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Kristen Schaal: Actress, Comedian, and Voice Artist Extraordinaire
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Kristen Schaal is an American actress, voice artist, writer, and comedian renowned for her distinctive child-like voice and versatile performances. She is best known for her roles as Louise Belcher on Bob's Burgers, Mabel Pines on Gravity Falls, and Mel on Flight of the Conchords, as well as her work as a commentator on The Daily Show.

 

Schaal's Early Life and Education

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Kristen Schaal was born on January 24, 1978, in Longmont, Colorado, to a Lutheran family of Dutch ancestry. She grew up on her family's cattle ranch near Boulder, where her father worked as a construction worker and her mother as a secretary. Schaal attended Skyline High School, graduating in 1996. She then enrolled at the University of Colorado in Boulder for a year before transferring to Northwestern University. At Northwestern, Schaal was initially told that the theater program was full, but she persisted and was eventually allowed to take acting classes. Determined to hone her skills, she would also ride the train into Chicago every night to attend improv classes at the Second City conservatory. After graduating from Northwestern University, Schaal moved to New York City in 2000 to pursue a career in comedy.
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Schaal's Early Comedy Breakthrough

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After moving to New York in 2000 to pursue a comedy career, Kristen Schaal had her first big break in 2005 when she was included in New York magazine's article "The Ten Funniest New Yorkers You've Never Heard Of". This recognition helped launch her career, leading to more opportunities in the New York comedy scene. Schaal began performing regularly at the Peoples Improv Theater on the improv team "Big Black Car" and co-hosted the popular weekly variety show Hot Tub. Her unique comedic voice and talent quickly gained attention, earning her awards like "Best Alternative Comedian" at the 2006 HBO US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen and the Andy Kaufman Award at the 2005 New York Comedy Festival.
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Award-Winning Stand-Up Performances

Kristen Schaal has made a significant impact in the world of stand-up comedy and live performances, earning numerous awards and recognitions for her unique comedic style. Below is a summary of her notable awards and performances:
AwardCategoryYearEvent
Andy Kaufman AwardWinner2005New York Comedy Festival
Best Alternative ComedianWinner2006HBO US Comedy Arts Festival
Best Female Stand-Up ComedianWinner2006Nightlife Awards
Barry AwardWinner2008Melbourne International Comedy Festival
PerformanceEventYear
Edinburgh Fringe FestivalFringe USA Showcase2007
The Secret Policeman's BallRoyal Albert Hall, London2008
Bonnaroo Music FestivalStand-Up Performance2009
Schaal's accolades include the prestigious Barry Award at the 2008 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Andy Kaufman Award in 2005, highlighting her as a standout in alternative comedy. Her performances at renowned events like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and The Secret Policeman's Ball further cement her status as a leading figure in live comedy.
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Kristen Schaal: Comedic Powerhouse

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Kristen Schaal's Memorable TV and Movie Roles

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Kristen Schaal's distinctive voice and comedic talent have led to breakthrough roles in television and film. She gained widespread recognition as the obsessive fan Mel on HBO's Flight of the Conchords, a role which earned her an EWwy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2009. Schaal's voice acting career took off with her role as Louise Belcher on the animated FOX series Bob's Burgers and as Mabel Pines on Disney Channel's Gravity Falls. For her voice performance as Sarah Lynn on BoJack Horseman, she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance. Other notable roles include Carol Pilbasian on The Last Man on Earth opposite Will Forte, Hazel Wassername on 30 Rock, and the Guide on What We Do in the Shadows. Schaal has also lent her voice to characters in the Toy Story franchise as Trixie and to various other animated series such as Shrek Forever After, Despicable Me 2, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
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Schaal's Notable Film and TV Roles

Here is a concise overview of Kristen Schaal's filmography: Kristen Schaal has had a prolific career in television and film, showcasing her comedic talent across various roles. The table below highlights some of her most notable appearances:
TV SeriesRoleYears
Bob's BurgersLouise Belcher (voice)2011-present
Gravity FallsMabel Pines (voice)2012-2016
The Last Man on EarthCarol Pilbasian2015-2018
BoJack HorsemanSarah Lynn, various voices2014-2020
Flight of the ConchordsMel2007-2009
FilmsRoleYear
Toy Story 3Trixie (voice)2010
Despicable Me 2Shannon (voice)2013
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2Barb (voice)2013
A Walk in the WoodsMary Ellen2015
Bill & Ted Face the MusicKelly2020
Schaal's filmography showcases her range as an actress, with memorable roles in both live-action and animated projects. Her unique comedic style and distinctive voice have made her a sought-after talent in the entertainment industry, cementing her status as a versatile performer.
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Schaal's Awards and Accolades

Kristen Schaal has received numerous awards and nominations throughout her career, recognizing her talent in comedy and voice acting.
AwardCategoryWorkResultYear
Annie AwardsVoice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast ProductionGravity FallsWon2013
Annie AwardsVoice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast ProductionBob's BurgersWon2016
Primetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Character Voice-Over PerformanceBoJack HorsemanNominated2017
American Comedy AwardsComedy Special of the YearKristen Schaal: Live at the FillmoreNominated2014
Behind the Voice Actors AwardsBest Female Lead Vocal Performance in a TV Series - Comedy/MusicalGravity FallsWon2012
Schaal's voice acting skills have earned her two Annie Awards, one for her role as Mabel Pines in Gravity Falls in 2013 and another for portraying Louise Belcher in Bob's Burgers in 2016. In 2017, she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance for her work as Sarah Lynn in BoJack Horseman. Beyond voice acting, Schaal has also been recognized for her stand-up comedy. She was nominated for a Comedy Special of the Year award at the 2014 American Comedy Awards for her special Kristen Schaal: Live at the Fillmore. Additionally, she won the Best Female Lead Vocal Performance in a Television Series - Comedy/Musical award at the 2012 Behind the Voice Actors Awards for her role in Gravity Falls. These accolades highlight Kristen Schaal's versatility and impact as a comedic actress and voice artist, cementing her status as a respected figure in the entertainment industry.
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Kristen Schaal Interviews

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Marriage and Motherhood

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Kristen Schaal has been married to comedy writer Rich Blomquist since 2012. The couple welcomed their daughter, Ruby, on February 11, 2018. In 2017, during a charity stream hosted by Ethan Klein, Schaal shared a personal challenge she faced while recording for the animated series Gravity Falls. She revealed that she had suffered an ectopic pregnancy and a ruptured fallopian tube, losing at least two liters of blood. Schaal underwent emergency surgery after being rushed to the hospital during an unspecified recording session for the show. Despite this harrowing experience, she has continued to thrive in her personal and professional life, balancing her roles as a mother and a successful actress and comedian.
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Closing Thoughts

Kristen Schaal's career exemplifies the dynamic range and talent of 21st-century American comedians and writers. As a prominent figure in both stand-up comedy and voice acting, Schaal has garnered numerous accolades, including Annie Awards and a Primetime Emmy nomination, underscoring her versatility and impact in the entertainment industry. Her work spans various mediums, from television and film to live performances, making her a celebrated voice in American comedy. Schaal's achievements reflect the evolving landscape of comedy and the significant contributions of women in this field, highlighting her as a trailblazer among American television writers and comedians.
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