Stand Up for Comedy Spotlight — Meet Janet Cormier

We’ve asked each comedian on our Stand up for Comedy lineup to answer a few questions about herself, feminism and the power of humor. Here’s our conversation with Janet Cormier.

Click here to get tickets to attend Stand Up For Comedy on Thursday, September 1st at the Lilypad in Cambridge.

Janet croppedBoston NOW: What was the first joke that you ever told?

Janet Cormier: I had a flashback a few years ago.  I remember when I was a kid ( under the age of 6)…my dad had me telling a Moms Mabley joke to his friends.  “Moms” Jackie Mabley  was a brilliant comic.  She worked blue (very adult humor) and did a lot of political humor. I asked my father if he thought it was a bit off having his young daughter telling the joke. He said he didn’t remember that, but then asked me to tell the joke.  He then replied …”that is still a good joke.”

Boston NOW: Who is your favorite female comedian?

Janet Cormier: Moms Jackie Mabley, Whoopi and Wanda Sykes

Boston NOW: Boston NOW considers feminism to be the fight to end all forms of oppression. How do you think humor can be used to advance the aims of feminism?

Janet Cormier: Seems like I have been a social justice advocate all my life.  Not sure how that happened…I was the one supporting the folks and causes others preferred to ignore.  My brother-in-law gave us books written by African American historian, J.A Rogers. I read them from cover to cover over and over…The books inspired me to question, to learn, to not accept ‘neat, comfortable’ answers.

As an artist,comedian, writer, painter) I explore a variety of topics:  family, shopping, people, etc.  but I always go back to my commitment to social justice and equality.  Comedy is a great to pursue such issues as race, gender, wealth/poverty, body image/sizism, and the world of what I call “Grumpy Ole White Men.”

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