Singled Out

ComedyFest performer talks about being the lone man and how 'The Golden Girls' helped land him the gig

By Chris Azzopardi

No joke: Jamie Pierce used to be a ballet dancer. Then he stumbled on his funny self, scoring a Top-10 spot at the Underground Comedy Festival's "Emerging Comics" competition at the Laugh Factory. For the 14th annual Michigan Lesbian and Gay ComedyFest at 6 and 9:30 p.m. March 13 in Dearborn, the hypochondriac who grew up Episcopalian in Utah will join three other comedians, all women: fellow New Yorkers Jessica Kirson and Gloria Bigelow, along with California's Roxanna Ward (see sidebar for deets on the ladies).

From NYC, Pierce answered our silly questions about Betty White, intercourse distractions and what "character" he'd play in a porno.

When did you first realize you were funny?

Well, I'm not quite sure. Perhaps that revelation has yet to occur.

How does it feel knowing you're the only guy performing among three women at the ComedyFest?

It's a privilege! I've opened for Jessica Kirson many times, which is always such a pleasure. She is as kind as she is hysterically funny. You're in for a treat!

What's the craziest thing you've done in public?

You mean other than stand-up comedy? I think publically embarrassing myself on a regular basis is pretty crazy. Or just stupid.

Say you have a dream about Betty White - what does it involve?

It definitely involves me giving her the Dorothy Zbornak "slow burn." Speaking of which, I think that's how I got the gig at ComedyFest. They asked me for a demo tape, so I sent them an episode of "The Golden Girls." I included a note that said, "It's kind of like this. Smart, funny, shoulder pads."

What kind of influence did your two sisters have on your gayness?

My sisters are quite a bit older than me so I don't think they had much of an influence. My gayness is organically grown. Which means it's more expensive but better for you.

Have you gotten any better at ignoring distractions during sex?

I assume you're referring to my unfortunate tendency to get up mid-coital to fold laundry? But it's only if the buzzer on the dryer goes off. I can't help it, I'm a Virgo.

You're big into the '80s. If you could go back, what parts of it would you relive?

Actually, I'd like to go back to the mid-'90s so I can advise my teenaged self to avoid gelled bangs and tapered jeans. I shudder to think what I would have looked like had I gone to high school in the '80s.

As a self-proclaimed hypochondriac, what are you currently battling?

Rickets. I have good days and bad days.

What's your greatest fear?

Other than the rickets? I'm sure whatever it is, it's irrational. In addition to diseases, I'm also very afraid of flying. I'm always genuinely surprised when the plane lands safely at the airport. It's as if I've beaten the odds.

As an "Ugly Betty" fan, how are you dealing with its demise?

Devastated! But I'm hoping for a spin-off. "Pretty Jamie," anyone?

What "character" would you play in a porno?

I don't think I'd even go to the set of a porno. They don't look very sanitary.

You've been married for just over a year. How has that changed your life?

I married another Virgo, so you can only imagine life at our apartment. Everything is alphabetized and color-coded. Whenever our young nieces and nephews come to visit, as they tear through the house my husband runs around refolding throw blankets while I follow with the antibacterial wipes.

http://jamiepierce.net

And the ladies ...

Jessica Kirson

Jessica Kirson's unique style and captivating stage presence captures the attention of audiences and club bookers - that's bookers, not hookers - everywhere she performs. Her many characters bring a diverse energy to her routine. She's been featured on various television shows, including Comedy Central's "Premium Blend" and "Fresh Faces" and Nickelodeon's "Sixth in the Suburbs."

http://www.jessicakirson.com

Gloria Bigelow

Subtle, disarming and witty - Gloria Bigelow is a refreshing new comic who dishes out humor in bite-sized chunks. Coming to comedy from a background of acting, she is an excellent observer of life and a natural improviser. An openly gay black woman, "she's got a bone to pick with everybody!" She does so by wittingly tackling issues of sexuality, race and gender, along with "Low Lesbian Esteem" and "Iconization of Snoop Dogg," all with her trademark smile.

http://globigelow.com

Roxanna Ward

There's no forgetting this piano-playing comedian after her stint at last year's ComedyFest, which earned her a standing ovation. As the self-proclaimed "secret love-child of Steve Allen and Bette Midler," the Laguna Beach resident parodied some of music's biggest songs with her quirky lyrics. Ward is also a writer, director, producer and high school teacher and has performed with the Roscoe Gay Men's Choir ... in drag. And, gays, get this: She's worked with Dolly Parton.

http://roxannaward.com

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