Comic Relief

Photograph by Bob Capazzo
Above: Jane with United Way Executive Director David Rabin and 2016 Brew Ha-Ha cochairs Anne Franscioni and Clarena McBeth

When comedian Jane Condon began her stand-up career, she often referred to her adopted hometown of Greenwich as “that foreign country.” For the native of blue-collar Brockton, Massachusetts, mining her suburban mom-out-of-water experiences for laughs was the kind of comedic gold that helped her win “Audience Favorite” on NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2007.

But now that Jane has had a few decades to acclimate, Greenwich isn’t the punchline it used to be. “My Greenwich material is sort of Greenwich-lite now. I’ve made wonderful friends here. It’s much more diverse than people think it is, and I have a real affection for the place.”

Jane will expand on her role as community cheerleader when she serves as emcee at the Brew Ha-Ha, a comedy night fundraiser for the Greenwich United Way being held at the Arch Street Teen Center on Friday, October 13. “I love the United Way because they do the work for you. They can research where the greatest needs are so
I don’t have to take the time, but I still know the money is going to the right places.” The evening will feature a lineup of local funnymen and-women and a variety of food trucks.

In anticipation of the event, Jane indulged us with some banter.

Jane hitting the stage at 2016 Brew Ha-Ha

CURRENT PERSONAL AMBITIONS
“I’m trying to marry off my boys [ages thirty-one and thirty-four] because I just want a girl in the family. I gave the 2011 commencement speech at my alma mater, Wellesley. I had 550 women there. It was a captive audience. So, I had my son stand up and give the universal “call me” sign. I thought we could find him someone there, but I’m still looking. Do you know anyone?”

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
“Besides giving the commencement speech at Wellesley? Last Comic Standing and flying 3,000 miles to say exactly one line on 24. I was obsessed with that show, so that was pretty cool.”

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW
”I was a journalist for Fortune and Life magazines. Most comedians are either actors or writers. I got into it late [she was thirty-four] and came from the writing side. To endure in this business you have to write, write, write. It is how you stay fresh.”

THREE THINGS TO LOVE ABOUT GREENWICH
“Splash car wash and the fact that during a power outage, the library becomes like the town homeless shelter and everyone goes there. And my friends.”

MATERIAL SHE AVOIDS
“Trump jokes. I really can’t go there. I have a ton of them, but I hate the idea of losing even one person in the audience. If you do, the whole dynamic can change. He’s so polarizing, it’s not worth the risk. I’m sad about it because they’re really good jokes.”

THE SECRET TO HER SUCCESS
Perseverance. I tried out for Last Comic Standing four times before I got on. Also, I’m good at reading the room. I kind of instinctively know what’s going to work and what to avoid.”

BEHIND EVERY COMEDIAN THERE IS…
“Some pain. There’s got to be a reason we all need to make people laugh. My dad died when I was fifteen and I think behind my humor was just a desire to make my mother smile.”

ON HANDLING HECKLERS
“One time I was just dying on stage and this guy at the bar, slurring his words says, ‘You look like my second- grade math teacher.’ When he pushed back his jacket, I could see a gun tucked in his waistband. So I just said, ‘Well, then, do you have any questions for me?’”

HER EPITHET
“I just want my tombstone to say, She Gave Joy.”

For tickets to the United Way’s Brew Ha-Ha, visit greenwichunitedway.org

 

 

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