The Bay Area of California has become well-known for featuring unique talent that no one could ever see coming their way and this woman is no exception. As part of We Own The Laughs.com’s Comedian of the Day, have a few laughs while getting to know comedian Aivy Cordova. The Hayward, CA native shares with us some of her favorite things about comedy and why she owns the laughs.
Name: Aivy Cordova
Hometown: Hayward, CA
Facebook comedy page: Aivy Cordova
Years in Comedy: 7 (started in 2006, 7-year hiatus in 2009, returned in 2016)
Haven’t we seen you somewhere before: We Own The Laughs Season 1 on Amazon Prime, eventually.
Comedic Influences: Chris Rock & Margaret Cho
Favorite Comedy Album: Chris Rock “Never Scared”
Favorite Comedy Special: Probably a tie between Chris Rock “Never Scared” and Dave Chappelle “Killin’ Them Softly”
Favorite Comedy Movie: White Chicks
Favorite Comedy TV Show: Family Guy (Laughs)… I’m so sorry.
Favorite Comedic Character: Borat
Favorite City to Perform In: Santa Cruz, CA
Favorite Topics to Joke About: My Son
Favorite Type of Audience for a Comedy Show: Rowdy, but respectful
Favorite Comedy Club: Cobb’s Comedy Club
How did you discover your passion for comedy:
My dad traveled a lot for work when I was a kid. When he was home, he enjoyed watching comedy specials like Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, and regardless of how inappropriate it was for a kid my age, I would always sit and watch it with him because I didn’t want to leave his side. As I got older, I went through some weird phases in high school and college and ultimately learned to use comedy as a defense mechanism.
What do you remember most about your first time performing stand-up comedy:
I started out as a theater kid, which didn’t really work out for me because I had debilitating stage fright – except when it came to comedic roles, and the first time I had a mic in my hand the fear disappeared. I took Kevin Camia’s workshop at Bindlestiff Studio back in 2006 and a year later, I announced my pregnancy at an open mic (RIP Brainwash Cafe) before I even told my parents.
How would you describe your comedic style:
Observational and naughty. I don’t think people look at me and expect to hear the things that come out of my mouth.
Describe your process for comedic writing:
Something happens and I find a way to translate that story into stand-up material. There’s a difference between telling your friends at work a funny story versus telling that same story on stage to strangers who don’t know you from Adam.
Describe the comedy scene in your area:
It varies depending on where you are. Some parts of the Bay Area are more PC than others.
How do you judge success in the world of comedy:
By the line-ups you’re on, how infrequently you have to ask people for work, and whether respectable comics can vouch for you.
Who are some of your comedic peers that you enjoy watching perform or inspire you personally and professionally:
Chelsea Bearce, Valerie Vernale, and Mean Dave. I feel weird calling them my peers because I looked up to them while I was getting back into comedy after being gone for 7 years, and I still feel a bit of impostor syndrome when someone books us together or they personally reach out to me to be on shows with them.
What’s been your most memorable moment in comedy:
Probably the first time I headlined a show, and people I didn’t know showed up because they had seen me at other shows.
What have you learned most from your failures in comedy:
I’m not the first and I won’t be the last.
How do people react towards you when they realize that you can make people laugh:
It either disarms them (I use humor all the time at my tech job, where my role is to interact with and support some of the most demanding personalities in my line of work) or they try to match wits with me, which I used to find irritating (especially non-comedians in my comments) but now I don’t because it’s fun to watch people make themselves look dumb and/or thirsty.
Describe what it’s been like building a career in stand-up comedy:
When I started, I wasn’t much different from other 25-year-olds – I wanted to get fucked up and enjoy myself, which happened way too often and which was also why I didn’t make much progress. When I came back after my 7-year hiatus, I was older, wiser, a mom, and I’d been through some shit in my personal life. I knew if I wanted to have any kind of longevity, I would have to treat it with the same respect as my corporate job, and not succumb to unhealthy coping mechanisms. It took some time, but I’m pretty happy with my trajectory thus far.
If you could change one thing in the world of comedy, what would it be:
To be completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of “supportive” rooms. I’d rather do a gig where I know I have as equal a chance of succeeding as bombing my dick off.
Best advice you’ve ever received from a comedian:
Feel Woods told me to find a handful of folks (comedians) I trust and to stay close to them. Not everyone in this scene is your friend or cares about you, and I tell young comics as often as I can not view the comedy scene as an extension of their social lives, and to keep their personal lives private.
If you’re releasing a comedy special this week, what would it be called:
TikTok and It Don’t Stop.
Funniest encounter you’ve ever had with a celebrity:
Last year, when the Punch Line San Francisco’s lease was expiring, there was a press conference at City Hall and a ton of comics showed up, including Dave Chappelle. We all gathered on the stairs for pictures and then Dave asked me to switch places with him because he said I was too short and might not be seen. I said, “I think they want you to be in the center of the picture” and he replied, “oh, they’ll find me”. There were a lot of reporters there, and that entire exchange (minus the audio) was captured on most of the local news networks, so when I went back to my office I got a ton of text messages from people who saw the news asking what I and Dave Chappelle talked about. Then my dad (who’s the biggest Dave Chappelle fan, the biggest comedy fan) called and asked for a picture so Dave took a selfie and sent it to my dad.
Weirdest place you’ve ever performed any form of comedy:
Probably a dildo museum.
An Aivy Cordova Fun Fact:
I’m actually an introvert.
Where would you like your laughs to take you:
More tours and more states. A couple of comedy albums. What I really want is to have a TV show where I get to go out with comedians after a show and talk about food while eating food.
What would you tell a potential comedian if they ask you how they can own the laughs:
Be yourself. Be funny. Don’t drink or get high at your gigs.
What are your thoughts on the future of comedy:
Hopefully that I’ll be around to see it.
If you could write one episode for one classic TV sitcom which show would be and give a brief detailed sentence on the episode:
McGyver saves the Punch Line San Francisco from demolition.
If you could choose 1 comedy club and choose 3 comedians to perform with on your perfect comedy show, how would it go:
I did a show recently with Chelsea, and two other local faves, Josef Anolin and Terry Dorsey. I think that’s a great combination of comics with different styles. We could be anywhere and have a great time, but for the sake of your question, I’ll say Cobbs.
What’s next for you:
Hopefully, more live shows when the world stops burning. Also, season 2 of We Own The Laughs if you’ll have me.
Why should a person always laugh at life:
I’m almost 40 and I look 25. Life’s too short to be pissed off and all the retinol in the world can’t fix a fucked-up attitude.
Watch Aivy Cordova on Season 1 of We Own The Laughs: