Sarah Cooper

Sarah Cooper
Cooper in 2013
Cooper in 2013
Born Sarah Anne Cooper
1977 (age 43–44)
Jamaica
Occupation Author, comedian
Alma mater University of Maryland, College Park
Georgia Institute of Technology
Years active 2014–present
YouTube information
Channels
Years active 2006–present (SC)
2014–present (TCR)
Genre
  • Comedy
  • commentary
Subscribers 330,000 (SC)
8,310 (TCR)
Total views 39.68 million (SC)
619,911 (TCR)
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers

Updated: March 19, 2021
Website
sarahcpr.com

Sarah Anne Cooper (born 1977) is a Jamaican-American author and comedian based in New York City. She worked in design for Yahoo! and in user experience for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides while also performing stand-up comedy. Cooper left Google to focus full-time on writing and comedy. Her first two books, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings and Draw What Success Looks Like were published in 2016. Her third book, How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men's Feelings, was published in 2018.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cooper began uploading videos of herself lip-syncing statements made by Donald Trump. The success of these led to appearances on several talk shows, and in October 2020 her show Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine premiered on Netflix. It was announced in August 2020 that Cooper and Cindy Chupack would be producing a comedy show for CBS based on How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men's Feelings.

Early life and education

Cooper was born in Jamaica in 1977.[1][2][3] One of her grandmothers was Chinese-Jamaican.[4] Her family moved to Rockville, Maryland, in 1980.[5] Her father worked as an electrical engineer for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in nearby Washington[2] and her mother in the human resources department of a consulting company.[5] Cooper was already interested in show business as a teenager and originally intended to study theater.[5] However, following the wishes of her parents, she first pursued studies outside show business and earned degrees in economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and in digital design from the Georgia Institute of Technology.[2][5]

Career

Early career

Cooper began performing stand-up comedy in Atlanta while she was working as a visual designer at Yahoo![6] Later, while she was a user experience designer for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides,[2] she continued to write and perform stand-up and met her now-husband, Jeff Palm, who was an engineer on Google Docs.[3] She has said that she would analyze Stephen Colbert's monologues from The Colbert Report to understand what made them humorous.[7] In 2014, she wrote a blog post called "10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings" that went viral with five million views.[2] Later that year, she left Google to pursue writing and comedy full time.[8]

Her first book, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, a satirical version of a self-help book, was published on October 4, 2016.[9][7] Her "colouring and activity book", Draw What Success Looks Like, was published in the same month.[10] Her third book, How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men's Feelings, was published on October 30, 2018.[8][11] It is subtitled "Non-threatening Leadership Strategies for Women", and contains satirical advice for women such as "Pepper your emails with exclamation marks and emojis.... Your lack of efficient communication will make you seem more approachable."[12] Her books were not commercially successful.[7] At the end of 2019, five years after she had resigned from Google, Cooper was considering quitting her comedy career due to lack of success.[7]

Satirical videos

In spring 2020, Cooper began publishing a series of videos on TikTok in which she lip-synced comments by Donald Trump on the topic of potential cures for the 2019 coronavirus.[13] Her first viral satire, titled "How to Medical" features her lip-syncing a minute of audio from the April 23 press briefing during which Trump suggested[14][15][16] that shining light into the body and injecting disinfectant would be an effective method for treating the coronavirus.[17] She subsequently produced several other viral videos based on the same premise.[18] By late October 2020, "How to Medical" had received over 24 million views across Twitter and TikTok.[19]

In an interview with The Atlantic, Cooper said that she enjoyed performing on TikTok and that she might continue on the platform following the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns rather than perform stand-up in front of a live audience.[20] The Boston Globe remarked that Cooper's videos are also noted as being examples of extremely economical political satire since they are structured around an unedited voice clip of a politician speaking.[21] This extremely minimalistic comedic approach, which includes neither a script nor an audience, was described as an innovative response to the limitations that comedians faced during COVID-19 lockdowns.[20] Cooper analyzed the videos by commenting that "I had taken away the suit and the podium and the people behind him smiling and nodding and calling him "sir," and all that was left were his empty words, which, in reality, were not the best. It felt like the antidote to the gaslighting."[22] Cooper lip-synced Trump talking about mail-in ballots, for a video played during the 2020 Democratic National Convention.[23][24]

She was named Digital Creator of the Year by Adweek,[25] and was nominated in the "Creator of the Year" and "Comedy" categories for the 10th Streamy Awards.[26]

Television

In the wake of the popularity of her TikTok videos, Cooper was invited to appear on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.[27] She has also appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,[28] and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,[29] and as a guest host on Jimmy Kimmel Live![30] She played Inigo Montoya in Home Movie: The Princess Bride, a fan film recreation of The Princess Bride, which premiered on Quibi in June 2020.[31]

In October 2020, the Netflix special Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine was released, produced by Maya Rudolph and directed by Natasha Lyonne.[32] It features Cooper as the host of a fictional morning news program. The show is structured around spoofs of news segments, interviews, and commercials, and it incorporates a series of sketches featuring appearances from celebrities including Jon Hamm, Whoopi Goldberg, Helen Mirren, Ben Stiller, and Marisa Tomei.[33] Cooper's character is a news anchor who struggles to retain her sanity and positive attitude despite the dramatic upheaval that she is reporting on, which is a commentary on the experience of observing the political, economic, and pandemic-related disruptions throughout the world in 2020 (as is the sarcasm of the title, Everything's Fine).[33]

Reviews for the show were generally positive, with most critics arguing that its satire was insightful but not uniformly successful. The Guardian rated the show 4 out of 5 stars, calling it "a funny and striking document of what living feels like in this fraught and febrile year."[34] A CNN review called the show "on balance impressive, especially factoring in the logistical challenges of turning it around during a pandemic".[33] Variety gave the show a negative review, saying that "Cooper ends up being the straight man in her own comedy special."[35] A New York Times review compared Everything's Fine favorably to the parody news show Saturday Night Live, arguing that Cooper captured the zeitgeist of the news experience in 2020 more successfully than many other contemporary satires, but also asserted that "the comic ideas vary wildly in quality" with jokes that "are hit and miss".[36]

It was announced in August 2020 that Cooper and Cindy Chupack would be producing a comedy show for CBS based on How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men's Feelings.[37]

Cooper was listed as one of the "Breakout Stars" of 2020 by Vogue and The New York Times,[38][39] and as one of five Breakthrough Entertainers of 2020 by the Associated Press.[40]

Publications

  • 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing (2016). ISBN 9781449476052. OCLC 944463172.
  • Draw What Success Looks Like. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing (2016). ISBN 9781449476069. OCLC 944470964.
  • How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men's Feelings. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing (2018). ISBN 9781449476076. OCLC 1028881934.
  • Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings 2021 Day-to-Day Calendar Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing (2020). ISBN 9781524858124

Filmography

Awards and nominations

Awards and nominations received by Sarah Cooper
Award Year Category Result Ref.
Adweek Hot List 2020 Digital Creator of the Year Won [25]
Streamy Awards 2020 Creator of the Year Nominated [26][45]
Streamy Awards 2020 Subject Award: Comedy Won [26][45]

References

  1. ^ "Jamaican Sarah Cooper gets Netflix special". Jamaica Observer. August 16, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e Abramovitch, Seth (April 26, 2018). "How to Appear Smart in Meetings Without Really Trying". The Red Bulletin. Archived from the original on July 5, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Sarah Cooper and Jeffrey Palm". The New York Times. March 1, 2015. Archived from the original on July 1, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  4. ^ Pavia, Will (October 16, 2020). "The comic who trumped Trump". The Sydney Good Morning Herald. Retrieved April 4, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d Marikar, Sheila (February 25, 2019). "Sarah Cooper's Non-Threatening Leadership Skills for Women!". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on July 2, 2020.
  6. ^ Hoffman, Lindsay; Kim, Caroline (October 26, 2020). "Women who inspire: Culturists breaking through during Covid-19". NBC News. Archived from the original on November 2, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d Marks, Andrea (October 27, 2020). "'I Have to Pinch Myself': Sarah Cooper's Rapid Rise From Trump TikToker to Netflix Star". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Johnson, Eric (January 10, 2018). "For comedian Sarah Cooper, a job at Google was Plan B". Recode. p. 1. Archived from the original on July 5, 2018.
  9. ^ Todd, Sarah (September 27, 2016). "Nod more, and other absurd yet useful meeting tips from a former Google manager". Quartz. p. 1. Archived from the original on July 5, 2018.
  10. ^ "Draw What Success Looks Like". Penguin Books. Archived from the original on November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  11. ^ Jacobs, Emma (October 24, 2018). "Sarah Cooper: 'The workplace is a rich seam for comedy'". Financial Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  12. ^ "How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men's Feelings: Non-threatening Leadership Strategies for Women". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  13. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (May 5, 2020). "Jerry Seinfeld Is Making Peace With Nothing: He's 'Post-Show Business'". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 9, 2020. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  14. ^ William J. Broad; Dan Levin (April 24, 2020). "Trump Muses About Light as Remedy, but Also Disinfectant, Which Is Dangerous". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 10, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  15. ^ Relman, Eliza (April 23, 2020). "Trump directs experts to see whether they can bring 'light inside the body' to kill the coronavirus, even as his own expert shuts him down". Business Insider. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  16. ^ Ehley, Brianna (April 23, 2020). "Trump promotes theory suggesting sunlight can kill coronavirus". Politico. Archived from the original on August 1, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  17. ^ Noor, Poppy (May 14, 2020). "The comedian going viral for lip-syncing Trump: 'People really hate him'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on May 14, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  18. ^ Weber, Peter (May 15, 2020). "Watch comedian Sarah Cooper perform Trump's comments about the bad optics of COVID-19 testing". Yahoo News. Archived from the original on May 22, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  19. ^ Mccluskey, Megan (October 27, 2020). "Comedian Sarah Cooper Doesn't Need Donald Trump Anymore". Time. Archived from the original on November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  20. ^ a b Li, Shirley (May 8, 2020). "Sarah Cooper Has Mastered the Trump Joke". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on May 8, 2020. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  21. ^ Daley, Lauren (May 7, 2020). "Watch this comedian for a needed laugh". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on May 15, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  22. ^ "How Comedian Sarah Cooper's Viral Trump Parodies Came to Be". InStyle. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  23. ^ Martin, Brittany (August 21, 2020). "Watch Sarah Cooper to 'Lip-Synch' Trump at the DNC". lamag.com. Archived from the original on August 21, 2020. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  24. ^ Cathey, Libby; King, Lauren; Ebbs, Stephanie (August 21, 2020). "DNC 2020 Day 4: Joe Biden accepts nomination, calls for Americans to join 'battle for the soul of the nation'". ABC News. Archived from the original on October 4, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  25. ^ a b Sutton, Kelsey. "Sarah Cooper's Trump Lip-Syncs Turned Pandemic Boredom into a Career Catapult". Adweek. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  26. ^ a b c Ramos, Dino-Day (October 21, 2020). "YouTube Streamy Awards Nominations Unveiled With David Dobrik, Emma Chamberlain and James Charles leading the pack". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  27. ^ a b Braxton, Greg (June 1, 2020). "Trump blocked comedian Sarah Cooper on Twitter. Now she calls him her 'head writer'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 2, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  28. ^ a b Madani, Doha (August 12, 2020). "TikTok star who gained viral fame for Trump lip-syncs gets Netflix special". NBC News. Archived from the original on October 22, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  29. ^ a b Stockly, Ed (October 26, 2020). "What's on TV Tuesday: 'Kal Penn'; Word Series Game 6 on Fox". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  30. ^ a b Rosen, Christopher (August 12, 2020). "Sarah Cooper Hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live and Torched Trump, Google, and Louis C.K.". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  31. ^ a b Breznican, Anthony (July 7, 2020). "Trump Mimic Sarah Cooper's Next Role: Inigo in the Princess Bride Fan Film". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  32. ^ "TikTok Breakout Star Sarah Cooper on the Inspiration for Her 'Cinematic' Netflix Comedy Special". People. Archived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  33. ^ a b c Lowry, Brian (October 27, 2020). "'Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine' gives the Trump satirist a bigger stage on Netflix". CNN. Archived from the original on November 4, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  34. ^ a b Logan, Brian (October 27, 2020). "Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine review – Trump lip-syncer ratchets up the hysteria". The Guardian. Archived from the original on November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  35. ^ Ray-Harris, Ashley (October 27, 2020). "Sarah Cooper's 'Everything's Fine' Is a 2020 Time Capsule, but not Much More: TV Review". Variety. Archived from the original on November 2, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  36. ^ Zinoman, Jason (October 27, 2020). "What Happens When Sarah Cooper Speaks in Her Own Voice?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  37. ^ Otterson, Joe (August 20, 2020). "TikTok Star Sarah Cooper to Develop 'How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men's Feelings' at CBS". Variety. Archived from the original on September 23, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  38. ^ Ruiz, Michelle. "From Their Living Room to Yours: The Breakout Internet Stars of the Covid-19 Era". Vogue. Archived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  39. ^ Salam, Maya (December 23, 2020). "The Breakout Stars of 2020". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  40. ^ "The AP names its breakthrough entertainers of 2020". Associated Press. December 15, 2020. Archived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  41. ^ Stockly, Ed (May 25, 2020). "What's on TV Tuesday: 'The Genetic Detective'; coronavirus". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 11, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  42. ^ Stockly, Ed (November 1, 2020). "What's on TV Monday: 'L.A.'s Finest' on Fox; NFL Football on ESPN". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 2, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  43. ^ "Talk show highlights". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, Minnesota. November 12, 2020. p. T6.
  44. ^ Stockly, Ed (November 19, 2020). "What's on TV Friday: '20/20: Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 27, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  45. ^ a b "10th Annual Nominees and Winners". Streamy Awards. Archived from the original on December 14, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.

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