Get ready to laugh because the two comedians headlining Pride Comedy Night at the Parker Playhouse on Friday, March 8 are busy planning their shows, which coincide with the annual PrideFest events at Fort Lauderdale’s adjacent War Memorial Auditorium.
For Jason Stuart, a 20-year veteran with a long list of film and television credentials (The Closer, George Lopez, Will & Grace) and founder of the Screen Actors Guild LGBT Committee, there will be plenty of the usual kinds of gay jokes. “Come on, straight people, let us marry each other and we’ll stop marrying you!”
But he will also draw on a popular topic for many comedians, his Jewish mother, getting older, dating and finding a mate. He also likes to pull material from the day’s headlines.
Hurricane Sandy provided him some fun at the expense of the cast of a certain MTV program, noting that Manhattan faced a lot of collateral damage as a result of an onslaught of “drunk orange people” who were evacuated from the Jersey Shore.
“I’ve been doing this for so long, I find myself more and more talking about dating and finding that perfect man,” he explained. “I’m also talking more to the audience. Florida is such a melting pot, it should be good.”
Stuart also warns, “Comedy is like quick sex. Sometimes it’s really great and other times you wonder why you’re even there.”
Jessica Kirson is also liable to make fun of her Jewish grandmother, but she adds her mother is just as likely a target for her caricature improvisations.
“I do a lot of characters in my show,” she said, including mom, dad and grandma, as well as a black woman, macho guy and more, many drawn from her own acquaintances.
“I’ve been doing (impersonations) since I was a little kid,” Kirson said. “Some of it is rehearsed, but a lot is improv.”
While she’s not afraid to tackle LGBT issues, she is not political, preferring to talk about different kinds of people, annoying habits of others, her family and experiences with drugs.
Kirson has performed many times in South Florida over the past 14 years and she likes the audiences here.
“I think there’s going to be lots of gay people there and lots of Jewish people there,” she said. “That means I’m going to have a lot of fun. The more diverse the crowd, the better.”
Over the years, she’s noticed that comedy fans want to be entertained more and think less.
“People are stressed out with the money stuff and jobs, and they want to be given a show rather than having to figure stuff out and get the joke,” she said.
On Friday night, both Kirson and Stuart plan to deliver.
If You Go
Pride Comedy Night with Jason Stuart and Jessica Kirson
Friday, March 8, 8 p.m.
Parker Playhouse, 707 NE 8th St., Fort Lauderdale
Tickets $31.50 at ParkerPlayhouse.com