Mini Q+A with Christie Buchele

Christie Buchele is an up-and-coming standup comic from Denver, Colorado, who also co-led GOLD’s debut hybrid F2F version of our online class at Park Hill Branch Library in Denver. Christie made a name for herself by the heart-wrenching and hilarious realities of being a woman with a disability. Christie has been featured on Viceland’s, Flophouse; Hidden America with Jonah Ray; and Laughs on Fox. Christie has performed at both the Crom Comedy Festival in Omaha, Nebraska, Denver’s own High Plains Comedy Festival and Hell Yes Fest in New Orleans. Follow her


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

Thank you for your input! I am up/out here actually creating and putting myself out there. So I REALLY appreciate the opinion [of someone] who does nothing but tear others down. (BIG SARCASTIC SMILE)

Describe your worst gig.

I had to follow a duck that was pooping on squares for a raffle. They wanted a Jeff Foxworthy type but they got me! They did not laugh. I got boo’d and my Dad was there to watch it!

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

There will be comics who are less funny than you, and comics that are more funny than you. Never let any other comic work harder than you.

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

The community. Comedy creates a family for you everywhere you go. If you are a comic, comics in other cities will be there for you and take care of you when you come visit and its a really special network. If you don’t feel supported in your community, start building your own or move to a more supportive comedy community.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

When people tell me to try and conform my voice to what the club or corporate scenes want in order to be more “accessible.” Straying away from my own authentic voice has never served me.

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

I don’t feel like people really know me until they have seen me do stand-up. It’s this amazing tool to introduce myself to the whole room and make them comfortable. I am a person with a disability so I feel like it really helps me feel more comfortable around so many new people because I get to explain my disability to everyone at once.

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

Get onstage as much as possible. Actually WORK your jokes. A lot of people come to mics and try new stuff every time and they never sharpen the jokes they already have. Mix in new stuff with more established stuff so that you can get new stuff and also show the other comics and bookers what you can do.

What single word always cracks you up?

When I refer to my legs as gams

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

Josh Blue was the first person I saw making jokes about having a disability. Because of him I knew I could too. Now I get to work with him all the time.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Just keep showing up.

Christie Buchele is an up-and-coming standup comic from Denver, Colorado, who also co-led GOLD’s debut hybrid F2F version of our online class at Park Hill Branch Library in Denver. Christie made a name for herself by the heart-wrenching and hilarious realities of being a woman with a disability. Christie has been featured on Viceland’s, Flophouse; Hidden America with Jonah Ray; and Laughs on Fox. Christie has performed at both the Crom Comedy Festival in Omaha, Nebraska, Denver’s own High Plains Comedy Festival and Hell Yes Fest in New Orleans.

Christie co-hosts a witty relationship advice podcast, Empty Girlfriend, which earned best Comedy Podcast by Westword Magazine and best Podcast for Sexpot Comedy in 2017. As one third of the Denver Comedy powerhouse, The Pussy Bros, Christie reps the Mile High City hard while crushing audiences with a wry, biting style that’s a bit sweet, a and a little bit surly; proving time and again you can say almost anything with a smile on your face and a gimp in your step. Follow her

Photo Credit: Carnefix Photography

Mini Q+A with Abbi Crutchfield

Abbi Crutchfield is a comedian seen on Comedy Central, truTV, and NBC. She is a UCB alum and founder of the long-running live comedy hour “The Living Room Show” in Brooklyn. This fall she will host Laugh Exchange, a new comedy app. Follow her on Twitter! @curlycomedy

Describe your worst gig.

Performing in a bar connected to a showroom that my co-workers were spilling out after seeing a colleague perform (I had recently been laid off). So they wanted to laugh and chat, and I was standing near them with a mic in this non-performance space (no stage or lights) just trying to do jokes. After some polite head nods, we all were just ignoring each other. They ignored the noise of the mic as I tried to power through their good time.

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

You’re doing great.

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

Why do you hate to laugh?

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

Encouraging milestones. And Drew Hastings wrote “PERSEVERANCE!” in my autograph book my first year of comedy.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Mike Birbiglia stressed the importance of writing. (“Write, write, write, and when you run out of things to say, write some more.”)

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

“Sleep with me to get ahead.”

 

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

I don’t sweat the small stuff.

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

Network with people and bring your A game on stage.

What single word always cracks you up?

Pooter-toot

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

No. It was a ton of people over a period of time. Maybe the person who kicked it off was an older woman at a party who worked in the Foreign Service. She convinced me I didn’t want the line of work I was studying in college.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

It’s a title describing a personess who tells jokettes.

Photo via: David Schinman


Abbi Crutchfield is a comedian seen on Comedy Central, truTV, and NBC. She is a UCB alum, and founder of the long-running live comedy hour “The Living Room Show” in Brooklyn. This fall she will host Laugh Exchange, a new comedy app. Follow her on Twitter! @curlycomedy

Mini Q+A with…Leah Bonnema

Leah Bonnema is a stand-up comic based in New York City. She’s been featured on VH1’s 100 Greatest Child Stars and 100 Sexiest Stars, AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live, IFC’s Comedy Crib, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, TruTV’s Comedy Knockout, Lizz Winstead’s Lady Parts Justice, Amazon Prime’s Comics Watching Comics, VProud’s You’re Not Crazy, and is a regular on SiriusXM. Bonnema has had the honor of performing for the troops in Iraq, toured throughout the Middle East, and performed for the U.S. Marines at the famed Friars Club. Huffington Post named her one of their Favorite Female Comedians. She’s been featured in the Glasgow Comedy Festival, the New York Comedy Festival, Bumbershoot, AfroPunkFest, the New York Television Festival, Laughing Skull Fest, and at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. for the District of Comedy Festival. www.leahbonnema.com


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

I’ve had some really nasty hecklers and trolls but nothing beats the voice in my own head that is constantly heckling: “Why did you say that!?” “Is it possible to not embarrass yourself?!’ “You’re sweating again!” “You’re letting down your parents.” “You’re never gonna have a washer/dryer.” And to that voice I say “SHUT THE F UP! I’M WORKING HERE!”

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young (female/LGBTQI) comedian?

Just keep getting on stage.

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

Dogged self-loathing.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Get. On. Stage. As. Much. As. Possible. (It’s a long haul. You gotta work on your craft so at some point you become undeniable).

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

I’m not really into gendered words. I just want to be a comic. Not a female comic. Just a comic. Not that being female isn’t important to me, but I hate that “comic” somehow means man — which is what happens when the word “female” goes in front of it.

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

1) Run your own show and swap spots.
2) Do a fundraiser for an org you love at a club –> raise some money for a good cause and also develop a relationship with that venue.
3) Offer to host — people need hosts.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

1) Modify your truth so other people feel comfortable (paraphrase).
2) Wear more skirts.

Leah Bonnema is a stand-up comic based in New York City. She’s been featured on VH1’s 100 Greatest Child Stars and 100 Sexiest Stars, AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live, IFC’s Comedy Crib, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, TruTV’s Comedy Knockout, Lizz Winstead’s Lady Parts Justice, Amazon Prime’s Comics Watching Comics, VProud’s You’re Not Crazy, and is a regular on SiriusXM. Bonnema has had the honor of performing for the troops in Iraq, toured throughout the Middle East, and performed for the U.S. Marines at the famed Friars Club. Huffington Post named her one of their Favorite Female Comedians. She’s been featured in the Glasgow Comedy Festival, the New York Comedy Festival, Bumbershoot, AfroPunkFest, the New York Television Festival, Laughing Skull Fest, and at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. for the District of Comedy Festival. www.leahbonnema.com

Mini Q+A with…Negin Farsad

SEE NEGIN 6/26 AT GOLD Comedy LIVE!

Negin Farsad was named one of 50 Funniest Women by Huffington Post, named one of the 10 Best Feminist Comedians by Paper Magazine, and was selected as a TEDFellow for her work in social justice comedy. She is the author of How To Make White People Laugh, a memoir-meets-social-justice-comedy manifesto which was nominated for the Thurber Prize for Humor and recommended by Oprah Magazine. Farsad is host of Fake the Nation, a political comedy podcast on the Earwolf network and she’s a regular panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. She is director/producer of the feature films The Muslims Are Coming! starring Jon Stewart, David Cross, and Lewis Black and Nerdcore Rising, starring Weird Al Yankovic (both available wherever movies are streamed/downloaded).


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

Ask for actual spots spots.

Describe your worst gig. 

An audience of 400 in Berkeley, 200 of them children, no one told me there would be children.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young (female/LGBTQI) comedian?

Stop hating yourself.

 

Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

I find that ignoring them deflates them.

 

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

Yawn.

 

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

The laughs are addictive.

 

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Don’t jump into the material, it feels too mechanical.

 

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

“Wear pants so being female is less distracting.”

 

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

I can handle any audience. In real life that means I can hold down a conversation with a pair of socks if I need to.

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

It’s like being a man in comedy but with more tits.

SEE NEGIN 6/26 AT GOLD Comedy LIVE!

Negin Farsad was named one of 50 Funniest Women by Huffington Post, named one of the 10 Best Feminist Comedians by Paper Magazine, and was selected as a TEDFellow for her work in social justice comedy. She is the author of How To Make White People Laugh, a memoir-meets-social-justice-comedy manifesto which was nominated for the Thurber Prize for Humor and recommended by Oprah Magazine. Farsad is host of Fake the Nation, a political comedy podcast on the Earwolf network and she’s a regular panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. She is director/producer of the feature films The Muslims Are Coming! starring Jon Stewart, David Cross, and Lewis Black and Nerdcore Rising, starring Weird Al Yankovic (both available wherever movies are streamed/downloaded).

 


Mini Q+A with…Ashley Hamilton

Ashley Hamilton is a stand up comedian and writer from Chicago, IL who started performing in sunny Los Angeles. In LA, she ran a monthly show at UCB Franklin, hosted regularly at the Chatterbox in Covina, CA, and performed at the Hollywood Improv. Recently, she relocated to New York City and can be seen performing 7 nights a week all around New York. She contributes writing and videos to ManRepeller.com and hosts a podcast called Hold on One Second We’re Talking About Britney Spears, the world’s only oral history of Britney Spears in podcast form. She has performed all around the country and recently appeared at the Broke LA festival in Los Angeles and The Big Sky Comedy festival in Billings, MT. Follow her!


What’s the best way for standups to level up from open mics + “bringer” shows to “real” shows?

Support rooms, be funny, don’t try to tailor a good “show set.” Just work on getting funnier in general and it’ll happen.

 

Describe your worst gig.

I would say surviving any gig where people very specifically want to be doing anything other than watching standup is a victory. Its not that fun to feel like you’re holding people hostage.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young (female/LGBTQI) comedian?

Just keep doing it.

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

Just wait until one takes pity and finally talks to you.

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

This probably sounds dumb but I just like doing it so much. Writing a joke and then having that joke work in front of strangers is great.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Be funny.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Be something else (any advice about trying to fit into the mold of a female comedian who is already successful is bad advice).

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

I was extremely shy growing up but making my friends laugh was always a huge confidence booster.

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

I don’t think any one person inspired me to be a comedian. It was a pretty windy path before I decided I even wanted to try it. My dad introduced me to all of the comedy that wound up inspiring me.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

Too many letters.

Mini Q+A with…Hanna Dickinson

Hanna Dickinson graduated from USC as a film studies major in 2014. During her senior year, Hanna started standup and, at six months in, made the top four in two college standup competitions. Upon graduation, Hanna hosted for Pauly Shore on his tour in various cities across the U.S. She continues to showcase at festivals and competitions across the country, including Comedy Central’s 2016 and 2017 Comics to Watch L.A. Showcase, and the San Diego Comedy Festival, where she won first place. Currently, Hanna lives in New York City and just wrapped writing on season 3 of Comedy Knockout on truTV. You can hear her album “Lactose Intolerant” on Sirius XM Rawdog Comedy. Follow her!


 

Describe your worst gig.

I drove twelve hours roundtrip to open for a guy in the back of a Hookah lounge. There were maybe 12 people there. I bombed.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young (female/LGBTQI) comedian?

Be funny.

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

If someone has the balls to say it around me, I laugh. It’s such an ignorant statement that I don’t feel the need to get defensive. The male comics who have said that are the least funny people I know. (I realize that sounds defensive.)

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

I love it. I’m still coming up (hopefully) and there are so many nights I want to quit, but I can’t. There’s nothing else I could think of doing with my life. I’ve never even had a wedding Pinterest.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Don’t focus on other people’s success. In standup, you should be so unique that you can’t compare yourself to anyone else.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Wear overalls.

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

I’ve always been extremely anxious and hard on myself. It’s easy to not get worked up about things and see the bigger picture when you’re structuring it as a joke. Especially with dating, the only time I get upset about a guy is when my joke about him doesn’t land.

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

Molly Shannon in Superstar. I was obsessed with her physical humor. She was such a weirdo in that movie and I really related.

For standups: what advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Avoid bringers! You’re wasting your friends’ money and they will never want to see you once you get on good shows. Do as many open mics as possible and comics will ask you to do their show. Also, start a show and book comics you like. If you’re funny and easy to work with, you’ll get booked. Instead of bringers, apply to festivals. A lot of festivals are wack but it’s a fun way to meet other comics even if the shows are sh*t.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

I don’t mind it, but it’s harder to spell.


Hanna Dickinson graduated from USC as a film studies major in 2014. During her senior year, Hanna started standup and, at six months in, made the top four in two college standup competitions. Upon graduation, Hanna hosted for Pauly Shore on his tour in various cities across the U.S. She continues to showcase at festivals and competitions across the country, including Comedy Central’s 2016 and 2017 Comics to Watch L.A. Showcase, and the San Diego Comedy Festival, where she won first place. Currently, Hanna lives in New York City and just wrapped writing on season 3 of Comedy Knockout on truTV. You can hear her album “Lactose Intolerant” on Sirius XM Rawdog Comedy. Follow her!

Mini Q+A with…Rubi Nicholas

Rubi Nicholas has appeared on NickMom Network’s “Night Out” and “NickMom On…” series and has performed standup alongside comedy greats Judy Gold and Jim Breuer. She hosted the sold-out 2015 Lancaster City (PA) TEDx event in 2015 and then took it one step further with her very own TED talk at the 2016 live event. Follow her!


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

I’m a Pakistani comic. I’d rather kill than bomb, sir, but you are making me want to change my mind.

 

Describe your worst gig.

I had driven over 4 hours to the western slope of Colorado when I was doing comedy in Denver. When I got to the gig, I realized it wasn’t just a Japanese restaurant. It was a Japanese restaurant with a table top hibachi. That meant that during my set, people were cooking their food, talking with the wait staff about how to cook their food, and just generally not about paying attention to the lady on stage. They had a show right in front of them; I was just background noise. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there was a large center table of only Spanish speakers. In my terrible fortune, I look like I might speak Spanish and they were mildly interested in checking me out until they just sort of shrugged and continued their loud conversation…I couldn’t even out heckle them. Awful. Just awful. But hey, at least it came with a really weird room in a Motel 6, though, right?

 

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

Your dick is bigger than theirs. I promise.

 

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

Knowing that comedy can dismantle stereotypes.

 

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

“Don’t wear suggestive clothing, it distracts the audience…”

Doesn’t really feel like “comedy advice” at all, does it?

 

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

I am one of those women who is deeply in touch with my inner Chad. I actually struggle with the notion that good comedy has anything at all to do with gender. It might take a little longer to break through getting booked, but staying funny, and staying on your grind is the only thing that works for any comic. To stay in comedy, one needs to be consistently funny. Being a comic in comedy is hard. Being a bad comic is worse. Meh, being a woman? We’re rising up actually and we are doing all right for ourselves, considering it’s only been an even playing field for oh, 2-3 years I’m guessing.

I’m more inclined to open doors for women through workshops, mentorship, writing together. I have 2 sisters and 2 daughters (full custody, no breaks)…my mother was a stay-at-home mom. My life is about women. I love being a woman, I love being a mom and I love being a comic. When you do something with love, with the knowledge that this is your calling, that there isn’t anything else that makes you feel perfect, it’s easy to brush off little slights along the way. Honestly, comedy has done more for me as a person than I can even express. It doesn’t matter to me if someone is not booking women at their room, I’ll move along and find another room—I love what I do and I know I’ll get booked.

 

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

As the only brown girl in my class, the weirdo that smelled of curry, the girl with the one eyebrow and mustache, I had a boatload of reasons to NOT be popular with the white kids that were the only other kids in the coal region in rural PA. Problem is, I’m an extraordinary extravert and love people so much all I wanted was acceptance and friendship. While I wasn’t pretty, or athletic or “normal” in so many ways, I was funny. Funny got me everything I’d ever wanted in school, friends, invitations to parties, a big peer group and even positive attention from my teachers at times.

Later I would learn to use stand up comedy as a tool, a mechanism to edit my life story and make it way less painful by making it relatable and funny. That is my comedy “why.” With my background, “sit down” and “shut up” were words I heard my whole life. When I started stand up, they said get louder, we want to hear you. It was a game-changer. Comedy allowed me to have my OWN voice. I am able to stand my ground in all other areas of my life because I no longer think of myself as unworthy of a voice. My voice is strong and powerful. I know that because I tried it out, and people listened….they still do. It’s a beautiful thing.

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

I wouldn’t be a comedian if it weren’t for a series of flukes. I was a working mom, living in the suburbs of Denver, CO when my then 6-year-old saw a commercial on Nick@Nite (we had it earlier on mountain time before you give me the side eye for letting my kid stay up that late, I see you). The commercial announced “Nick at Nite is looking for the Funniest Mom in America–could it be you?” So, when she saw that, Sophie said, “Mom, you should try out for that show.” So that was it–the jump-off!

 

For standups: what advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Be consistently funny. Get up as often as you can in as many mics as you can. Once you know you are consistently crushing 10 minutes of material, start networking around the shows you want to be on. Ask your fellow comics that have shows if they would grant you a guest set. Crush the guest set. Always bring your A game to a show where the audience bought a ticket.

 

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

I actually only see that word in writing. My inner feminist instinct is to raspberry at this word. My inner feminist is also 8 years old and recognizes this as nonsense. I’m a comic, full stop.

 


Rubi Nicholas has appeared on NickMom Network’s “Night Out” and “NickMom On…” series and has performed standup alongside comedy greats Judy Gold and Jim Breuer. She hosted the sold-out 2015 Lancaster City (PA) TEDx event in 2015 and then took it one step further with her very own TED talk at the 2016 live event. Follow her!


 

How To Do Comedy: A Workshop For Girls + Others

An online course that's actually funny!

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Mini Q+A with…Chanel Ali

Chanel Ali is a standup comedian who blossomed on the Philadelphia circuit before moving to New York City in 2015. Her stage presence and story teller style make her a crowd favorite as she covers her upbringing, her world view, and life as a comedian who doubles as a polite person in real life. She was recently featured on an episode of Night Train with Wyatt Cenac and performs regularly at Caroline’s on Broadway and New York Comedy Club. Follow her!


 

Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

Right now, I’m a babysitter, just juggling babies and killing it at my job. You’re the guy, who’s bringing in mooore babies. Let me work.

 

Describe your worst gig.

I once had a gig at a bar that didn’t have a stage. They told us to stand near the pool table and gave us a wireless mic while the crowd was screaming watching the Super Bowl. Every comedian got one minute in before the boos took over. Afterwards, we could only laugh for having the guts to even try it.

 

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young (female/LGBTQI) comedian?

Comedy is minutes, tiny bursts of opportunity on a show or a mic. Whenever you’re lost, get back on stage again, and again, and again.

 

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

Steve Martin has a book called Born Standing Up and I read it after the first time I bombed in front of a lot of people. He said that his goal was to be good. Consistently good. Which is a hard goal. Moments of greatness happen all the time in comedy but consistency? It sounded daunting. I committed myself to the idea and invested heavily in learning from my mistakes. I became meticulous about my sets, keeping notes, taking audio recordings, studying the good, bad or weird.

 

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Don’t get comfortable in how that joke goes. It could change overtime, it could get better or become different. The joke isn’t done until you say so.

 

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

Sometimes I try to get people to laugh in business settings. I’ll make a bill collector laugh on the phone and then make a better deal. It helps drop the tension in a lot of situations and creates an energy where people feel compassion.

 

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

It’s that old saying, dress for the job you want. Every time you get on stage you have an opportunity to showcase yourself and your work. Sometimes you have to use an open mic to showcase a complete set, to show that you have the material organized and that you are ready to be booked. Put yourself in the mindset of a booker watching a bunch of open mic sets. If you were booking a show you would want someone who goes up on stage with a plan and executes it. You’d want someone who seems polished and fun.

 

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

Not my favorite honestly. I don’t want to be called that but I really don’t care if the next person does. I just like to be called a comedian. I think it’s gender neutral and I think it’s who I am, through and through.

 


Chanel Ali is a standup comedian who blossomed on the Philadelphia circuit before moving to New York City in 2015. Her stage presence and story teller style make her a crowd favorite as she covers her upbringing, her world view, and life as a comedian who doubles as a polite person in real life. She was recently featured on an episode of Night Train with Wyatt Cenac and performs regularly at Caroline’s on Broadway and New York Comedy Club. Follow her!

How To Do Comedy: A Workshop For Girls + Others

An online course that's actually funny!

OMG! Sign me up!

Mini Q+A with…Samantha Ruddy

Samantha Ruddy tells jokes, writes funny stuff, and weasels her way into your heart with her girl-next-door charm. At the age of 25, she’s headlined Caroline’s on Broadway and has been featured at national comedy festivals including New York Comedy Festival, San Francisco Sketchfest, and Bridgetown Comedy Festival and in shows including Whiplash at UCB, Night Train with Wyatt Cenac, and the Stella Classic Nightclub Show. Brooklyn Magazine called her one of Brooklyn’s 50 Funniest People, and BUST says she’s a comic “you should be obsessed with.” Samantha is a skilled joke writer and her comedy is clever, disarming, and sly. Read her writing on CollegeHumor, Someecards, and Reductress; check out a show; and follow her on Twitter @Samlymatters. You’ll be glad you did. And she will too!


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

Something personal and devastating.

Describe your worst gig. 

Once I did a bar show that got double-booked with a funeral reception and the first comic tried to do crowd work with the grieving family. The reception wrapped up pretty fast after that.
The people who ran the show are great guys who were doing their best with a bad situation, but the people who owned the bar sucked. They were like “Sorry, I guess just do the show?” Great idea. Not awkward at all.

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

Use hard C sounds for punchlines!!! (Honestly, I have no idea.)

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

It used to make me angry but now I don’t really care. They’re probably being willfully ignorant and want a reaction, so I’m not giving it.

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

I just really like it. When I have a bad set, I watch a special I love to remind myself that I enjoy standup and that’s inspiring to me. Just getting to do something that you like can be inspiring.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

I feel like I heard this from Emily Heller via an article, but it always stuck with me, and it was to do your A material when you’re in a new city so people know you’re funny. It really helped me when I moved to NYC.

Worst comedy advice you ever got? 

Somebody told me once that if you mention being gay, you can’t be considered a clean comic. It still boggles my mind.

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

A nightmare!!!! No, it’s fine. It has unique challenges but I’m sure there are fields in which it’s even more difficult to be a woman.

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

The advice from above of doing your A-game when you get to a new city. I moved to NYC after my first year of doing standup in upstate NY, and I would only do my best jokes at mics and eventually I started getting booked on bar shows.

On shows, I would mix newer jokes in with ones that I knew worked. From there I was able to develop an act and keep getting booked. Building momentum early is huge so you don’t get stuck in a cycle of just doing mics. It sucks, but first impressions matter.

Single word that always cracks you up?

Debacle.

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

There were a lot of factors, but I remember watching John Mulaney’s New in Town in early 2013 and being really inspired by it to try writing jokes. By the middle of the year, I was doing standup regularly.

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

I was a chubby kid. Well, I guess I’m a chubby adult now, too. But I was way chubbier as a kid and I realized I could deflect any bullying by just being funny. That was when I was around ten years old.
As I got older, I started to realize I wasn’t attracted to boys like my classmates were, so humor definitely helped me deal with that. Granted, I didn’t understand I liked girls, but humor for sure helped me through the three-year span I thought I was like asexual. I just made being funny my thing. In retrospect, I was probably very annoying and I’m sure I owe people apologies.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

It doesn’t offend me, but it seems unnecessary. We all do the same thing. Why not have the same name?

Samantha Ruddy tells jokes, writes funny stuff, and weasels her way into your heart with her girl-next-door charm. At the age of 25, she’s headlined Caroline’s on Broadway and has been featured at national comedy festivals including New York Comedy Festival, San Francisco Sketchfest, and Bridgetown Comedy Festival and in shows including Whiplash at UCB, Night Train with Wyatt Cenac, and the Stella Classic Nightclub Show. Brooklyn Magazine called her one of Brooklyn’s 50 Funniest People, and BUST says she’s a comic “you should be obsessed with.” Samantha is a skilled joke writer and her comedy is clever, disarming, and sly. Read her writing on CollegeHumor, Someecards, and Reductress; check out a show; and follow her on Twitter @Samlymatters. You’ll be glad you did. And she will too!

 

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Mini Q+A with Lauren Mayer

Lauren Mayer is an award-winning songwriter and entertainer who can make anything, and anyone, funny (at roasts, parties, shows, etc., or on her critically acclaimed albums and videos). Watch her hilarious musical rants Dear Internet Trolls, I Didn’t Come From Your Rib (You Came From My Vagina), and Then You’re A Feminist—and her most recent viral smash, The Sexual Harassment Prevention Song.


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

 

Describe your worst gig. 

Getting invited to an audition night by Mitzi Shore at The Comedy Store, doing my cute little songs, and then being followed by a guy who impersonated a penis having its first sexual experience.

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

Find your audience—they’re out there!—and hang in there. I’ve become an overnight success after 37 years.

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

“Are you kidding? We couldn’t deal with people who make comments like that without a sense of humor!”

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

I’m still “coming up”! But I’ve stuck with it because people send me comments on my videos, saying that I help them laugh at the news, or that my songs make them feel better.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Take your time. (I tend to rush.)

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

You’re too old to do this.

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

“Like being a woman in life…”

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

Coping with everything! I recently survived pneumonia-induced sepsis, and I posted regular dark comedy essays as a way of coping…and I coped with being a total late bloomer in high school.

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

Tom Lehrer, starting when I was a kid. He wrote such literate, smart songs about current events.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

Mixed. It has a cool french feel and sounds smarter, but it’s also diminishing (like “usherette”).

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

Get discovered by your site! And hang in there—I’ve been posting topical comedy songs every week for 5+ years, and it just now hit for me.


Lauren Mayer is an award-winning songwriter and entertainer who can make anything, and anyone, funny (at roasts, parties, shows, etc., or on her critically acclaimed albums and videos). Watch her hilarious musical rants Dear Internet Trolls, I Didn’t Come From Your Rib (You Came From My Vagina), and Then You’re A Feminist—and her most recent viral smash, The Sexual Harassment Prevention Song.

How To Do Comedy: A Workshop For Girls + Others

An online course that's actually funny!

OMG! Sign me up!

 


 

Stay GOLDen

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