A hilarious veteran of over 10+ years, this Windy City native recently had the opportunity to write some memorable material for Hollywood’s elite at this year’s Golden Globe Awards. She’s a woman that is not afraid to share with the world her successes and failures because unlike most, she has a way of bringing out the funny in every moment. As part of We Own The Laughs.com’s Comedian of the Day, have a few laughs and get to know comedian Renee Gauthier. The Chicago, IL native shares with us some of her favorite moments in stand-up comedy and lets us know how she owns the laughs.
Name: Renee Gauthier
Hometown: Chicago, IL/Los Angeles, CA
Facebook: Renee Gauthier
Years in Comedy: 14
Haven’t we seen you somewhere before: NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Chelsea Lately, Turkey Bowl on Hulu, and NBC’s Last Call w/ Carson Daly
Comedic Influences: Chris Rock & Eddie Murphy
Favorite Comedy Album: Weird Al Yankovic “Dare to be Stupid”
Favorite Comedy Special: Eddie Murphy “RAW” & Chris Rock “Bring The Pain”
Favorite Comedy Movie: Coming to America
Favorite Comedy TV Show: Real Housewives of New Jersey
Favorite Comedic Character: Aunt Jackie from Roseanne/The Connors
Favorite City to Perform In: Chicago, IL
Favorite Topics to Joke About: Me & Movies
Favorite Type of Audience for a Comedy Show: I welcome all audiences.
Favorite Comedy Club: Hollywood Improv
How did you discover your passion for comedy:
Watching comedy with my dad when I was a kid. We watched SNL, Comic Relief, and any comedy special that was on HBO or Showtime. When my father passed away I was 10 and to stop people from crying, I went around like Don Rickles to make them laugh.
What do you remember most about your first time performing stand-up comedy:
It was an open mic in Chicago with my friend Nick and it was at this tropical-themed bar. The servers wore bikinis with socks and sneakers. I remember sucking until I started being honest about a break-up I was going through.
How would you describe your comedic style:
Conversational, observational, and fantastical.
Describe your process for comedic writing:
I never sit down to write. If I have an idea, I usually record stream it in the morning. Then I bounce the ideas off of trusted comedian friends.
Describe the comedy scene in your area:
Diverse, alternative, but a very supportive community.
How do you judge success in the world of comedy:
Like any good comedian I assume, I don’t have any success, but then you check your resume and think “Oh sh*t, maybe I have done some shit.”
Who are some of your comedic peers that you enjoy watching perform or inspire you personally and professionally:
I love Kyle Kinane, Matt Braunger, Erin Foley, and Debra DiGiovanni. These are comics I will watch every time they’re on stage. To be honest, I have so many comedians that I admire, but these are just a few I would like to acknowledge.
What’s been your most memorable moment in comedy:
Getting my cheeks kissed by Bill Murray right after singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” at a comedy party in New York, NY. I would also like to say meeting David Alan Grier when I was in Montreal doing the Just For Laughs comedy festival was pretty memorable as well.
What have you learned most from your failures in comedy:
That everyone is on the same level at one point in their career. I also learned that you don’t see yourself the way others might. Comics are very hard on themselves and what we think are failures are not what anyone else sees.
How do people react towards you when they realize that you can make people laugh:
They are always in awe like I’m a pediatric surgeon saving babies. They always say some version of “I could never do that, you’re so brave.”
Describe what it’s been like building a career in stand-up comedy:
Exhilarating, inspiring, exciting, but also exhausting and defeating.
If you could change one thing in the world of comedy, what would it be:
For it to be an even playing field. Not separating opportunities/bookings based on social media followers, gender, race, or celebrity endorsements.
Best advice you’ve ever received from a comedian:
Aisha Tyler once told me that this is your party and the audience are just guests, so just throw your party and don’t cater to them. They will love what you love and the experience you give them.
I think of it every time I go on stage.
If you were releasing a comedy special this week, what would it be called:
Midwest Hot or Are You Gonna Eat That?
Funniest encounter you’ve ever had with a celebrity:
I shot a pilot with my friend and comedian Mitch Marchand and one of our guests was Marlon Wayans. He made a joke about me, I fired a joke back at him and made him laugh. From that point, we just heightened each other’s comedy on stage and it was super fun.
Weirdest place you’ve ever performed any forms of comedy:
Fondue Restaurant and somebody’s living room.
A Renee Gauthier Fun Fact:
I have a three-legged dog named Sugarpoop. During the pandemic, I built a deck in the backyard and I bring it up in every conversation or interview. So this one is for you.
Where would you like your laughs to take you:
My own sitcom and my own talk show.
What would you tell a potential comedian if they ask you how they can own the laughs:
Just keep being yourself and try not to make this life a competition.
What are your thoughts on the future of comedy:
I think it’s gonna keep surging especially given the state of the world right now. I hope we can all be smart with our comedy without having to say stupid sh*t.
If you could write one episode for one classic TV sitcom which show would be and give a brief detailed sentence on the episode:
Carla will inherit the bar and makes it a gentleman’s club, but changes nothing about the interior. Sam, Woody, and Coach would become cocktail waitresses.
If you could choose 1 comedy club and 3 comedians to perform with on your perfect comedy show, how would it go:
Laugh Factory Chicago. The lineup would be Kevin Hart hosting, me, with Erin Foley and Wanda Sykes sharing the title of the headliner.
What’s next for you:
I’m writing on a few shows and working on writing my first comedy album. I always thought I wouldn’t want one, but now I realized I do.
Why should a person always laugh at life:
It keeps you pretty and young.
Watch Renee Gauthier at Westside Comedy Theater in Los Angeles. CA