Don’t be fooled by the feminine exterior of this sassy sapphic comic.
Actor and comic on the rise, Jackie Primrose Monahan, is making a name for herself on both coasts. The L.A.-based beauty is a fixture at the Laugh Factory as well as the N.Y.C. standup scene where she was the “Joke of the Year” winner by Time Out NY and is a regular at Gotham and Caroline’s comedy clubs on Broadway.
She also tours all over the country performing at clubs and colleges and has appeared on Logo and Here!TV as well as the acclaimed independent comedy, Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same. We caught up with the unstoppable Ms. Monahan to talk laughter and long-distance love.
When did you realize you were funny?
When I was really little. I would do crazy antics to my mom all the time. She did her best not to laugh and then when I would leave the room I would eavesdrop and hear her tell her friends about me. They would all belly laugh and call me “the little comedian.”
Can we have an example of your antics?
Going up to strange men with mustaches and screaming “Daddy! Daddy!” and latching onto their legs. Mom would ask me to pick out my cereal at the supermarket and I would say, “OK, OK just don’t hit me again.” There was nothing she could say in either situation so she would just smile and pull me away. But I could tell she got a big kick out of it despite herself.
Your comedy is not politically correct. Do you worry lesbians will disconnect?
Not talking about a subject and pretending it doesn’t exist is more politically incorrect in my opinion. Talking about something and making light of it is beneficial. It releases the tension around the subject and opens it up to conversation instead of sweeping it under the rug.
The saying goes, Tragedy + Time = Comedy. Do you agree and if not, what subject is taboo for you?
My best friend died of cancer and it took me a long time to hear anyone joke about cancer. I got in arguments, stormed out of movies. I was ridiculous and no one made fun of cancer more than my friend, Nicole, who passed away.
Now that I am a comedian, however, I see how making a joke out of serious issues is healing, as long as the joke is funny. It is in poor taste to joke about national tragedies right away [but] if we could, it would be a great healing tool. But I completely understand why people can’t.
The worst thing an audience member said to you after a show?
When someone took one of my jokes the wrong way and wanted me to apologize to them. I said I was sorry they took it that way but I couldn’t apologize for the joke.
The best was when a 19-year-old girl said my set changed her life. She realized she was not alone and she was able to laugh about some serious issues in her life. She affected my life just as profoundly by letting me know I had definitely found my calling.
Your onstage persona is feminine, ditsy, but sharp. Is that you?
Ha! I think I am a bit of a tomboy but no one agrees with me. I would say my stage persona is an exaggeration of me.
If you had to keep a day job, what would it be?
You live on the West Coast, your partner of 12 years lives on the East Coast. What’s the best and worst thing about a long distance relationship?
The worst thing about long distance is if one of us is sick who is going to make the soup? The best is absence makes the heart grow fonder.
How much do you travel for comedy?
I travel at least once a month for work. I am absolutely blessed to travel the world and get paid for doing something I love.
What is the one thing you always pack with you when you travel?
My sleep eye patch. I have 20 of them. And headphones. I am lost without either.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Trains. They are just more romantic. I was just in the UK traveling from London to Wales and reading and looking at the countryside was so relaxing.
What might you say to a TSA attendant during a pat down?
Ha! I have been patted down a few times. I tell them I left the Chapstick in my pocket on purpose.
The one place you haven’t been that you’d like to perform.
Australia. Everyone I meet from Australia has been smart, nice and has a great sense of humor.
Plus we speak the same language. I have performed in places where they had to have interpreters. That’s really fun too.