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Comedy Sun Jun 12 2011

TBS Just for Laughs Presents: "5-Star Leading Ladies"

KELLYEHOWARD.jpg

Lots of laughter is in store as TBS's Just for Laughs hits town this week; the comedy festival, which boasts a diverse range of comedians, has something in store for everyone, including laughs from the ladies. Here, Chicago native and comedienne Kellye Howard, host of the festival's "5-Star Leading Ladies," talks about women in comedy and what it means to be part of one of the largest comedy festivals around.

How does it feel to be the host of the festival's only all-female lineup?

It is huge! Last year I was a feature on this show, so to come around this year and be selected as a host is amazing. It just shows I've grown a lot in my career which means a lot to me.

The fact that there's an all-female line-up in the festival---do you think there's something to that? Do you feel it's sort of a statement that women aren't always given enough credit for being funny?

Yes and no. Unfortunately, I think that because we're so limited with the amount of female comics--and funny female comics in the game, we only have a selected amount of shows and opportunities because there's not a massive amount of us. But the fact they selected these particular women to be on this particular show, I think makes a bold statement--not in a negative way, as in women haven't come far enough, but that these women have come far enough.

Tell us about some of the comediennes in "5-Star Leading Ladies."

It really is a diverse line-up. I really like "Buff Bay" (Rashida Lucas), who is also from Chicago, because she's very mellow with her comedy. I think she's often compared to me and [fellow Chicago native] Vanessa Fraction. Then there's Ali Clayton whom I like--she's Southern and her accent stands out which adds to her routine.

Anyone else?

Yes--there is Chastity Washington. I look up to her because she's been in comedy for over 15 years. Every time she's on stage, she gets a standing ovation. It's really amazing that she can conquer any crowd--she's always able to address anything.

Will you be checking out any of the other shows that are part of the festival?

If my schedule permits, I would love to check out some of the other shows. I think it's awesome to check out other comics to see how far they've come, how they've grown, and to see their different techniques and styles. It's just fun to watch in general. I loved comedy even prior to becoming a comedienne.

What can the audience expect from this show?

Different situations and styles--there will be very different ladies on stage with many types of comedy that will be all within one show.

So the ladies will definitely bring on the laughs, then.

Definitely!

Catch "5-Star Leading Ladies" at Jokes and Notes, 4641 S. King Dr., Friday, June 17 at 10:30pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the box office. For more information or to view the show's full line-up, call 773-373-3390 or visit Just for Laughs.

Photo courtesy of Parrish Lewis for PLP Studios.

 
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