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BWW Feature: Upright Citizens Brigade Actress Lauren Hobbs Wounded In Crazed Crime Spree

Local actress and comedy improv artist Lauren Hobbs attacked by madman with a baseball bat.

BWW Feature: Upright Citizens Brigade Actress Lauren Hobbs Wounded In Crazed Crime Spree


On January second an unknown assailant described by the New York Post as a "crazed man" and a "Madman" went on a crime spree through the streets of lower Manhattan, bashing pedestrians with a variety of weapons, from a baseball bat to tree branches to wooden clubs. The suspect, later identified as Bryan Thompson of New Jersey, left a trail of destruction in his wake, including ten innocent bystanders left injured by his attacks. Among those wounded was local stage and YouTube actress, Lauren Hobbs. Ms. Hobbs, an HB Studios acting protegee of Austin Pendleton, was struck in the head and suffered significant trauma, necessitating a stay in the ICU of a few days; the young actress has since been retired to her family home out of the city to be cared for. It is not clear what the aftercare for Ms. Hobbs will be, but it is considered to be extensive. According to Blair Peyton, her writing partner and co-star for the short-form television comedy TWO DIMES, the current aftermath of the attack appears to be bad headaches and the emotional toll left on a woman praised by many for her gentleness and goodness. Hobbs, a dog walker when she is not performing, will be unable to work for some time after the assault, so her friend, comic/actor Rob Asaro, created a Gofundme campaign to help with Hobbs' bills, both those of her every day life, and the medical bills from the Cornell Brain Injury Clinic. Like so many show business gig workers, Lauren Hobbs is currently living without health insurance. In the three days since the crowdfunding campaign was started, Asaro has successfully raised nearly eight thousand of his fifty thousand dollar goal for his friend, but it isn't nearly enough for the weeks ahead that are facing her. Asked why he was compelled to create this crowdfunder for his old friend, Mr. Asaro answered:

"I met Lauren in the comedy world many years ago. We did sketch comedy together and remained friends and acted in a few things together. She is just a very hard worker and an extremely positive person."

See the Gofundme campaign HERE.

BWW Feature: Upright Citizens Brigade Actress Lauren Hobbs Wounded In Crazed Crime SpreeAn Indianapolis native, Ms. Hobbs relocated to New York City for college so that she could pursue her dream of acting, and while her primary focus has been on-stage work, Lauren found a family at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Hoping that her studies in long-form improvisation there might help her with her severe shyness, Ms. Hobbs discovered a great affection for comedy and stayed to work in the small venue world of comedic improvisation for a while. Her skills for comedy certainly helped her when it came time to do her own web series, Two Dimes. Loosely based on their lives as Manhattan artists, Two Dimes was written with Blair Peyton; the ten-episode short-form comedy show debuted on YouTube in 2018 and the reception for the series was so strong that in 2020 it was picked up for Amazon Prime. Filming of the second season of Two Dimes was imminent until the global health crisis caused the show business shutdown and remains COVID pending, according to Mr. Peyton, director of each episode. When asked about his friend and colleague and the crisis facing her, Peyton offered:

"I love Lauren so much! She is crazy talented and is one of the sweetest, most caring individuals I've ever encountered. In dark times, Lauren is the electric lamp that brightens the room."

BWW Feature: Upright Citizens Brigade Actress Lauren Hobbs Wounded In Crazed Crime SpreeThere are a lot of people in need these days and crowdfunding is acting as a lifesaver to many people in the arts community. Out of work performers are creating production companies, raising money for projects, and keeping their bills paid, through the generosity of people willing to give what they can during their moment of need. Just before Christmas, three hundred thousand dollars was raised to save The West Bank Cafe, and even as this article is being written, a Gofundme campaign to rescue Birdland from closure nears the two hundred thousand dollar mark. One hopes that, even with all the donations going out in so many different directions, the community of New York City artists, New York City citizens, heck, the community of the world, will agree with Misters Peyton and Asaro that a sweet-natured young actress who just wanted to walk her dogs without getting bashed in the head is also worthy of their kindness and generosity. To contribute to the Lauren Hobbs Gofundme campaign, please click HERE.



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From This Author Stephen Mosher