“I steal in a very specific way. I believe 100 percent that women have the right to steal cosmetics.”
Welcome to the “absurd, surreal, New Age-y, feminist, musical, Twitter-filled world” of Kate Berlant, a comedian “who refuses categorization”. The actress/ writer/ stand-up comedian/ writer has been named a “New Face” at the 2014 Montreal Comedy Festival, one of Comedy Central’s “Top Ten Comics to Watch” in 2013, one of the “Top 10 Up-And-Coming Comedians” by Splitsider, named by Time Out New York as one of the “Three Comics to Watch” in 2012 and was recently profiled by the New York Times as a “magnetic improvisational comic at the forefront of experimental comedy.” Berlant was also a featured performer on IFC’s Comedy Drop, just wrapped a pilot for Comedy Central and for TruTV, and has been featured in Rookie Magazine, Rolling Stone, Esquire and Los Angeles Magazine. She also recently has finished an international tour opening for musician Father John Misty and a national tour with musician Lo-Fang.
Berlant has been called a lot of things since she started performing stand-up at age 17, including “an absurdist” and “an avant-garde theater artist”. Although she’s flattered by the names, she says “I definitely identify as a stand-up comedian before anything else.”
The comedian’s act showcases a unique mashup of styles that include the physical comedy of her idol, Lucille Ball alongside her more cerebral, stream-of-consciousness explorations of various personas.
“My stand-up’s non-traditional in certain ways,” she says in an interview with Variety. “and it’s been described as ‘experimental’, but I think I’m also quite broad…I used to worry that there wouldn’t be a space for me in the comedy canon to do what I wanted to do, but it’s been exciting to discover that I was wrong.”
Not only is Berlant extremely funny, but she also has a stage presence and style that encourages audiences to “Embrace Terror.” Of course, it isn’t that Berlant seeks to horrify, but her “loose style of comedy coupled with her sassy old-showbiz demeanor guides the audience through a roller-coaster set.” Berlant’s nonchalant, matter-of-fact joke-telling, visible natural comfort interacting with the audience and her ability to seamlessly weave her character into any setting also plays large part in the success and quickly-rising popularity of her stand-up.
Kate Berlant will be performing in Hey(TM): An evening with Kate Berlant and John Early from Jan. 21 – Jan. 23 at UP Comedy Club. Tickets to the show can be seen and purchased here. She will also perform in L.A.’s alternative comedy festival, Riot LA on Jan. 30. In addition, Berlant has talked about her yet-to-be-named 30 minute Netflix special (which she will star in) since earlier this year. While the premiere date has not yet been revealed, the special is expected to begin airing sometime within the next few months. Keep a lookout for information on the special along with future performances by following Berlant via on Twitter and Instagram.