Meet Maeve Higgins

Maeve is a New York Times op-ed contributor and the host of the hit podcast Maeve in America: Immigration IRL. She is a comedian who has performed all over the world, including in her native Ireland, Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Erbil. Now based in New York, she cohosts Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk and has appeared on Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer. Her essay collection 'Maeve in America' is out August 7th.


What do you know for sure?

I know for sure that we are all linked together, whether we like it or not. So even if I feel allergic to someone, I try and remember that we're all made of the same grimy, beautiful stuff so it's in our personal best interest to take care of each other. I also know that if angels were real, and if they cried, their tears would taste delicious and exactly like a peanut butter milkshake from ShakeShack. 

What don't people know about you?

People can never tell whether or not my hair is genuinely curly. It exists in a perpetually in-between state. I do various things to it, but even in its natural state it's not straight, not kinky, not wavy, but something in between, with a variety of patterns that seemingly change at will. Am I a seaweed witch? Maybe, maybe not. I know this much, my hair certainly needs a lot of moisturizing products.  

What makes you laugh?

I have a major soft spot for clownish people like my friend Jeff who makes funny faces and chooses to joke even at the darkest of times. Small children make me laugh a lot, they just don't have a clue and get almost everything wrong that spending time with them feels borderline farcical. VEEP and Atlanta are the funniest shows on TV and my dog, Shadow, cracks me up when she falls asleep in weird places. Sometimes I force people to look at videos of Shadow and they never seem to enjoy it as much as I do. Perhaps I need to make longer videos.  

Who do you admire?

I admire the people of Syria who peacefully stood up to a brutal dictator seven years ago, simply to ask for basic human rights, and have been paying a brutal price ever since. The world has pretty much ignored their desperate plight, or worse, like here in the US where they are banned from entry as refugees. But still they take care of each other as best they can, and make amazing food and art and music whenever possible. They are a beautiful people and any country would be lucky to welcome them. I admire their humanity in the face of so much pain and I admire their resilience. 

Tell us about your creative process.

I torment myself for days to months on end by faffing around, online and irl, I do all sorts of irritating things to drive myself crazy, basically anything but write. Then finally, something happens and I have to write and can't sleep until I've written. In the past I've had a writing/workout schedule and I've used the timer, and loud music, and tiredness, and anything at all to help. These days I'm trying to be less furious at myself and to use logic and remember that I've written in the past, and I can do it again, and it will happen sooner or later. Crazy. For each big project, I tend to listen to the same album on repeat very loud in my headphones throughout and that helps a lot! 


Want more? Follow Maeve on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You should probably also pre-order her latest book immediately.