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Tuesday
Sep022008

Inside With: Susan Alexander, Comic & Comedy ProducerBy: Andrew Singer

Photo by Heidi Kikel
Photo: Heidi Kikel

Stand-up comedian Susan Alexander is the host and creator of "5 Funny Females," a national touring show that features some of the nation's best female stand-up comedy talent. Alexander also created and hosts "5 Funny Fags," which debuted last May in San Francisco and is now starting to tour the U.S., as well. Since 2002, Alexander has been performing, hosting and producing popular live events. Before embarking on a career in comedy, she worked as an online-advertising and marketing director and is now based in New York. She has been working on a Web series in addition to television projects. The Apiary recently caught up with Alexander to ask about promoting shows, women in comedy and her hypnotizing cleavage.

How did you come up with "5 Funny Females"?
When I started stand-up in San Francisco about five years ago, I auditioned at San Francisco Comedy Club, now a jazz club or something else, and was selected to be the Friday and Saturday night host. By hosting weekly shows, I received lots of stage time, realized I loved hosting and started to build a San Francisco fan base. I noticed there were not any regular shows that just featured female stand-up comics. So, I created a monthly show at the club called "5 Funny Females" that featured a variety of female comedians from all different backgrounds.

George Takei & Susan Alexander at The Friars Club (video: Susan Alexander roasts "Sulu") | Photo via Susan Alexander
Photo via Susan Alexander

Do you feel there is an imbalance of males to females in comedy? How can we encourage more women to pursue comedy?
To me funny is funny. This is not about males to females. The fact is that there are just more male comics out there than females, which is good and bad. If a show has 15 comics then there might be two comics who are female. If you have any more than two females it is a "woman's" show. But the great thing is that now I feel women have lots of opportunities, but they have to create them themselves by either pursuing gigs, auditions or creating their own shows.

When I tried to go to your show in Exeter, N.H., this summer, it was already sold out. How do you have such good promotion so far outside New York? What do you think your show provides that other shows don't?
"5 Funny Females" has toured in about 12 cities. In New England, I am working with a great production company called Drinkwater Productions which helps with promotion and press for shows in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and soon in Maine.

The "5 Funny Females" rotates more than 50 female comics throughout the country. The talent ranges from TV comics to up-and-coming local talent. Also, the difference is that not only do I produce but I host ever single show.

On your website, you say that you like to focus people's attention on your cleavage. Is that true? Do you find it awkward or empowering when people take notice, and why?
Listen, being a plus-sized, voluptuous women has its advantages. I love showing off my cleavage and love watching people get hypnotized by them. I'm proud of them and think every woman has one or more parts of their body they should emphasize to feel sexy. I have a clothing sponsor now, IGIGI, who I will be wearing at my shows and events.

You recently began producing a "5 Funny Fags" show, as well. What do women and gay people have in common, in terms of live comedy? Do you see yourself creating shows based on other groups of minorities in the future? If so, which ones?
"5 Funny Females" and "5 Funny Fags" attract women and gay men in the audience. Actually, I get straight men that come with their wives for "date night."

The straight guys have as much fun as the women and gay men -- again, funny is funny. We are all alone on that stage and have to earn laughs on our material. If shows make sense and fit the FFF model then I will add them in the future. I have a couple of new shows "5 Funny Friends," which is a show for a variety of male and female comics, and maybe even a "5 Funny Filipinos," which I am looking into for the future.

RELATED
The next 5 Funny Females show in New York is Sept. 25 @ 8PM
Vote for Susan Alexander in the Friars Roast Contest

--Andrew Singer is a contributing editor for The Apiary. He performs regularly as "Soce the Elemental Wizard."

Reader Comments (2)

nice work soce
September 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkeithhuang
Heroes in a bombshell: Gir-rul power!
September 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAbbi Crutchfield

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