Pay Gap Comedy Tour Image courtesy Mary Jo Pehl


Rock What You Got: Pay Gap Comedy Tour

June 28
7:30 p.m.
Benefits,Parties,Receptions, Comedy

Mary Jo Pehl is a Twin Cities comedy legend. Since getting her start in the 1980s, Pehl has had an iconic run on the original Mystery Science Theater 3000, performed countless sold-out shows, and published a number of literary works. And yet, in 2019, she’s still trying to help female comics receive equal footing. “When I first got started, they would introduce me as, ‘Our next performer is a female comedian!’ Like they had to tell the audience to buckle their seatbelts because the mood in the room was about to change,” she says. While the local comedy scene has evolved, women in comedy face the same challenges as those in most other industries, including the ever-present pay gap. To help fight back, Pehl, along with fellow comedians Shannan Paul, Carolyn Pool, Shanan Custer, Tiffany Norton, Ellie Hino, and Khadijah Cooper, are forming a comedy super group for one night only to help support organizations dedicated to stopping violence against women. “I love that it’s not all standup,” Pehl says. “It has a real variety-show vibe. I totally love it. We’ve got a variety of different comics who talk about different things, and who are at different points in our careers.” While the show is made up of all women, Pehl says the beauty of the event is that it is elevating the audience as much as it is the performers. “It’s important to have shows where everyone is represented. It’s not about being a female show, or compartmentalized in any way. It also elevates the audience’s expectations that it’s just about coming to hear people be funny.”