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Wild Ones

Comic Relief with Sam Reece & Emma Stone

The comedy writer and craft enthusiast talks about her celebrity doppelgänger tabby cat.

by Nikki Palumbo
December 5, 2021
Sam Reece sitting at her workstation holding a mug in one hand, wearing a satin teal shirt and a light orange headband.
Ilana Rubin

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Comedian, actor, and Shitty Craft Club mastermind Sam Reece would describe herself in seven words as “writer, colorful, Virgo, bangs, glasses, silly, eats-cereal-for-too-many-meals.” As exactly one half of the sketch comedy duo Girls With Brown Hair, she wrote and starred in the Comedy Central digital series Shop Talk, and has headlined all over the country at theaters and festivals. She’s even made appearances on national commercials and TV shows such as The Other Two and Alternatino, but the real star at home is Emma Stone, her cat.

A little about you: Do you think you were born a cat person and did you grow up with cats?

I was definitely born a cat person but also a “lightly cries at the sight of literally any animal” person. I absolutely have big “grew up with cats” energy. When I was little, my parents had a 16-pound black-and-white cat named Bill who spent most of his life living in a frat house in Philly. He jealousy-pissed on me while I was being adorable in my crib so they decided to rehome him. After Bill we adopted a very patient tabby named Goldie, then we had another black-and-white named Coco who liked to bite noses, a chubby calico named — wait for it — Cali who was my mom’s favorite daughter (I’m an only child), my college roommate’s Maine Coon Marty McFly, and then of course my very own little tabby terror Emma Stone The Cat.

samantha reece
Courtesy of Sam Reece

I know it’s taboo in Hollywood to ask, but how old is Emma Stone and what’s her general deal?

Emma is around four but her soul is at least 3,000 years old. I can tell because she’s got two looks:

  1. If you don’t feed me right now I’ll die.

  2. I simply do not have the patience for you because I’ve been alive for at least 3,000 years.

She’s technically a Mackerel Tabby but she definitely gives off more of a “New York City landlord” vibe. If cat scientists discover a new breed called “Clumsy NYC Tabbylord” known for their gorgeous green eyes, that would be Emma.

When and how did you two meet? Was it very La La Land?

Our origin story is cute and also still very unclear. I had just moved into my first-ever studio apartment and immediately knew it was cat time. A loose comedy acquaintance posted about a free tabby cat on Facebook and was like “yes.” This guy told me she was a bodega cat deemed “too sweet to live in a box of Doritos.” Smash cut to a year later when I run into this guy and asked “How’s that cat? Can’t believe we found her just hanging in the garbage outside of a bar.” So Emma Stone is a garbage kitten who has risen to famous Hollywood status and in that way, yes it was EXTREMELY La La Land.

samantha reece
Left: Ali Levin; Right: Courtesy of Sam Reece

You’re a comedy writer, performer and one-half of Girls With Brown Hair. Has Emma ever inspired your work?

Emma loves my writing partner Becky. The other day she put her paw on Becky’s leg for a long time. Emma has never done that to me?????? Has Emma inspired my work? Sort of! She’s definitely influenced my point of view when writing about a cat or writing for a cat owner. For example, if the original line is “How’s my cat doing?” I will change it to something like “How’s my perfect-pretty-lil-baby-angel-who-I-love-more-than-anything-in-da-whole-world-doing today?” I’ve also definitely written tweets about how Emma has prettier eyes than me. 

In addition to doing comedy, you also run Shitty Craft Club which has a beautiful mission statement of imperfection. How has Emma helped you embrace that in your life?

Emma is…not graceful. She’s clumsy, plays rough, and tears into her food like an angry crocodile, which I think perfectly embodies the idea of embracing your imperfections — those quirks are what make us weird and cool and interesting and maybe we should all let ourselves eat like angry crocodiles.

samantha reece
Courtesy of Sam Reece

Okay and maybe too adorable to think about but does Emma ever lend a paw with your craft projects?

Absolutely not. Emma mostly knocks craft supplies off my desk as a reminder that she’s starving and if she doesn’t eat in the next five minutes she’ll die.

I’m not suggesting this, but would you ever craft something for Emma or — scandalous — something onto Emma?

One time I made Emma a tiny party hat and she graciously provided me with her allotted two minutes of patience per day so I could film a TikTok of us in matching hats.

samantha reece
Left: Arin-Sang-urai; Right: Courtesy of Sam Reece

You could call your apartment Limited Too Chic. Has Emma had any input on decor or favorite pieces of furniture?

Last year Emma fell in love with a box that she sat in every day for at least three months. Since it seemed like the box would be a permanent fixture of the apartment I decided to transform it into a gorgeous sparkly crafty palace. And then, of course, she sat it in for maybe two days before completely ignoring it, so… Emma doesn’t get crafts from me anymore.

Can you tell me about the vintage piece of art you found that’s basically a painted portrait of your time-travelling cat?

YES!!! I was visiting my mom in New Hope, PA where there’s an abundance of amazing vintage and antique shops. We were strolling around a massive antique store that has a billion floors filled with amazing things and I wandered into a random corner, and there it was—a painting of a tabby cat that looked identical to Emma. I was prepared to spend my entire savings on it but luckily it was like $30. When I hung it up, Emma intuitively posed next to it because (obviously) she knows it’s a painting of herself from a different timeline.

samantha reece
Courtesy of Sam Reece

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nikki palumbo

Nikki Palumbo

Nikki is a writer and comedian. Her writing has appeared on The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Funny or Die, Reductress, the Google Assistant, and her folks’ fridge. She was named one of WhoHaha’s “35 LGBTQ Creators We Love” in 2018 and a Yes, And Laughter Lab finalist in 2019. She worked as a story producer on the YouTube Originals weekly music show, RELEASED, and wrote for the inaugural 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted, hosted by Nikki Glaser. Nikki hosts the monthly-ish standup show Queer Tiger Beat, which has been recommended by The New York Times and featured in Time Out.