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In Her Shoes: Rachel Bloom

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The Cut

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On this episode of In Her Shoes, New York Magazine editor-at-large Stella Bugbee talks to writer and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Rachel Bloom about what makes a good writers’ room, “real” feminism, and the Twitter rage machine.

To hear more about Rachel and how she considers Crazy Ex-Girlfriend a humanist show, rather than just a feminist one, listen below, and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. You can also find the full transcript below.

LINDSAY PEOPLES WAGNER: Welcome to In Her Shoes. I’m Lindsay Peoples Wagner, editor-in-chief of the Cut. On this podcast, we talk to ambitious women about how they’ve come this far and where they’re going next. On this episode, New York Magazine editor-at-large Stella Bugbee sat down with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Rachel Bloom. The American actor and comedy singer-songwriter spoke to us about motherhood, writing a memoir in quarantine, and why she hates when people call her show My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Here’s how it went.

STELLA BUGBEE: Hi. It’s just us.

RACHEL BLOOM: Oh, finally.

STELLA: I know. I’ve been waiting for this. Thanks for joining us. Regular readers of the Cut will know that you published an excerpt of your book — your recent book — on the Cut about masturbating while pregnant. I actually want to start there with this interview.

RACHEL: Great.

STELLA: So it’s been a really rough year. We’ve had COVID, and you’ve had a baby, and you’ve done a book. And I want to ask: Which was worse?

[LAUGHTER]

RACHEL: No. That’s so funny. Wow.

STELLA: Writing a book seems like an absolute nightmare to me.

RACHEL: It’s really hard. The sheer amount of pages are mind boggling. When you’re writing a script or even a screenplay it’s a lot of pages, but it’s dialogue or action, so there’s a lot of spaces. You’re not filling a page in the same way with a book. You are filling pages. It’s really hard. I would say in order of difficulty … I would say giving birth is harder. Oh, wait. It was COVID. What’s the competition? No, let’s address this: It’s COVID, giving birth, and writing a book. Okay, COVID is the hardest, obviously. Because it’s a … pandemic. I guess I’ll say having a baby is harder, followed by writing a book. But writing a book is quite hard.

STELLA: It’s, like, worse. I don’t know. I know a lot of people who write books, and the depths of their despair is profound. Worse than the moms I know who’ve pushed babies out of their bodies.

RACHEL: Something else I write about in the book. I had a very extreme birth experience because it was at the beginning of the pandemic. My daughter was in the NICU right after she was born. And then, of course, my good friend died a week after my daughter was born, of COVID. The writing of the book is more … I would say for two years it was this looming dread because it was like, I need to write that book. I’d say to my husband, “I have money coming in from the book.” And he’s like, “Have you written the book?” and I’m like, “No, no, no, not a word. But don’t worry, we’ll be okay because I have this book.” So there was this looming dread. And then when I finally started it, I started it when I was pregnant, basically, and it was this ever-present thud like The Tell-Tale Heart of like, You’ve got to work on the book, you’ve got to finish the book, you’ve got to do the book. As opposed to the overt emotional trauma and anguish of my birth experience.

STELLA: You’re most known for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, obviously, which I’ve heard a lot of people call My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but we’re going to call it Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which is the correct name.

RACHEL: Here’s the thing: To me, it’s the perfect title because what we’re doing is a deconstruction of a trope. A lot of people say the show has a bad title. My counter is, “Okay. You’ve seen the show. What would you call it?” This is going to be only for listeners who see the show. You’d call it Lady in West Covina. You’d call it Rebecca — that’s already a Hitchcock movie. What would you call the show? 

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is the perfect title. Now, as far as people who call it My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, they might do that because there’s no preface. Like, I remember I thought the show New Girl for the longest time was The New Girl. I also fuck that up. So I think if we called it The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, people wouldn’t make that mistake. But it drives me crazy because My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend implies, of course, that it’s from a male point of view, which people default to. I have rarely heard people call it The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. They call it My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

STELLA: A very important distinction. It’s a show ultimately about mental illness or getting through all these really tough, internal emotional things. We’ve just gone through, as a nation, as a world, this crazy moment of all this mental illness that’s been heaped upon us and it almost seems like a prep for this year. I’ve been calling therapists and you can’t get a therapist because everybody needs a therapist this year. Do you think it’s made people more sensitive or more sympathetic to discussing issues of mental illness?

RACHEL: Yeah, I think it has. I think we’re also getting more comfortable generally as a culture talking about mental health. That has now become, in a great way, a buzzword. I have always been in somewhat of an L.A./New York bubble, I can speak for the L.A./New Yorkers and also fans of mine who tend to live in liberal enclaves. I think so. I can’t speak to how the whole country sees mental health, but I think that it is becoming more acceptable to discuss it. Especially in the case of parents who’ve had kids in this pandemic. I think there’s a lot of open discussion about your kid’s mental health because, okay, I get it, if you’re too locked up to talk about your well-being and mental health … but I think that people get a lot more selfless and open when it comes to their kids.

STELLA: Yeah, I’ve seen that with the teenagers. I have teenagers and I’ve listened to their Zoom classes all day, and the teachers are extremely focused on mental health. I wish that they would play musical videos instead of classes sometimes, because it seems like a therapeutic way of dealing with some of these intense issues like the show does.

RACHEL: Yeah. The thing that I have come around to, and I was talking to a good friend who’s going through a personal tragedy — her partner has cancer and it’s not looking great. She was just like, “Distract me. I want to be distracted.” That’s a little bit of what this year has changed. A lot of things we hit home in Crazy Ex were like, Feel your feelings, which you absolutely should. You absolutely should feel your feelings. But at a certain point, Okay, you’ve felt your feelings. It’s time to have an escape and it’s time to laugh and it’s time to move on. I have to say, in some of the toughest parts of early 2020 for me, just watching funny TV shows, listening to funny podcasts, reading funny books that I hadn’t read in awhile, completely saved me. That release of humor and silliness made me not think about this cosmic dread.

STELLA: And also the loss that you are personally experiencing, I’m sure.

RACHEL: Yes. The loss that I was personally experiencing, which then caused hand in hand this cosmic existential dread.

STELLA: Do you think that becoming a mother during that time, that’s such an intense thing to go through anyway? I have a couple of friends who gave birth during quarantine and I tried to tell them, like, “That’s what giving birth felt like even before COVID.” It felt like a self-inflicted quarantine. Have you been able to connect with other people during this time? Do you have a pod?

RACHEL: I do. I have a couple of friends who gave birth right around the time I did. So my birth story is my birth story. And then there’s raising a newborn, which feels actually very separate and distant from the birth story, because once she was out of the NICU, I had this big, strong, tall, healthy, headstrong baby. They feel like very disparate and distant experiences. But I have a couple of friends who gave birth during this time, and their daughters have become my daughter’s baby friends. We go to a socially distanced music class. I also have a lot of friends who are moms of older kids that I can talk to. So I do feel very supported. I don’t feel alone in the raising of a child. I definitely felt alone-ish in the beginning, because it was such a specific situation of giving birth during a pandemic. Your child being in the NICU, losing a good friend. That was also specific to me. But now I do feel I’m part of this communal experience.

STELLA: Some people are raised bilingual, and I think of you as almost bilingual in musicals. I imagine you’re going through the world and you’re having an interaction, but in your head, you’re translating it into a musical-comedy act. Is that how it works for you?

RACHEL: It used to be. But, at this point, it’s so writing-focused and idea-focused that when I’m thinking of the world as a musical, usually it is brainstorming for something I’m working on. It has become a writing muscle and less escapist. I don’t see musicals as escapist in a fun way because songs generally heighten where you’re at. So I think a lot of people use musicals to escape, but it depends what the musical is about, and it depends what the characters are about. The songs themselves aren’t the escape. You have to, because if you watch a musical like Next to Normal, which is about extreme mental illness and grief, that music is not an escape.

STELLA: Right, right. And with this show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, you put yourself into all these glamorous situations where you have to dress up and you have to look beautiful, but so many of the songs and the situations that you’re addressing in the songs are about the effort that goes into looking beautiful. And that destroys the fantasy. It’s this push and pull between the effort women have to put into just being women. It’s almost an inherently feminist show, but it never quite says We’re a feminist show at the time it was made. How do you think it fits into where we are, talking about feminism now, as opposed to when it came out? It feels very much of that moment to me without ever explicitly saying that. It never comes out and makes that grand announcement, but have you thought about that in terms of where we are in the conversation politically?

RACHEL: Yeah. So, a couple things. So the character imagines herself in musical numbers because she doesn’t have a sense of who she is on the inside or what she actually wants. So she’s trying on different personas. That was definitely my relationship to music and musicals for a long time, and I think a lot of us. You listen to music and you almost picture yourself singing the song and the music video. At least that’s how I do. There is definitely an exhibitionist quality of listening to music, and I would spend hours in front of the mirror lip-syncing to songs from musicals. Part of that is fun, but part of that is trying on different personas. So from the beginning, it was always about a woman who was trying on different tropes and struggling to fit herself into these different tropes and expectations and failing. And it wasn’t just her. It was, to a certain extent, all of the characters doing that. All of the characters had a box that either they were in at first or that they’d put themselves in, and the show is really an exploration of them finding the gray areas in themselves and being like, No, I’m not just this thing.

Yes, it’s feminist, but it’s also humanist. We always had empathy for every character on the show because that’s what feminism is — humanism. It’s seeing the value and the worth of every individual. What does any individual need to be happy? Women are 51 percent of the population of those individuals. There are definitely jokes on the show that I don’t know if we would make now, but that’s just more the overall culture that doesn’t really have to do with feminism, I don’t know. I know I still really stand by the show. I think that part of feminism is presenting female characters who aren’t perfect. I think there’s a little bit of this, as far as feminism has been turned more and more into keychains and T-shirts, it’s like, You go, girl! … If you can’t love me at my worst, you can’t love me at my best. Feminism is equated with being perfect, and that takes away the nuance of people.

STELLA: Yeah. One of the things that I love about your comedy is the way in which you’ll do a sketch like “Let’s Generalize About Men” and you’ll make fun of the sort of instincts that trivialize all the discourse. Like you’re sort of pointing out like we’re bad, too. We do stupid things.

RACHEL: Yeah. “Let’s Generalize About Men” is not a feminist song. It’s not an anti-feminist song. It’s a song about being primal. It’s really just a comment on sometimes when women get together, you just want to generalize about men and it feels good and it’s not correct or accurate, but it feels so fucking good. I wrote that song with two guys, so I think in some ways that was a nice mitigating factor, because I fell into that primal when we were brainstorming the song, like, “Let me tell you about men.” And I think that title was Adam [Schlesinger]. We did a brainstorming session and then Adam made “Let’s Generalize About Men” a song. I think it’s a masterpiece

STELLA: The kicker of that song, the final line, is like, “Oh, your sons are going to grow up to be rapists.” It’s really a gut-punching critique on so much of the feminist conversation that was happening at that time. You can’t really generalize and you can’t really do this because it’s just against humanity to be that way.

RACHEL: Yeah, yeah. It’s hard to explain it in mathematical terms or even like, “Well, here’s the formula we used,” because it was always with our gut, of commenting on the thing, but also doing the thing. We did a song called “Who’s the New Guy” where we premiered this new character played by Scott Michael Foster named Nathaniel, who was this very conventionally attractive new, hot asshole boss. It was really a comment on what people think when a new character is introduced into a TV show and there was a line, “Why should we root for someone male, straight, and white?” He was the definition of a completely privileged, rich, straight white guy. So we were always — and I still strive to do this — trying to have the commentary cake and eat it too, in that, like, No, I also do believe this. 

STELLA: So you’re always walking that line between knowing what people are saying. I’m sorry, are you on Twitter? How do you stay abreast of those conversations and incorporate them in all of them through your work?

RACHEL: I’m on Twitter. I’m more of a lurker than a tweeter, because I think I believe in nuanced and specific discourse, and I don’t think Twitter does that anymore, especially with the trending topics, which have become more and more limiting into what we’re actually talking about. Twitter is the leading cultural tool; I just don’t like the black-and-white thinking that comes from it. It’s not good for me, so I don’t tweet a ton, and usually it’s just to promote stuff, because if I have an opinion about something, I feel myself engaging with the rage. The day after I gave birth, I found out that NYU, my old school, wasn’t giving students any sort of tuition back for the year. Then the dean of Tisch posted this very insensitive and embarrassing video. I was so enraged and I had all these birth hormones I took to Twitter a day after I gave birth to tweet about that. Now, was it partially an escape from the moment I was? Yes. But also, did it feel good to engage with the Rage Machine? Yes. And I don’t like that part of myself. I don’t like the tribalism in myself.

I read this book a couple of years ago called So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, by Jon Ronson, and it’s all about public shaming. And this was before cancel culture. What’s interesting about all forms of public shaming is that it comes from a righteous place, but ultimately it’s quite tribal. It’s our instinct as humans to be, I’m part of this tribe. You are not part of my tribe. I think at this point, I just don’t feel like there’s much I can personally contribute to Twitter, because everything I want to say takes up more than the hundred-something characters, and when it doesn’t, I’m engaging in a part of myself that I don’t necessarily want to engage in.

STELLA: Slight segue to the idea of tribalism. I was thinking about the fact that you’re a new mom and you talk a lot in your book and in your work about the tribalism of junior-high-school life and being in and out and feeling like you can’t quite figure out your way in. I think about this a lot with my own kids, but do you want to have your child experience that kind of outsider status or any of the things that you went through that were so formative to you in your work? Like, would you choose to spare her that or would you hope to have her experience, anything like that?

RACHEL: Absolutely not. I don’t want my child to be bullied in any way that I was. No, no, no.

STELLA: I don’t even mean bullying necessarily. But just that sense of your hardship that defines your sensibilities, like how do you expect that for her? What are your expectations around that for her or hopes?

RACHEL: I’m going into this with no template. All I can do is, first of all, read some books about child rearing from people who’ve done this and listen to people who are currently raising children who I respect, and try to instill in her empathy, but also self-protection because I think I have too much empathy in that it will sacrifice … I’m a people-pleaser, so I worry that I’ve insulted someone or I worry that I’m hurting someone or I’ll sacrifice my own comfort or something to make sure someone else feels comfortable. I don’t want her to feel that, especially because women are often taught to put their own happiness into other people’s happiness. So I want to teach her balance. That’s really my goal: balance and moderation. And that’s all I can really hope for. I don’t have a picture of her or an ideal that I’m trying to really get to in my mind, other than the people I know who I admire as parents and the kids I see who are really, really good kids. When I think of good kids, I think of kids who have a passion, who value kindness and intelligence and aren’t worried about what other people think. As far as if they really want to pursue a passion hard, it’s more of just striving to encourage these qualities in her.

I think another template I don’t have is that I didn’t grow up with parents in show business at all. So I think it’s more what I want to prevent. I don’t want a kid who thinks that everyone is on TV and everyone’s in show business. And I’m not rich like this, but that everyone has a screening room or whatever. I think mitigating that and balancing that. And then a kid who becomes an influencer at 12 and thinks that they’re deserving of fame and acclaim for doing nothing. It’s more of my fears of that culture and that type of kid. This is also why I don’t post as much on social media, my fear that it will take over her life and become her meaning for living and turn her into a zombie or whatever. It’s more preventing those things and trying to model that behavior.

STELLA: Speaking of modeling behavior, I know that when you set up your writers’ room, you had very specific goals for how that was going to run. And they were rooted in empathy and compassion. Can you talk a little bit about what you did to set that up and set those expectations for those people? And also how was it informed by your previous bad experiences in other places?

RACHEL: Well, credit where credit’s due, Aline Brosh McKenna was the showrunner of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, so what ended up happening was we were ordered to series very unexpectedly because we were a Showtime pilot that was passed on. We were being considered at the CW. Then we found out that CW didn’t like any of their pilots that came in for the fall that year. And we were being considered for fall. And then a day after [that] I heard that we were ordered to series. So we were quite behind. This is also in my book, too. So it’s easy for me to relay, because I had to write about it. But basically, a week after I found out we were going to series, I had to get on a plane to New York and go to what’s called upfronts, which are when networks present their shows to the advertisers. I had to start doing the press for the show from the lead-actress-creator thing. Aline stayed behind in California to get our writers’ room, because we were behind all of these other shows that were in contention for the fall. They had already pre-interviewed a lot of writers, they’d already pre-chosen directors, and we were scrambling. So a lot of the choices for the writers room really rested on Aline. She and I both read, but she did a lot of reading of a lot of scripts and found people just really based on who had the best samples. So it starts with that. And then I think this show’s immensely personal. In a writers’ room where you are going to share personal stories, you need a sense of empathy. As far as my previous writers’ room experience, that show is very different from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but what I took from that is just doing my best to not activate other people’s lizard brains.

STELLA: Can you explain what you mean, specifically?

RACHEL: So in the first writer’s room I was in — and this wasn’t the bosses, this was really my fellow writers — it was a competitive room. If you had a bad pitch, the other writers would shit on your bad pitch. When I say “the other writers,” it was really two people that everyone was like, you’re cool. And it was two people who had probably also the funniest pitches. They were very funny people, and I definitely learned a lot from them as far as joke writing, so they would just kind of shit on pitches. I was the only girl. I was the youngest. I was the greenest. I was really green when I got this job. I was 23 and I felt very made fun of and targeted in ways that were hard for me to articulate because no one was ever like, “Fuck off, woman, you’re not funny.” It was never like that. It was all of these insulting microaggressions that you worry that you’re just being too sensitive or that you’re making it up. And luckily, my boss at the time actually did admit … we had a private meeting and he was like, “This is a tough room.” He was like, “This guy’s a bully.”

STELLA: But so did that person help in any way, or just the acknowledgment?

RACHEL: I don’t know what they said to the guys; for all I know, they could have had a conversation. There was no public discussion of, like, “Guys, don’t be assholes.” There wasn’t that. So I think just trying to hire people who didn’t seem like assholes, and that wasn’t really a problem. Because we had a majority-female writers room, and I’m not saying women aren’t assholes, but they’re less likely to be assholes in the ways than I find men are. You see how I’m generalizing? Look, in comedy there is a culture, and it is set by the straight white male guys, of competition and meanness, and so other people can absolutely be competitive and mean, and I think especially women who are of a slightly older generation, fall into that maybe a bit more because that’s what you had to fucking do. It’s like, Yeah, to fit in with the guys, I had to be as fucking mean as they were, and they’re absolutely right. That is what you had to do. So this accepting feeling of a writers’ room, a no-assholes policy, I think it’s relatively new in the comedy culture.

STELLA: Is it changing? Do you see it changing broadly?

RACHEL: Yeah, in that I hear about more writers’ rooms that sound like pretty pleasant experiences. My husband’s own experience was on How I Met Your Mother. He wrote on How I Met Your Mother for four or five years, and that was a very accepting writers’ room. The bosses on that show were very nice, and the other writers were very nice to each other. Right around the time I had my first job, I was also spending a lot of time on the set of How I Met Your Mother. I would go on there and hang out, and it was a big, spacious, multicam set, so there was room for me to kind of sit in the back of Video Village, and that set and that writers’ room just felt very nice, and everyone was very nice. I always had that in the back of my head, especially on set, because set was more my domain than the writers room, so just trying to create that feeling of acceptance and everyone is welcome.

STELLA: Well, what advice would you give people listening about how to deal with disappointment? I know that it seems like everything has been great. You have this big show, you have a book, you have a baby. But I know that show was rejected; I’ve read it eight times in one day. How do you pick yourself up from those disappointments and keep going?

RACHEL: I think surrounding yourself, friendwise and workwise, with people whose opinions you respect, because we knew Crazy Ex was a good pilot. It was the frustration of like, Why doesn’t anyone else see this? We knew it was [good] and the people I’d shown it to that I respected thought it was, and I don’t think they were lying to me. So I think it’s about building a community and a camaraderie so that you can steel yourself against rejection. But rejection is always going to hurt. I think also the pressure of how you’re not supposed to feel sad when you get rejected. You know, like, “Oh, don’t be don’t be sad. It’s in your head. It’s not you, it’s them. A lot of decisions go into it. If you don’t get a part, you shouldn’t be upset.” But I think that negates emotions and makes it worse. So I think the acceptance of like, No, I am bummed and I am sad and I realize that a lot of this is out of my control. But allowing yourself to be sad in ways that you might think are “shallow” is an important part of that.

STELLA: Yeah, that’s great advice. But I’m also wondering, on a practical level, like I heard you discussing on another podcast the experience of getting notes back from a network executive or something. And they took out a joke. And you and whomever you were working with immediately turned the rejection of that, or the removal of that joke, into a joke, kind of purged it from your systems and were able to keep going forward with the skit or the show. That was so impressive to me, because that is so cathartic. It’s such a great kind of [way of] acknowledging it, turning it into something to laugh at, moving on from it. Is there anything else, or were you even aware that was my analysis of listening to you talk about it? Is that something you’re, like, aware of?

RACHEL: I think that understanding when you get notes from anyone, they’re just trying to make the thing better. It’s hard a lot of times, because the people you get notes from aren’t writers, and they have so many mandates from their own bosses. “This is what we want for the network. Here’s the demos we should be appealing to.” That’s their job. It’s not their fault. So at the end of the day, people are just people. Everyone’s trying to make the thing the best it can be, and notes calls are weird. A lot of this stuff is weird. Notes calls are weird, auditions are weird. Callbacks are weird. General meetings are weird. The people who are more powerful also think it’s weird. So I think finding the balance of not being disrespectful but treating people like they’re people.

STELLA: But then you have that funny, that great song about not being a lawyer. Just don’t be a lawyer. I was listening to the “Whatever you do, don’t become a lawyer,” as an almost cathartic way of dealing with all these lawyers that you have to deal with who are probably always telling you.

RACHEL: That was so funny. The ending joke where it’s like “The CW and CBS do not condone anything in the song,” that is maybe a little bit of a pushback and a rebellion against all of the legal things we had to follow. But no, that was really based on, again, it came a lot from Aline, who went to Harvard. Aline knows a lot of lawyers who quit and were miserable and actually a lot of my husband’s friends — the same boat — were lawyers. I think of all of the people who went to law school, one of them is still a lawyer. You have to really love [being a lawyer]. My father is a health-care lawyer and he loves it.

STELLA: He loves being a lawyer or he loves the song?

RACHEL: My father loves being a lawyer and he loves the song. My dad loves health-care law. My dad’s also a bizarre person. So that was the other thing, is the people who actually love the law, there’s an element of bizarreness in people who really love being lawyers. There’s something wrong with them.

STELLA: Is there something wrong with your dad?

[LAUGHTER]

Your big hit, your major, viral “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury” – you eventually met him. Had he seen the video? What was it like?

RACHEL: He had. At the time, he was about 90 years old, so a lot of his friends had seen the video and shown it to him. This one specific guy who was in his orbit, John, reached out to me and said, “Are you ever going to be in Los Angeles? I can arrange a meeting with Ray.” So it really was his friends and that very nice community that he had around him — going back to having a community of people around you — he had amassed this very loving group of people. There’s a lot of overlap between the sci-fi–fantasy community, the magic community, the science community, the skeptical community. For the most part, it’s a very nice, supportive group of people. And that’s how we met. It was through his friends.

STELLA: But did he think it was funny?

RACHEL: He did. He did, definitely. I mean, at the time, he was quite aged. So he was hard of hearing and his vision I think was going a bit, but he was sharp as ever, and he thought the video was funny. We had a lovely hour-long conversation, mostly in which I just asked him about his writing and his books and his writing process. It was surreal.

STELLA: Was that a career highlight or anything you ever expected to have happen?

RACHEL: I didn’t expect to meet him. It was definitely a career highlight. It was also one of the only times I’ve been in the house of a legend. I was just starting out in my career, which is obviously very different from Ray Bradbury’s career. But I was just starting out in my career, and then going to this house in Beverly Hills, filled with awards, and going into this room where he was kind of receiving people all day. He had set up almost like a one-man salon where one by one people would come in and talk to him. Okay, so this is how you live your life once you are successful. But also learning that he still wrote for, I think, two hours every morning and had his daughter take dictation.

STELLA: Oh, wow. Do you think you’ll be doing that at 90 with half of your hair?

RACHEL: Yeah, if I can fucking figure out a better way to organize my emails. Every morning, I think I’m going to get up and write, and it’s like, Ah, I got to answer all these emails. 

STELLA: One last question: 20 years from now, your daughter’s listening to this. What’s one thing you would love her to know about this first year together?

RACHEL: That even though we’ve been talking about my career a lot, I know that she’s the most important thing, and I love her so much, and I hope she knows that and feels how much I love her, and how much of a priority her happiness is to me, and that if 20 years from now she’s listening to this and she doesn’t feel like that, we should have a conversation. She needs to come to me and we need to have a conversation.

STELLA: That’s really nice. I’m going to cry. That’s really, really nice. That’s such a nice thing to say. All right. Well, it’s been such a pleasure to have you. And I know that the Cut audience loves you and can’t wait for your next thing. And it’s been our pleasure to have you on the podcast.

RACHEL: Thank you. It was lovely to be here.

In Her Shoes: Rachel Bloom