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Standup Jenny Zigrino is a happy sociopath

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“I feel good,” says comedian Jenny Zigrino. “You caught me on a good day. I just got done with therapy. It was fantastic.”

She’s among those who believe that doing standup is also a form of therapy. “It can also be this detrimental thing, where you’re used to people paying attention to you all the time, but then you lose touch with reality," she notes. “I said to a friend, ‘I wonder if I’m a sociopath?’ She said, 'You’re a comedian so you’re already there.’ I was like, ‘Yeah you’re right. I’m a really happy, well-adjusted sociopath.’”

A graduate of the Perpich Center for the Performing Arts in Golden Valley, Zigrino first tried standup in the Twin Cities before taking it up full time in Boston while attending college. “I was always a funny kid,” she states. “I was a good fat kid, but I had that in my arsenal when I was 16.”

Today she is an adept headliner with several TV credits, including Conan O’Brien's show and TBS’s Funniest Wins. It was the latter that encouraged her to relocate to Los Angeles. “I think that I and my representation thought that show would really take off and that I’d have to be in town because everyone would be watching, but that didn’t happen. I ended up having to start all over again in a new city.”

Undaunted, she continued to work the road, and eventually landed the Conan spot. “That helped as far as people knowing who I am.”

While that set was more one-liners, her full club set is more varied. “I would say I do about 20 minutes of crowd work,” she says. “I like to talk to people and have fun with them, maybe tease them a little. Then I tell stories about my family. I like to be silly.”

Part of what she does involves impressions, but not in a Frank Caliendo or Mike MacRae sort of way. “I imitate my mom a lot. I do accents. My mom is from Russia. I imitate people I see too, but it’s not like, ‘This is Adele.’”

Living in Los Angeles has opened up a new source from which to draw ideas for characters. “Two days ago I was at a comedy show, and the girl next to me, a sort of typical L.A. girl, asked the waiter the dumbest thing I have ever heard. ‘Do your nachos have cheese on them?’ I thought, ‘I can’t live in L.A. anymore. I can’t live in a place where nachos aren't assumed to have cheese on them already. Like, ‘What texture is your smoothie, is it super smooth?’ It’s too much.”

Though based in Los Angeles, Zigrino feels the key to her success is her Midwestern upbringing combined with her Boston comedy scene experience. “My comedy is friendly and nice, but I will not hesitate to make fun of you the way a Northeasterner would.”

IF YOU GO:

Jenny Zigrino

Rick Bronson's House of Comedy

408 East Broadway, Bloomington, Level 4 in the Mall of America

Wednesday through Sunday

Tickets are $13 to $20

Call 952-858-8558 or visit houseofcomedy.net for more info