Laugh be a lady tonight

Posted on 21 Apr 2010 at 3:04pm
By JEF TINGLEY | Contributing Writer jeftingley@sbcglobal.net

Chick domination of Dallas comedy continues with Shaw and McNulty

ALL STAR COMEDY
Metropolitan Community Church
2735 Villa Creek Drive, Suite 290
April 23 at 8 p.m. $20–$40

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The spring has so far brought out female comedians Suzanne Westenhoefer and Kathy Griffin to town, with Chelsea Handler on the way. So it must have been in the air for comedians Jennie McNulty and Vickie Shaw to open tonight.

McNulty —well known for her shows on Logo, Olivia Cruises and her Walking Funny With… series on AfterEllen.com. She travels the world taking her material to the troops overseas when not playing professional women’s football for the California Quake.

Texas native Shaw — a self-proclaimed late-in-life lesbian who recently became a grandma, has been seen on WE, Logo and the film Laughing Matters… More — focuses on family life including her relationship with her "husbian," Sgt. Patch.

We caught up with the ladies to get their pre-show quips about performing, relationships and how laughter is the best medicine.

Dallas Voice: Jennie, you’ve traveled all over the world performing. What was it like doing shows in places like Iraq and Afghanistan? Did you have to change your content much? 

McNulty: The military shows are the only shows in which I don’t come out, so I just don’t do any "relationship" material. I won’t change pronouns in jokes — I just don’t talk about it. It may be a cop-out but we are asked not to do controversial, political or blue material. We’re told that we’re there to take their minds off of where they are. And, honestly, that is a phrase I’ve heard a billion times from our fantastic men and women over there: "Thanks for taking our minds off of where we are." And, really, that’s all we’re there for: to make them feel a little better, if only for an hour or two. However, I wear rainbow everything — earrings, necklaces, bracelets — the entire time I’m there. I look like a Pride booth exploded on me. I’ve had soldiers come up to me and say, "I like your bracelet," and such, so they know.

We saw Kate Clinton push you and your rock-hard abs into the pool and read about your appearances as a physical trainer on the NBC show Starting Over. How do you keep such a hot bod while traveling?

McNulty: Comics can’t afford much food.

Seriously, I walk, with a few strengthening exercises thrown in. I have a master’s in kinesiology, so I know what to do and try to squeeze it in when I can. Playing football helps, but walking is the best, easiest exercise and you can do it with me if you like on my show, Walking Funny With… on AfterEllen.com.

Since we are on the subject of hotness, we’ll ask for our lesbifriends — are you a single lady or did someone already put a ring on it? 

McNulty: Well, thanks for getting that song stuck on my head for the next four hours! I’ve been with my partner for five years now. No ring, but not single either. In fact, I like to joke about how scared she was during that two-minute window here in California when we could get married.

Vicki, you describe yourself as a recovering "SOB"(Southern Baptist) so what’s it like to be performing in a church as you will in this show? 

Shaw: To be honest, it is weird to swear in church! You know, church is not the usual place for standup, but the MCC of Dallas is not a usual church. As you know, being in the Bible Belt, church and gays are not usually mentioned together positively. But I think Jesus would go to this church. However, if Jesus did come to the church some dyke would probably say, "Who’s that chick in the robe?"

You came out late in life. What advice would you give other late bloomers who have yet to come out? 

Shaw: Come out now! By not coming out, that’s a form of self-hate. It means you think who you are is not OK, and that could not be further from the truth. Everyone is perfect just like they are. If you can’t believe that for yourself, no one will do it for you.

Anything special we need to know about your show?

Shaw: Yep, every time you laugh you kill a cancer cell. So come on out, just to be safe.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 23, 2010.

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