Last night, we learned the sad news that comedian/writer/podcast host Catie Lazarus has died at the age of 44 from cancer.
Lazarus, who was described by Lewis Black as “more brilliant than she’ll ever know”, is probably best known as the host/creator of the Employee of the Month live podcast, which you can listen to archived episodes of here. Some of the guests she had on included Jon Stewart, Jon Hamm, Lin Manuel Miranda, Lewis Black, Buck Henry, Alan Alda, Chris Gethard, Dave Attell, Fred Armisen, Hannibal Buress, Phoebe Robinson, Michael McKean, Sarah Silverman, Reggie Watts, Robert Smigel, W. Kamau Bell, Tig Notaro, and many more.
When she was studying to be a psychologist, she attended what she described as an “impromptu improv class” with Tina Fey. Fey had encouraged her to check out the New York comedy scene. So Lazarus changed gears and did just that. She wound up winning comedy contests at Stand Up New York and The Laugh Factory, before also finding herself take up storytelling. Additionally, she wrote pieces for New York Magazine, The Daily Beast, and The Atlantic.
When news of her sudden passing broke, many took to social media to pay tribute to her.
Catie was the funniest, kindest and sweetest. Grateful for every #EmployeeOfTheMonth show I got to see, she was never less than brilliant. Heartbroken for her friends and family and @offbookbeatbox & @arthurlewis, who played in her band and adored her. #RIP https://t.co/EEk4xubpQO
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) December 15, 2020
I’m so sad to hear that Catie Lazarus has died. She was kind, original, and so funny. I wrote about her show Employee of the Month a while back, a scene that I hope captures some of her mischievous wit. https://t.co/y5weZbBnQj
— Sarah Larson (@asarahlarson) December 14, 2020
I got to work with the luminous, funny and endlessly kind @catielazarus doing something Heeb Magazine-related, then at her beautiful benefits & great podcast. She fought her illness with grace & this is just heartbreaking.But, Catie, look how many people loved you. Well done. -RS https://t.co/Td6bqDq3VJ pic.twitter.com/R11sbCvI3y
— Triumph® ᴛʜᴇ ɪɴsᴜʟᴛ ᴄᴏᴍɪᴄ ᴅᴏɢ™ Headquarters💩 (@TriumphICDHQ) December 15, 2020
— Judy Gold (@JewdyGold) December 15, 2020
This is so sad. She was an absolutely delightful person. 😢 https://t.co/m5I6GtjZHz
— Santa-lah (@GaryGulman) December 15, 2020
Incredibly shocked and saddened to hear that @catielazarus has left us. She was a luminous and generous soul who brightened NYC’s comedy community with her warmth and positivity. Gone far too soon. Farewell, Catie.
— Daniel Powell (@danieljpowell) December 15, 2020
Rest in peace @catielazarus A sweet and beautiful human being.
— Dana Gould (@danagould) December 14, 2020
— Lee Rubenstein (@Lee_Rubenstein) December 15, 2020
Just heard the horrible news about @catielazarus. She was so kind, and she fought for women in comedy way before it was trendy. She made me feel safe talking about that stuff at a time when even bringing it up could mean being shut out. 💔
— Sara Schaefer (@saraschaefer1) December 15, 2020
💔 @catielazarus was truly one-of-a-kind. Devastated hearing the news she lost a long battle with cancer earlier today. Such a bright brilliant light and warm, witty force of nature. This one really hurts. pic.twitter.com/M5wfElAcdq
— Anthony DeRosa 🗽 (@Anthony) December 15, 2020
— Hadley Freeman (@HadleyFreeman) December 15, 2020
I’m so so sad to hear about the passing of my friend @catielazarus It’s been many years since we’ve seen each other but we started together as comics in the city and without exaggeration one of the kindest and most genuine people I’ve known. This breaks my heart. RIP Catie. pic.twitter.com/emeBjfVmb7
— Liz Miele (@lizmiele) December 15, 2020
Ah fuck fuck fuck we lost the amazing @catielazarus Never have I met someone who always made sure you were doing ok, even in her own battle with this cruel disease. Love you Cate. Peace. You will be missed so much. pic.twitter.com/BNv5sAr0dX
— Lizz “Watch my special @ Vimeo On-Demand” Winstead (@lizzwinstead) December 15, 2020
— adam busch (@adambusch) December 15, 2020
I’m heartbroken to learn @catielazarus has died. A beautiful girl with a big heart. May her memory be a blessing.
— Julie Klausner (@julieklausner) December 14, 2020
— Mo Rocca (@MoRocca) December 15, 2020
This sucks. @catielazarus was so cool and kind and such an incisive, funny force in the world, RIP Catie.
— Jena Friedman (@JenaFriedman) December 14, 2020
Absolutely heartbroken to learn Catie Lazarus has passed away. Not only was she one of the kindest, most generous people I've ever met but she also provided some of the biggest laughs in the history of NNF. She will be missed.
— Jimmy Pardo (@jimmypardo) December 14, 2020
Here are a few highlights from the Employee of the Month show.