Friday, December 15, 2006

The Eighth Card Of Christmas

I used to run into Mary Ellen Hooper, 1998’s ‘Best Female Comic’ at the 12th Annual American Comedy Awards, at every airport in the country, or so it seemed. We were always either arriving or leaving clubs that we each had played over the years, so there was plenty of comparing, contrasting, lots of air kissing and “Gotta run.” Sometimes we ended up on the same plane and didn’t know it until we landed at LAX.

One of my favorite Mary Ellen stories is about The Improv’s. Notoriously sexist, The Improv chain has always been booked by women who hate women. (Translation: women who didn't pursue their dreams dumped their anger and frustration on those of us who did) They mistakenly thought that women didn’t do well in the headliner spot. But Mary Ellen was headlining all over the country at every club but The Improv’s, where she was only the featured act. (Comedy clubs have an opening act, a feature or middle act and then the headliner)

She got a call from the Brea Improv to open for Richard Jeni, a very funny comedian who insisted on a female opening act.

Sidebar: I’m sure he thought that a female comic would be easier to follow than a male comic. I love ya Richard, but yawn.

Mary Ellen went out that first night on the gig and crushed. She got a standing O and never had to middle The Improv's again.

She now tours regularly with 3 Blonde Moms along with two of my favorite comics, my good buddy Joanie Fagan and Helen Keaney. You can see them on the E! Channel or check them out when they come to a town near you.

End of chat.

1 comment:

  1. I love that you've kept all these cards.