Why So Serious, Heather McDonald?By John Wenzel | May 5th, 2011 | No Comments »
For this installment of “Why So Serious,” we talked to L.A. stand-up and writer Heather McDonald, a pal of E! TV star Chelsea Handler and a regular on Handler’s raunchy late-night talk show, “Chelsea Lately.”
Much like other “Lately” regulars, McDonald mines a raw vein of relationship comedy that never strays far from a certain conversational relatability. And thanks in large part to Handler and her themed tours, McDonald’s also branched into the book world with last year’s “You’ll Never Blue Ball in This Town Again: One Woman’s Painfully Funny Quest to Give It Up.” She’s also found an outlet for her intimidating amount of hyperactive celebrity impressions, including Drew Barrymore, Celine Dion, Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian.
We chatted with McDonald via e-mail this week in advance of her opening set for Handler at the Wells Fargo Theatre on Thursday, May 12.
Do you have a joke you used to love to tell but now can’t stand?
I talked about dating a lot in the beginning of my career and here’s the joke: This homeless guy followed me into a 7-11 and was really creeping me out, so I said “Please leave me alone,” and he said “‘Well, I was going to ask you for a date but forget it now.” So we’re at breakfast….
This would always get a big laugh. But being that I was virgin at the time I was telling it, and I would never date a homeless person let alone sleep with one, I now hate this joke now because it is not authentic to who I am. I only tell jokes now that absolutely come from truth.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever felt bad laughing about?
The guy on “American Idol” who twitches. I felt bad for laughing at him after I found out he had Tourette Syndrome.
What’s one thing nobody else knows about Chelsea but you?
Well, if I tell you then I wouldn’t be the only one who knew. But I will say this: There is a very sensitive side to Chelsea and she very is very empathetic.
When’s the last time you laughed so hard you cried, and why?
For a cold open of a show last week. We showed a local news clip of story of a rapist on the loose. They showed the police sketch of the criminal they were looking for and you heard the reporter saying, “If you’ve seen this man please call the number below right away.” And then the camera panned over the reporter and he looked just like the sketch. I watched it at least ten times and am laughing again just thinking about it.
What’s your current favorite joke (yours or someone else’s)?
My current favorite joke is about the show “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” I say: If it happened to you, everyone would be happy for you. You just have to explain what happened. So you’d say, “Well I had to take a big shit. Turns out my shit has a face. Here’s my baby.”
John Wenzel is an executive editor of Reverb and an award-winning A&E reporter for The Denver Post. He is the author of “Mock Stars: Indie Comedy and the Dangerously Funny” (Speck Press/Fulcrum) and maintains a Twitter feed of completely random song titles and band names.