Laugh Track: Poppy Champlin
The Queer Queen of Qomedy on her standup sisters and being herself.
Photo credit: Bobby Miller
Like so many lesbians, for veteran funny lady Poppy Champlin, it’s all about community. However for Champlin, community means out lesbian comics, like herself, including Michele Balan, Elvira Kurt and Julie Goldman. So, it was a natural step for Champlin to join forces with some of her fellow out comics to create the Queer Queens of Qomedy tour—in which she is joined by other comics that vary from venue to venue to offer triple the lezzie laughs for audiences around the nation.
How long have you been a comic and if you hadn’t been a comic, what would your profession be?
I have been a comic since I was born. You know I was delivered by caesarean, my mother couldn’t push me out, and so I was basically valeted. I didn’t get the warm water park slide out the tunnel of love—no, I was airlifted like a crippled horse out of the creek. I had to be funny.
Where do you call home?
Rhode Island is my home once again. I left 23 years ago, went to Chicago for eight years and then L.A. for 14 and now I am back in R.I. in the woods, in a shack with my brother living in the basement. It’s a little Slingblade-ish but I love it.
What is your marital status? Any partners, cats, dogs, kids or U-Hauls in sight?
I have a partner right now, she is living in N.Y. and we see each other on weekends, we have flyby sleepovers. Airport rendezvous and sometimes she drives me to my gigs in New England.
Queer Queens of Qomedy is a unique idea. Where did you get the idea?
I was desperate to work bigger venues. I wanted to have a name that could fill a 400–500 seat theatre so I added two more names to mine and made that happen.
What’s your criteria for selecting the “best lesbian comics” from across the country?
Well, I have worked with most of the lesbian comics and a lot of them are my friends and coworkers and I just pick them as I think of who would work well together at that venue and who is available and who is closest. We are all the best. Comedy is so subjective that every one’s tastes are different in who they like so—in my opinion—I am the best.
Lesbians are known for being politically correct. Is this true?
You mean lesbians in general or lesbian comedians? [Laughs] No, the comedians are not that politically correct. Well, Kate [Clinton] is, but in general I think lesbians are fair and kind, and that can be thought of as politically correct if taken to the nth degree.
As a comic, do you feel there any topics that are off-limits to you?
I am not into misogyny. I am not into violence and hurting people unless it is a little S&M, which I like—well, don’t hurt me, but I don’t mind being tied and up and waiting for you to bring me coffee.
Will Curve readers die laughing if they attend a QQQ show?
The Q3 comedy shows are three triple threat headlining lesbian comics! You don’t get that unless you go on an Olivia cruise or Dinah Shore or MichFest. I mean, I am bringing this to your town—three for the price of one. If you see a Queer Queens of Qomedy Show you will see one of the best comedy shows of your life. I had a gal say to me last night that she was laughing so hard she thought she was going to have a heart attack. So bring a medic with you. (poppychamplin.com)