Mandee McKelvey recently was named on of the 50 best undiscovered comics in the country, but she has been one of the most popular and hardest working performers in this area for a while.
Mandee was named a breakout performer at Limestone Comedy Festival and the Memphis Comedy Festival and has opened for Tig Notaro and Anthony Jeselnik.
Mandee will spin tragedy into comedy and perform an encore of her One-Mandee show, My Left Boob, at The Bard’s Town on Sunday, Feb. 27.
This show sold out all performances last month at Planet of the Tapes and received an Underdog Award at the 2019 IndyFringe.
Tickets for the Bard’s Town show are available here while they last.
Mandee took the time to answer 5 Questions from Louisville Laughs.
Louisville Laughs: You are doing an encore of your One-Mandee show, My Left Boob, at The Bard’s Town on Sunday, Feb. 27. How is this different from a usual Mandee McKelvey show?
Mandee: This is everything I’ve always wanted to do on stage that doesn’t fit into traditional standup comedy. I honestly think it’s funnier than my standup, BUT I can understand why some people would be caught off guard by it.
It’s longer stories, darker themes, and sometimes it’s serious too. It’s deeply personal has ALL the emotions, and that’s my preferred form of entertainment.
You often say you look like a Disney villain. Who is your favorite Disney villain?
My favorite Disney Villain to play is Maleficent. She’s hot and elegant and extremely petty. The most entertaining villain is Ursula, obviously. The truest villain is Cruella. She kills puppies for God’s sake.
You do comedy shows all over the country, plus you act, do Character Assassination roast shows and still work a regular job. How do you manage all that?
Poorly. I’m very tired. If you know anyone who’d like to fund my health insurance so I can be free to do more comedy, please pass along their information.
But I feel best about myself when I’m working and productive. I love making things. And being busy makes me so appreciative of all of the little things.
Getting to watch a whole TV show, go out to dinner, attend a friend’s birthday party, or visit my niece and nephew feels like a luxury.
What are the keys to a successful comedy show?
Obviously a funny comic goes without saying, but there’s so many ways to set a show up for success. Seating is so helpful. Angling chairs and tables directly towards the performer and pushing everything closer to the stage for a more intimate experience.
A lot of venues forget about sound. I’ve been in a lot of cavernous breweries where the sound is completely muffled and disappears into the ceiling. Having the show in a room where nothing else is going on is harder to come by than you would think.
Comics often have to compete with televisions in the room, meals being served, pool tables, and even blenders. God I hate blenders.
Oh and a venue that’s willing to act quickly and decisively regarding hecklers? Priceless.
What is your comedy highlight and your comedy horror story?
It gets better every year. Two years ago, my highlight was being the first and only woman to headline Gilda’s Club at the Louisville Palace. Right now, it’s selling a few hundred tickets with just my name on them — no openers, no hosts, no producers, just tickets that say Mandee McKelvey.
The fact that people trust me enough to come to a show with no other information except my name is the highest possible compliment. Now combine that with the fact that I can say whatever I want. Hard to imagine anything better than that.
As far as comedy horror stories go, my instinct is to say that it was being asked to drop everything to come fill in last minute at a comedy club. Then I was fired after one night and never paid at all.
But to be honest, that’s not the worst. The worst is how many hours of my time have been wasted by dudes in my face after shows pretending to be fans of my comedy only to proposition me later on.
I can only hope they’re out there somewhere right now, getting their time thoroughly wasted.
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