Andi Smith - Dogtown resident, standup comic
While on stage, Andi Smith
doesn't wrap her feelings in pretty bows, whether the evening's agenda involves Justin Bieber
, at-risk children, or sweatpants.
Nor does she mince words off-stage, as we found out last August when we did this Q&A and crowned her Best Standup Comedian (Female)
Lately, she's been busy running NeighborGood Foods
, a Dogtown-based outfit that delivers locally-grown produce. So her local gigs have become more rare.
But you're in luck: She's headlining at The Funnybone in Westport Plaza
tonight and Sunday, and opening there for John Caparulo
on the nights in between. Daily RFT
: Your Twitter account, "Messages from Mom," memorializes your correspondence with your mother. Are those texts that she's sending you?
Oh no, my mother couldn't text to save her life. She's from Janesville, Wisconsin
She comes from eight generations of farmers, so a lot of [the tweets] have to do
with plant care, and/or some sort of food tip. She's very
unknowledgeable of what normal people do.
Once she came to visit
me, and as she was driving away, I was like, "Thank God." But then she
called me. I thought she was going to say, "We had a really good time,
we'll call you when we get back."
But she gets on the phone and she's like, "Did you know you have chives growing in your front yard? I ate some. They are chives
, Andrea. They are chives
Another time, my boyfriend [comic John Doelling
and I went with my parents on vacation up north. My mom took it upon
herself to put up this hummingbird feeder. And one of the hummingbirds
was attacking the other hummingbird to get it away from the bird feeder.
So we're like, "Hey, we're going out on the boat. We'll see you later. What are you going to do?"
And my mom says, "Well, I'm just going to sit around here and wait for this neeasty
And John says, "You and me both, Nancy."
had no idea what it meant. For days, whenever we would ask her what she
was doing, she would say, "Oh I'm just sittin' around here waitin' for
hummer to come beeack."
We finally told her what hummers were. And she was like, "Oh no
." How do you and John like living in Dogtown?
happened to buy [the house] at the height of the market, and now it's
been devalued something ridiculous. I don't know if you've ever
refinanced your house, but it's the most excruciating thing I've ever
You have to have people come and appraise it, and you know
they're from the bank. I've learned never to trust a man with a
tucked-in polo shirt. That was the man who devalued my house. I was so
So every other day, I'm calling the bank and just
swearing at people. Whoever would answer the phone, I would start
freaking out on: "Fuck you, you should all be arrested!" I would just
call up and ask, "Where did the 700 billion dollars go? Where did it
So these people hated me. My loan officer wouldn't even return my calls because she knew she would just get yelled at.
Let's talk about other things you disdain. How about beautiful female comics?
Andi Smith: "I think there has to be a certain amount of personal pain to become a real comedian."
think there has to be a certain amount of personal pain to become a
real comedian. You can
be become a comedian and have been the most
popular guy in high school. But I won't find you funny, because I just
naturally don't like you.
I have suffered through being a fat redhead most of my life. When I started, I was in the corner of the room, thinking, "I gotta write my jokes, I gotta get up on stage and travel around the country like a normal human being."
All the female comics who just use their sexuality, as if that's supposed to be enough -- what happens is, they get rewarded
for doing that, which just reinforces the idea that women aren't funny.
I'm not faulting them. It's America. Everybody has a right to work. But
I have a right to my opinion.
Guys always love to bitch about
gold-digging whores, and how they're so horrible because they fuck these
guys and take half their shit. Well, I don't like gold-digging whores
either, because they take half my career.
If I'd spent ten years
trying to be a surgeon, and a bimbo walked in and the head of the
hospital made her head surgeon, I'd be like, "What? Are you serious?"You once mentioned to me that comedy is not the biggest thing in your life anymore.
I love comedy. But comedy has really blown up in the past six years. I started 10 years ago, before Last Comic Standing
. I grew up learning comedy from Brett Clawson
and Dan O'Sullivan
. And that's why I got gigs, because I was funny.
And I was a fan of the Richard Pryors
and the Bill Hicks
-- the purists. But I
think now the plight to be a good standup comic is different from the plight
to be a famous
Now, when you turn on the TV, you see women like Whitney Cummings
and Natasha Leggero
who -- fine, some people find her funny. I personally find it to be the most excruciating 40 minutes of my life.
still love stand-up comedy. I don't think I want to be famous. It used
to be you were famous and people sent you presents; now you're super
famous and they hide in your bushes and wait to take naked pictures of
you. Being famous doesn't have the same appeal to me as it does to other
I'm headlining a good portion of the time now. I get to
work with people I want to work with. People do seek me out and say "We'd love to have you up at our club." It's not like I'm out pounding
the pavement and printing out head-shots. So that's good enough for me.
it's the farmer blood in me -- maybe that's it. But I fucking like
making salsa. I like being home. I like cooking. The garden here in our
backyard is a huge freaking deal. There are other things that are becoming more important.
I'll write a food blog. I don't know where my home is in the
showbiz-comedy world. But I'm willing to admit it might not be the