Jenny Jaffe is in control. At the age of 28, the fiery-maned comedian has written, starred in and directed her own show, Neurotica, on IFC. In university she was recruited as a writer for CollegeHumor.Com and has since made the world of comedy her humble servant. Ms. Jaffe cracked the whip with HUSTLER to school us on mad respect for the dominatrix life, a proposed hair diet among cannibals and her total admiration for the ink quality in nudie pens.
HUSTLER: Where did you get the idea for Neurotica?
JENNY JAFFE: It was a real title first situation! I was excited about creating this comedy character who had OCD, because I have OCD. I also wanted to create a character who showed how OCD feels to me. A lot of the time it gets portrayed as this sort of mental illness and is handled with real gravity, very much like, “We need to talk about this seriously.” And there’s a time and place for that, but Ivy, my character on the show, has been struggling with OCD for years. So to her it’s a recurrence because of stress. It was interesting for me to create a story about a character who had already been dealing with this for a while, knows this as a challenge and more or less knows how to handle it—and then has this entire other life. She’s very in control, obviously, with her career, and then when it comes to her own head, she feels a little out of control.
The concept is completely unique.
If there’s another show like it, I’ve yet to come across it. I brought the project to IFC, and I got really lucky. They were excited about it right away. I mean, it’s a good elevator pitch. You walk in and say, “What if I play a dominatrix with OCD?” I was fortunate they were the exact kind of people who wanted to go for it. Getting people to watch Neurotica has been easier than most projects, because folks are scratching their heads like, “I just don’t know what that would look like. Okay.”
“I MEAN, IT’S A GOOD ELEVATOR PITCH. YOU WALK IN AND SAY, ‘WHAT IF I PLAY A DOMINATRIX WITH OCD?’”