On the stand-up stage, comedian Kate Berlant is a lot — a lot of exaggerated faces, a lot of abrupt free-form physicality and a lot of on-a-dime thematic pivots.
She’s brought that same frenetic theatricality to both the small and big screens, including last year’s Emmy-nominated sketch comedy special “Would It Kill You to Laugh?” co-starring her friend and frequent collaborator John Early, as well as scene-stealing roles in HBO’s “Search Party” and the Boots Riley film “Sorry to Bother You.”
Written and performed by Berlant and directed by Bo Burnham, (who also directed her 2022 Hulu comedy special, “Cinnamon in the Wind”), the quasi-autobiographical play is, in her own words: “kind of like my ridiculous clown show. It’s an absurd, but also sincere, theatrical experience.”
While she’s a blur of hyperactivity during performances, she’s considerably more mellow outside of the spotlight.
“I’m a hedonist,” she says. “I chase pleasure openly and rapidly and it’s not difficult for me to relax.”
Born and raised in Santa Monica and now residing in Silver Lake, her version of relaxation is anything from low-key lounging at Silver Lake Meadow to an hourlong cold-plunge contrast therapy session at Pause Studio in West Hollywood. And when it comes to pleasure, her mind goes straight to food: “I guess I don’t know what else drives people!”
She concocted an ideal Sunday itinerary in which her cravings would guide her on a crosstown comestible spree. She would unabashedly hit up much-ballyhooed eateries and not one but two trendy health-food stores, as well as a couple of old haunts from her adolescence.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for length and clarity.
9 a.m.: No rush to rise
Seeing as the weekend holds no meaning for me because my life doesn’t adhere to the rhythms of a normal life, I guess there’s just a little bit of a feeling of "The office is closed." I would love to sleep until 8:30 or 9. I need at least eight hours of sleep and I truly, honestly want to get 10. I like being able to freely sleep and have nowhere to be. I’d wake up and stay in bed for, like, an hour.
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10 a.m.: Play barista at home
I’m obsessed with my new coffee machine, which is a Breville Bambino espresso machine. I have to say, it’s changed my life. It makes better coffee than I can ever get out in the world. Also — I’m sure this is a habit that will dissolve probably in the next two weeks — I’m currently hyper-fixated on making green juice every morning, just as a natural symptom of living in Los Angeles.
11 a.m.: Make a breakfast decision
I love Sqirl — it’s still one of the most dependably delicious meals you can get. I also love Courage Bagels, which is obviously extraordinarily covered in the press, but it lives up to its reputation. The line at Courage is often overwhelming and impenetrable, certainly in the face of hunger. There’s this rare occasion where, if I can handle waiting in line, it’s Courage. I’m often starving and, typically, if I need food, I need it within 20 minutes. If I go to Sqirl, I really like the sorrel pesto rice bowl, or the frittata thing they do is beautiful.
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Noon: Embark on a Westside trek
I’d probably go to Santa Monica to visit my parents, which I do pretty frequently on a Sunday. It’s a shocking sacrifice I make as an only child who loves their parents. You have to completely surrender to the traffic and get over it. I’ll just be listening to the same songs on a loop, typically, because I’m such a creature of habit. (Right now, some songs on repeat are “Let ‘Em In” by Wings, “When the Morning Comes” by Hall & Oates, “Number One Fan” by Muna, “What It Is” by Doechii and “Party 4 U” by Charli XCX.) Or I’ll use the opportunity to make phone calls. When I bemoan the traffic, I realize how very lucky I am that I can see my parents — they’re just an annoying traffic ride away. We’ll just be sitting at the dining room table, chatting. I often bring them food, so I’d bring them some from Sqirl, or I’d pick up Tacos Por Favor, a Santa Monica place from my youth that’s still there. Their chile rellenos are a staple of my childhood; my parents would order them in bulk for parties.
3 p.m.: Comparison shopping
I go to Erewhon — as the government requires me to do — at least three to five times a week. (I have a habit of buying their soups that come jarred, as emergency postshow food if I’m home late from the theater.) It would not be unlike me to go to two different Erewhons in one day and have it kind of be a ridiculous indulgence. I’ll go to the Silver Lake one and look around. Then, I’ll truly go to the Santa Monica Erewhon just to kind of compare and contrast. And if I’m in Santa Monica, I would do a nostalgic stop by the Brentwood Country Mart, to peruse how the 0.5% live and maybe some shopping could happen. [Growing up] I spent a lot of time there.
5 p.m.: A dinnertime vibe check
7 p.m.: Sidle up to an atmospheric bar
As a date, we’d go to Café Triste in Chinatown and have a nice glass of wine and hang outside. Ambiance is key and Café Triste is kind of sexy and has a nice energy. Or, I also love Capri Club. I have no qualms with just fully embracing, loving and adoring the most heavily media-hyped places in Los Angeles. I could rack my brain for a more specialized list to, you know, portray myself as someone who traverses their own path. But I am on the Commoner’s Trail!
9 p.m.: Back home to gaze at homes
Honestly, on a Sunday, it’s really nice to be home by 9 and then, realistically, watch like an hour of Architectural Digest videos. I’m aesthetically driven and obsessed with people’s homes and spaces and how the rich reproduce a certain aesthetic. To catch people in that “performance” of the Architectural Digest tour, it’s some of the most haunting material you can find. To be clear, I’m raucous, wild and I love to be out late. I love to party, I love glamour and I love Hollywood, but I also love to eat at 5 and then be completely entering REM [sleep] by 11.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.