Finding roommates on Craigslist is a dubious proposition. Hence Scott Rogowsky’s decision to turn his roommate hunt into a “Late Show”-style talk show, film it in front of a live audience and turn it into a six-episode web series called “Rooming Late,” now available on YouTube.
For Rogowsky, it wasn't that much of a stretch. He's already the host of “Running Late with Scott Rogowsky,” a talk show performed on stage. So when he was looking for a third person to share his three-bedroom in Park Slope, he took out an ad on Craigslist. But, “dreading the awkward/laborious roommate interview process,” as he explained to BrickUnderground in an email, he came up with the talk show format. It helped that he already had the crew, audience, experience and connections to celebrity guests, including comedian Gilbert Gottfried and musician Andrew W.K., both of whom made appearances.
So what wisdom did Rogowsky glean from the experience? "[The] best roommates are generally referrals from friends," says Rogowsky, who ultimately picked a person based on a friend's recommendation, and says it's been working out well since she moved in in March. "I'd do my best to avoid going the strangers-from-Craigslist route."
One other tip? You can weed out potential roommates by what they say in their emails, and avoid the hassle of conducting interviews with people you'd never live with. Likewise, if you’re looking for a room on Craigslist, remember how much your emails say about you, and compose them carefully.
“The people who seemed uninteresting or had nothing to offer in the email, I shut them out as well,” Rogowsky says. “You can tell a lot about people from their emails, and I would say—to save from wasting time at person-to-person interviews—be very judicious over email. Personally, I could never live with someone who ends sentences with prepositions.”
Ultimately, Rogowsky didn’t have a ton of people to choose from, between the candidates who didn’t want to appear on camera and the ones who asked too many questions about the production. (He’d told them only that a camera crew would be filming a documentary.) “Those people I simply stopped corresponding with,” he says.
And the biggest surprise? How few people had heard of Gottfried, the prolific comedian whose voice is, shall we say, distinct. Quips Rogowsky: “Wouldn’t be surprised to find their previous residential address listed as ‘under a rock.’”