BY Brandon Voss
March 31 2010 11:55 PM ET
With quirky roles like an apathetic hairstylist in The Broken Hearts Club, a ditzy manicurist in Legally Blonde, and the ultimate cougar in American Pie, it’s no wonder Jennifer Coolidge has amassed a mighty gay following. Having honed her improv skills in Christopher Guest films like Best in Show and For Your Consideration, Coolidge recently added stand-up comic to her résumé. As part of the 20th anniversary of The Dinah, the annual lesbian party weekend in Palm Springs, Calif., the 48-year-old funny lady will headline Girl Bar’s HRC fundraiser on April 3 at Hotel Zoso. Coolidge, who currently costars on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager, explains why she’d probably date a woman before doing Dancing with the Stars.
The Advocate: Why did you decide to start doing stand-up comedy?
Jennifer Coolidge: It started out as a little experiment. I know this guy who has a club in Provincetown, and last year he said, “I’d love for you to come and put on a show.” I said, “Yeah, let’s try it out in July.” Then July came faster than I thought. I had something written, but it wasn’t really fleshed out with a beginning, middle, or end. All those boys in P-town should’ve gotten their money back. I just didn’t know what I was doing. Not that I’m an old salty sea captain now, but it feels like I am compared to what I was.
What about stand-up appeals to you?
I do have my New Orleans home to escape to, but when you live in L.A., where there aren’t a lot of seasons, it’s kind of like Groundhog Day, where you live the same day over and over again. And an actress in the Hollywood Hills lives a pretty isolated existence. When you do stand-up and go around the country, you get a really good idea of what’s going on in the world.
Is your act built on storytelling in the vein of Kathy Griffin and Sandra Bernhard, or do you do classic PMS and airplane food jokes?
No, I never have the line and then the joke. It’s maybe seven or eight stories where I talk about relationships, sex, and living in Hollywood.
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