That Time I Bombed: Heather McDonald learns not to censor herself

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      That Time I Bombed is where the Straight asks comedians about their life-changing shows, favourite comedy albums, and, a subject that any comedian will face at some point in their career, a time that they bombed on stage.

      Who are you

      I’m a standup comic and the New York Times bestselling author of You’ll Never Blue Ball in this Town Again and My Inappropriate Life.  I host a very successful podcast twice a week called Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald. I’m also a wife of almost 17 years and mother of three—and they are all doing pretty well.

      First standup experience

      The first time I ever preformed standup was for the graduation of a comedy class I took. I was only 23 and I wore a sophisticated pantsuit—I don't know why. My family and friends all came to watch and it went really well.

      Life-changing comedy show

      I remember Rosanne Barr's standup special. I thought she was so funny and honest, and I liked that she was married with kids. She had this opening bit that led you to believe she was cooking dinner for her family inside a trailer parked outside the theatre. After taking care of her family, she said she would walk from her trailer to the show. I thought that was such a clever cold open.

      Top three comedy specials/albums

      Eddie Murphy — Raw  I saw it in the movie theatre even though I wasn’t 17 yet.


      Heather McDonald — I Don't Mean To Brag  My Showtime special; it’s fantastic.


      Louis C.K. — Oh My God It was pretty great. 

      All-time favourite joke or bit

      Eddie Murphy did this bit about the ice-cream truck and kids' responses to it. He talks about getting a cone and taunting the kids that didn’t, and then the scoop of ice cream falls off his cone. The way he acted it out—as a kid i thought that was the funniest thing I’d ever seen in my life.              

      Something you saw that made you laugh but probably shouldn’t have

      There is nothing that I laugh at that I feel bad about. Laughter is a gift and whatever makes you laugh is ok.

      That time I bombed

      In the beginning of my career, sometimes I would censor myself. If I saw someone in the audience that I thought may get offended, I wouldn't do the joke and by doing that it would throw off my rhythm. Now I dont worry. I trust that if a person is there to see me, they will be happy and enjoy what I have to say. 

      Heather McDonald performs at the Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward Street) this Wednesday (May 3).

      Listen to her podcast here and follow Heather on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. You can also visit her website.