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Kristen Schaal

She may have an oddly spelled last name (it's pronounced shall, as in "call"), but Kristen Schaal's rapid rise to stardom is anything but strange. A mainstay of New York's comedy clubs throughout the early 2000s, Schaal made a name for herself as Mel on HBO's surrealist musical comedy, "Flight of the Conchords" (HBO, 2007-09), and soon followed that up with appearances on "Modern Family" (ABC, 2009- ), "The Daily Show" (Comedy Central, 1996- ), as well as a recurring role as Louise Belcher on the animated sitcom, "Bob's Burgers" (Fox, 2011- ). Already a rising comedic talent, her unmistakable high-pitched voice work, which has also included characters in "Toy Story 3" (2010), "Despicable Me 2" (2013) and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" (2013), has lent further credence to her status as a quirky multi-talented performer. Raised on a cattle farm near Longmont, Colorado, Schaal graduated from Northwestern University, before moving to New York City to pursue a career as a stand-up comic. She started working her way through the New York comedy circuit, and in 2005 made the list of the "10 Funniest New Yorkers You Never Heard Of" in New York Magazine. Another career highlight came in 2006 when Schaal was awarded the prestigious "Best Alternative Comedian" award at the Aspen Comedy Arts Festival, beating out several dozen of her comedic peers. In 2007 she was exposed to a mainstream audience for the first time after joining the cast of HBO's "Flight of the Conchords," and the following year was hired on as a special correspondent for "The Daily Show," thus becoming even more of a recognizable face on the national stage. When "Conchords" ended after two seasons in 2009, Schaal worked harder than ever, nabbing recurring parts on NBC's "30 Rock" (2006-2013), "Gravity Falls" (Disney Channel, 2012-16) and "Wilfred" (2011-14). She also played the awkward triceratops Trixie in "Toy Story 3" and lent her voice to the Fox animated series "Bob's Burgers." 2013 proved to be a banner year for Schaal-in addition to being featured in two episodes of "Archer" (FX, 2009- ), she voiced characters in the blockbuster animated films "Despicable Me 2" and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2." In 2015, she began starring in a second Sunday night Fox sitcom alongside "Bob's Burgers." "The Last Man on Earth" (Fox 2015- ), created by and starring Will Forte, co-starred Schaal as quirky, highly-strung Carol Pilbasian, a survivor of a plague that has wiped out the rest of humanity. Between seasons of her two series Schaal co-starred in the Robert Redford film "A Walk in the Woods" (2015), Melissa McCarthy's "The Boss" (2016), indie comedy "All Nighter" (2017) and roamntic comedy "Literally, Right Before Aaron" (2017).
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