By MIKE CHAIKEN
Comedian Jessica Kirson is adding her voice to the dialogue about the issues female comics face in the industry.
But, Kirson isn’t doing it from behind the microphone, standing on stage in front of the audience.
For her part in the ongoing dialogue, Kirson is serving as executive producer for a documentary about female comics.
Kirson performs at Comix at Mohegan Sun from May 23 to 25.
Historically, female comics have taken a backseat to their male counterparts in clubs.
Kirson’s bio for her agent, Admire Entertainment, states, “10% of all touring comedians are female.”
Kirson said, however, she gets work, not because she is a “female” comic but because she is simply a comic.
As she shaped her career, Kirson said she felt that her humor needed to appeal to men as well as women. In fact, she said, men laugh even harder at her material than women.
But the documentary illustrates that Kirson is the fortunate one. Most female comics haven’t had it easy.
“It’s gotten better (for female comics),” said Kirson. “It will get better and better”
Audiences have no problem accepting a woman at the stand-up microphone, said Kirson.
“A lot of times, it’s the bookers who don’t want to book females,” said Kirson.
Kirson said she said she likes being a comedian, especially, as a woman, because “you can say what you want.” She said that’s a “powerful feeling” to have that power and control over an audience.
And Kirson said she does say what she wants. (She won’t talk about politics because she doesn’t think it’s funny.)
Kirson said she is not afraid to swear and talk about things that some would call “dirty.” (“I curse off stage and I curse on-stage.”)
But Kirson said she is not trying to shock her audience. She is sharing her truth with the audience. “If you’re honest and real and (the dirty is) from personal experience, which is true for me, it’s all right. It’s funny.”
Some of Kirson’s jokes are derived from her experiences growing up. Her mother was a therapist and she took clients at the family home. “I learned a lot about people (from the clients that came to see my mother),” said Kirson. That, in turn, provided material for comedy.
Kirson, initially, planned to follow in her mother’s footsteps. She studied to be a therapist in college. Her end game was to become a social worker.
However, Kirson said her grandmother put a bug in her ear that bore the fruit, which audiences appreciate today.
Kirson said her grandmother watched how Kirson could get an entire table of people laughing with her jokes. She told Kirson she should go into standup comedy.
Kirson tried it. She liked it. And that’s why she is where she is today.
In addition to her efforts as executive producer for the documentary about female comics, Kirson said she continues to do a ton of movies and television (she played herself on “Crashing” and appeared with Kevin James on “Kevin Can”). She recently had an upcoming hour-long special on Comedy Central directed by comedian Bill Burr.
Jessica Kirson performs at Comix at Mohegan Sun, Uncasville on Thursday, May 23 at 8 pm.; Friday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, May 25 at 7 and 9:30 p.m.
For more information, go to ComixMoheganSun.com.