Megan Broussard writes jokes in a dying language

Megan Broussard is a Writers Guild of America award-winning writer and producer with recent work for ABC’s The Chase and Warner Bros. Discovery. Her short humor, personal essays, and features have been published in The New Yorker, Marie Claire, Slate, McSweeney’s, Southern Living, and more. Follow her on InstagramFacebook, and TikTok, or subscribe to her Substack, a quest to keep her family’s dying language alive: IN SEARCH OF THE LOST TONGUE.

What were you like as a teen?
I thought my hair looked good half-up-half-down on just one side and a little wet. I also never shut up. My family called me “perroquet,” which means parrot because I was always chirping. I was always telling stories and turning family functions (including funerals) into stage opportunities to make people laugh. I never “grew out” of this.
Did you have an un-sexy starter job?
Absolutely. I once had a boss who had me fetch water from one corner of the block to another corner store down the street where I was to then get a specific ICEE cup. That’s not all. There was a third location from which she wanted me to get a special kind of crushed ice…The best part?! If too many ice pieces melted in the NYC summer heat on my way back to her office, then I’d have to do it all over again. I’m thankful for the strength it gave me–the mental, emotional, and core–strength a thousand Crossfit classes could NEVER!
What do you consider to be your biggest comedy achievement to date?
The web series I co-wrote and co-star in is called Late Bloomers! And in general, writing a new half-hour sitcom pilot and winning a WGA award this year in Quiz and Audience Participation for The Chase! (I still can’t believe it.) I’m also learning my family’s lost language, Louisiana French, and writing about it in my substack IN SEARCH OF THE LOST TONGUE.
When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it? 
I realized that even on a really bad day, I still have the urge to write a joke and share it. I would be writing this stuff anyway, even if no one wanted to read or watch it. Even if only my momma and boyfriend read it/watched it. It also doesn’t hurt that I have a dire need for attention due to my being an only child.
Have you ever dealt with trolls? 
Yes, once when I was mistaken for Anthony Weiner’s cyber mistress by national news stations.
I got private messages from elderly men in bathrobes saying things like, “First you play, then you RAT?” “sooO00 you like ’em old, hein??” and “You should let your hair grow.” I handled the absurdity of it by writing about it for Marie Claire.
On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian? 
Write what makes YOU laugh! Not your friends, not your family, and not your therapist (though making your therapist laugh is the ultimate goal).
Best comedy advice you ever got?
When you lean into what makes you “weird,” your audience will find YOU.
Worst comedy advice you ever got? 
The only path to success is their path.
How has being funny helped you in your life? 
Everyone in my family is funny, my momma, Mary, especially. Cajun and Creole people are born with the gift of humor and storytelling since most of our history and folklore was passed down orally. I love going to comedy shows and seeing the best of the best performing around NYC, but I have to tell you the best seats for prime comedy are back home with my family just catching up on the couch. My aunts, uncles, cousins–everyone is a natural comedian and I think it subconsciously taught me to lead with humor as a way to connect with people quickly.
What specific things do you think a novice comedy writer should do to shape their voice?
This is THE dream homework assignment AND it works: watch and read a TON! And here’s the best part of the assignment: watch and read a ton of what YOU find funny. This may seem like a waste of time from actually writing BUT it is not. It is a crucial part of developing your taste, tone, and voice.
Was there one person who inspired you to go into the comedy world? 
My inner-tween will always say Amanda Bynes in All That. Yes, I’m still processing my 90s Nickelodeon trauma since the airing of the docuseries Quiet on Set, as we all are.
Do you have a writing routine?
I like to journal at night and write in the morning. I’m not very strict and have noticed that the less pressure I put on myself, the more likely I am to be consistent. I also noticed that the more family-sized bags of spicy-queso pop corner chips I go through the faster I type.
What is your go-to movie?
I can watch How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days every day for every scene BUT mainly when Kathryn Hahn disguises herself as a couples therapist.
What single word always cracks you up?
When my British partner calls a flashlight a “torch” like we’re some kinda Viking explorers.