At Jimmy Kimmel Live! With Carlin Dacey ’08

Photo courtesy of LinkedIn

Generally, Choate takes pride in producing multifaceted students — global citizens that embody the values set by the School. Students carry a sense of comedy throughout their four years at Choate, using humor during exams and rough culmination weeks.

One comedy-centered show is Jimmy Kimmel Live!, a late-night talk show broadcasted five times a week on ABC. The host, Jimmy Kimmel, is an Emmy-winning comic who artfully blends comedy and celebrity together; he has hosted many other fellow comics, as well as celebrities, musicians,  and athletes.

Though Jimmy Kimmel is not a Choate alum, Carlin Dacey ’08 is a key figure in the operation and networking of the show. Dacey, a comedian herself, is currently an assistant on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Influenced by shows such as The Office and Arrested Development, both of which she came to know through her friends at Choate, Dancey took inspiration from stand-up comedians such as Eddie Izzard. Dacey said in an email interview, “I can’t say I was very involved in the arts at Choate, but I certainly developed my love of comedy while in high school. My friends introduced me to shows, as well as my Nichols adviser; she opened me up to comedy. All of the people who I met at Choate helped shape my taste in humor and got me interested in my work.”

She added, “I wanted to start working in TV when I was in college. I was an athlete, diving, while at Choate, and that continued on to my college career. So I thought I would combine sports with my film major. However, I quickly realized after internships at the Big Ten Network that it was not for me. I interned at Saturday Night Live  and it was a wonderful experience. I realized comedy was the kind of TV I wanted to produce, the kind that could relieve stress and makes people laugh.”

Dacey’s career launched when she worked at the Second City in Chicago, the Mecca of comedy.

She recalled, “It was great training ground. The city has produced the funniest people you will ever meet. They are my idols: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Stephen Colbert. It was in this city where it was evident that I was going to pursue a career in late-night TV.” Her journey continued when she moved to Los Angeles, working at an agency that focused on comedy tours, then relocated to a reality TV production company, before she became an assistant at Jimmy Kimmel Live!

This year, Dacey will be assisting in the production of the Academy Awards. She stated her excitement: “I will be helping with a million moving parts. From setting up the event, to red carpet interviews, to the host’s monologues, and to the winning speeches, it will be an incredible opportunity to learn. There are so many things that I need to practice and prepare for; otherwise, it will all go wrong on national TV. With all the camera and audio equipment being assembled, there is no corner that cannot be seen on the screen. There is a ton of work behind the scenes to ensure the live event goes smoothly.”

Dacey has many goals for the future. She stated, “I am not sure how my future looks, but I will stay at Jimmy Kimmel Live!, learn as much as possible, and meet as many people as I can. But my ultimate goal is to become a producer myself. I love where I work and the people I work with. I am incredibly fortunate for this opportunity.”

Choate can look forward to seeing Dacey’s work soon. She said, “I am going to work on my own projects and produce comedy sketches with my friends, and submit them to comedy festivals.” In the next few years, we’ll keep an eye out for Dacey’s work on the big screen.

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