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A Brief Interview With Young, Broke and Beautiful’s Stuart Schuffman

A Brief Interview With Young, Broke and Beautiful’s Stuart Schuffman (photo)

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“Young, Broke and Beautiful” premieres on IFC on Friday, June 24th at 11 p.m. ET. The series chronicles Broke-Ass Stuart’s (a.k.a. Stuart Schuffman’s) travel adventures within the U.S. But this is no ordinary travel show, and Broke-Ass Stuart is no ordinary host. Rather, Stuart believes that being broke-ass is a state of mind and the best part of most cities aren’t in any guidebooks. We sat down with the travel writer and blogger known for his popular guidebook “Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply in San Francisco” to chat about the new show.

Good morning, Stuart, where in the world are you today?

I’m in my hometown of San Francisco. I work at home so I am wearing my usual work uniform: Pajamas and a t-shirt.

How did you go from living in SF to being young, broke and beautiful?
I was making Zines — you remember zines. right? I was making zines about broke-ass Stuart living cheaply in SF. They got to be pretty popular and people really started reading them. The success let me start writing for the Lonely Planet guidebooks. And then I got a book deal on Craig’s List.

You got a book deal on Craig’s List?!

Yeah, I always joke that I wanted a blow job and got a book deal instead. But there was an ad and they asked for submissions, so I sent in my stuff. I ended up doing two books with them. One was on San Francisco [Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply in San Francisco] and one was on New York [Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply in New York]. They were general survival guides to being broke asses. Now I’m on IFC.

How did you translate your books into a show?

It’s a totally different medium. The show is definitely not my book, we didn’t take a novel and turn it into a movie, but the ethos is the same. We wanted to show that you don’t need money to be alive or wonderful or to seek things out. We wanted to explore our favorite cities and find awesome things to do there.

What are some of your favorite cities?
That’s hard because I’ve traveled quite a bit. Whenever I get money I think oh I have to buy a ticket and go somewhere. There’s something cool almost anywhere you go. I wrote the Lonely Planet guide to Ireland and Galway was amazing. It was wide open with an energy that was different from the rest of the country. I also love Buenos Aires and I really think that Bilbao, Spain is great. I fell in love with Bilbao. It is one of those cities that right now is the time to go visit. It’s going to be one of those cities that you wish you had visited way back when. Domestically: I love New Orleans. It reminds me of San Francisco in that you can be as freaky deaky as you want to be. Everything’s awesome.

Do you go into towns with an idea in your head about where to go or what to see or do you just let the chance drive you?

It’s television, so there is a lot of planning involved. There were months of pre-production research about cool places to see. It’s not how I’ve ever functioned before, but

How did you choose your cities?

Short list of cities whittled it down from there. Wanted to go to Portland but …

Wait, how have you not been to Portland, it’s so close to SF?

Well, I don’t have a car, so I can’t drive. But it’s crazy, I’ve been to 40 something states, but I’ve never been to Oregon. I really want to go up there. Maybe I will.
But so we had a short list of cities and eventually chose Baltimore, Boston, Memphis, San Diego, New Orleans, and Detroit.

What did you find to do in Detroit?

The economy is depressed there, so it creates a space for artists. You can pay the rent there. Being an artist in NYC or San Francisco is crazy you have to have two jobs to pay the rent. But in Detroit the economy is bad so you can just be an artist. There are cool people doing amazing shit. Like this group of artists were living in this crazy building with vaults and shit and these artists occupied the first few floors and they eventually bought the whole building for $350,000, which coming from SF or NYC is nothing! People in Detroit get to be really creative and do amazing shit that they just couldn’t do in other cities because they’d be too busy being waiters or something.

Did you have a set budget in mind when you went to the cities?

No, no, that premise is s too limiting. It’s been done. We’re not really hammering you over the head with broke broke broke but amazing things that don’t need a lot of money. We don’t count down the receipt at the end of the show. Being broke ass is really a state of mind. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. You don’t need money to have a good time. It’s not about the things that you own, it’s about the things that you do and there are cool things everywhere.

What was your favorite city to visit for the show?

New Orleans. I mean, I don’t want to play favorites at all. Each city had something you wouldn’t experience anywhere else in the world. But I really loved New Orleans. There’s so much culture meshed together there to make something more. It was also the first city we went to so maybe that has something to do with it, but it’s totally not an American city, but at the same time it fully encapsulates the American experience

What city do you wish you could have spent more time in?

New Orleans. I have to go back to that city. There’s such a sense of revelry about it. It’s like a first love, where there are a lot of fucked up things about it, but you love it. There have been disasters and shitty things but people have this attitude that while things may be just terrible today, but tomorrow we will dance in the streets. However, we love all the cities equally. No favorites.

What can viewers expect from this show?
It’s going to fucking awesome! People in these cities can watch and say, “Oh hey I had no idea that was here!” These are love letters to the cities. There is something in Baltimore that is worth doing. Something you won’t find anywhere else in the world. There are a lot of great people doing cool things like warehouse parties, loft parties, and musicians in every city. The Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore is one of the best museums I’ve ever seen. Mink Stole from John Waters’ movies is in the show. It’s fucking awesome! She’s awesome. It’s all going to be awesome.

“Young, Broke, and Beautiful” premieres on IFC on Friday, June 24th at 11 p.m. ET

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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