A Fortune Revealed
BY Jeffrey Hartinger
August 10 2011 3:36 PM ET
Fortune Feimster, a lesbian comedian hailing from the South, has devoted much time and effort to her comedy pursuits. Starting out with the Los Angeles–based improv group the Groundlings, she has appeared on the popular reality show Last Comic Standing and, most recently, earned a coveted spot at the round table on Chelsea Lately. She talks with The Advocate about her LGBT influences, the impact of gay youth, and her boss, Chelsea Handler.
The Advocate: Describe your experience attending an all-female college in the South.
Fortune Feimster: It was an amazing experience. Peace College is a small institution, so you get a lot of one-on-one attention. I never realized what a difference it can make being in an all-female class. Men tend to be a bit more aggressive; they often dominate the class discussion — at least in my high school experience — so this allowed girls to really break out of their shells and not be afraid to express their opinions. I just wish I had known I was gay then! Sure, I’m happy with my degree, but all I can think about are all those missed opportunities!
After graduation, you spent some time living and traveling throughout Europe. Do you think Americans and Europeans respond differently to comedy?
It’s hard to say. I wasn’t doing comedy when I lived in Spain. Weirdly enough, I taught English while I was there. However, my Spanish was not so great, so I learned early on that big, funny facial expressions can really break the ice when trying to communicate with someone of another language. It also made people think I was crazy!
How was your experience on Last Comic Standing?
It has proven to be a very pivotal part of my career, and I’m really glad I did it. I had been working for years in Los Angeles on my comedy and a lot of people in town knew about me, but this was the first time that millions of people got to see what I do. I felt like the show presented me in a really fair, accurate way, which doesn’t always happen with reality television. I still have people coming up to me saying they were rooting for me on that show.