Former media consultant and Newport Beach mom Kate Casey found her niche in entertainment about four years ago.
“I call myself the Diane Sawyer of reality television, but if Diane Sawyer was sarcastic and hoarded babies,” said the mother of five — four girls and a boy, including a 4-month-old.
Casey, who majored in political science and interned at the White House before a 16-year career as a media consultant for law firms, said she’s always been passionate about entertainment — and comedy.
“Though I worked in corporate P.R., I longed for a career in entertainment,” she said.
In 2009, she started writing comedic reality TV show recaps on her blog loveandknuckles.com.
“It was like fan fiction,” she said, as she offered an example of her writing style: “As the wind was blowing, she would tug at her Crystal Gayle-length platinum hair extensions.”
In 2016, the recaps expanded into a podcast, “Reality Life with Kate Casey,” in which she interviews reality stars and show producers past and present. Guests have included cast members from “The Real Housewives,” “The Bachelor,” “Big Brother,” “Survivor,” “Teen Mom” and “Vanderpump Rules,” as well as producers of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” “90 Day Fiancé” and “American Ninja Warrior.”
Her show format includes two additional guests per episode who are asked to review an episode of a reality show.
“The show has a huge following with an active Facebook group deep-diving reality shows,” she said. “The show is really my love letter to reality television.”
The podcast isn’t the only outlet for Casey’s quick wit. Three years ago she started doing stand-up comedy at a local open mic night, and in a few months she was opening at the Irvine Improv (while 8 months pregnant).
“Of all the things I do, surprisingly, stand-up comedy feels the most natural,” she said.
Her children and husband figure prominently in her act. Her social media accounts are another way she expresses her dry sense of humor.
“I try to make light of parenting and celebrity,” she said, adding that because her intention is to make social media more realistic, she includes both successes and foibles of herself and her children — as when her daughter was less than motivated in ballet class (now referenced as #gives30percent in her posts).
But it’s not only her children serving as comic relief. Her Instagram account is a mix of family photos captioned with her quips and photos of herself reenacting poses and attire of celebrities.
A recent post in October shows Kim Kardashian in a photo on the left and Casey on the right, with the caption: “Brisk walk in my full body pleather spanx. Same, right?”
Beyond the laughs, Casey said she is also proud of some of the deeper, more meaningful interviews she’s done on her podcast. As an example, she recalled an interview with Rachel Campos-Duffy, who was a cast member in “The Real World: San Francisco” in 1994. That season was notable because cast member Pedro Zamora had AIDS in a time when much less was known about the disease.
“Pedro was instrumental in helping shape a young generation’s more inclusive view of homosexuality and living with HIV and AIDS,” Casey said.
Dana Baze, of Seal Beach, a fan of Casey, said the Campos-Duffy episode stayed with her because that MTV show marked a turning point in AIDS awareness.
“Nobody talked about AIDS and being sick,” Baze said.
Baze, who is an aesthetician by trade, said that besides enjoying Casey’s interviews, her humor is addictive.
“She makes me laugh way too hard,” said Baze. “I watch way too many reality TV shows … She made me feel like it was normal.”
Casey said that in her own way she is trying to make a difference.
“Some people want to change the world,” she said. “I do too, just in a very different way, hopefully by making people laugh … and introducing them to absurd, hilarious and sometimes poignant reality shows.”
Jessica Peralta is a contributor to Times Community News.