
The Knockturnal: In regards to your specials being released on Netflix, do you think that’s positively affected your audience’s ability to watch your content?
Sam Jay: When it comes out, I think it’s gonna be more accessed. I think it’s gonna widen my audience, I hope, I mean that’s the goal of all this. To get to more people than I would just going state to state doing shows at clubs. I just hope it broadens the audience and more people have access to the thing that I created.
The Knockturnal: I would also love to know who some of your inspirations are in both comedy and writing?
Sam Jay: I pull inspirations from all different places. I would say Maya Angelou’s an inspiration, in the same way Dave Chappell is. I used to read a lot of sideways stories from wayside school, and all those little silly books that I read as a kid probably helped influence some of my silliness as well. I have so many places to pull from and so many life experiences down to the people in my family. My mother is an inspiration, my grandmother, my brother. I don’t know, think I pull from everybody.
The Knockturnal: For our last question, in terms of content, what have you been watching and relying on to keep yourself happy during these hard times of COVID?
Sam Jay: I watch a lot of sitcoms and older shows. I watch Daria, Beavis, and Butthead, just reverting back to my teenage years and just watching a lot of things I would watch when I was 15 or 16 years old.