Mini Q+A with Carmen Lynch

Carmen Lynch is based in NYC and has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with David LettermanThe Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Conan, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and more, along with The Good Wife, Inside Amy Schumer, and This Week at the Comedy Cellar. Carmen performed a sold-out run at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has performed for the troops across the Middle East and Africa. Carmen also does standup in Spanish in Spanish-speaking countries. Her comedy album “Dance Like You Don’t Need the Money” was reviewed by The New York Times as “one of five to stream” and voted #1 comedy album in 2017 by SiriusXM.


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

(When they’re on the phone) That better be your babysitter because you’re kids are dead.

Describe your worst gig (noting that you survived).

2 pm, bridal shower, outdoors.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Don’t look behind you. Just look forward. 🙏🏼

What’s your first impulse when someone says “women aren’t funny”?

Awwww…you’re so unhappy inside. Let me give you my therapist’s number.

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

Some inner voice too powerful to ignore (and I tried.)

Best comedy advice you ever got?

“Have a regular room you can kill in and one you can bomb in.”

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

“Wear this yellow dress on stage.”

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

It helped me break out of my shyness shell.

What single word always cracks you up?

[Lake] Titicaca.

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian? If so, who, why, how?

Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett. Watching them let it all out on TV was everything.


Carmen Lynch is based in NYC and has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with David LettermanThe Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Conan, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and more, along with The Good Wife, Inside Amy Schumer, and This Week at the Comedy Cellar. Carmen performed a sold-out run at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has performed for the troops across the Middle East and Africa. Carmen also does standup in Spanish in Spanish-speaking countries. Her comedy album “Dance Like You Don’t Need the Money” was reviewed by The New York Times as “one of five to stream” and voted #1 comedy album in 2017 by SiriusXM.

Mini Q+A with Pam Schuller

Comedian Pamela Rae Schuller is relentlessly funny with her confessional and brutally honest comedy about being 4 foot 6 ½  and having a whole lot of Tourette Syndrome. Pamela is also the director of HereNow, a Jewish teen mental health initiative that promotes mental health, wellbeing, and resilience through creativity.  Pamela has spoken and performed in six countries, in almost every state in the US, and for more than 35,000 kids, teens, and adults. From squeaky clean comedy to working incredibly blue, Pamela gets audiences of every age comfortable and laughing together through storytelling and humor. You can see her on BuzzFeed, hear her on Sirius XM, check out her writing on Mayim Bialik’s Grok Nation, or catch her on her upcoming tour of the US and Canada with her one woman show “What Makes me Tic”.  See more at PamelaComedy.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @PamelaComedy. To learn more about HereNow, check out www.ProjectHereNow.org 


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

It’s really hard to troll me because I will give you immediate feedback on your trolling/heckling skills. Sometimes I will even provide pointers to troll me better…if you are going to be a troll, be the BEST troll you can be.

Describe your worst gig.

It was a show at a big comedy club in the middle of a small town in the midwest. It was for three shows in one night. The early show was sold out and amazing, the late show was also great, but the late-late show had 4 people – in a club that seated probably 500. Right before they called me to the stage, 3 people left to go smoke outside and one went to the bathroom so I got up on stage in a huge theater performing for NOBODY. I basically performed for the waitstaff.

What were you like as a teen?

I was a tough teen, besides having Tourette Syndrome, I was angry, depressed and pushing the world away from me. My humor and snark were blanketed by meanness and anger. I was kicked out of public school and shipped away to boarding school for weird artsy kids (which I loved). My boarding school saw something in me and signed me up for a comedy and improv class and it clicked immediately and that allowed me to channel my energy into something way more fun and productive. I started opening for comics I respected by the end of high school and I knew it was my path ever since.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

You do you. It’s so easy to see comics you respect and admire and try to be more like them but instead, learn from how amazing they are and try and be more like yourself.

What’s your first impulse when someone says “women aren’t funny”?

Somebody said that to me this week and with a straight face I said, “that’s why I ALWAYS double check genitals before I decide if I am going to laugh.”

Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy”?

People sometimes feel the need to talk about your gender as they bring you to the stage “next up we have a female comic!” and that will never make any sense to me. Sometimes I am met with people saying things like, “oh, you are the female on the show!” as though there is this unspoken quota. But honestly, I love being a woman in comedy. I love a good challenge and being funny on stage makes me feel powerful.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Find your own path. There is no one way to be a comic. I make a living with a one-woman show and motivational speaking that combines comedy and storytelling. I never even knew this was even a career path but I followed my passions and figured I would figure something out!

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Somebody once told me not to talk about Tourettes on stage because people don’t want to feel bad for me. That doesn’t make any sense. We all have struggles and stand up is where you can turn those into COMEDY.

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

Lynne Koplitz took me to dinner during my senior year of college after I opened for her. I don’t remember her exact words but it was basically that if comedy is in my heart this much, I was meant to be doing it.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

Work hard. Write, re-write, film your sets, do that until you get a good one that you can share to get a booked show. Make friends in comedy. Comics book shows and the more your friends see you working hard and improving, the more they will book you. Love the journey. When you see somebody who has what seems like an overnight success, know they were actually working their butt off for YEARS.



Comedian Pamela Rae Schuller is relentlessly funny with her confessional and brutally honest comedy about being 4 foot 6 ½  and having a whole lot of Tourette Syndrome. Pamela is also the director of HereNow, a Jewish teen mental health initiative that promotes mental health, wellbeing, and resilience through creativity.  Pamela has spoken and performed in six countries, in almost every state in the US, and for more than 35,000 kids, teens, and adults. From squeaky clean comedy to working incredibly blue, Pamela gets audiences of every age comfortable and laughing together through storytelling and humor. You can see her on BuzzFeed, hear her on Sirius XM, check out her writing on Mayim Bialik’s Grok Nation, or catch her on her upcoming tour of the US and Canada with her one woman show “What Makes me Tic”.  See more at PamelaComedy.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @PamelaComedy. To learn more about HereNow, check out www.ProjectHereNow.org 




Mini Q+A with Jaye McBride

Jaye McBride is funny, smart and proudly transgender. Jaye has traveled the world performing stand-up comedy. Jaye has been a part of The Boston Comedy Festival, The Maine Comedy Festival and the She Devil Comedy Festival. In addition to stand-up, Jaye has written, produced and acted in a variety of short films. When not performing on-stage or on-screen Jaye writes “The Comedy Blog” for the Times Union and speaks at colleges all across the country with her lecture about being transgender.


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

If it’s a guy, I hit on him. Nothing funnier than watching a bro squirm from getting hit on by a tranny comedian. That guy won’t laugh but everyone else will.

Describe your worst gig.

One of my first road gigs was in Pottsville, PA. It was a four-hour drive and when we finally got into town, we decided to hit a strip mall to use the bathroom and eat something. The very first person I saw (Pottsvillian?) had a giant swastika tattoo on his forearm. I looked at the other guys and just said, “I’ll be in the car.”

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

It’s such a great defense mechanism. If you can make a high school bully laugh, he might not shove you into a locker. And if he does, at least you can still crack yourself up about it.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Be nice That sounds corny, especially since I’m usually the most miserable person in any room. (The mention of ‘deathbed’ makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Literally, it’s on my vision board as ‘the sweet release only death will bring’.) If you’re a dick, you won’t get brought back to many shows so be nice.

What’s your first impulse when someone says “women aren’t funny”?

To drop an anvil on his head. The truth is when someone says that, they’re really saying, “I refuse to believe women are funny and won’t give you a chance.” Fuck him, I don’t have to prove shit to that asshole.

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

Having nothing else in my life. Pathetic, I know.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Literally everything Gary Gulman has ever tweeted.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Don’t talk about being trans.

What advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Network! Just hang out with other comics because people book comics they know. And if you’re hanging out and still not getting booked, produce your own show and make them come to you.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

It makes me want to vomette in my toilette because of the irritationne.

What single word always cracks you up?

Fart. (Mine, not yours)

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian?

Jake Johannsen. I saw him on Letterman years ago when I was a kid and just knew I wanted to be like him. Well, professionally, not anatomically

photo via Jaye McBride


Jaye McBride is funny, smart and proudly transgender. Jaye has traveled the world performing stand-up comedy. Jaye has been a part of The Boston Comedy Festival, The Maine Comedy Festival and the She Devil Comedy Festival. In addition to stand-up, Jaye has written, produced and acted in a variety of short films. When not performing on-stage or on-screen Jaye writes “The Comedy Blog” for the Times Union and speaks at colleges all across the country with her lecture about being transgender.

Mini Q+A with Drae Campbell

inDrae has an eclectic career as an EMCEE, comedian, director, actor, storyteller and all around entertainer. Drae received a BFA in Theater from the University of The Arts in Philadelphia. Drae has appeared on many stages and screens all over but mostly in New York City. Drae hosts and curates a live monthly show called TELL. TELL is a queer storytelling show that happens every month at The Bureau Of General Services Queer Division and is now a Podcast. Follow Drae here!


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

“We’re not a monolith.”

Describe your worst gig.

I was working at Sesame Place theme park hosting a ‘Chromakey’ show. One of the little kids who volunteered to come on stage to participate got her hair tangled in the wheels of a little go kart prop. I panicked and started cracking jokes about “untangling this hairy situation.” She started crying. The dad had to come on stage and pull her hair out of the wheels. Eventually we all got through it. I had to do the same shows over and over all day long when I worked there and it was actually a good exercise for figuring out how to have fun and stay present and hit marks.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Burn it to the ground.

What’s your first impulse when someone says “women aren’t funny”?

To pull a coin out of their ear and say, “but what about THIS”!

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

I actually wanted to distance myself a bit from the stand up world because everyone seemed so depressed and I didn’t want to be a part of it. I focused mainly on my acting career. I started doing stand up again because the culture around it on and off stage started to change a little. It’s more diverse and there are less rape jokes. The format has expanded and that’s exciting to me.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Do as many shows as you can a week. Learn how to read the room.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

If someone asks you to take off your clothes, you take off your clothes.

Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy”?

Same thing it’s like to be a woman anywhere. Dangerous.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

Real actual talk: I’ve had a lot of trauma. Laughter and jokes are the primary ways I’ve been able to process and survive. Also, ladies seem to enjoy laughing so, that works out nice for me. Cuz I date ladies.

What advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Observe and ask questions. Find out who knows who and who runs what. Off stage, lean into communicating without trying to be funny necessarily . Always ask — even if you think someone is a big shot. The worst that can happen is they say no. Connecting with people is key. Be kind to folks. Always. Be considerate and timely, but don’t cheat yourself. If you feels someone is being shady or shitty, let them know and let others know. Go with your gut.

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian?

My mom. Making her laugh was fun. Her laughter was infectious and it brought us together as a family.

What single word always cracks you up?

Muffin.


Drae has an eclectic career as an EMCEE, comedian, director, actor, storyteller and all around entertainer. Drae received a BFA in Theater from the University of The Arts in Philadelphia. Drae has appeared on many stages and screens all over but mostly in New York City. Drae hosts and curates a live monthly show called TELL. TELL is a queer storytelling show that happens every month at The Bureau Of General Services Queer Division and is now a Podcast. Follow Drae here!

Mini Q+A with Mary Beth Barone

Mary Beth Barone is a Manhattan-based comedian, writer, and actor. She was recently named one of Comedy Central’s Up Next and performed at their Clusterfest showcase in June 2019. Mary Beth can be seen hosting her monthly stand-up show at Peppi’s Cellar with Benito Skinner or at PUBLIC hotel in New York City, where she has a stand-up residency. She also hosts Drag His Ass: A F*ckboy Treatment Program, a show she feels very strongly about. Mary Beth currently hosts/produces the podcast Mildly Offensive. Check out her upcoming appearances here, and follow her!


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

Can you shut up?

Describe your worst gig.

I did survive a terrible set in Bushwick. The host brought me up as “the person who caused 9/11” and then the microphone broke in the middle of my set. I bombed HARD!

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Do the work, speak your truth, and f*ck everything else!

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

The unconditional support of my friends and family.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Try to learn one thing from every performance.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

A random audience member once followed me outside of a club after my set to tell me he really enjoyed my comedy but then proceeded to give me notes on some of my jokes. He said “you should be writing this down.” Mhm sure thing.

Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy”?

I love it except when I’m the only girl on a lineup and I need a hair-tie.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

We don’t use that word in my house 🙂

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

Flirting is easier now to be honest! It’s always been good to bring a levity to certain situations but I’ve definitely had many moments of putting my foot in my mouth.

What advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Get a great tape you are proud of and don’t be shy about sharing it.

What single word always cracks you up?

Smegma. I’m disgusting.

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian?

My journey in comedy started because of a few different people and circumstances. Watching Broad City inspired me to take improv at UCB and watching Inside Amy Schumer was the kick I needed to try stand-up. So I guess you could say without Comedy Central, I wouldn’t be here!


Mary Beth Barone is a Manhattan-based comedian, writer, and actor. She was recently named one of Comedy Central’s Up Next and performed at their Clusterfest showcase in June 2019. Mary Beth can be seen hosting her monthly stand-up show at Peppi’s Cellar with Benito Skinner or at PUBLIC hotel in New York City, where she has a stand-up residency. She also hosts Drag His Ass: A F*ckboy Treatment Program, a show she feels very strongly about. Mary Beth currently hosts/produces the podcast Mildly Offensive. Check out her upcoming appearances here, and follow her!

Mini Q+A with Lauren Ashcraft

Lauren Ashcraft is a Democratic Socialist comedian running for Congress in NY-12.

She went to comedy school and started to perform standup comedy throughout the city as a hobby.  In 2016 after wanting to create a safe place for comedians to practice their craft, she began to produce comedy shows.  Later that same year she planned a celebration show for the weekend following the 2016 presidential election, and when that did not go as planned, she decided to turn the show into a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood in an effort to combat a feeling of hopelessness. Lauren continued to plan free monthly charitable comedy shows, aptly named “Collection Box Comedy,” at which she would showcase diverse comedic talent and collect optional donations from attendees for various 501(c)3 organizations she is passionate about.  Learn more about Lauren here! Follow her here!

Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

I always invite them to my upcoming fundraisers or send my donation link (I am running for Congress!).

Describe your worst gig.

I performed to an audience of 1 in a club at the very beginning of my career. The person was weirded out too so was reading a book as I was performing so as to not make eye contact. I powered through and probably have not been the same human since.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Bringer shows are scams

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

Comedy is where I made all of my best friends in this city. It also became my social life, my activism, and my outlet. Leaving comedy would have meant leaving all of that.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

“Keep your awkward delivery” which is a great relief, cause that’s… just me.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Literally every piece of advice that a non-comedian has ever given to me, especially when they interchange standup comedy and improve.

Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy”?

The community of women and LGBTQIA+ comedians has been AMAZING and empowering to be part of. It fortunately and unfortunately a bonding experience to navigate industry together and stand behind one other.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

Gender is a spectrum. Let’s keep it comedian for all.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

I have anxiety and also social anxiety. The first time I got on stage I was shaking. Then I started forcing myself to go to more open mics and eventually started producing my own shows. Now look at me; I’m running for Congress!

What advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Produce your own shows, fill them with amazing people, perform along side them and practice, network, repeat

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian?

If so, who, why, how?I was always so excited to turn on Kathy Griffin throughout my childhood, and am a storyteller myself, so I cannot say she didn’t inspire me!

What word always cracks you up?

GESCHIRRSPÜLER which means washing machine in German?

Mini Q+A with Danielle Perez

Danielle Perez is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actress best known as the woman in a wheelchair, with no feet, who won a treadmill on The Price Is Right. She appeared as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live for her hilarious reaction to winning the awkward prize. A founding member of Thigh Gap Comedy, Danielle produces live comedy shows with fellow bad bitches Madison Shepard and Danielle Radford. Together they host GENTRIFICATION, a popular, monthly, diversity showcase at Avenue 50 Studio, in her hometown neighborhood of Highland Park. Follow Danielle here! Check out her upcoming shows here!

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Don’t wait around for other people to book you or put you on. Find your coven, make your own shit, and support the fuck out of each other. Create your own spaces, share opportunities, and lift up those behind you as you come up.

What’s your first impulse when someone says “women aren’t funny”?

Damn, it must suck to have no sense of humor or taste

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Never trust a comic who doesn’t bomb.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

I was out at brunch with friends. The server took our order, then returned to the table and said “the manager is sending over a complimentary flight of sweet waffles because they saw you perform last night you were really funny.” I love when strangers to, I love free waffles! Savor the wins and own complements!

What advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Never do bringers. A good set is your best audition. When you consistently start doing well at open mics, people will book you. Once you start getting booked, tape all your sets. Once you have a great tape, go to shows, introduce yourself to the bookers, and ask them for the best way to submit.

Danielle Perez is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actress best known as the woman in a wheelchair, with no feet, who won a treadmill on The Price Is Right. She appeared as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live for her hilarious reaction to winning the awkward prize. A founding member of Thigh Gap Comedy, Danielle produces live comedy shows with fellow bad bitches Madison Shepard and Danielle Radford. Together they host GENTRIFICATION, a popular, monthly, diversity showcase at Avenue 50 Studio, in her hometown neighborhood of Highland Park.

Follow Danielle here! Check out her upcoming shows here!

Mini Q+A with Chloe Prendergast

Chloe Prendergast is a British-American student and performer who grew up in Atlanta, GA. Chloe is the winner of Yale’s 2018 Last Comic Standing competition, after which she opened for SNL alum Sasheer Zamata at the school’s winter comedy show. She is the president and founder of the Coven, a stand up collective at Yale for women and gender nonconforming people, and the Publisher Emeritus of The Yale Record, the oldest existing humor magazine in America. Outside of comedy, Chloe has worked on the US Senate races of Democrats Michelle Nunn and Jim Barksdale and the Georgia Governor’s races of Sen. Jason Carter and Rep. Stacey Abrams. She is currently working on her senior thesis in the Political Science department at Yale on the use of humor in Northern Ireland as a social and political force throughout and since the Troubles. You can follow her on Twitter @prenderghost! 


BRIEFLY describe your worst gig.

Doing a stand up audition in a full theater to three people, all typing notes on their computers! Scary and distracting!

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Your life is as interesting as anyone else’s!

What’s your first impulse when someone says “women aren’t funny?”

Oh no! This person has been living in a bunker with no women and no television for the better part of the last 50 years.

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

I am very far away from “up” in comedy.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

You should do stand up!

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Oooh you should turn this [mildly weird event] into one of your little jokes!

Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy?”

It’s a constant battle between being funny and figuring out what to do with my long, long hair!

Feelings about the word “comedienne?”

Is it French?

What single word always cracks you up?

Aubergine (that’s French!)

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian?

Eeek! There are too many amazing, funny, talented people to name just one.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

Being able to tell jokes about my regular life puts lots of not ideal situations into perspective. Seeing the funny parts of bad things makes them easier to handle.

Photo via: L. Thomas


Chloe Prendergast is a British-American student and performer who grew up in Atlanta, GA. Chloe is the winner of Yale’s 2018 Last Comic Standing competition, after which she opened for SNL alum Sasheer Zamata at the school’s winter comedy show. She is the president and founder of the Coven, a stand up collective at Yale for women and gender nonconforming people, and the Publisher Emeritus of The Yale Record, the oldest existing humor magazine in America. Outside of comedy, Chloe has worked on the US Senate races of Democrats Michelle Nunn and Jim Barksdale and the Georgia Governor’s races of Sen. Jason Carter and Rep. Stacey Abrams. She is currently working on her senior thesis in the Political Science department at Yale on the use of humor in Northern Ireland as a social and political force throughout and since the Troubles. You can follow her on Twitter @prenderghost! 

Mini Q+A with Atheer Yacoub

Atheer Yacoub is a New York based comedian, writer, and podcaster. Her comedy is inspired by her Palestinian-Muslim upbringing in Alabama. Atheer has appeared on Gotham Comedy Live, and is also a writer for The Breakdown with Mehdi Barakchian and Passport control with Mehdi Barakchian. Along with Leila Barghouty, Atheer co-hosts The No Fly List Podcast which features funny conversations with other brown comedians, artists, and interesting people. Check out where you can see Atheer live and follow her!

Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

I usually like to shut them down by putting them on the spot.

Describe your worst gig.

When I first started out, I did a show for a Muslim charity during Ramadan and I went up right as the food was coming out and people were starving and waiting to break their fast and no one was paying attention to me, which is totally understandable. I was the only thing standing between them and a huge buffet after an 18 hour fast and I can’t compete with carbs. My 30 min set ended up getting cut short because the sun went down and it was time to break the fast, which I was perfectly okay with, considering how it was going.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Talk about things that matter to you and have a unique point of view. Don’t pander or cater to anyone. Do jokes that are true to who you are you will build an audience who appreciates your humor. Just make sure to present it in a way that’s relatable.

What’s your first impulse when someone says “women aren’t funny”?

My immediate thought is “that person is ignorant and has probably never seen women do comedy.”

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

Having good comedian friends to go to open mics with and people I can write with helped me feel like I wasn’t completely on my own. It’s also really important to surround yourself with positive people as comedians can get really jaded and negativity is contagious.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Don’t compare yourself or career to anyone else and be patient. Don’t worry about what shows or things everybody else is getting, because everyone has a unique path. Just focus on becoming the funniest version of yourself. Keep your head down and work hard and it will pay off.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

I’ve gotten comedy mansplained to so many times by open mic male comedians who think they know best. Worst advice is probably not to talk about my culture or ethnic background, which is a huge part of who I am.

Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy”?

Being a woman in comedy is constantly having to answer the question “what’s it like to be a woman in comedy?”

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

Yuck! It feels like an unnecessary distinction, as if the word comedian or comic defaults to males. I think the word comedian should be universal.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

I think having a good sense of humor helps me not take life too seriously and keep things in perspective. It’s also a great way to connect with people and help break down barriers. I’d also be lying if I didn’t say it also serves as a coping and defense mechanism.

What advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Be your funniest self at open mics and treat it like a show. People who run shows will be there and see how funny you are and ask you to be on their shows. Apply to festivals, contact bookers, and have a tight 5 min tape you can send them.

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian?

There was really no one person, but I grew up watching old sitcoms like I Love Lucy and Mary Tyler Moore. I think seeing strong, funny women, going against the grain helped me realize that it was a possibility to become a comedian myself. As a grew older, I started watching Sarah Silverman who I think is wonderful and hysterical.


Atheer Yacoub is a New York based comedian, writer, and podcaster. Her comedy is inspired by her Palestinian-Muslim upbringing in Alabama. Atheer has appeared on Gotham Comedy Live, and is also a writer for The Breakdown with Mehdi Barakchian and Passport control with Mehdi Barakchian. Along with Leila Barghouty, Atheer co-hosts The No Fly List Podcast which features funny conversations with other brown comedians, artists, and interesting people. Check out where you can see Atheer live and follow her!

Mini Q+A with Karen Chee

Karen Chee is a Brooklyn-based comedian and writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers. Karen’s TV writing credits include the 2019 Golden Globe Awards and the upcoming Reductress pilot on Comedy Central. Karen contributes regularly to The New Yorker and has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, and more. Catch Karen’s upcoming shows + follow!

Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

Aw, there are so many better things you could be doing with your time. Bowling, soccer, pottery. Maybe try one of those instead?

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

Lots of supportive friends and encouraging strangers and really enjoying the work.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Go with your gut. Do what you think is funny! Never punch down.

Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy”?

It’s like being a woman anywhere–it’s hard and it sucks and it’s also somehow the best.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

lol


Karen Chee is a Brooklyn-based comedian and writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers. Karen’s TV writing credits include the 2019 Golden Globe Awards and the upcoming Reductress pilot on Comedy Central. Karen contributes regularly to The New Yorker and has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, and more. Catch Karen’s upcoming shows + follow!