If you’re a fan of insanely uninhibited, raw and relatable comedy, Showtime has got the show for you. The network partnered with comedian Carole Montgomery to break barriers with “Funny Women Of A Certain Age.” The show features all women, all over the age of 50 and all fabulous. Luenell Campbell is one of the talented female comics gracing the stage with her stand-up and she sat down with Metro to talk about how 50 is the new 35, why women in comedy still need to fight for the opportunities they deserve and what to expect from the new show.
Luenell Campbell on “Funny Women of a Certain Age”
How did you get involved with “Funny Women Of A Certain Age”?
Purely because Carole Montgomery—who is the brainchild of all of this- reached out to me. I wasn’t real familiar with her before, but she reached out to me and that’s how I got involved.
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What were your initial thoughts when you heard the show was an all-female cast?
I was very much on board. Because this has never been done before- all females over 50. That’s the important thing to note because that’s why it’s called “Funny Women Of A Certain Age.” I was very excited about that because I feel that we have to put good images out there about what 50 looks like these days. 50 is not 80, 50 is not 90, 50 is more like 35 or 40. That’s the new 50, and I thought that was very exciting.
Do you think there is still a stigma regarding female comedians?
There’s a huge stigma still. Just the fact that they still think women don’t draw people in. I sell out a lot of places that I go too. They think women are not as funny as guys and they certainly don’t pay us what we’re worth.
What are some of your career high points and low points?
Well, high points have always been working with wonderful people that you admire and have looked at and never thought you would get to meet. Working with Sandra Bullock, working with Adam Sandler, working with Sacha Baron Cohen and working with Will Packer who did “Think Like A Man” 1 and 2 and all the stars involved with that film. Also doing voice-over work for animation, acquiring my residency in Las Vegas recently- those have been very high points for me. Some of the low points have been being a mother and missing my daughter’s prom, not being around when she was sick, not being around when the time came to fill out paperwork for college, things like that have been the low points to me.
Everyone in the cast is extremely talented; Carole Montgomery knocked it out of the park with the lineup. Are there any female comedians you would bring in if you made your own lineup?
Sure, I could name people that you probably don’t know exactly who they are. I like this Christian comedian named, well we used to call her Small Fry, her name now changed to Small Fire. She’s the funniest Christian comic I have ever heard in my entire life—she’s so funny. I’m also a fan of Torrei Hart, who is Kevin Hart’s ex-wife. I like Sherri Shepherd and Kym Whitley, I’m not sure if they’re exactly women I would put on tour if I used them together but they are certainly women that I admire and like. You know, I do have to say if I really had to put my dream team together, part of it can’t happen because Joan Rivers is already gone. But I would have Joan Rivers, and I would have Roseanne— all the politics excluded and just the comedy of yesteryear. So Joan and Roseanne and myself- and maybe Marsha Warfield, who’s very funny and also has a residency in Las Vegas right now. I like the older comics anyway, more so than the newer ones.
Overall what can audiences expect from the show?
I think the title says it, just funny women of a certain age. It depends on the audience that you’re speaking to but I hope everyone will watch it, men included. This is not a show done by women only for women, this is a show done by women for everyone. It’s just funny, it’s not for straight people, it’s not for gay people, not for black or white. It’s just funny and everybody can benefit from watching it and find out that there are funny women out here who are making a steady living talking into a microphone. We’re not written off, we’re not down in the valley or any of that. We’re alive, vivacious, exciting women who have something to say that is relatable to everyone.