Jay Karas directs both comedy and drama, in a variety of mediums: hours and half hours, commercials, stand-up specials, and feature films.
Recent highlights include directing episodes of Showtime's DICE—one guest-starring Adrien Brody, which landed on Hollywood Reporter's "Critics' Picks: The 15 Best TV Episodes of 2016"—and TV Land's TEACHERS, which made Vanity Fair's "5 Underrated TV Shows You Should Watch Right Now." Karas just wrapped up as director/producer on its second season.
Jay has directed numerous other half hours, including Brooklyn Nine Nine (FOX), Parks and Recreation (NBC), Workaholics (Comedy Central), and Married (FX), and one hours including Siren, The Fosters and the pilot for Unstrung for Freeform and Finding Carter for MTV. Click here for a complete list of credits.
Jay's second feature, The Swap, premiered last fall on Disney Channel. Its Live+3 ratings made it the top kid cable telecast of 3Q. It was an assignment he secured based on the balance of drama, heart, and comedy found in Unstrung and his first feature film, Break Point, which stars Jeremy Sisto, David Walton, JK Simmons, Amy Smart, Chris Parnell, and Adam Devine. It premiered at SXSW and was released theatrically last fall. See the trailer here.
Jay also recently co-wrote his first feature—an action-comedy entitled The Extraditers, which 21 Laps (Arrival, Stranger Things) is producing. He wrote the film with Dean Ward, a partnership born out of their multi-season collaboration on After Lately. The mockumentary series, on which Jay was showrunner and director —think Larry Sanders, but scripted behind-the-scenes of an actual talk show—starred Chelsea Handler and featured guests such as Reese Witherspoon, Charlize Theron, Jane Fonda, and Jennifer Aniston.
It was just announced that Karas and Ward were also commissioned to rewrite the comedy feature Man Up for CBS Films.
As a passionate fan of stand-up, Karas has also directed over 25 comedy specials for top comics including Ali Wong, Jeff Ross, Jim Gaffigan, Demetri Martin, and Bill Burr's latest "Walk Your Way Out." Jay also recently directed his first HBO special, Tig Notaro's “Boyish Girl Interrupted.”
In the commercial world, Jay has directed spots for brands including Ford, Target, Coke Zero, and Fandango, as well as promo campaigns for ABC, Disney, E!, A&E, and TBS, including Conan's launch campaigns and the viral "Desk Wash" spot.
Jay grew up in Maryland, Virginia, and Connecticut before migrating west and graduating from USC. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Monica, their son Leo, and a dog named Rosie.