Some people celebrate turning 30 years old with a party that is unapologetically self-glorifying. For others, leaving their twenties behind is a reason to mourn the loss of youth, and embrace the cold darkness of being an old person.
$12/$15 at the door
For local comedian Jakey Emmert, it’s an excuse to bring together the best LGBTQ comedians from all over Minneapolis for an incredible showcase of queer comedy talent.
“Turning 30 absolutely terrifies me,” he says about the milestone birthday. “I thought that if I could make a show about it, I would dread it less.”
This Thursday, Emmert, who won Acme Comedy Co.’s Funniest Person Contest back in 2012, will join fellow standups Sarah McPeck, John Thomas, and Zidane Lockhart, along with drag performers Christina Jackson, Harrie Bradshaw, and B. Louise for the Queer Comedy Showcase at the Saloon.
When it came time to put together the lineup, Emmert aimed for diversity among the LGBTQ community, both in terms humor and style.
“John Thomas won the Acme Comedy Contest last year," he says. "He's queer, and that might be the only thing we have in common. Zidane Lockhart is black and gay, and if he converts to Islam by next week, we'll have a triple whammy. Sarah McPeck and I started [comedy] around the same time.”
“As for the queens, I've seen how crazy talented they are and they're completely different,” he continues. “B. Louise is the caustic comedy queen, Harrie is irreverent, and Christina Jackson is like a sweet aunt with a dirty mouth.”
While the Saloon is a seemingly obvious venue for an event of this caliber, the LGBTQ comedy scene has been growing and maturing over the past five years, as was demonstrated just a few weeks ago at Comedy Corner Underground when queer comedians came together to help benefit the shooting victims in Orlando. Though Emmert is quick to note his excitement about the expansion of the scene locally, he also recognizes that comedy is comedy, and the most important thing is to be funny.
“It's important that the straight people running these shows think we're funny and are giving us the stage time, and I feel that they are,” he says.
As a performer himself, Emmert sees this showcase as the next step in his own comedy journey, adding the title of producer to a resume that includes a good amount of stage time both as a standup and an actor. Stage time, he admits, did not come as easy as he thought it would earlier in his career.
“The biggest mistake I made was thinking that I had this title [of Acme’s Funniest Person] like a pageant winner, and that gigs would fall out of the sky. It turns out you still have to — gasp — work hard! What a concept! But I am proud of myself in that I branched out and did work in theater and television thereafter. It's important to keep challenging yourself.”
Now gazing down the barrel at his own "dirty 30," Emmert is looking ahead to the future as both a comedian, as well as person.
“Are we just talking about comedy?” he says when asked what advice he would give to his younger self. “Because I could have a field day with what I would tell myself about other things. I would say, ‘You're skinny, you're beautiful, and stop trying to fix him. It's not your job.’”
While his advice to his younger self may be filled with hope, love, and forgiveness, his goal for where he hopes to be at age 40 is slightly less ambitious.
“Breathing.”IF YOU GO:
Jakey Emmert's Dirty 30 Queer Comedy Showcase
Thursday, July 7
Doors: 7:30 p.m.., Show: 8 p.m.
$12 advance; $15 door
$12/$15 at the door