In my Second City comedy class I was old enough to be everyone’s mother. Except that I’m not a mother. I’m barren, which is one of my favourite openers. My classmates were lovely and they embraced me and it was much better than the Improv class I took, where I literally ended up playing everyone’s mother, but I definitely felt different. I had a career, a car and I had seen some things. When we were supposed to come up with a story in class to work out some jokes, I felt like I was an old oracle, telling tales to the youngin’s. “Did I tell you about the time I had cancer? Did I tell you about the time I was held up at gunpoint in Florida? Did I tell you about the time I wrote an autobiography and went on a book tour? Did I tell you about the time I had Shingles in Portugal?”
I took comedy classes because I am a nerd and I will always try to learn and then win comedy. With a few comedy classes under my belt, it was time to hit some mics for some real-world experience. Some of this was great and some of this was a shocker. My husband commented that some of the bars that I would drag him to to do comedy are places that I would never have gone a year before. Sometimes I go on my own. Sometimes I am scared. Not the getting up on stage part, the walking to my car part. There is a vulnerability to busting out some personal jokes about womanhood to a room full of drunk men. It’s hard and it’s weird, but I keep doing it for some reason.
The bro open mics are not really a great barometer for what comedy is, but it was first experience starting out and the young, cis-white male comics that dominate the amateur mic scene seems to have a limited vocab. There are the masturbation jokes, the porn jokes, the midget porn jokes (edgy), the prop work with mic-as-dick jokes (classic), the having sex with women who are having their period jokes (the hilarity), also the jokes about why no one on Tinder will have sex with them (which is inconsistent with previous sex with women having periods jokes, but okay) and/or why no one on Tinder is good enough for them (Dude, please) and then some poop jokes to round the set out. So predictable that you could play a drinking game and get quite drunk, or you could play open mic bingo with friends.
Middle-aged woman comedy is different and we need different voices in comedy. I am new to comedy and I am still…