A monthly column, Funny Feminism features conversations with feminist-identifying artists who use humor in their creative work.
Last month, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite comics, Aparna Nancherla on what happened to be the coldest day in New York history since 1950. We were mistaken for NYU students “doing their homework on a Friday night” while carrying out the below interview at Oro Bakery. The included quotes are taken from Aparna’s Twitter account.
“There needs to be an affirmative action program to get more white men in jail.”
ON COMEDIC BEGINNINGS
Cathy de la Cruz: I know you’ve mentioned this in your stand-up, the “I know you’re surprised I’m here, I’m surprised too.”
Aparna Nancherla: I started performing stand-up regularly 9-years ago. I got to stand-up a little bit in a more random way than a lot of other comics in that my friend was like, “Oh there’s this open mic near where we live that we should go check out,” just as like a free entertainment thing, not even to perform, but just to watch. We went one night during the summer and people were funny, but then there were people who weren’t as good, so we were like “This is something we could try” because we were both interested in humor. And I think that was my first access point to stand-up comedy. I didn’t grow up watching a lot of stand-up. I had seen it maybe once or twice on TV and I definitely didn’t think it was something that anyone could do. I came to stand-up from a direction of not knowing a lot about that world.