Meet the Savage Herself: Amanda, Host of Savage Talks

Savage Talks is officially back and wilder than ever. Meet the Los Angeles-based comedian and activist Amanda G Savage who is behind all the savagery.

Amanda G Savage is back with Season Two of Savage Talks all the way from L.A., and despite the show being incredibly funny and a little ridiculous, Amanda has a side to her that gets serious about the work and activism that she is passionate about. We talk to Amanda to get to know her a little more and how Savage Talks is a combination of humour, activism and getting to know L.A.’s very diverse community.




Where are you from, Amanda?

I was born in Pennsylvania and then I left the ‘burbs to go to NYC to become the next editor of Vogue. I worked in fashion all of college where I realised not many people in the industry had a sense of humour. And I graduated during the recession and was a secretary at Hedgefunds where I wanted to die. And so I was partying every night and when I was hungover I was basically doing stand-up sets for everyone. Because I was so sad, I became so funny.

So you went into comedy as a reaction to the circumstances you had around you?

Because I was so sad, yes. To cope with working in corporate America. As I would pass out mail, I would be conscious to always say something to make them laugh. And so I moved to Los Angeles to become a clown.

Do you think the crowds in L.A. were receptive to your humour?

I moved to L.A. during a creative renaissance when it was cheaper to live here and everybody was creating consistently. And I was doing stand-up and improv every night. I was too afraid to do standup in New York. People in Paris and New York are miserable, and people in L.A. are miserable but at least they smile at you, you know? At least they’re trying to make it seem like they’re happy.

Human suffering is inevitable but at least they’re [LA People] are like “Hi, how are you? I have a green juice!”

How deeply involved are you in the comedy or entertainment business in L.A.?

I do a lot of hosting and teleprompter work, but I think Savage Talks is a good combination of my hosting and comedy abilities. I had a podcast I started in 2013 about feminism and LGBT rights in Hollywood called Pulling it Together before feminism was a T-shirt and I interviewed all female comics and I’ll never forget the podcast network’s producer claiming I’d “Run out of guests”…and then it was the best show on the network by far in terms of numbers and popularity.

Do you feel like yourself when you host Savage Talks? Do you feel like you’re truly putting 100% of yourself out there?

It’s basically my personality on a psychotic level. I think it’s a persona that’s built from my personality traits, and for some reason when people say they’ve seen the show I say “Oh…God…” because I don’t function like that in society. But I had my very best friend write down my personality traits and we decided that I’d be funny and a psycho but also as close to how I see myself on a comic level.


Amanda being herself times a hundred with her crew and Yassir Lester in the background

The show is hilarious. I think you’re breaking down a lot of traditional interview styles, so what do you do to make your guests comfortable or not?

I took a lot of inspiration from Between Two Ferns by Zach Galifinakis, I think it’s so fun to make people uncomfortable, get yourself into trouble and then get yourself out of it. With Season 1 I didn’t tell people what I was wearing and I would mic them outside and would film the second they walked in. Some people take to it better than others and some people throw it back at me. I love great interviews – conversations can be so juicy. If you can have a set of questions but then actually listen, and hear what people say that’s interesting, you can find very different conversations to have.



Are the rumours true, that L.A. is kinda superficial

I think a third of LA is people who came here to get famous, a third is people who came to tell stories, and the third are people who have just always lived here. There are Louis Vuitton bag fillers who are really scary to me, but it attracts people who want attention and fame but it doesn’t last. It’s a 10 year marathon, not a sprint. As much as I am in my work, I’d rather talk to activists and comics and hear from the world issues rather than talk about what nail polish I like best.

Are there a lot of activists in L.A.?

There’s a ton. I just spoke to queer muslim activist Blair Imani in Season Two of Savage Talks and she’s from L.A.. On my podcast, I interviewed a woman who runs a film festival in the Middle East for women only. I also spoke to the women who run More Than No which is a non-profit about consent and sex education. I think it’s so important to talk to the people who are doing the real work.


Amanda with Blair Imani (@blairimani), who she interviews in the second episode of Savage Talks Season Two.

What’s an ultimate goal for you?

I’m here to do feminist comedy, and wanna allow people doing the work to talk. I really admire Jameela Jamil who created something called I Weigh, which works to take the power away from corporations that want you to feel bad about yourself. My ultimate goal is to create clinics or treatment centers for people with eating disorders. What keeps me going is the possibility to have a platform to help young girls and women.

Are you connected with the queer community in L.A.?

Yes, I’m bisexual, and I story produced on a show called Hella Gay out here which explored queer subcultures and identity. Working on that show was so good for my sexual identity and has brought me closer to the community.

How would you describe Savage Talks season 2?

It’s definitely more psychosis (I scream a lot) but it’s also an exploration of fun activism. It’s so fun and I’m so much more in tune with the type of funny my guests are. It’s heightened. We’ve gone next level.



Watch Savage Talks Season 2


All photography by Angeline Woo.

Michelle Zhu is a writer who talks about identity, culture and writes letters to their ancestors with the force of love.