This week we talk with native New Yorker Carole Montgomery, who happens to be a very talented standup comedian. She has been performing at NYC Comedy Clubs for the past 40 years and has been featured on over two dozen television appearances, Carole has headlined clubs & colleges across the USA and starred in 2 different Las Vegas production shows. In her ten years as a LAS VEGAS STAR, it is estimated that she has been seen by over 5 million audience members. LAS VEGAS SUN calls Carole “one of Vegas’ premier comics, ” SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS says Carole is “one of the pioneering female comics of the modern era” SEATTLE TIMES calls Carole “one of the strongest women working today”
We met up with Carole at one of our favorite comedy clubs and one of the first places we ever promoted Stand Up NY Comedy Club.
1. What other jobs did you do before starting stand up comedy?
I started out in stand up very young (21) so the only job I had was waitressing. Back when I started you could actually make a living hosting or featuring so I went on the road a few years in.
2. How did you know you wanted to be a comedian?
My dad was always very loud and funny and I wanted to be just like him. He was a bartender in the Catskill Mountains so as a child I got to meet Rodney Dangerfield and Totie Fields when they would come in for a sound check.
3. If you weren’t doing comedy, what would you be doing?
Good question, I HAVE NO IDEA
4. Where are some of your favorite places to perform?
I love performing every and anywhere. To me, people are just people regardless of where they live.
5. Who are some of your favorite up-and-comers in the comedy world?
Liz Meile, Gina Brillon, Mike Cannon, Mark Riccadonna, Chris Gersbeck
6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
When I was in Los Angeles many years ago I was worried about comics stealing material out there. Sinbad told me “They can steal your material but they can’t steal you” Great lesson on just being yourself.
7. When did you feel like you were a pro comedian?
When I was starring in a Las Vegas production show called Crazy Girls. That show afforded me the chance to raise my son and buy a house.
8. How often do you perform comedy per week?
Not a lot. Prob once or twice a week. I’ve been doing stand up for 40 years, it’s not like I need to work on my timing. When I’m working on a new bit or a TV spot I try to go out every night.
9. What are your favorite comedy clubs that you perform?
I love my home club Stand UP NY. The Borgata in Atlantic City is a blast. The Kraine Theatre where my show Funny Women Of A Certain Age has a residency is one of my all-time faves.
10. How do you deal with hecklers?
I don’t. I’m at the stage where I just tell them to shut the fuck up and if they don’t I wait till the bouncer throws them out.
11. What advice would you give your younger self?
Not to take anything personally. This is a tough business and you have to let shit roll off your back.
12. How would you describe your brand of comedy?
I used to be considered a blue comic but not anymore. Nothing shocks people anymore. I guess you could say I’m balls to the wall when it comes to my act.
13. What do you talk about in your act?
I always tell my students (I teach stand up and develop solo shows) talk about what you know. When I started out I was single looking for a boyfriend. I met my husband so I talked about him. Then I had a child talked about that, I live with my mother in law, I talk about that and life goes on.
14. How did you develop your style of stand up?
I just kept doing what I thought was funny. Early on I got onstage every chance I could. You have to work at your craft to be able to deal with whatever comes at you.
Who were your influences growing up; both from the world of comedy and elsewhere?
Hands down, Richard Pryor, George Carlin. Seeing Freddie Prinze on the Tonight show showed me what a stand up comic was.
15. I love to interview comedians, Can I ask what happens when you are in front of a crowd, and no one laughs?
You just push through it. You’re not going to make everyone laugh and if it happens that it’s an entire audience well, that’s how you get strong.
16. What made you decide to be a comedian? I was working as a techie in summer stock and the crew all said you should do comedy. So we had a party at the end of the run and I went up and did some jokes. From there I ended up at Pip’s in Sheepshead Bay and never looked back.
Were you born funny? I don’t know if you’re born funny but it’s in my bones.
17. When can people see it? I assume you are talking about my Showtime special Funny Women Of A Certain Age? It is streaming on Showtime right now.
18. Is there anything else that you wish to promote?
Yes, Funny Women Of A Certain Age. I created the show because too many times because of ageism and sexism women comics never get a chance to work together. We shot the show at the Bell House in Brooklyn. My cast of comics is some of the best in the business. Fran Drescher, Luenell, Lynne Koplitz, Vanessa Hollingshead and Kerri Louise. You can go to my website carolemontgomery.com or funnywomenofacertainage.com
Thanks for reading this interview with the talented comedian Carole Montgomery. If you are looking for a nice laugh with some friends. We have some of the best NYC Comedy Clubs on our site. We like to extend a fantastic discount of 20% off all shows.
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