July 21, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 29
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Saturday, May 30, 2020



Westenhoefer: A funny, grounded and politically astute comic revisits the Emerald City
Westenhoefer: A funny, grounded and politically astute comic revisits the Emerald City
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

She's been here at least three times before, and you, like I, might have missed her, but you get to see Suzanne Westenhoefer again, and from chatting with her a couple of weeks ago, by phone, she sounds delightful. In fact, after talking her, I'd say I not only felt determined to see her, but I also felt refreshed -- as if I'd taken a brisk shower after a session of pumping iron. The woman is simply amazing, and this was my perception of her after talking to her by phone!

Westenhoefer has been doing stand-up comedy for the last 15 years. She's also done a film and is a regular on the Game Show Network's "I've Got a Secret," a new show based on the television classic.

I asked her if she had thought of being a comedian from the time she was young, Ms. Westenhoefer answered that she hadn't planned on being a comedian. "I was doing some acting in New York, and people told me I was funny, and I resisted. Then, I found this contest and entered it and I've been doing comedy every since. It also helped that I won the prize that night too," said Westenhoefer.

She added that her comedy career comes from a process of being able to see the funny side, even in the most awful things. "I think that's just the way comedians are. It's just a mindset," said Westenhoefer. She continued, saying it comes naturally to her, and she said that she often draws from experiences in her life, to create her comedy routines.

I also asked her if she wanted to be known as a Lesbian comic and -- with that same refreshing candor -- she came back with: "I'm a Lesbian, and I have always been doing openly Gay comedy from the beginning, even when people told me not to... I didn't listen," said Westenhoefer.

She said that she likes the audiences in Seattle, over the ones in New York and L.A., and her three favorite cities to perform in are Seattle, Dallas and D.C. "They're not jaded like in L.A. and New York and I like performing in Seattle, because people read and think about things. Houston's tougher. They're more conservative," she added.

And on the Lesbian comedy thing: "I don't think of my comedy as Gay comedy, but 'me comedy', comedy about my life and what happens in my life," she said. And she does feel her comedy is political in the sense that she herself is political, especially about issues like LGBT marriage rights.

Finally, I asked her if there was anything she could do to make the world better, and how she'd do it, she was again as candid as her birthsign, Aries' generally are. "I would rule. I would be king. I'm a very controlling person, and if I told people to do certain things that would make the world a better place, because I was king, they'd do them and the world would be better," said Westenhoefer.

There you have it, from a class act, and if you want to see her, check out her website, for dates in Seattle.

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