It’s been over 5 months since we’ve given our last Tip of the Hat, but, as has always been our problem, we’ve been vastly understaffed. Yet, we won’t get into what departments we had to cut in order to come under budget because this latest Tip of the Hat going to Portland based comedienne Kristine Levine is well overdue.
Also, she’s in town (in LA, that is, you know, where we’re based), which you should take advantage of catching her do a set.
I first caught her opening for Doug Stanhope a few months ago at the Main Room of the Comedy Store at which Stanhope let her perform over 30 min. and absolutely crushing the audience in laughter while doing it. Most headlining comics generally a) don’t let their openers do that much time and b) get openers that do well, but don’t “crush”. Of course, Stanhope, who fears almost nothing when taking the stage, especially at his own show, let Levine, who probably no one in LA knew and largely still doesn’t (we’re hoping to change that), go through what many LA-based comedy venues would consider headlining and going to Jeselnik’s famed “applause break city”.
As far as comedic prowess goes, that’s definitely counts as that proverbial “saying something”.
Combing through her bio, you’ll find a brief comparison to “a brutal cross between Lenny Bruce and Roseanne Barr” which you can only reconcile in your brain by watching her live. As she’ll tell you, she’s an overweight porn clerk (which is hilarious as that’s the first time we’ve ever heard that job title said that way) and a proud mother of three kids, which has made for an incredible well to draw from in her brand of comedy. It’s debatable whether honesty makes for the best comedy, but Levine certainly makes a damn good case for it being so by telling stories and observing motherhood, romance, and the oddities of life with the only filter being that it’s undeniably hilarious. If only all those journalists, essayists, and bloggers that continue the discourse on women being funny would see Levine, they’d probably switch their focus to how funny pornography, especially when discussed sincerely, can be.
Not to sound like a host introducing her at a live show, but she does tour the country, you’ve might have caught her in an episode of Portlandia, and she will be in what will undoubtedly be a highly anticipated comedy documentary, The Unbookables, very soon.
Like we mentioned earlier, Kristine is in town and can be seen opening for Stanhope in both Irvine (Wed.) and Brea (Thurs.) as well as tonight, in her element, at the famous (or infamous if you like) Pleasure Chest at Performance Anxiety tonight at 8PM along with several other shows throughout the city until Dec. 16th. Check back here at the Comedy Bureau for her upcoming dates or follow her on Twitter @KristineLevine.