Comedian Queen Aishah picked the perfect name for her comedy tour, “Funny-n-Stilettos.” The show features female comics telling gut-busting jokes and proves that girls can throw punch lines just as hard as the guys.
“Funny-n-Stilettos was a vision that I had for me and to open some doors for other female comedians. I think we don’t get enough do in the business,” Queen Aishah told S2S after her Washington, D.C. show at the Howard Theatre. “It’s just a platform for women of diverse backgrounds. All you need to be is a woman and funny, stilettos optional.”
The tour is rolling through reputable venues and features a female DJ on the ones and twos. But the comediennes selected for the tour makes it worth every penny.
Stand-up comedy fans know that even a brand-name act can disappoint in a club setting, and shows with new comedians are like a box of chocolates. But you’re in good hands with Queen Aishah.
In Washington, D.C. the Funny-n-Stilettos lineup included Queen Aishah as the host, radio personality Olivia Fox as an opener, Sarah Contreras, Maija DiGiorgio, Shep Da Comedienne and Melanie Camacho, who closed the show out with a routine that left many faces streaked with tears of joy.
The women all brought something different to the stage, proving that not only can females be funny, they can deviate from predictable penis punchlines. Another barrier that this show breaks down is the racial divide in comedy.
“I believe in Aishah’s vision of bringing funny women who have something to say, that have different voices and different perspectives,” Sarah told S2S. “There’s a little bit for everybody. There was politics, there was family, there was ethnicity, without being insulting. That’s what I like about it, the balance.”
Sarah, Maija and Melanie are veterans to the stage with polished deliveries, while Shep is a newcomer with a fresh act. When Shep Da Comedienne took the stage carrying a pair of stilettos and dressed very much like a guy, the audience was instantly intrigued.
Shep, of course, is used to the curiosity over her gender and her act allows the audience to walk in her sneakers for a few minutes. She tells funny stories of the anxiety she has when she has to go to the ladies’ room and comments she’s overheard in the company of men because everyone assumes she’s a guy. When the laughter stops, her point sinks in.
“I think that people have huge misconceptions about gay people and the gay community, and masculine female lesbians,” explained Shep, who has a professional career and does comedy on the side. “And lot of people don’t realize that it’s rude to curse people out at the door of the bathroom or that everybody [in the gay community] agrees with gay marriage. It’s really not all serious, but I think that my perspective isn’t heard enough in the comedy genre.”
Queen Aishah is pleased with the response that the tour has been getting. She spends about 15 hours a day scheduling shows, managing press and promotions, coordinating the talent, and dealing with all of the other logistics that come along with touring.
Their next stop is the Laff House in Philadelphia, September 21 through 22, for five shows. Luckily for Philly fans, the lineup will include Queen Aishah, Shep and Sarah.
—Sabrina M. Parker