Meg Stalter (@megstalter) is a comedian originally from Ohio, but now a resident of New York City by way of Chicago. She’s a former member of the Lincoln Lodge, and creator of FreakFest and The Megan Stalter Show. She is also a writer and performer on the upcoming National Lampoon Radio Hour relaunch.
This week, Meg and I talked about her daughter Jaundice, the Chicago comedy scene, and maybe getting retweeted by Tim McGraw.
I think a lot of details are very funny because they start to make the story sound real even if it’s insane. I’ve also been really into mentioning the ICU lately and not sure if that would even be a place someone would go if they jumped out of the window. Is the ICU only for children? Or is it like the vet but for adults (a hospital)?
Has Twitter been a good platform for your jokes? Has it changed your humor in any way?
I will die defending Twitter and what it can do for comedians. Twitter has gotten my friends jobs. I feel like, if social media makes you feel bad, please go to the ICU and never open up the app because there is so much fun to be had in this precious life, and making people laugh on Twitter is heaven to me (okay, maybe I sound sick). I think that it’s been a really good platform for me because I love to use so many visuals. Like if I want to dub over a clip of the cast of Big Little Lies so that they are saying how talented I am, I can’t always do that onstage, but I can do it on Twitter. I think it’s also opened me up to so many other comedians I wouldn’t have known about otherwise, which is why I probably like it so much. I’m someone who can’t network but LOVES making friends, and with Twitter you can do that (okay, it sounds like I’m the CEO of Twitter and trying to sell it). I don’t know if it’s changed my sense of humor, but it’s definitely made me a better comedian.
Your stand-up is a cabaret of characters, sketchy bits, and performance art. How did you develop your specific brand of comedy?
I started doing improv and sketch but didn’t quite fit in (was kicked out of a Shakespeare improv show in Ohio in 2013). I remember I was interning at a stand-up show in Chicago that was run by some of my now best friends, and one night I tried a slideshow about how hot I thought the villain was from The Mask (ugh: strong neck, fat tongue, unreal hot!), and it was the first time where I was like, Oh, we can do whatever we want onstage. After that I stopped trying to fit in with any sort of group and just did whatever I wanted onstage and have never stopped. I definitely have a stage persona now that is sort of this confident, delusional performer who is brave enough to tell someone to take their hat off during her set but at the same time is too nervous not to stutter, and I think that just came from trying stuff out onstage that I thought was funny. There is nothing funnier to me than someone really bad who thinks they are the very best.
I tweeted this because I honestly keep feeling TRICKED AND BETRAYED BY PEOPLE WITH FAMOUS PEOPLE’S NAMES AS THEIR DISPLAY NAME! This is less of a joke and more of a warning that if people don’t stop I’m going to have a heart attack thinking Tim McGraw just retweeted me.
You just moved to New York from Chicago. What are the main differences you’ve noticed in terms of the comedy scene there versus here?
In Chicago, there is either one host at a show or two, and in New York there is either one host or three. Isn’t that weird? I hope in L.A. there is either 1 host or 17. Also, the New York scene is bigger than the Chicago one. In the Chicago scene, everyone knows each other and it’s very supportive. I think that Chicago is the best place in the world to start comedy. I fell in love with the people there, I fell in love with myself there, and I wouldn’t be the same kind of performer if it wasn’t for my precious Hideout, the best venue on the planet. But honestly, New York comedians have taken me in as their own and I couldn’t be more grateful.
What motivated you to start your own show?
I just couldn’t stop thinking about doing a “talk show from hell.” Like, I would just daydream about it. So when my friend Nick Moore, who worked at ClickHole, mentioned wanting to do a video project with me, I jumped at the chance. The Megan Stalter Show turned into something better than I could have dreamed of because of him and everyone that worked on it. It’s pretty inspiring to realize, Oh, I can make whatever I want and just put it online like RIGHT NOW!
This is a clip from my solo show that I did a couple of months ago at the Hideout (best venue on earth). The premise was my “agent” calls in the middle of my show to tell me I need to film a self-tape of me reading for the part of “Sick Girl” in a new teen romance movie. I then ask a random audience member to read the other part, and the guy that ended up doing it was so funny because he had this sort of hot voice and read it so perfect, which made it even more fun to complain about how he was doing it. I’m a little brat, and there’s nothing funnier to me than to act like I’m doing a better job than someone who is doing a way better job than me. It’s important to me that no feelings actually get hurt, so I try to play someone onstage who is so freaky that the joke is always on me and not them. I asked him to get a bite to eat after the show, and now we are married with a gorgeous son and two daughters.
What a meet-cute! Tell us about your gorgeous son and two daughters.
So two of them are beautiful and one is ugly, but I won’t say who :) but seriously Mary Bella, Michael, and Jaundice are the loves of my life, and I would do anything for them except give them junk food! Lmfao, seriously Jaundice can not eat solids yet even though she’s very much old.
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