By Tyson Paul
When it comes to trying to find any form of humor in 2020, the laughs start here. Due to the global pandemic, there hasn’t been much going on in the world where people needed the use of their sense of humor. Statewide quarantines and social distancing protocols have severely impacted the entertainment community and economy.
Comedian Audrey Stewart has not been able to perform in front of fans in person since late February. While plenty of comedians have struggled to keep their comedy career on track because of lack of stage time, Stewart has managed to take her “party girl” sense of humor along with her Midwestern work ethic and quickly transitioned it into social media gold. She not only kept fans interested with her wacky characters on Instagram and unpredictable virtual sets via zoom, but Audrey also has given new fans all over the world the unique opportunity to see what it would be like to see her performances live from the comfort of their own homes.
Talking with We Own The Laughs.com’s Tyson Paul, Audrey gets surprisingly personal as she talks about interacting with fans on social media, her favorite comedic characters, XFL, and what’s next for comedy. She’s the first person you laugh at when you check your phone in the morning, the hilarious pick-me-up friends show you a new video about in the mid-day, and the last person you laugh at when you shut your laptop at night. Now get to know what it’s like to live in the mind of Audrey Stewart.
Hey, Audrey hopefully everything has been going well around you, but I wanted to ask you something, have you seen anything funny lately?
Yes! I’ve seen a lot of funny things lately. Comedians are taking their talents to Instagram and YouTube and the stuff they are putting out has me cracking up. Also, the movie Palm Springs is hilarious.
You haven’t managed to slow down at all during this pandemic. What were your first thoughts on COVID-19 and when did you realize that you could still be creative when all seemed lost?
My brain often quickly adapts to my surroundings and current situations. So I hoped for the best but knew it was going to get worse, so I immediately shifted to doing sketches and virtual shows.
Before the pandemic, how often do you perform comedy per week?
I performed comedy at least 10 times a week.
What do you think you’ve learned most from being in this pandemic?
I learned how blessed we were to be doing what we loved with people we loved almost every night and moving forward when this pandemic clears I’m going to be so excited and never take any stage time for granted. I learned how strong I can mentally be and how love and support are important for me to receive and give to my peers during hard times.
What type of comics has this pandemic hurt the most? Open mic newcomers, promising up-and-coming features, or established headliners looking to keep their skills sharp?
I think all types of comedians were hurt by this. Whether you are an open micer, up and coming, or an established headliner we always all had one thing in common and that is the love of performing and live laughter. Comedy is an identity for all of us and in a way, it has felt like a part of us has been stripped away. We are all in this together and I hope everyone is holding on and hanging in there.
How have you managed to still have a stand-up career during the pandemic? Have you been a part of any outdoor shows or virtual shows?
My roommate and I produced our own virtual stand-up show and I’ve done a few outdoor shows. I am in the process of producing my own outside show as well.
Do you think that virtual comedy shows will end as soon as comedy clubs re-open or are they here to stay?
I think virtual shows will always be a thing even with live shows starting because I think it’s a new way for us to tap into an audience from different states and countries that have never been able to see us before. Especially for me, I have a lot of online fans from different areas and it’s a great way for them to see me be insane.
Who has been your favorite comedian to share the stage with or work on a sketch with throughout your comedy career?
There are so many wonderful people I’ve had the honor of sharing a stage with. Such as Tiffany Haddish, Iliza Shlesinger, Dane Cook, and more. A lot of my best friends in comedy are making quite the name for themselves right now and every time I get to perform with them, I feel so lucky.
Your “Grads After Virtual Graduation” sketch is an instant viral classic. Now that college students are being forced to do virtual learning for the year. One has to ask, how would Professor Audrey Stewart teach a History 101 class via Zoom?
I feel like if I was teaching a History 101 class it would be a lot of me yelling and dressing up as historians.
I think we can all relate to you when it comes to trying to find your friends at the beach. Who’s fault is it usually for someone not being able to find their friends at the beach?
White Claw is always to blame for not being able to find friends at the beach. The drunker we get the worst our already confusing directions become.
I know we all were rooting for you to find your friends so you could make out with Easton. What ended up happening with you and Easton after you were unable to find them?
I ended up dating a girl (Laughs).
How has your neighborhood drunk Tecate Tim been handling being in quarantine with his wife during this pandemic? Does he finally receive any good lovin’?
Tecate Tim and his wife are filing for divorce, but at least Tim has his tecates to keep him preoccupied.
You recently earned developmental credit for working on a new HBO Max series. Can you tell us about that experience?
It was so incredible to be trusted to help develop ideas for this project. I can’t say too much about it, but I loved working with the other writers and any job where you are constantly laughing and bouncing ideas off of other creative people is ideal.
A lot of people may not know this about you, but you’re a very big fan of the XFL. How devastated were you when you found out the league went bankrupt and how excited were you when you found out that a group including The Rock bought the XFL for $15 million?
I was SUPER SUPER sad when I heard the XFL was going bankrupt, but honestly, I knew the boys would be back. The league was too fun and special for it to just be finished. It also has done so much for the players and has given them a second shot at what they love. I WAS SOO AMPED when I heard the Rock was buying the XFL. His statement he released for his reason was beautiful as well. He gets it!
What do you think the XFL will be like with The Rock leading the way?
I think the XFL will be advertised more than before and they will get the proper attention they deserve.
Would you be interested in working with the XFL maybe as a wacky sideline commentator or team reporter? Who knows maybe even be the Joe Rogan of the league and host a podcast interviewing players?
I WOULD BE HONORED TO DO ANYTHING AS PART OF THE XFL!
If you’re working for the XFL and you are reading this, HIRE ME!
These days, it seems like we as people see nothing but negativity everywhere we turn, especially when we turn on the TV. People are searching for opportunities to laugh and to enjoy life. You make people laugh for a living. Beyond that, how do you see your role as a comedian?
Being a comedian means something different to most of us. For me, it means being a light, spreading my energy, and relating to people so they know they are not alone. I have learned a lot about myself recently and have taken brave steps to be myself more than ever, for example being in a same-sex relationship. My role as a comedian is to make that okay for people who may be afraid to explore that side of them.
What are your thoughts on the future of comedy moving forward?
I think the future of comedy is bright, it’ll be different, but it will still be there. You can’t take comedy away. It’s necessary and for the comedians who perform it’s a majority of who we are. We are too strong and passionate to let it die.
Is there anything coming up for you that you wish to promote?
The one thing I’m def promoting right now is my social media because a lot of our comedy has switched to virtual.