Swap out Miranda, Samantha, and Carrie for a trio of adorable kids and you might have someone a lot like writer-actress Jill Kargman. The native New Yorker, who has also been likened to a “female Larry David,” isn’t afraid to bring viewers into her world in the hilariously satirical Odd Mom Out—its third season premieres on Wednesday, July 12, on Bravo—and in her bestselling books Momzillas and Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut.
Our own Amanda Taylor sat down with the outspoken woman-about-town to discuss her writing origins, her favorite bar, and being a ham.
What Should We Do?!: When did you start writing, and how did you decide that was what you wanted to do as a career?
Jill Kargman: I started to like it in 10th grade; I had a fabulous old gent [teacher] who was very professorial, but such a poet, and he really inspired me. From then on, I decided to use my voice and not conform. That’s why I never took English in college; there were 1,200 English majors, and I just did languages and art history. I got to write in my own style without constantly being critiqued and nitpicked, which I think inhibits so many writers rather than crystallizing their own voice.
WSWD: How did your TV show come about?
Kargman: It’s a long story, but basically I met Andy Cohen. He had read Momzillas, which NBC had optioned, along with Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut. He and his then–head of production and my current showrunner, the genius Lara Spotts, said they wanted to pursue developing a show that revolved around a female Larry David set on the Upper East Side.
WSWD: Did you always know you had a skill for making people laugh?
Kargman: I’m a ham. What can I say? I got my balls busted in school all the time for being a class clown. I think humor is so important, especially as the world is going to shit.
WSWD: What do you most love about living in NYC?
Kargman: I could go on for hours. I couldn’t live anywhere else. I have SPD [suburban panic disorder], which we explore in season three of Odd Mom Out. I love the architecture, the different foods, the hole-in-the-wall theaters, and the soaring ballets. I love the strength and moxie of our citizens, and I love the New York attitude.
WSWD: What are your favorite restaurants and bars in the city, and why?
Kargman: We spend a lot of time in Brooklyn and don’t “summer” anywhere, as I don’t do well outside cities. So we like to be tourists in all five boroughs. We love Smorgasburg, which our friend Jonathan Butler founded. It has stalls with everything—dumplings to lobster rolls to popsicles—all organic and locally sourced, so you get, like, 150 restaurants in one buzzing locale.
We love Egg for brunch on North Third [in Williamsburg]. A new fave in Manhattan is Augustine for dinner; Frankies 457 in Park Slope; our local haunt on the Upper East Side, Sette Mezzo; and Rao’s in East Harlem. I loved drinks recently at Majorelle on the high end, but I mostly love dives—Marie’s Crisis [piano bar] on Grove Street is the best of New York in one quirky underground nutshell.
WSWD: What’s your best teenage memory of NYC?
Kargman: Sneaking into Mars [nightclub on West 13th Street and Tenth Avenue] and Area [nightclub on Hudson Street] to dance! I never did drugs or drank or boned strangers; I just loved to go out dancing.
WSWD: What is your favorite pizza in NYC?
Kargman: Roberta’s in Bushwick. By far.
WSWD: What is your idea of the perfect day in NYC?
Kargman: Sleeping late, going to Birch Coffee for a growler of iced coffee, going for a crazy walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, getting an insane brunch, strolling around galleries or art fairs, coming home, napping, then taking the kids to dim sum or a Marvel movie.
WSWD: What are your wishes/hopes for NYC as a city?
Kargman: I hope we keep fighting this awful president and show the world that we have so much heart and accept everyone. This is a crackling, vibrant town, and even though a homegrown troll is running the country, he is actually the exact opposite of the soul and warmth of this glittering, welcoming city.