Icing: JEN KIRKMAN Talks with Us About Her “All New Material, Girl” Tour & More
Comedian and author JEN KIRKMAN kicks off her All New Material, Girl comedy tour TOMORROW at San Francisco’s Cobb’s Comedy Club. As you might guess, Kirkman will be presenting all new jokes and stories for the adoring public around the country and a little outside it until the end of the year. Some lucky New Yorkers, will be able to see Kirkman perform at the HIGHLINE Ballroom September 21 in NYC and THE BELL HOUSE September 22 in Brooklyn. For everyone outside of New York, you can check out the other glorious show dates HERE. Kirkman was kind enough to answer a few questions about the tour and her recent birthday retreat. Read some essential need-to-know Kirkman tidbits, including whether she’ll be writing a new book and her upcoming ultra fashionista collab with BaubleBar. I already want everything without even seeing the merch!
COMEDY CAKE: I can make obvious assumptions, but how did you come up with the name for the upcoming, new tour?
JEN KIRKMAN: Assume away! It’s totally a nod to Madonna. My last tour that I did after my first Netflix special came out – I named it the same thing as my special. DUMB. That was dumb. People were like, ‘Oh, I already saw the special on Netflix so I don’t have to come to the show.’ So this time I wanted to make it crystal clear – this is new stuff. You haven’t seen it. You’ve only IMAGINED IT IN YOUR DREAMS!
CAKE: I understand you will be telling stories and jokes we haven’t seen on your Netflix specials. Can you give us a preview of what content audiences can look forward to?
KIRKMAN: This tour is super new stuff and so there will be a lot of off the top of my head – although I know all of the topics I’m covering – I just don’t know how I’m going to talk about it and that’s really exciting. That’s when I think I’m at my best performing…the topics range from how sad I was on election night and had to put up my Christmas tree, stories about what I was like when I was a self-righteous third party voter a long time ago, and I’m going to have someone get up on stage and read a sketch with me that I wrote in college that I thought was going to solve race relations in America. It’s an hour of stuff about the person I was and have grown into and my perspective as the old lady now who younger people hate in some ways.
CAKE: Can you tell your fans what you did for your silent birthday retreat? We hope cake was involved.
KIRKMAN: No cake! I mean I’m not a huge cake fan if that makes sense and I would have had to buy a cake and bring it to this house and eat it alone? I mean I can’t speak to people and say, It’s my birthday. I had a hard year and this retreat was less a celebration of my birthday than it was a renewal for me and a chance to put some crappy shit to rest and I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday. It ended up being a magical restorative experience and there’s no better feeling than being in a beautiful home – like a ranch in Northern California and passing the handful of other people on the retreat in the common areas like kitchen or on the porch and you know they CANNOT TALK TO YOU – so there’s no worry of, “I want to go make toast but that lady is in the kitchen and she’s gonna start asking me questions…” Nope. No one can talk. So you have permission to ignore other people. Best birthday gift ever.
CAKE: Sounds heavenly. You’ll be hitting up the Highline Ballroom and the Bell House in September. What do you look forward to the most when performing in New York?
KIRKMAN: Just being in NYC! It’s my favorite city on earth. I miss living there. And the audiences – particularly the ones that come to the Bellhouse – are just SO generous with their laughter and really love watching the way comedy works – they consume a lot of comedy and I think they are appreciative of someone who is trying out new concepts.
CAKE: You’ve penned 2 New York Times Bestselling comedic memoirs, “I Can Barely Take Care of Myself” and “I Know What I’m Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself; (Dispatches From a Life Under Construction),” can we expect a new book in the foreseeable future?
KIRKMAN: No! I truly don’t have anything else to say right now – I’m not “feeling’ it – I wrote those two very much planning and feeling like I need to write two books and get all this out but now I’m way more into stand-up and trying to work on some TV ideas. I truly don’t want to write another book for another five years at LEAST. It’s a lonely laborious process and I don’t want that right now.
CAKE: What other projects are you currently working on outside of touring (not that you aren’t busy enough)?
KIRKMAN: I am as always – developing a TV show idea to pitch – if the network buys it – I get paid to write a script. Then in 2017 is when one would find out if it gets made into a pilot. Then if it does, then later in the spring of 2017 you would find out if it gets made into a series. So, that’s a long just plodding process that comedians are ALWAYS doing behind the scenes – so over the years I’ve sold ideas and written scripts – nothing got made. And it’s okay because I do a zillion other things. I just got done being a consultant/writer on the Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel which comes out in December – it chronicles a female comedian getting her start in the West Village in 1958. It’s a fantastic show. I’m so proud to have been part of Season One. I have a jewelry line that launches on September 5th with BaubleBar.com I am selling a bunch of necklaces that have words on them… based on this necklace I wear that says “Over Forty” – so I’m super excited about that. People can buy necklaces that say things like FeministAF, Childfree, Over Forty, I think that is hilarious. And I’m also working on investigating Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. I haven’t been cleared to talk about it until now – but I’m very much involved with Robert Mueller in solving this case. I work completely from Twitter though.