BY CANDY PARKER
If asked to describe comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer in just one word, some may go with “ground-breaking.” This would, of course, be accurate. After all, Westenhoefer was the first openly lesbian comic to host her own HBO Comedy Special (1994) and to appear on the “Late Show with David Letterman” (2003). But that one word could never do her justice.
Self-deprecating. Raw. Hilarious. Legendary. Unpredictable. Candid. (That last one is by her own admission — I found it on her website.) All these and more could also be used to describe Westenhoefer, who is brazenly honest, outspoken and spontaneous in her comedy.
Westenhoefer began her stand-up career on a dare and she carries that same risk-taking attitude with her every time she takes the stage. With countless hours of material honed over a career spanning more than two decades and a penchant for spilling the beans about whatever is currently happening in her life at the moment, Westenhoefer offers up a unique comedy set adventure every time she takes the stage.
Westenhoefer will soon be appearing with fellow veteran comic Jennie McNulty at two benefit performances for the United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns. The first performance will be Saturday, May 17, at First Congregational Church of Berkeley, California. Tickets are available through www.brownpapertickets.com. The second show will be held Sunday, May 18, at Peace United Church of Christ in Santa Cruz, California. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketriver.com. VIP tickets are available at each event and include a meet and greet with both comedians and priority seating.
I managed to catch up with Westenhoefer long enough to get her to answer our Fast 5 questions this week.
1. What are you most looking forward to in 2014?
Touring with Miley Cyrus. It’s not official yet, but a girl can dream.
2. Phone call or text?
Please, I beg you, text!
3. What would be your best piece of relationship advice?
Each partner should have full access to the other person’s phone, email, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. (We’re pretty sure there’s a great story behind Westenhoefer’s answer on this one, but we maintain a strict five-question policy, so there was no chance for follow up.)
4. What’s the last movie you went to the theater to see?
“Despicable Me 2” with one million toddlers.
5. If you could have one super power, what would you want it to be and why?
To fly, both for the fun of it and to give the big finger to the airlines that rule my life.