GIGGLE CITY: Jen Grant’s female perspective

Funny, we don’t get many comediennes for Giggle City – mainly just comedians.

In fact, Jen Grant – at Yuk Yuk’s this weekend – is the first female comic we’ve interviewed for this series, not counting the fabulous Stephanie Wolfe from the Die-Nasty soap opera. Stand-up is a male-dominated industry, with only a few notable exceptions. Grant knows this well, as she explains further in our recent weekly probing of the modern comedic mind:

Q: If you could be any celebrity, who would it be and why?

A: I immediately thought of Ricky Gervais. I love him, even though he’s not the same gender as I am. I love his career. I Love the Office, and he made it all happen himself. It’s very original. You can tell he’s a very smart comedian and actor, has lots of little nuances of character in what he does.

Q: What’s your best heckler story?

A: I remember I had hurt feelings over one of them. Most often I don’t care. But I was in Kelowna and I was talking about being a redhead and shortly after that, maybe five minutes into my act, I talk about dating, and I said I was single, and this punk in the audience with a baseball cap on said, ‘It’s because you’re a redhead!’ It really threw me. I actually was a little bit hurt at first, and I kind of showed that. But then later – and everyone was on my side – I came back at him, something to the effect that that it would’ve normally hurt me if I was into douchebags in baseball caps. I think he was stung. Guys don’t like being put in their place by woman. But it’s all deserving, right?

Q: Do you have any material that’s close to being over the line?

A: I’ve just started trying to do this joke about how I don’t like rich kids. It pisses me off that they have money. What does a kid need with a million dollars? Why does Justin Bieber need all that money? Maybe I’m just jealous because he’s a successful performer. I heard that his mother was a drug addict. I always thought that haircut was a choice. It turns out it was neglect. Oh, I’ll get to your bangs later. Some people don’t like that joke.

Q: What’s the worst meal you ever had on the road?

A: When I first started out, I made the mistake of eating before a show. I was in Montreal and I had seafood linguini right before I went on stage. I threw up literally minutes before I went on. I was so scared. And then I bombed. I can’t believe I kept going. It was like the worst bomb ever. I just puked and then I bombed for 15 minutes. And I can’t believe I ever continued to do stand-up comedy after that.

Q: What’s the difference between kids today and when you were a kid?

A: Texting. I do this joke about texting. Texting is dangerous. We shouldn’t drive and text. That kills lives. If you text at my show, it kills dreams. But people still text even after I say that. I did a college show in the States where the women who booked me was texting in the front row. I normally would’ve said something, but she’s the one who pays me.

Q: This is a question just for you: What’s the deal with women in comedy? Why aren’t there more female comics?

A: I think it’s always been that way. I’ve been asked this a lot so I’ve thought about it. Also, I’m naturally an optimistic person, or maybe I don’t think like everybody else. When I got into comedy I just thought I was just a comedian, I didn’t think I was a female comic. People keep pointing it out: You’re a female comic, you’re a female comic. I think that comedy requires you to be really assertive and willing to look goofy, which are traditionally not feminine qualities. I can admit that much is challenging for me, at least at first – being willing to look goofy. People say that it takes at least 10 years to be a successful comic, so in order to stick it through you have to be willing to go on the road and have a lifestyle that is not especially conductive to most women, especially if you got pregnant.