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Kristen Schaal is an American actress and comedian, best known for her role as Mel in the HBO series Flight of the Conchords and as a contributor on The Daily Show.
Schaal grew up on a farm in Longmont, Colorado and graduated from Northwestern University. After college she moved to New York to pursue a comedy career and five years later in 2005 had her first break when she was included in New York Magazine's "The Ten Funniest New Yorkers You've Never Heard Of."
In 2006 Schaal was invited to perform at the 2006 HBO US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen where she won the award for "Best Alternative Comedian". She was also the winner of the second annual Andy Kaufman Award (hosted by the New York Comedy Festival), Best Female Stand-up at the 2006 Nightlife Awards in New York, and "Best Female Stand Up Comedian" at the 2007 ECNY Awards. At the 2008 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, she won the Barry Award for her show Kristen Schaal As You Have Probably Never Seen Her Before, tying with Nina Conti.
She co-hosts the weekly variety show Hot Tub at Comix comedy club, which was voted "Best Variety Show of 2005" by Time-Out New York's readers poll. She also performs at the Peoples Improv Theater on the improv team, "Big Black Car", which was awarded best improv troupe of 2005 at the Emerging Comics of New York awards. She is a founding member of the theatre company The Striking Viking Story Pirates, which adapts stories by children into sketches and songs.
Schaal performed live at the Edinburgh Fringe 2007 in Scotland, where she was one of six acts (chosen from over two hundred American productions at the Fringe) requested to perform at the US Consul General-sponsored "Fringe USA" Showcase.
On her return to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2008, Schaal was nominated for the If.comedy award for Kristen Schaal And Kurt Braunohler: Double Down Hearts.
Schaal has also performed at the Royal Albert Hall, London, as part of The Secret Policeman's Ball 2008 in aid of Amnesty International, and the Bonnaroo 2009 music festival.
Schaal is best known for her role on HBO's Flight of the Conchords as the stalker-fan Mel, a role which earned her a Ewwy nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2009. She was also a credited consultant and writer for Season 11 of South Park, appeared on the BBC's Never Mind the Buzzcocks as a contestant on Noel Fielding's Team, and played the boss in Fuse's mockumentary The Intern. She made her first appearance as a "special commentator" on Comedy Central's The Daily Show on March 13, 2008. She is often presented as the Daily Show's "Senior Women's Issues Commentator." On April 13 2008, she made an appearance on Good News Week during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and in October 2008 she appeared in Amnesty International's The Secret Policeman's Ball 2008.
Schaal's other film and television credits include Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Snake 'n' Bacon, Norbit, Conviction, Cheap Seats, Freak Show, Kate & Leopold, Adam and Steve, Delirious, Australian show "Good News Week", Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Education of Max Bickford, Comedy Central's Contest Searchlight, Ugly Betty, How I Met Your Mother, MTV's Human Giant, and Mad Men. She was also a contributor to the sketch/music series The Nighttime Clap on the Fuse music network. She also appeared on Fuse's original comedy series The P.A. Schaal has appeared in two recent TV pilots written and directed by Jersey City comedian Dan McNamara -- The Calderons and Redeeming Rainbow, both of which were screened as official selections at the 2006 and 2007 New York Television Festivals. She was also in television commercials for Wendy's, RadioShack, and Starburst. She made an appearance, in April 2008, on the IFC sketch comedy show "The Whitest Kids U' Know". She recently taped an episode of Comedy Central Presents, which aired April 3, 2009. In 2010, she'll add her voice to the PBS Kids GO! series WordGirl as Victoria Best, a child prodigy whose parents taught her to be the best at everything that she does.
She also stars in A. D. Miles' MyDamnChannel.com series "Horrible People". In October 2008, Schaal appeared in an episode of Spicks and Specks. On June 10, 2009, Schaal broadcast her first radio show, "High Five!!", on Sirius XM Radio's 'RawDog' channel with co-host Kurt Braunohler. She will play Gertha Teeth in the upcoming movie The Vampire's Assistant. Schaal stars in her own web series, "Penelope Princess of Pets."
Schaal is currently working on a romance novel for HarperCollins, which she is writing with her boyfriend, Daily Show writer Rich Blomquist. They originally intended to write the book under pseudonyms, "because I don't want anyone to imagine me doing those things," but soon realized that it would be harder to sell the book without using their own names.