Society & Culture

Dark Comedy Is Funnier With Laurie Kilmartin

podcast February 21, 2024

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Laurie Kilmartin and Onika McLean visit friends and discuss Laurie’s new comedy special: Cis Woke Grief Slut, dark comedy, and protection from doxing with host Marina Franklin.

Onika McLean, born in North Carolina, and raised in East New York Brooklyn, is a single mother of two, legal professional, and a sharp comedian whose no-nonsense perspective on life, love, single motherhood, and her mid life crisis is taking the comedy arena by storm. She was the fan favorite on Bravo Television’s, The Single’s Project. She is the winner of the Sloshed Comedy Competition and the Rising Stars Comedy Competition in London. Onika performs regularly at LOL and Times Square and passed at Comic Strip Live and has Dangerfield’s, New York Comedy Club, New York Stand, Broadway Comedy, Village Underground, and the. She runs a monthly show entitled Cosmic Comedy.  

Laurie Kilmartin is stand up comedian and an Emmy-nominated, WGA award-winning comedy writer. She was a staff writer for all 11 years of CONAN on TBS, and has performed standup on CONAN, Late Late Show w/James Corden, and Comedy Central. She was a Top 10 finalist on season 9 of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, and has been a guest on Marc Maron’s WTF 3 times. She is the author of Dead People Sck, a comedic memoir about grief, and Shitty Mom- NY Times bestselling comedy about parenting. Her special 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad, was named Vulture ‘s Top Ten Comedy Specials of 2016. In 2022, she was a guest in the “Comedy” episdoe of Hillary Clinton’s 2022 Apple TV series Gutsy. Her new special “Cis Woke Grief Slut,” taped at Hollywood’s El Portal Theater, will be available on all platforms in January, 2024.

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Laurie became interested in trying standup after seeing one too male comics talk about women. Even in San Francisco, the early 90s lineups were stacked with men lazily stereotyping approximately half the people in the audience. Laurie distinctly remembers sitting through a comedy showcase, thinking, “I don’t like shopping, and I don’t go to the bathroom in pairs.” Her need to try standup came from an intense desire to tell her own story, instead of hearing it being told to her by a dude.

After a successful first time onstage, Laurie moved back in with her parents, bought a Chevy Blazer and started driving to gigs over the West. By the time she donated the Blazer to KCRW, there were over 500,000 miles on the odometer. She has worked one nighters, comedy clubs, casinos and wars. In fact, she performed for troops in both Iraq wars, including a New Year’s Eve show at one of Saddam Hussein’s occupied palaces. After ten years of basing herself inNorCal, she relocated to New York City in 1999. In 2003, she added TV writing to her resume, with her first staff job on Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. She moved onto “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” tried her hand at daytime on “The Bonnie Hunt Show” before being hired as a monologue writer on “CONAN,” for its entire 11 year run on TBS.

In 2006, she became a mom, and in 2009, a single mom.In 2014, she famously (or infamously) live-tweeted jokes her father’s hospice passing from lung cancer, and in 2020, she did the same after her mother was hospitalized with COVID. From these literal cremated ashes came her comedy special and second book (“45 Jokes About My Dead Dad” and “Dead People Suck”), and the 3rd titular element of her new special “Cis Woke Grief Slut.”

Always hosted by Marina Franklin – One Hour Comedy Special: Single Black Female ( Amazon Prime, CW Network), TBS’s The Last O.G, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Hysterical on FX, The Movie Trainwreck, Louie Season V, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, HBO’s Crashing, and The Breaks with Michelle Wolf.


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