Thirty years is a long time to work in any industry, especially the entertainment industry. You’ve got so many variables to sift through. Your own endurance, your world view, the world’s view of you, economic booms, recessions, MySpace, Facebook, Kanye West and the occasional 4 to 8 year change political power. Three decades worth of trends and regurgitated trends are enough to make you crazy or just plain forget that is was a trend in the first place.
Well, comedian Kate Clinton has not only weathered the above elements, but she’s packaged, produced and performed her way through them. She’s released eight comedy collections, four DVDs, three books and traveled ten national tours, all while finding time to make over 25 TV appearances, appear in eight films and stop off on Broadway for a bit to perform in The Vagina Monologues, Nothing Like A Dame and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Oh and here’s the kicker, she’s not done yet.
Oh yeah, and the other kicker; she’s sustained her career all while being a lesbian activist.
The Crest Theater will be the next venue of her conquering later this week on Friday, September 25th, and it looks to be one of the final dates of her “Yes on K8″ tour that launched back in February.
Kate was kind enough to connect with us here at SacramentoComedy.Com this past week, revealing to us her past and present.
As far as the past goes, Kate’s struggles weren’t always as uphill as people would have expected for the times.
“Well, I think the great thing about being a lesbian comedian at the beginning was that no one ever stole my material,” Kate jokes. “I actually came up through a very vibrant, women’s music and cultural network in the 80′s, that allowed me to really work on my material.”
Kate added, “I think what I am now, is a representation of what the gay movement has done for the culture, which is that now more people know about gay people.” “Now I find that people get more nervous when I do political material than the gay stuff.” “I remember getting off stage after noticing that situation and thinking, ‘That was different.’” “People have become a lot less ‘homo-ignorant,’ which is great.”
When asked about if she or the gay comedy community was upset about Ellen DeGeneres initially taking the “lesbian reigns” and “stealing their thunder,” she responded with a laugh.
“I’m sure their were a lot of comics that thought they should have had that spot, but as far as I was concerned, I was like, ‘The more the merrier.”
Kate shared a story of a newly “outed” gentleman she met in rural Ohio who was inspired to gradually come out as a result of Ellen’s revelation. “The great line that he used was, ‘It took an entire season,’” she laughed.
Being that Kate’s act is often politically based, her “soapbox” is never pushed as the selling point. Funny is always her priority. “I want people to laugh so hard that they need a medic.” She adds, “I remember going to a George Carlin show and I was way up in the back, but everyone in the place was laughing so hard that it felt like all of the oxygen had been sucked up from the room; that’s what I want to do as a performer.”
“I have a lot of people come up to me a ask me, ‘Now that George Bush is gone, what are you going to do?’” “I always answer with, ‘There’s always the Pope.’”
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