Comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer will play in Indianapolis tomorrow night in a benefit show for Indy Pride. Before Suzanne hit town we caught up on the phone and she sounds like she's just as full of mischief and mayhem as always.
Suzanne has been one of my favorite performers for years and she's a regular visitor to Indy. Jerame and I try to go to every show because she keeps her act fresh and hysterically funny. I remember what a big deal it was when she became the first openly gay comedian to appear on TV.
Wednesday night's performance is at Talbott Street nightclub (2145 N Talbott Street). Doors open at 6:30. Show starts at 8:00.
I'll be doing a video interview with Suzanne after tomorrow night's show for the main Bilerico Project site, but after the jump are five questions I asked Suzanne specifically for Bilerico-Indiana readers.
1. How many times have you played Indianapolis? What's your favorite part of the city?
A lot. I don't think I can answer that. The 1st time was at the Madame Walker theater. I've been doing stand up for 17 years. I've probably played Indy at least 12 times easily. It's one of those places I go regularly.
My favorite place? I have no idea. As soon as my show finishes up, everything is closed. So not a damn thing. Maybe the TGIFridays since it's open and I can get a drink.
When I taped my special at the Indiana Roof ballroom 3 years ago, I walked around the city taping for B roll. I ran into a local weatherman because it was snowing and tried to talk to him, but when he found it was a gay special he became, well, not so nice. What was up with that guy? Doesn't he know all weathermen are gay? We didn't use it but I've still got the footage.
2. When did you come out professionally? Has it hurt your career or helped you stand out from the crowd?
I was never in. The 1st time I got up on stage in New York City I was gay. It was amateur mic night the first time. Yes, I think it hurt my career but I don't care. I'm an activist first. That's why I was doing it. I wasn't trying to be a bitch, I was being openly gay to say it's time for us to be openly gay as stand ups because it's the truth.
3. What was the first joke you told on stage?
"Hi. Good evening. I'm a lesbian. I know you were expecting someone who looked more like Leona Helmsley but I'm more the lesbian Barbie and I liked my Barbie dolls a lot!"
4. Since they say all good comedians have a dark side that inspires the comedy, what's your muse? What's your "dark side?"
I'm going to talk about it tomorrow night. It's hard to explain. The thing that is the least funny to normal people is the most funny to me. I don't know how to explain it, but I had an incident and I'll talk about it tomorrow night.
5. Are you a cootie queen or a lint licker?
Cootie queen, I got to say. I got some princess in me so anytime queen is in the title, I sort of perk up. It's a mess but it's true.