character actor-puppeteer-singer-voiceover artist-so much more

professional showbiz hyphenate since 1993

frequently asked questions

How do you pronounce your last name?

It’s easier than it looks. Just say “duh-BROO-zoh.” You don’t pronounce the apostrophe or add any other extraneous vowels. If you feel strongly about the standard Italian pronunciation of the two “z”s (as in the word “pizza”), I don’t mind, but my grandparents anglicized the name when they came to America in the early 1960s with their family. Yes, this makes me a first-generation American. But sadly, I never learned Italian.

Hey - Alan Alda’s birth surname is “D’Abruzzo” too! Are you guys related?

As much as I would love even an iota of his talent in my DNA, the answer is no. Of course, my husband likes to refer to him as “cousin Alan.” That would be fun if it was true.

Are you married? If so, for how long?

I married my wonderful husband, writer and award-winning producer Craig Shemin, on September 17, 1995. You do the math.

Do you have any kids?

Craig is more kid than I can handle. He makes game show sets out of Lego and collects toys. I am not kidding. Here is one of his masterpieces:

...back when people used to ask…

When is your birthday?

December 7, 1971.  I had to correct this on Wikipedia because someone made up some random birth date for me (that made me two years older, no less), and I actually got accused of vandalism. Blast that infernal Wikipedia.  

Where were you born and raised?

Pittsburgh, PA.  I grew up in McMurray, and went to Peters Township High School, class of ’89.

Where did you go to college? What was your major?

I went to Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. I was a Radio/TV/Film major, not a theatre major as most people assume.  My degree is a B.S. in Speech. Appropriate.

What are your favorite foods?

Ice cream. Guacamole and chips. Bread. Warm cinnamon rolls. Cheese. Caramel. Snacks in general. Now you know why I’m not a size zero.

What are your favorite movies?

In no particular order:

          A Face in the Crowd

          The Apartment

          One Two Three

          Broadcast News

          Say Anything...


          Mary Poppins

          L.A. Story

          Defending Your Life

          The Hudsucker Proxy

          The Big Lebowski

          Citizen Kane

          Better off Dead

          The Graduate

          Sunset Boulevard

          It’s a Wonderful Life

          Back to the Future

          Arthur (the real one)

          The Princess Bride

          The Player


          Waiting For Guffman

          The Great Muppet Caper

          Yankee Doodle Dandy

          The Big Chill

          It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

          Being There

          Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

          Harold and Maude

          ...And God Spoke

          The Producers (the real one)

          American Movie

          Moonrise Kingdom

          Most everything else that Billy Wilder had anything to do with

          Most of the John Hughes oeuvre

          Anything Nick Park has ever directed

          Most of the Pixar canon

This list does not include guilty pleasure films, nor is it remotely complete. It’s just all I can think of right now.

What are your favorite TV shows?

In no particular order (and not limited to):

          The Dick Van Dyke Show

          The Simpsons (seasons 3-8, of course)

          The Bob Newhart Show


          The Larry Sanders Show

          It’s Garry Shandling’s Show



          The Odd Couple (the original series)


          Arrested Development


          The Honeymooners

          Night Court



          Gilmore Girls

          Mr. Show with Bob and David

          The Mary Tyler Moore Show


          Spongebob Squarepants

          Phineas and Ferb


          Freaks and Geeks

          The Office (British and American)

          Mad Men

          CBS Sunday Morning

          Flight of the Conchords

          WKRP in Cincinnati

          Modern Family (the first three seasons)


          The Ricky Gervais Show

          Raising Hope

          New Girl

          Parks and Recreation




          Key & Peele


          Brooklyn Nine-Nine

          Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

          Man Seeking Woman

          We Bare Bears

          Difficult People

          You're the Worst


          Any show starring or produced by Jon Stewart and/or Stephen Colbert

        …and, my favorite radio show: The Jack Benny Program

        One more thing: it’s not a TV show, per se, but I do highly enjoy Pat Keirnan doing “In the

        Papers” on NY1.

What are your favorite Christmas specials?

          Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

          Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol

          How the Grinch Stole Christmas

          Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas

          A Charlie Brown Christmas

What or who makes you laugh?

Lookwell. Jon Lovitz. Bernie Mac. Paula Poundstone’s first HBO special. Christopher Titus’s first two specials. Rip Torn in The Larry Sanders Show and Defending Your Life. My sister. My husband. Krusty the Klown. Father Guido Sarducci. The opening and closing numbers of the ABC Silver Anniversary Special from 1978. The Onion. The 30-second version of Superman done by animated bunnies. “Oh Danny Boy” sung by Beaker, Animal and the Swedish Chef on The Muppet Show. The “Male Synchronized Swimmers” film from Saturday Night Live. Phil Hartman. Joan Cusack in Sixteen Candles.  Steve Martin. Steve Martin’s essays. Steve Martin’s old TV specials. Steve Martin’s “Flydini.” Steve Martin in any given Letterman appearance. Chris Rock’s voiceovers in Everybody Hates Chris. Garrett Dillahut in Raising Hope. Tony Randall as himself. Ralph Wiggum. Rhys Darby. Stephen Merchant. Andre Braugher and Terry Crews in Brooklyn NIne-Nine. People in unwieldy mascot costumes or suits of armor falling down. Spit takes. Daffy Duck. Babies with obvious ennui. The poetry of Nipsey Russell. Delicious irony.  Trading Places. Tom Hanks impersonating Dean Martin. Jack Soo. Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford. William Shatner singing “You’ll Have Time” (by the brilliant Ben Folds). Willie Dynamite. The fact that anyone would be remotely interested in my answers to these questions. Albert Brooks as Albert the Mime and Hank Scorpio. Stephen Root in any role. Charles Grodin in The Great Muppet Caper and The Lonely Guy. Garry Shandling’s 25th Anniversary Special. Ridiculous pre-Code animation (back when Mickey was more like Steamboat Itchy). People who clap on 1 and 3. Any video put to “Yakety Sax.” East-West Bowl. Also, things that are funny.

What brings you joy?

Mel Tormé singing “Red Rubber Ball.” You can’t possibly feel bad after you hear it. That and Flight of the Conchords singing “Mutha’uckas.”

What are your pet peeves?

Stupid people, and those who are utterly oblivious. The two are not always mutually exclusive.

What is your favorite city?

Although I haven’t exactly been everywhere, I still say that New York City is the best place I’ve ever lived.

Do you have any hidden talents?

My hidden talents are useless talents. I can recite the old Emergency Broadcast System spiel by heart. I can do a bad but committed imitation of Buddy Hackett telling a dentist joke. I can rattle off the first paragraph of a Spanish recitation that I used in a Foreign Language Day competition when I was 15, but that’s it. Oh, and I do a passable Charles Grodin, but I can only do him saying one word.

I can also time-step, play the violin badly, play handfuls of chords on the the guitar and ukulele and edit montages on both nonlinear and linear formats. Not that anyone will ever edit on a linear format ever again. And if you want to hear a song sung like Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs, just ask.

What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

I have many. To name a few: costume jewelry, Sees and Sarris candies, and Duran Duran.

Should these answers not satiate you, I think you need a hobby.

(Also, if I tell you any more, you could probably steal my identity.)