Comedian Jessica Kirson talks TV and stand-up ahead of Ridgefield show

Comedian and actress Jessica Kirson will perform at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Feb. 27.

Comedian and actress Jessica Kirson will perform at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Feb. 27.

Jessica Kirson / Contributed photo

Comedian, actress, producer, podcaster and all-around hilarious performer Jessica Kirson has been involved in the entertainment business for as long as she can remember.

Over her career, she has created countless comedic character videos, which have racked up more than 30 million views on social media. She has appeared in movies and on TV and established herself as one of the top touring stand-up comics.

She hosts the “Relatively Sane” podcast and started a second one recently (“Disgusting Hawk”) that features the characters and funny voices she is infamous for. She has a prank album coming out — with the a few of the character voices she does on “The Howard Stern Show.”

Kirson also recently produced “Hysterical,” a documentary detailing women comedians through history, which will air on the FX channel on April 2.

On Feb. 27, the comedian will join forces with Christine O’Leary & Her All Stars, for a night of comedy at Ridgefield Playhouse. There will be two shows, with O’Leary and her comedy students opening for Kirson.

Keith Loria recently spoke with Kirson about the show.

Keith Loria: It’s had to be tough not being able to tour regularly through the pandemic. What have you been doing to keep your act fresh and your time occupied?

Jessica Kirson: I’ve been doing some Zoom shows and some things outside. A little inside, but not a lot at all. The Zooms are usually private shows and different kinds of things. I’ve also been writing a script for a development deal I have with NBC Peacock.

KL: Your documentary will be released in April. Tell me a little about that.

JK: It was in the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival and has people like Margaret Cho, Nikki Glazer, Chelsea Handler, Fortune Feimster and many other great women comedians. It’s an honest and hilarious backstage pass into the lives of some of stand-up comedy’s most boundary-breaking women, exploring the hard-fought journey to become the voices of their generation and their gender.

KL: Will the Ridgefield show be your first live indoor performance this year?

JK: I’ve done a few. I am starting to get out more now. When the shows are socially distanced, I feel safe and am happy to do it.

KL: Do you find what you’re talking about falls into the doom and gloom territory with everything that’s going on?

JK: I do the opposite. I know it’s been a very hard time for everyone, but I try to get their minds off everything so they can laugh for a while and be light.

KL: How do you stay happy and positive and find the funny with what the world has been through this past year?

JK: It’s very hard. I’m very honest about it. I had a whole year booked when this happened and everything was canceled, so it was crazy. My special had just come out, I had done the “Tonight Show” for the third time, and then the pandemic hit.

In April, my father passed away from cancer, so it’s been a rough time. I was very down for a while, and I worked on getting better and being positive and reached out a bit more. It is hard to be funny when you feel like that.

But then I started to do some of these Zoom shows, and it’s healing for me to see people laugh.

KL: Why did you decide to get into this business?

JK: I was always the class clown and very funny. My grandmother told me I should be a comedian and I listened to her and took a class, and I started doing stand-up. I really loved it.

I found the power of humor at a very young age. When I was around friends and made them laugh, people wanted to be around me.

KL: Was it hard for you to hit the stage for the first time? Were you nervous?

JK: So very hard. I had to take a class to do it. I panicked about performing. I had horrible anxiety and when too much time passes now, I can get very nervous again. It was a hard decision to do it as a career because there was no money for a long time. But I saw I was good at it and I was getting a good response, so I kept doing it.

KL: You mentioned a project with Peacock. Are you hoping to do more work on TV and in films?

JK: Over the years, I became a producer. I was a producer on “The Comedian” with De Niro, and my special and the documentary. With the Peacock show, I will be a producer also. It’s a sitcom about my life.

I love acting and my goal is to have this TV show, grow my audience and continue to do stand-up with people who are my fans.

Jessica Kirson will perform at Ridgefield Playhouse at 4:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27. Tickets are $38. For more information, visit ridgefieldplayhouse.org.

Keith Loria is a freelance writer.