12 questions with Maggie Faris


It's hard to dislike Maggie Faris. The reliably goofy, bespectacled standup's playfully pushy demeanor and ace joke writing skills make her one of the more thoroughly enjoyable local acts to follow. She boasts some noteworthy credits, too. This year, she released her hilariously titled debut album, Hot Lesbo Action, with locally-based comedy label StandUp! Records, and in 2013 she was named the winner of the National Queer Comedy Search. Faris also co-hosts the long-running Magnotronic podcast with Greg Beltz.

Tonight she'll be ringing in the new year at Sisyphus Brewing with fellow locals Janna Severson, Greg Coleman, David Harris, and Drew Janda.

City Pages: What made you want to do standup?

Maggie Faris: I just, mistakenly, thought I could do a better job than the people I was watching at clubs.

CP: Do you like it?

MF: I love standup comedy more and more every year, and every year that surprises the hell out of me.

CP: Do you like me?

MF: I love you.

CP: Where the white women at?

MF: Any type of sale on lotions, creams, or cosmetics. I think thats where they are. They swarm like crows.

CP: Who are your favorite local comedians?

MF: Mary Mack, Tim Harmston, Tommy Ryman, Greg Coleman, Drew Janda, Turner Barrowman, Robert Fones, Rana May, Shelly Paul, Colin Klug, David Harris, Julie Bane, Raleigh Weld, Kjell Bjorgen, Colleen Justice, Mike Brody, Brandi Brown, Jana Severson, Mike Lester, David Sitrick, and Tracey Ashley, even though she moved away. I feel like I could go on and on and on, there is so much great talent in this city.

CP: Who were your favorite comedians growing up?

MF: I loved watching Carol Burnet and Lily Tomlin. I also died laughing at early Ellen Degeneres standup. Her airplane material just killed me.

CP: Where's your favorite place to perform in town?

MF: Any place that pays me money. Also, Sisyphus has the best new room.

CP: Your album is called Hot Lesbo Action. What's your next album going to be called?

MF: I don't know yet. Maybe Hotter Lesbo Action? Either that or whatever Adele's new album is called. I would love the confused overflow traffic on iTunes.

CP: You don't address your sexuality all that often on stage. Is that a conscious decision?

MF: I feel like I do more now than I used to. I used to never mention it at all, but part of me really wants to connect with the GLBTQ community. I wish I had more of a GLBTQ following. At the same time, I don't want to be known as a "gay comic." I want to be a comic who happens to be gay. I don't want to be exclusive with any of my comedy. I try to be as inclusive as possible.

CP: Any advice for new comics?

MF: Stop being such dicks. Just kidding! Listen more and talk less. Write, perform, repeat. Eliminate every unneeded word. Record your sets. Be funny.

CP: If you and I were trapped inside one store at the Mall of America for the rest of our lives, which one would it be and why?

MF: Is the House of Comedy considered a store? If it isn't, I wanna be trapped in the basement. I had to go down there once for a tornado and there is a ton of cool stuff down there, plus you wouldn't have to deal with the public. Also, if it's you and I together, we need some cameras following us. This is going to be an amazing reality show.

CP: Any New Year's resolutions?

MF: Never.