The Other Clinton
BY Jeffrey Hartinger
August 15 2011 5:00 AM ET
Kate Clinton began her career as a stand-up comic in 1981. But she's also become a challenging advocate and activist for LGBT people, commenting on the issues that have paved the way for LGBT rights.
The Advocate: This year marks your 30th anniversary in the business. Congratulations! What is your inspiration behind the Glee Party comedy tour?
Kate Clinton:Glee is such a great show and everyone is watching it, so it’s great to have some common language when you’re doing a show. Also, the Tea Party is just everywhere and I think that in a way, they are both alike. The problems on the show are solved in 42 minutes or less and everyone breaks into song and dance for no reason and we like that. And it’s like the Tea Party people; after 30 years of antigovernment, they want problems solved in two years or less. When you ask them a question, they break into a song and dance too. I think one of the most radical things we can do is to be optimistic and keep going on, so there’s a little bit of that in the show.
Over the years, a majority of your comedy has been centered on politics, religion, and sexuality. Do you try to go for hot-button issues or what you think is current?
I pay close attention to what’s happening and I love to talk about it. I do a lot of political material and sometimes it kills them; at times, I feel like it’s a news show more than a comedy show, but that’s OK. Actually, I found that LGBT audiences are very clued in and political. Certainly, following the marriage discussion and “don’t ask, don’t tell,” I think the longer the LGBT movement has gone on, we really see the issues of poverty and questions like, "What we are going to do with our seniors?" We see these as our issues as well.