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).