Information Diet: Ana Gasteyer

Suburgatory star relies on Amazon Prime for everything from birthday presents to cat food


Age 45

Accomplishments Stars on ABC’s Suburgatory; Saturday Night Live cast member from 1996 to 2002 (famous characters included Martha Stewart and Celine Dion)

Base New York and Los Angeles

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

If I’m in L.A., I read my texts, then my email, then my mentions and interactions on Twitter, then a search for #Suburgatory, then I do a meditation on selflessness and get out of bed. If I’m in Brooklyn, I look out the window at the weather on the giant clock on the Jehovah’s Witness’ Watchtower building.

What do you read or watch or listen to at the breakfast table?

My children.

What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train or bus?

The many moving parts of my family’s calendar. I use Google calendars and iCal, and BusyCal to manage both.

Are you a TV junkie or on an airtime-restricted diet?

Here’s my new favorite joke: How do you know if someone doesn’t own a TV? They tell you. And I am not ashamed to tell that smug TV-hating a-hole that I unabashedly adore television. If I wanted to be heady, I’d tell you that TV is still the best place to find fantastic female writers and performers. But honestly, I’d have to agree with the great Will Ferrell, who once called TV the “Ultimate Brain Massage.” Then there’s the words of my highly intelligent husband, who works in advertising: “We love TV! TV pays the bills!”

If you’re a couch potato, what do you watch?

Here’s what’s on my DVR: Suburgatory, Homeland, Girls, Downton Abbey, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Luther, The Good Wife, Breaking Bad, Revolution, The Walking Dead, Nashville, SNL, Modern Family, Interior Therapy, Meet the Press, American Idol and Dance Moms. And, in a pinch, nothing beats reruns of The Golden Girls.

Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter or fast until morning?

I read. If I’m not into a good novel, I work on The New York Times crossword. By the end of the day, I get a media headache, and I need a mental palate cleanser.

Which is more nutritious: print or Web?

Print. The Web is the news equivalent of prepackaged diet food. Fine, but full of junky fillers.

Give us the skinny on your favorite app.

Well, here’s an awkward, unintentional pun: It’s currently the Weight Watchers app. And I love it.

What’s your biggest digital indulgence?

Good question. I work a coast away from home, and I manage a busy household from afar. So my life is one giant digital convenience. I use Amazon Prime to buy everything from birthday presents to cat food, I manage my travel on the United Airlines app, I buy groceries on the Fresh Direct app. Some days I learn more about my kids’ comings and goings from my husband’s Instagram account than from talking on the phone.

With such a bloated media universe, how do you cut out the fat?

I don’t. It’s a big-ass cruise ship buffet out there. Make educated choices, try to get some outside exercise and enjoy. 

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