Catie Lazarus Dies: ‘Employee Of The Month’ Stage Show Host & Podcaster Was 44

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Catie Lazarus, a writer, magazine contributor and comedian who developed and hosted an live, onstage New York celebrity talk show that grew from appearances at the Upright Citizens Brigade to a regular spot at Public Theater’s popular Joe’s Pub venue in Manhattan, died Sunday of cancer at her home in Brooklyn. She was 44.

Family members announced her death on social media.

Since moving to Joe’s Pub in 2014, Lazarus’ show, called Employee of the Month, became one of the venue’s most popular offerings. More than 250 interviews were recorded and used for weekly Slate podcasts, each marked by Lazarus’ funny, warm and emotionally generous approach to conversation.

Many of the show’s fans also were its guests: Jon Stewart gave Lazarus his first interview after leaving The Daily Show. The list of celebrities who sat for interviews is too long to post here, but a selection includes Robert Redford, Bette Midler, Jon Hamm, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Patti LuPone, Gloria Steinem, Rachel Maddow, Sarah Silverman, Titus Burgess, Dick Cavett, Edie Falco, Larry Kramer and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

“Catie was the funniest, kindest and sweetest,” Miranda tweeted. “Grateful for every #EmployeeOfTheMonth show I got to see, she was never less than brilliant.”

Tweeted Dana Gould. “Rest in peace. A sweet and beautiful human being.”

Lazarus embarked on a stage career after meeting Tina Fey while researching Mean Girls for her doctorate in clinical psychology at Wesleyan University. After the two became acquainted, Fey recommended that Lazarus check out New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade theater, where Lazarus soon would take classes. She never finished her doctorate.

Lazarus — a great-granddaughter of pioneering department store mogul Simon Lazarus, founder of the Columbus, Ohio-based Lazarus & Co., and later Federated Department Stores, which became Macy’s Inc. — is survived by her parents, two brothers and extended family. Her father, Simon Lazarus III, was a policy adviser to President Jimmy Carter, and her uncle is movie producer and director Jon Avnet.

A funeral service will be livestreamed at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday on Lazarus’ YouTube channel.

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