Chris Doucette is an amazing New York based comedian who has a special relationship with Chicago. He competed (and won) Snub Fest 2011 in Chicago as well as headlined the first Queer Comedy at Zanies show almost two years ago. He has written jokes for Emmy Award-winning actor Jane Lynch and appeared on the NBC show SMASH. He produces a monthly show in Washington, DC called “Gaylarious” which The Advocate lists as one of the top ten stand-up comedy shows in the country. This Tuesday May 28th, his hilarious homecoming at Queer Comedy starts at 8:30pm at Zanies comedy club 1548 N Wells with an all-star lineup of Ever Mainard, opener Rebecca O’Neal and hosted by myself. I’m glad to be able to chat with him about comedy the queer community and SMASH.
1) As a New York based comic, how does Chicago’s comedy scene compare?
People are wicked friendly in Chicago. Even the comedians – I’ve always had a great time performing there. In New York, there are something like 10,000 active comedians and – I don’t want to shock anyone – but some of the comedians in New York are crazy and weird. The scene in New York may be bigger, but I feel like the scene in Chicago has more support from the townspeople who just love watching good comedy. (That’s right – I said “townspeople!”)
2) What do you think are the biggest challenges for queer comedians working today?
Probably the skinny jeans. We are not in great shape, us queer comics. Honestly, the biggest challenge is the same challenge all comics face – getting good opportunities to perform on the right shows. But that’s especially true for queer comics because the further you are away from the straight white male archetype, the harder it is to navigate into those shows.
3) What are you looking forward to with your return to Queer Comedy at Zanies?
I look forward to telling all the new material that I’ve written in the two years since my last Zanies appearance (that’s like, three new jokes). Oh, and I look forward to not being the palest guy in the room – thank you, Chicago!
4) Wait, you were on Smash? Tell me more!
Yes! I was in the season premiere. I got to throw shade at Angelica Huston and gladhand Christian Borle. That second scene got cut but both he and Angelica were absolute joys to work with. In my scenes, I had a wife, but trust me – I was cheating on her with Jimmy Collins which is a backstory for my character that I totally made up. SMASH just got cancelled and it’s probably due to my bad acting. Sorry, SMASH fans.
Catch the show Tuesday May 28th at 8:30pm, Zanies Comedy Club 1548 N Wells. Tickets are $10 in advance (call the club or visit the Zanies website) or $15 or at the door. Audience members must be ages 21 or over. Two item minimum. For questions, hi res images or a saved seat, email firstname.lastname@example.org.