If Elna Baker weren’t a comedian, then the premise of her new memoir, “The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance” — a nice Mormon girl trying to make her way in New York City — might be considered more of a tearjerker. After all, Baker can’t wait until the third date to have sex — she has to wait until she has a ring on her finger. With those kinds of restrictions on young city life, Baker really does need to see the funny side of her situation. Luckily, she does.
“In California, when I say I’m a Mormon, they get it. But here, people ask, ‘Can you use zippers?’” the 27-year-old laughs. “I’ve been friends with people for years and they’ll be like, ‘I am sorry. I’ve been dying to ask you: How many moms do you have?’”
A big part of Baker’s memoir is the trying difficulties of staying true to her faith while working on her dream to become an actress and do things like, well, have a “normal” dating life.
Baker is also aware of how the book — and her side gig as a stand-up — might appear to her religious family and to other Mormons. “I think they haven’t appreciated that I really don’t cross the line,” Baker says. “And that was one of the challenges of writing the book; about having to be honest but having this fear that it will be something everyone will know about. I write about touching a penis. I mean, it’s just a penis, you know?”