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Episode 45

Elayne Boosler & Trail Blazing Comedy

Episode  45
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Elayne Boosler carved a path through the comedy landscape that led her from tiny New York clubs to huge stadiums and enormously popular standup specials. Her strategy? Just be funny. Yes, she faced challenges and obstacles but as women in every field are learning to do boldly… she persisted. Elayne is hilarious and kind and she is bringing the joy! Plus Fritz and Weezy are recommending Without Remorse on Amazon Prime, Hulu’s Investigations by Vice, Atlantic Crossing on Masterpiece Theater and Beautiful Things by Hunter Biden.

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Louise Palanker (00:00:00):

Welcome to Media Path. I am Louise Palanker


And I'm Fritz Coleman, and we are newly and fully vaccinated.

Fritz Coleman  (00:00:11):

What I I, I, I've never met you. I, I'm, I'm in person and I had no idea what

Louise Palanker (00:00:16):

You're looking like. I expected you to be shorter <laugh>. We are newly and fully vaccinated and indoors in studio, in person, and inspired to be so blessed. Our guest coming up is the brilliant and trailblazing comedian Elaine Busler, according to her website, which you can find on the internet. Elaine started doing comedy in New York City in 1973 and has been on everything you have ever seen. So if you say to her, didn't I see you on? The answer is yes. Yes you did. But first, Fritz and I have curated for you some fine media selectable. What have you got for us today?

Fritz Coleman  (00:00:49):

All right, we, first of all, I I'm gonna do a feature film on Amazon Prime. It's without remorse. This is a Tom Clancy story, and if you're a fan, it's the origin story of John Clark, who is one of the most popular characters in the Jack Ryan series Stars. Michael B. Jordan, playing an elite Navy Seal who discovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for his murdered pregnant wife, directed by Stefano Salma, who directed Sakari Day of the Soldado. Sicario movies are great action movies, as is this one. Michael B. Jordan does all of his own stunts in this. And there are many hair raising stunts. Great bad guys in this movie, or at least questionable guys, including Guy Pierce, a Secretary Clay, a duplicitous politician, what a surprise. And Jamie Bell, who plays Robert Ritter, who's an operative you're never quite sure about. Jamie Bell got famous playing Billy Elliott, and he's a wonderful British Oh

Louise Palanker (00:01:48):

Yes, he, he's not still a kid.

Fritz Coleman  (00:01:50):


Louise Palanker (00:01:51):

He's not. Oh, these kids, you look away and they grow up and there they go.

Fritz Coleman  (00:01:55):

And he's one of these guys who's miraculously able to bury that English accent and he plays a great and he

Louise Palanker (00:02:00):

Pure wedding in the film at all. No,

Fritz Coleman  (00:02:02):

He did,

Louise Palanker (00:02:02):

Didn't do that. It's

Fritz Coleman  (00:02:03):

A disappointment. But I gotta tell you, there's some badass women in this film, including Jodi Turner Smith. You might know her from the Queen in Slim series. She broke barriers in this movie cuz she plays Michael b Jordan's Superior as a Seal Lieutenant Commander. It's a great cast fun ride. Nobody does military slash government rollercoaster rides like Tom Clancy. It's a great film. Good escapist.

Louise Palanker (00:02:26):

All right, excellent. Well, I've had a very busy week, Fritz. Do you know why? No. I've been reading Beautiful Things by Hunter Biden.

Fritz Coleman  (00:02:33):


Louise Palanker (00:02:34):

Wow. You think that movie was a ride? This is a Ride. Okay, so this book is Astoundingly Raw and Heartbreakingly Candid. It's a soulful, harrowing, funny, and candid answer to the Republican battle cry query. Where's Hunter? Hunter has been in some disturbing locations. You should first know that Hunter Biden is a lawyer and an artist, a graduate of Georgetown University and Yale Law School. He has worked as an advocate on behalf of Jesuit universities and served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards, including as Vice chairman of Amtrak and chairman of the Board of World Food Program usa. When he was two years old, hunter Biden was badly injured in a car accident that killed his mother and his baby sister. In 2015, he suffered the devastating loss of his beloved Big Brother Bo, who died of brain cancer at the age of 46. These hardships were compounded by the collapse of his marriage and a years long battle with drug and alcohol addiction.


Rudderless without Bo Hunter recounts his dissent into the dark and CD recesses of substance abuse and his torturous path back to sobriety. It's interesting to note that while Republicans were accusing him of embezzling money from corrupt Ukrainians, he was actually blowing money on crack fueled odyssey into oblivion. I blame Rudy for the Intel fail. This book is a critical look at the grip of addiction and how it will often claim the brightest and most sensitive among us. The reviews on Amazon are worth a look too. So they're either five stars, like completely five stars from the verified purchasers, or one star from people who have not bought or read the book. And they write things like, if you're low on toilet paper, this is a great book. Or if you want to become a drug addict or adulterer, it does have some helpful tips.

Fritz Coleman  (00:04:22):

Yeah, it's

Louise Palanker (00:04:23):

A split decision on Hunter.

Fritz Coleman  (00:04:24):

I mean, without Hunter Biden, the Republicans would've nothing to whine about Tucker Carlson wouldn't have a show. That's all they do is whine about him. Yeah, he's like this straw man who is really insignificant in the overall scheme. Well,

Louise Palanker (00:04:37):

He, he's just the modern version of Hillary's emails and it, it just didn't Right. <laugh> and it didn't pan out the way they had hoped it would. No,

Fritz Coleman  (00:04:45):

I agree. Good selection. So I'm gonna talk about Vice Investigations. This is on Hulu. It started on H B O and I think they second streamed them on Hulu. I like good investigative journalism and I look at Vice as 60 Minutes With An Edge or Next Generation 60 Minutes. A good sample episode if you've never seen it, is season one, episode eight, which is upright now. It's called Gun Culture 2.0. Ouch. Gun Culture, uh, 1.0 talked about hunting and the rural idea of owning firearms. Gun Culture 2.0 moves to suburban and urban gun owners, and they concentrate on the right to concealed carry Vice doesn't take sides. Correspondent Josh Hurst is really just an a fact finding mission. But if you're a fan of more gun control, this is eye-opening and it's disturbing because here's the irony. In the United States, statistics say that more people are in favor of reasonable gun legislation right now.


But in many states, laws are becoming more and more lenient. 40 years ago, it was almost impossible for you to see somebody carrying a gun down the street in public. Now the opposite is happening. As a matter of fact, in Oklahoma, they just passed a permitless carry law, meaning you don't even need a permit to carry a gun. People walk around carrying a rifle at the Walmart Vice covers a wide range of subjects in their current season. From Russia's war on hip hop music to the Raging Fires in the Amazon jungle. It's well produced. It's edgy journalism. I love it.

Louise Palanker (00:06:19):

Awesome. I I will check that out. So have you heard of Atlantic Crossing Fritzie? No. Atlantic Crossing, not to be confused with Animal Crossing, which is a game on the Nintendo Switch, Atlantic Crossing has far fewer talking cows just so you don't make a a purchase error. Okay. So this is a true story. Oh, it's actually inspired by a true story of a friendship forged in wartime Atlantic Crossing is on P B s explores politics and ambition as Norway's Crown Princess Martha flees to America for safety. As her country is invaded by the Nazis, she is taken under wing by F D R, who develops a bit of a crush on the adorable Nordic princess, a restrained and shy princess. Martha quickly finds herself evolving into a powerful advocate for her country and grappling with the moral dilemma presented when she recognizes that she could leverage FD R's feelings in a desperate effort to protect her homeland. Kyle McLaughlin's stars as fdr, Sophia Helen as Princess Martha and Tobias Santo man as Prince Ola. And they speak a lot of Norwegian in there. Is this

Fritz Coleman  (00:07:26):

A multipart series?

Louise Palanker (00:07:27):

Yeah, it's one of those PBS Multipart

Fritz Coleman  (00:07:31):


Louise Palanker (00:07:31):

It all new Masterpiece Theater? I haven't even heard of it. It's brand new. Oh, okay, cool. Yeah, it's just, they're, they're releasing, it's like a masterpiece theater thing, I think. And they're releasing one per week and it's really good. Wow. If you're a fist, if you're a history fan, as am I.

Fritz Coleman  (00:07:46):

Anything with Brits and PBS is always quality

Louise Palanker (00:07:48):

Work. You can't fail. So we're gonna introduce our guests. We're so excited about Elaine Boosler. She asked to be introduced as one of the greatest comedians. And don't read her whole bio <laugh>. No. Because it does go on and on. She's been at this. She's good. She's just a superstar. She's a trailblazer. As I said earlier, she's that female comedian that everyone has heard of and everyone saw Open for America, you know, at some point in the seventies. Am I right about that? Elaine? Everyone saw you open for some hu Big rock band, right? Some big

Elayne Boosler (00:08:20):

Music act. But I didn't say greatest. I said most popular <laugh>. Oh, one of the most popular.

Louise Palanker (00:08:26):

Well, I think I just happened to put in some of my own interpretation, which is that, that you were the greatest. Wow. I'm gonna say a little bit about you, about you comedian, writer. I'll be back. All right. So yeah. Comedian, writer, animal activist. Elaine Boosler was named one of Comedy Central's greatest 100 standup Comedians of all time dubbed by Rolling Stone Magazine, the first lady of standup comedy, and named one of their 50 best standup comics of all time. And here she is among us. And you two go back. How far Fritz and Well,

Fritz Coleman  (00:08:53):

She had already achieved a little success when I was fighting my way up out of, you know, open mics into getting paid spots at the Comedy store. But she was legendary in the glass ceilings, several that she broke for Lady comics. And I, I really, I'm so interested to hear her talk about this. There was so much sexism in early standup because nobody thought women had the ability to do standup as well as men, particularly the owners of some of these local clubs. And she had to fight tooth and nail and work their way up. So Elaine, talk about those early days, I'm gonna say early to mid seventies, to early eighties, until there was more parody in the standup world and, and, and how hard it was and what, what, what the ladder was like. You, you, you weren't getting any spots then You got belly room spots. And then I think you, I I think this legend is true. You were the one that, uh, was one of the first to get a spot in the main room at the store. Am I right about that?

Elayne Boosler (00:09:56):

Well, here's, first of all, we have to take care of business because we're coming out of the pandemic. And first things first, if we're on Zoom, there are two things that are necessary.

Louise Palanker (00:10:05):

Oh, yay. <laugh>. Ooh.

Fritz Coleman  (00:10:08):

Very nice. Go

Elayne Boosler (00:10:09):

Answer your question. <laugh>. It has to be books and flowers, right? Very fun. That Zoom Books, flowers. That's my background. Here we go. But I'm holding them. I'm gonna get tired. You

Louise Palanker (00:10:19):

Just got owned Claire McCaskill.

Fritz Coleman  (00:10:22):

<laugh> <laugh>.

Elayne Boosler (00:10:24):

Now everyone is books and flowers. Everyone and I, I haven't been doing any Zoom at all. I finally did one last week and I did it from my husband's, uh, office in the house. And people said, are you kidnapped? Are you in a bunker?

Louise Palanker (00:10:37):

<laugh>? It

Elayne Boosler (00:10:38):

Was so bare and so bare bones. I felt terrible. So I'm in my dining room. It's

Louise Palanker (00:10:42):

Very warmed, it's cozy. Thank you. Okay, tell us what you've seen. Yes.

Elayne Boosler (00:10:46):

I watched episode one of Atlanta Crossing last night. Isn't

Louise Palanker (00:10:49):

It great? It

Elayne Boosler (00:10:50):

Was wonderful. And the lead actress who plays the, the Queen of Denmark there, um, Norway, she's in one of my favorite series of all time that people should Stream, which is called the Bridge. Uh, it's actually called Broan, B R O E N, with the two dots. It's such a brilliant show. She is brilliant in it. And they remade it in England and called it The Tunnel. Why? And they really, because the, the Norway one, uh, uh, murder takes place right on the border on a bridge Norway. And, uh, who did I failed gi uh, you know, I failed school. So is it Norway in Sweden? Anyway, right on the line. So they have to work together. The bridge is France and England, and they have to work together. Okay. I mean, the tunnel. So it, it brilliant shows. And she's great. She's really awesome. My other favorite? Anybody sing Dairy Girls?

Louise Palanker (00:11:41):


Elayne Boosler (00:11:41):

No. Okay. It's the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life. The funniest show you will ever see Dairy Girls. It's, uh, from Ireland, it's great. And Rake Australian is great. I read, I don't, uh, watch it all. All I do is read subtitles. I love. That's my favorite stuff.

Louise Palanker (00:11:57):

Do you get, do you get the Acorn?

Elayne Boosler (00:12:00):

I don't think we have

Louise Palanker (00:12:01):

Acorn. Oh, you're gonna love Acorn. We

Elayne Boosler (00:12:03):

Up to like $6,000 a month in streaming services. No. So

Louise Palanker (00:12:07):

I understand the Acorn. Acorn is British and Australian and

Elayne Boosler (00:12:11):

No, I get Brick Box. We have Brick

Louise Palanker (00:12:13):

Box. Oh, you have? Oh. So you probably, and on Acorn there's a lot of murders that have to be solved. A lot of murders. Every small

Elayne Boosler (00:12:20):

Town. I zombie and murder girl. Okay. I am into dystopia. That is my life.

Louise Palanker (00:12:25):

<laugh> dystopian. Yes. I I read your blog post and could you kind of elucidate for us one of your issues with dystopian? Okay.

Elayne Boosler (00:12:33):

Okay. So it started with me, with, um, and you'll like this Fritz because, uh, it, the, uh, weather changed constantly. When we were watching Lost, it was always the black cloud coming in. And by the way, I am boycotting LA weather because you're not our guy anymore. I miss you so much. Every night

Louise Palanker (00:12:53):

Weather has been canceled. What? A

Elayne Boosler (00:12:54):

Nice weather has been canceled. We all miss you so much. God bless. That's why I said I do this. I never do many podcasts, but I I miss you. I needed to see you.

Fritz Coleman  (00:13:03):

Well, I appreciate that people have finally realized they could have just looked on their phone the whole time. <laugh>. What? And I didn't have to be

Elayne Boosler (00:13:09):

There. Well, wait a minute. I have a better one. Looked on their phone. Have you looked out the windows? No. Seriously. <laugh> ar

Fritz Coleman  (00:13:16):

Hamilton said, when I got this job, Argus Hamilton said, yes. His title is Vice President of Looking Out the Window. <laugh>.

Elayne Boosler (00:13:22):

Oh, that's great. That's great.

Louise Palanker (00:13:25):

A we

Elayne Boosler (00:13:26):

No weather person has ever said the one thing we want to hear, which is Take a sweater. Take a sweater. You never know. Take a sweater. Things change. That's what we wanna hear. That's so funny. No one ever said it.

Louise Palanker (00:13:39):

Be prepared. I think the Boy Scouts sort of teach you that. That's

Elayne Boosler (00:13:42):

Be prepared. Yeah. You know what they really mean is if it was a Jewish Boy Scout organization, they would say, take a sweater. <laugh>. But they're not Jewish. So they say, be prepared. Which, you know, means take a sweater.

Louise Palanker (00:13:53):

Yes. But I mean, a sweater can be used as a tourniquet in a pinch.

Elayne Boosler (00:13:57):

You know, I loved Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy, and I always take a towel. Okay. You just, wherever you go, you need a towel. A towel. You could do a heart transplant. You have

Louise Palanker (00:14:06):

A towel. It's utilitarian <laugh>. You need

Elayne Boosler (00:14:08):

A towel.

Louise Palanker (00:14:08):

That's okay. So your blog post about dystopian,

Elayne Boosler (00:14:12):

Okay, it started with

Louise Palanker (00:14:13):

Loss fiction. Yeah. Okay.

Elayne Boosler (00:14:15):

I'm looking at these people un lost and, you know, kudos no makeup. They're on an island, you know, they look really natural. And, uh, and then the women, every time they raise their aunt, who's that? You know, people always walk out on me. I can't,

Louise Palanker (00:14:29):

That's, that's just Thomas. He's gonna be around. Get you

Elayne Boosler (00:14:32):

Walking out while I'm on. You know, I feel like we're back to north. No,

Louise Palanker (00:14:35):

He's, he's, he's, he's adjusting, he's adjusting your shot. And he's very handsome.

Elayne Boosler (00:14:40):

He's very handsome. And he, and he left. It's, I feel like I'm back

Louise Palanker (00:14:43):

Playing 10. No, he's just behind the camera. Here he comes again. Get ready. There you go. There he's, yes. It's just Thomas <laugh>. Okay. So you're watching your watching I'm

Elayne Boosler (00:14:51):

Watching Lost. And I buy into it. And then the women are in sleeveless shirts and they raise their arms and they just be, become completely clean shaven on an island with no razors now. And I figured, what did they find A good clam shell <laugh>. I mean, how do they have no hair on their bodies? And I'm sorry. Do you have a dog in the studio?

Louise Palanker (00:15:12):


Elayne Boosler (00:15:14):

Because I don't have dogs, so

Louise Palanker (00:15:15):

I don't know what they We know you too Well, <laugh>

Elayne Boosler (00:15:18):

<laugh>. Now I'm watching all the zombies and the zombie apocalypse and all the women have shaped pits. It's ridiculous. It completely snaps me out of the reality of the show. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I go anywhere with you. Yes. The zombies happened. Yes. They need to eat you to stay alive. Yes. The world ended on casual Friday. That's why they're all wearing jeans, <laugh>. I buy all of it. And they're full of dirt and matted and they haven't washed their hair. And I go, they really are into this. They did it great. And then their pets, the women are clean shaven. And I go, I'm not buying it. And I change your channel guys, if you really want us to buy in. And you know why? This is why we need more women producers and women behind the camera. Not for equality, just for reality. Women would know, sorry, you can't shave for this show.

Louise Palanker (00:16:04):

<laugh> no. Smooth reality not be a priority. Amazon, it's not a No, they would. And can I have another issue along those lines, Elaine? And that is that Ladies on TV wear their bra to bed. <laugh> does anyone else, they

Elayne Boosler (00:16:19):

Wear their bra for sex when they're, they're not getting paid enough for the nude scene. They all have their bras on during sex. I find it stunning.

Louise Palanker (00:16:28):

Stunning. But they go to bed and they've got their night clothes on and their boobs are just so awake.

Elayne Boosler (00:16:34):

And, well, it's not bras. There are actually wranglers, uh, breast wranglers who bed and they hold them up. <laugh> up here. I dunno if you know it's a union job. I

Louise Palanker (00:16:45):

Will. It's much, it's much, much coveted from what I un understand. It's

Elayne Boosler (00:16:49):

Very hard. It's actually, people are grandfathered, didn't

Louise Palanker (00:16:53):

They? <laugh>. But they all, they all swear that they're gay. That's what they have to sign a letter.

Elayne Boosler (00:16:59):

Right. I'm gay. I'm not, I'm

Louise Palanker (00:17:01):

Not interested. I'm not even that into this. Okay, here's

Elayne Boosler (00:17:03):

My other complaint. Okay. You know, everyone now in every show brushes their teeth. Who ever saw Clark Gable or Marilyn Monroe brush their teeth in a movie or tv? And that is why the whole thing of stardom in Hollywood, that whole sheen is gone. You know, they were bigger than life. They, they didn't. And plus everyone's urinating on screen now. So they're on the toilet. They're brushing their teeth. If I wanted to see that, I could just, you know, turn to my left at home. It's, it's ridiculous. There's no more, you know, stars and, and how come nobody looks at the road when they're driving anymore? No, they deliver Shakespearean soliloquies to the person next to, and we're all in the house screaming. Look at the road, road

Fritz Coleman  (00:17:50):


Louise Palanker (00:17:51):

Well, you, you really, I think these are important issues.

Elayne Boosler (00:17:54):

I need to leave the house, don't I? I need to

Louise Palanker (00:17:56):

Leave the house. I think we're all kind of sneaking out. Can you tell us how the pandemic has treated you and what sort of epiphanies that you've had a, a chance to germinate while you, you spending time with self?

Elayne Boosler (00:18:10):

Well, there's a real thing going on now, and I'm so glad I read about it cuz I was suffering it. And I thought it was just me. And it's that I can't leave the house now. Uh oh. I haven't eaten in a restaurant. Okay. I don't go anywhere. I go to the grocery store and I take the dogs to the vet. That's it. I've turned down every invitation with friends. I'm too freaked out. I, I can't, I feel like, wait a minute, I stayed in for a year and two months. If I go out now and get sick, I'll, it will be just the universe saying drop dead. You know, I can't leave the house. And I've been reading that. It's actually a thing. We, we have like P T S D That's why I didn't come over. I mean, I

Fritz Coleman  (00:18:48):

Have you done any online performances? Zoom comedy? Nope.

Elayne Boosler (00:18:52):


Fritz Coleman  (00:18:53):

Well, good. You're better off. I, to me, <laugh>, it's such a gut-wrenching experience. Is it?

Elayne Boosler (00:18:58):

Oh no. Are you suffering right now?

Fritz Coleman  (00:19:00):

Yes. It's, it's, it's,

Elayne Boosler (00:19:02):

I mean, with me

Fritz Coleman  (00:19:03):

Here, no, I, I I get invited to, you know, to to speak after a fundraiser or whatever it is. Right. And, and, and people don't mute. And there are dogs barking and Consuela comes in and asks if she can go home now and people talk. They have no, to me the online performance is like surgery without anesthesia. It's just a, oh gosh, worst. I, so I'm really sorry.

Elayne Boosler (00:19:28):

My dogs barked. I apologized. I always think it adds depth.

Louise Palanker (00:19:33):

I do too. I like seeing where people live. I like seeing, I like imagining what's beyond the frame of the camera. There's

Elayne Boosler (00:19:39):

Always books and flowers. People live in between books and flowers.

Louise Palanker (00:19:42):

That's right. There's a guy on MSNBC named Andrew Weisman, who was one of the mother report geniuses. And he is in a different room for every Zoom appearance. Oh, that's so cool. And we are obsessed. My sister and I take screen caps of it and text them to each other.

Elayne Boosler (00:19:56):

Oh great. And

Louise Palanker (00:19:57):

He lives in like one of those Manhattan sky rises. Well, is that a word? He lives in one

Elayne Boosler (00:20:02):

Of the, yeah, that's a good

Louise Palanker (00:20:03):

Word. Where he's like blown out three or four floors, Elaine. And it's just you. What is going on? And all of his electronics and his furniture and just so much fabulousness. So yeah. It's, it can get, we can, once we see people in a studio again, we may be like, ho hum. Back to my Tetris, you know,

Elayne Boosler (00:20:22):

<laugh>. No, no. I've been to several Zoom funerals and that was kind of sad that it had to be like that. But, um, I didn't do any performances and I really don't do podcasts cuz there are, you know, I, I mean, I love you. So I said yes, and here we are. And I wanted to see if I remembered how to put on makeup. And apparently I've remembered how to put on too much makeup. No,

Louise Palanker (00:20:40):

You look really beautiful. You look great. Have you been to

Elayne Boosler (00:20:43):

That's fine.

Louise Palanker (00:20:43):

Whatever. Saturday I went to a Zoom mitzvah.

Elayne Boosler (00:20:47):

A Z mitzvah. Yeah,

Louise Palanker (00:20:48):

That's great. And well you ha it's on the East coast, so you have to get up very early. Yeah. And, but it's like if you had the best seat, cuz the camera is right in front of the, they don't call it a podium in Judaism, it's more like a deis or, uh, there's, I'm sure it's probably

Elayne Boosler (00:21:02):

A whaling wall

Louise Palanker (00:21:04):

<laugh>. Right. But if you've been to a wedding or anything via Zoom in the past 14 months, it really is like you're, oh, I'm very close. You, you start to get nervous. But, so it's nice to be able to see things that way and to, you know, mute yourself and burp. You know, I think we're

Elayne Boosler (00:21:20):

Lucky we had it though, even though I didn't do anything myself. I mean, it, it gave people an outlet and, you know, people were getting a little crazy kind of shut down by themselves and they got to see comedians online and, you know, beautiful concerts and stuff. So it probably was a lifesaver for a lot of people just to be able to share stuff. And they do, you know, there's always a rolling side scroll, so you do get to comment and talk back and forth. And that's a nice thing. I mean, it's, I think it's good we had it even though, you know.

Louise Palanker (00:21:47):

Absolutely. You, you do wonder how people got through the 1918 pandemic

Elayne Boosler (00:21:52):

When, well, it's not like they were missing television or their computers. They didn't have it

Louise Palanker (00:21:56):

Yet. No. None of their texts went through.

Elayne Boosler (00:21:59):

No, that's right. <laugh>. Yeah. That's really serious checks. No, well the truth is they didn't get through the 1918 pandemic. There's your answer. Yeah. I mean, didn't that wipe out like half the world?

Louise Palanker (00:22:09):


Fritz Coleman  (00:22:09):

Yeah. Okay. So let's put you in history cuz these things are really interesting to me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, you, you were, as I said before, this groundbreaking how

Elayne Boosler (00:22:18):

I'm avoiding your question,

Fritz Coleman  (00:22:19):

Right? Yeah. You were. You, you. But, but that's okay. He's

Louise Palanker (00:22:22):


Fritz Coleman  (00:22:24):


Elayne Boosler (00:22:24):

Not, I'm not a winer. You know, I, I,

Louise Palanker (00:22:26):


Elayne Boosler (00:22:27):

No, I I'm, I take the high road in front.

Fritz Coleman  (00:22:29):

I'm not asking you to whine. I'm just asking you to tell the truth about how hard it was for female comics to get the recognition they deserved and ha that that, that that fight that you had to get stage time in the main room with all the, you know, with, with, with Robin and Jay and all these other people, uh, people whose talent you were equal to but, uh, didn't, weren't perceived that way by the owners of the clubs. It was a, it was.

Elayne Boosler (00:22:56):

Okay. So now I feel terrible cuz I have to contradict your facts a little bit. Okay,

Fritz Coleman  (00:23:00):

Good. And I apologize.

Elayne Boosler (00:23:00):

Go ahead. But you're, you're making me talk. So, um, first of all, the, the world, you know, in the, the equal, the, well, let's see, choice. Legal abortion only passed in what? 1972 and I believe it was 1972 when I started comedy M 72, 73. So you can imagine the position women were in in those days, they were chattel basically. And even in the late sixties, women couldn't get their own credit card. They needed a man or husbands or fathers to cosign mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I came up literally when there was no freedom for women. And the female comedians there had been, were, you know, Joan Rivers, Tony Fields, Phyllis Diller, brilliant, fantastic, wonderful women, but the exact, you know, type that people would accept, you know, Housewives who were, you know, complaining. And they were brilliant. I'm not taking anything away and I'm not saying, you know, I, I get angry when people say, well, they were so self-deprecating. And I say, excuse me, those were the times. Look at the men, look at Rodney Dangerfield and, uh, you know, Jackie, uh, Vernon and, and all those guys were self-deprecating. That was the time. You know, Rodney was the same as Phyllis, so don't put it on the women. It was the times we lived. And comedy was the hang dog husband, the hang dog wife complaining about their situation. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I was the first young, you know, trying to be pretty dressed up for a date, trying to be sexy. 20 years old. Attractive comic,

Fritz Coleman  (00:24:23):

Observational comic.

Elayne Boosler (00:24:24):


Fritz Coleman  (00:24:25):

What? And observational comic

Elayne Boosler (00:24:27):

Professional. And, and also doing the news, doing, you know, looking at life just the way the young men of the time worked. Who

Fritz Coleman  (00:24:34):

Were your classmates in 73 in New York when you started?

Elayne Boosler (00:24:36):

So my classmates, I was in New York. My, my graduating class was Richard Lewis. Richard Belzer, a genius named Ed Bluestone. Jay Leno used to drive down from Boston and deliver cars. We all had day jobs because it paid nothing. You were nobody or the biggest star in the world. You were doing this free hobby or you were headlining in Vegas or had a TV show. So Leno came down, um, and he would go on and then go back and deliver cars. Richard Lewis worked in advertising. Ed Bluestones parents supported him. Andy Kaufman lived with me. I was the hostess in the club. So I made a living. Andy lived with me. That was our money. Um, who am I leaving at?

Fritz Coleman  (00:25:14):

What club was that? Was that the improv? Sorry? Was that the improv?

Elayne Boosler (00:25:17):

That was the New York improv. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, you know, people think, oh, this big pla no, it was a little toilet in the wall. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> in Hell's Kitchen. Nobody came there. And I was terrified it was gonna shut down because in the winter there were like three Japanese tourists. And that was the whole audience. <laugh>. And I already been fired from every single waitress job in New York City. This was my last chance before I had to move on to the ds. In other words, I got fired from all the A Jobs bs. I hit C you know, wow. I'm gonna, I'm gonna get fired and keep going down the alphabet. So what saved the improv about a year in Rick Newman opened Characterizing Star on the East Side. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Uh, and, and it was the Bud says it was the best thing that ever happened to the improv because Rick did so much advertising about a comedy club, which the improv wasn't necessarily, it was jazz singers, comedy, whatever. It was very experimental. And because of Characterizing Star, the improv got an audience. So that's how that, you know, grew. Um, Andy Kaufman, uh, Gabe Kaplan already had his TV show. Jimmy Walker had his TV show. Am I leaving Anyone out? Belzer? I said Richard Belzer. Um, and that was the New York crew. And uh,

Fritz Coleman  (00:26:30):

So you

Elayne Boosler (00:26:31):

Came out here and I was sorry.

Fritz Coleman  (00:26:33):

So you came out here to Los Angeles. So

Elayne Boosler (00:26:35):

I started, you know, I was singing there because they always put the waitresses on in between the comics to give the audience a chance to talk. And, uh, <laugh>, you know, we were kind of the grout between the tiles <laugh>. And, um, but I got good fast because I was the hostess and, and Bud could rely on me to come in early and, you know, stay eight hours a night. So he started coming in later and later. And in those days there was no mc or no schedule. If you showed up, you went on. Well, you know, on a snowy Tuesday night in New York City, nobody came to go on it was me. So I would go on for hours and just talk to the audience. And within a year I had enough material to play cl to do anything. But I still wanted to be a singer.


And it was the guys in the club. Oh, and Freddy Prince was also the, the big star of our, uh, graduating class. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, when he did The Tonight Show, we just couldn't. We gathered around the bar and watched, and in a minute he had a TV show and became the biggest star in the world. It was so beautiful. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Anyway, uh, everything kind of moved out to LA and so I came out with it. But I had such a nice name from New York that I immediately headlined everywhere in la. I never had a fight for the Comedy Store. I never played the belly room once. I thought it was an insult. I headlined the main room for day one. So that was great. But the fight, you know, you have to understand those clubs were really like a good family. Not the bad one we all came from, but the good family.


So those guys loved me and I loved them. And I was like sister and brother with all of those guys and their families. I had no prejudice in the clubs. The prejudice was to go out to the real world and work. And Rodney Dangerfield, who literally mentored Ed Bluestone and myself for two years, we hung out in the basement of Dangerfield and he gave us stakes to eat every night for dinner. Cuz we were so broken. We were so getting so sick on those steaks, like grease coated your throat for your life. And we, ed said he loves you. I asked him for $10 so we can go to Chinatown. I said, okay. Okay. Rodney, could we have $10 to go to Chinatown? Absolutely not. Why not? Hey, these steaks cost me nothing. If I give you 10 bucks, that's 10 bucks. <laugh>. So, wow. He was the best.


Wanna hear a great Dangerfield story? Yes. Yes. I got hired to write on his first TV show out here. Um, and it, the, here's who the writers were. Get ready for this, this is how early it was. Me, Harold Remus and Stanley Myron Handleman. Oh wow. You know, three stars in their own. We wrote the Rodney Dangerfield first special. Which one? All the Emmys called. It Ain't Easy Being Me. So we wrote together for 12 weeks. And on the 13th week, Rodney came out from New York to, you know, tweak everything and blah, blah blah. So they rent them in a house in Malibu. Now I'm brand new. I don't have a penny to my name. They drive us out to Malibu to, you know, meet with. And we had been friends, so that's cool. But I'd never seen Malibu. We walk into this house, it was millions, total glass, all glass. There's the ocean, it's coming right up to the glass. There's Rodney sitting on a couch facing it with his bathrobe hanging open with his belly resting on the coffee table. And he's eating a bowl of cereal and the milk splashing all over his belly on the coffee table. And I walk in and see this magnificent beach and then this juxtaposition of Rodney sitting there like that. And I say, oh my goodness Rodney, this house must be costing you a fortune. And without looking up eating this cereal, he says, you kidding? 18 cents a wave.


<laugh>. Wow.

Fritz Coleman  (00:30:13):

So did you see I'm dying up here. The Showtime series?

Elayne Boosler (00:30:17):

I did. I don't like to badmouth people's

Fritz Coleman  (00:30:20):

Project. No, I, no, I I I'm, I don't want you to badmouth it. I just want to know, uh, how close, uh, uh, I, I can't remember the actress's name, but the woman that had the arc, that was the blonde girl that was, uh, uh, alleged to have represented your history at the Comedy store, which was this fight to be able to get stage time equal to the men. That's why I brought it up

Elayne Boosler (00:30:41):

To, well that never happened to me because, uh, like I said in New York, they just desperately needed me. Cuz the guys wouldn't show up half the time cuz there was no fixed schedule. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> So bad weather. Tuesday night, midnight, there's people in the club, there's no comics. You know, I was thrown up, admittedly when all the comics were there. I did have to fight, but I understand that they should be on before me. Those guys, you know, they were much more oiled and ready and blah, blah, blah. You always have to fight. Guys had to fight too to get their stage time. But, you know, I was very lucky in the sense that when I came out here, I was already established as, you know, a a good comic. So I, I got put on immediately the belly room. I just, I thought was, here's my thing.


Okay. I don't, I never called myself a female comic, just like Bill Cosby never called himself a black comic. You know? Uh, the point is, you wanna play to everybody. And when you define yourself, the more labels you put on yourself, the fewer people come out to see you. If I, you know, they started doing Newsweek articles about the female comics and Time Magazine articles, the female comic. I refused to participate. Jay Leno gave my interview to time, and Richard Lewis gave my interview to Newsweek. I I refused to pigeonhole myself because I knew how the work would go. And the work was like this, uh, Microsoft needs a comic for their convention or Apple or, you know, uh, chase Bank. So who do they think of? They go, okay, who can we afford and who can we get? Okay, Jen Leno, he's busy. Uh, Jerry Seinfeld, we can't afford who's next?


Elaine Busler. Oh yeah, she's great. And we can afford her. They never thought said, oh, but it's a woman and she's not gonna play to our people. I my fans have always been 50 50 because if I said anything about men, I then did the women's side of it. You know, men do this, but women do this. I wanted to entertain everybody. And so I, I refused to be pigeonholed. I love women comics. And if you wanted to find yourself like that, that's great. It's fine whoever you want to be. But I really thought if they put me in that corner, I'd never get out of that corner. You know, and that's why I just didn't, there's a show on now. It's, it's all about how hard it is to be a female comic. And it's all these women kind of complaining. And my take on it is, well, go dig ditches or live in Syria and try and get firewood for your kids boiled water for dinner without getting raped in the jungle. You know, you pick the hardest, uh, business and the easiest thing if you make, I mean yeah, you're

Louise Palanker (00:33:01):


Elayne Boosler (00:33:02):

Told you to do

Louise Palanker (00:33:02):

This, you're still gonna have to shave your pits.

Elayne Boosler (00:33:05):

You still have to shave your pits, especially if the zombies are coming. So

Fritz Coleman  (00:33:08):

You, you weren't part of that, that that, um, you had already achieved a certain amount of success. Uh, when that sorority, I used the term sorority just as a way to define this large group of women who came through the same experience at the same time. You know, Diane Nichols and Lotus Winestock,

Elayne Boosler (00:33:25):

Diane was with me and, you know, but she was, I think she's one of the funniest people I've ever known. And she, I saw her at the Comedy in Magic Club in Hermosa Beach right before the pandemic Totally new act. I was on the floor. I just said, I hate you. I want that act. <laugh>, you know, she's so brilliant. Uh, look, uh, there were other women along with me. The reason, you know, me and not them. They did fall by the wayside. It was very hard. And you really had to be more tough than you wanted to be. And you had to decide that you would burn it down. You cou You had to be willing to risk everything. And yes, the sexism was disgusting once I started to get into the real world and try and work. But remember this, as few female comedians as they were basically me, they were that few female doctors, female lawyers, females in politics, women in Congress, you know, women in, uh, hardware stores. All the things we get to do now. The whole world was still closed to us. So it wasn't just comedy. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> directing, producing, writing, you know, there weren't women outside of the home, basically in the world. So I was just on the wave of women waking up and seeing what was

Louise Palanker (00:34:31):

Possible. Yeah. It was, it was basically nurse, teacher mom. Yeah. And exactly. There's a book that I wanna recommend called Girls Like Us, and it's a, it's about Carly Simon, Carol King, and Joni Mitchell. Oh, how great. And those were the women that sort of women our age watched and went, oh, you, you don't have to get married. You, you, I mean, you can. Sure. But they're, those were kind of like the women that, that in a high profile way did something different.

Elayne Boosler (00:35:02):

Well, my two superheroes were Janice Joplin and Lauren Nero. Wow. Now my Brooklyn crushes who I loved and wanted to be and still wanna be. And the women you named. Absolutely. You could throw Judy Collins in there. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and Grace Slick. Sure,

Louise Palanker (00:35:17):

Sure, sure. You know? Sure. And it was hard for them too.

Elayne Boosler (00:35:20):

Yeah. It was. Listen, you know, ev I got slapped in the face a billion times. You never hear me complain about it. You've gotta get around it. You know, my motto never complained, never explained it. And this was so funny, I guess the show about the women g lamenting how hard standup is for women on last week. And a guy on Twitter writes to me on Twitter and he says, wow, Elaine, I never knew how hard it was to be a female comic. And I answered, neither did I.

Louise Palanker (00:35:47):

<laugh> <laugh>. Alright, so I have a question for you, Elaine. Sure. And this is something that I think you're quite proud of. You are a frequent crossword puzzle answer. Who are your favorite fellow celebrity puzzle answers?

Elayne Boosler (00:36:01):

Well, I can tell you who's in the crossword every single day. You have the band e l o, right? Because that word is just so usable. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So there in it constantly, the British gun, Sten, s t e n, will be in the crossword every day. Um, uh, I think they use me because Elaine has a y in it. Right. And that they get to trip people up cuz they're putting the eye down, not knowing, and then they can't get the down and the across. Um, and they, they celebrated the anniversary of the New York Times crossword. So they ask celebrities to team up with constructors and do the crosswords each one a a a month for a year. They had Bill Clinton and I mean, really fun people. And I got to write a crossword. Wow. And so it was really a fun and funny one. And now I'm, I'm constructing them and it's a lot of fun. Um, but it's always fun to be in it. But people say, oh my God, you're in the course crossword, you made it. And I say, no, no, no, no. It's just 46 down. Funny boosler. I say, I'll know I've made it when 46 down says, Hey, C 18 across

Louise Palanker (00:37:04):


Elayne Boosler (00:37:06):

Then you're somebody,

Louise Palanker (00:37:08):

You know, that's awesome,

Elayne Boosler (00:37:09):

<laugh>. But if you wanna hear about, you know, I know you're interested in also that you know how hard it was. Here's a good one. So I'm in, in the air doing a million dates. I didn't even live anywhere for the first 10 years. I was on the road 52 weeks a year. No exaggeration. I just had my suitcase. That was it. Um, so they're doing hoops, uh, comic relief. We were doing comic relief in the eighties and they take the Superdome in New Orleans and that game, the money's going to comic relief. Okay. So some good comedian, known comedian has to pick up the check at the game and it's televised and it's a big deal. Well, the weather wa you'll like this for <laugh>. The weather was un you, you couldn't fly anywhere. It was a disaster. And it was supposed to be Paul Rodriguez and he couldn't get to the Superdome in New Orleans. So Chris Albrecht from H B O tracked me down on the road. He said, you're closer Right. Can you get to the Superdome? And I said, I'll do it. And I found like three different planes and I get to the Superdome and I get there and they go, Hey, it's, we got a lean Boozer, it's gonna work out. They turn to me in New Orleans and they go, we ain't giving you the check. No women in the booth.

Louise Palanker (00:38:12):

What? And they

Elayne Boosler (00:38:13):

Said, Hey, let me in. I'm not that feminine <laugh>. And they said, no women in the

Louise Palanker (00:38:21):

Booth. Oh my gosh.

Elayne Boosler (00:38:22):

Wow. And I said, listen man, this is about helping the homeless. Forget that stuff. This is about helping the homeless. H B O put a lot of money into this for you. You know, don't do this. And they said, yeah, ain't coming in the booth. No women in the booth. Well guess who was there broadcasting right next to it and heard this. Ron Kubota, one of the greatest baseball players and one of the most famous moments in baseball. And he moved me out of the way and said, do you know who you people are talking to? Do you know who she, I mean for every bad moment there was a champion who got it. Mm-hmm. And that's what you had to go with. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you had to go with the positive and forget all that stuff. But I mean, that happened a billion times and you just go, what? That's the way it was

Fritz Coleman  (00:39:07):

Along those same lines. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it was impossible at a time for network executives, cable executives to be convinced that a female could do a special. So that was frustrating. And you had to finance your own at first. Correct.

Elayne Boosler (00:39:23):

You know what it sounds like? Oh, she took her American Express and did a special No, I was young. I had, I was in an apartment that was $265 a month, uh, which means, you know, there was no money. And for years, cable started up and all the guys got specials and I was touring then. I was doing a two and a half hour show in those days. And all those guys who had specials, I'd follow them into the clubs and the club owners would say to me, oh, thank God we're gonna make our money back this week. I had been selling out for years selling out the clubs, you know, three shows a night, you know, two and a half hour show the greatest reviews you could ever see. I still have 'em up on, you know, my website just to show what the history was.


And H b o one Showtime said, no, no, no, no, no, no one wants to see a woman do an hour. And I said, you know, in every city in this country, people pay a lot of money to see me do two and a half hours every night. You're wrong. They wouldn't put me on, they wouldn't put me on. Long story short, I met a guy, he said, I can help you do this, but you'll have to learn how to produce cuz we can't hire a lot of people. How much money do you have? I said, zero. He said, okay. He was a very well established New York filmmaker. We started to live together. He said, I, he wasn't known. He just had, you know, had chops. And uh, he got all his friends in New York to shoot us for nothing. To do the scenery, to do the sound because we promised them when we sold it, they would get paid full fee.


Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And they said Elaine Boozer. And I was really known in New York, cuz that was my, you know, impetus. They said, Elaine Boozer, oh, you'll sell it. Yeah, we'll take our full fee in a couple of months. So we had was party of one, which ran for 15 years everywhere and bought me two houses. Wow. Wow. Yeah. Party one. And, and my boyfriend said to me, look, you have to get celebrities to, uh, we're gonna do an opening piece. People hadn't done opening pieces yet. And he said, well do an opening piece cuz they clearly don't want you, but if you give them people they can't get on cable yet, they'll have to buy the show. So that was the week. Bill Cosby's show became number one and brought N B C back from the brink of nothingness. He was on the cover of time that week. I asked him, cuz I knew he knew my work, and he said, yes, Letterman had just become number one. He had never stepped outside his show. He said, yes, it was Dr. Ruth's first Big Year Westheimer. She said, yes, Tom Waits, my old friend gave me his music. It was one of the most beautiful shows ever done. And 12 years of honing these jokes. It was each one was a diamond done velvet, <laugh> in a

Louise Palanker (00:41:49):


Elayne Boosler (00:41:50):

I finished the show, we get it edited, but you know, we're I take it up to H B O and Showtime. They say, no, no, no one wants to see a woman do an hour. I said, you are turning down these

Fritz Coleman  (00:42:03):

Stars. I don't understand that thinking. I mean, where, where did that come from? So

Louise Palanker (00:42:06):

I, I have some theories about it and old

Elayne Boosler (00:42:09):

School guys, guys who hated their Jewish mothers Yeah. Guys who couldn't get laid without paying for it.

Louise Palanker (00:42:15):

<laugh>. Right,

Elayne Boosler (00:42:16):

Right. Who hated women. Yes. So they were a horrible group of people.

Louise Palanker (00:42:19):

So I think my theory, Elaine, is that men who are comfortable and confident are love you. Pretty happy and willing to appreciate a, a funny female men who, or

Elayne Boosler (00:42:32):

Any, any female or

Louise Palanker (00:42:34):

S female who's

Elayne Boosler (00:42:35):

Following her dream.

Louise Palanker (00:42:36):

Exactly. A

Elayne Boosler (00:42:37):

Doctor, a lawyer. I mean, you, you know, one of the greatest books I've read recently was the Ruth, uh, Bader Ginsburg biography. It's, it's thicker than the encyclopedia and so worth reading. And her husband, oh my goodness, he's the guy every woman wants, you know, did everything to support her because

Louise Palanker (00:42:53):


Elayne Boosler (00:42:53):

Her wife and he had his own career, but he just got her brilliance. And that's what you, you want someone who sees you and you see them. That's

Louise Palanker (00:43:00):

All. But it's, it's, it's not just that it's threatening to insecure men. It's also a, a male comedian explained this to me from my days as an, uh, a very poor open micr. But he

Elayne Boosler (00:43:13):

Very curious, what did he

Louise Palanker (00:43:14):

Say? He said that women are always telling you what they're thinking and feeling anyway. And what's unique about men doing standup comedy is that you finally get to hear what men are thinking and feeling. And we all have to listen to women all day. Why would I wanna sit in an audience and watch one do that on stage?

Elayne Boosler (00:43:35):

Man, I called bullshit. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman  (00:43:37):

I think it has to do with power. I think the whole thing is power. Okay. And I know you've seen it, Elaine as a female comic, that the, the, the little microcosm that goes on in an audience, especially if, if the man, if it's a couple and the man is not a fan of yours yet, how hard you often have to work for him to give it up and to acquiesce and say, this woman is funny. And to relax and laugh. The woman's laughing a long time. There's a certain power. The woman with a microphone on stage has power. And men, even if it's subconsciously, are not willing to give up the power position to a woman who has the power with the jokes and the personality on stage. It's about how,

Elayne Boosler (00:44:16):

And Nick, you know what's funny? I agree. We all grew up with female grade school teachers. Sure.

Louise Palanker (00:44:21):

We looked at them all day long. We're

Elayne Boosler (00:44:22):

Controlling 45 wild lunatics every day for eight

Louise Palanker (00:44:27):

Years. And then the how the other dynamic that, Elaine, you tell me whether or not you agree with this one, is like, let's say there's a couple there. The man is going to picture himself having sex with you because that's just what men do when they look at a woman for longer than a few seconds. So if he's with, if he's with a date and he laughs at you, then she wants to know later in the car, did you think she was pretty, did you find her attractive? So it's this whole, it's all these layers that we have to, okay,

Elayne Boosler (00:44:55):

You people are overthinking all of this. Am I,

Louise Palanker (00:44:57):

Am I

Elayne Boosler (00:44:58):

Honestly, okay, here's what I say.

Louise Palanker (00:44:59):

Okay. Yeah.

Elayne Boosler (00:45:01):

Anyone walks on the stage. A man, a woman, a gorilla, a parrot, anybody <laugh>, you have 30 seconds to be funny. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if you're funny, you're off and running. All that stuff's out the window. If you're not funny, it doesn't matter who you were. If you are funny, no one's gonna say, wow, she was so funny. Too bad it was a woman. And if you're not funny, they're not gonna say, man, he wasn't funny. But at least it was a guy. My, I sum it up like this, whoever can carry you out of the burning building gets to be the fire. Me,

Louise Palanker (00:45:32):


Elayne Boosler (00:45:32):

And that's it. That's so, you know, they didn't want women fire people. Hey buddy, you're, you're gonna burn up in there. I don't want a woman carrying me down that ladder. Okay. I'll tell your family you said goodbye. You have a job to do. Do your fucking job, <laugh>. And that's the end of it. And cut All this crap is just getting in your way. It's bullshit. Do your job be funny. Nothing. You're doing the audience's job for them. Don't think of what not what people think of me is none of my business. It's interesting. I don't hear what you think of me. It's interesting. I'm doing my job. I'm enter, I want you to feel better than when you came in. That's the end of the story. Everything else. That's it.

Louise Palanker (00:46:07):

Because what you're saying, Elaine, is it cuts to a very primal nature that, that the instinct to laugh, there's no explaining it. You're just either going to laugh or you're not. It's completely primal. It, it comes out of you. You

Elayne Boosler (00:46:21):

Have no choice. Yes. You're funny. I'm telling you, my audience has literally always been 50 50 always. And you know, it's funny, someone came to do an article on me years ago, and this is very interesting. Uh, she watched the show Is Down Again and The Club We Love, it's, uh, Hermosa Beach. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> Comedy and Magic Club. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we love that place. And, uh, so afterwards she comes backstage and she says this, she said, uh, and she had seen the whole show. So she saw three male comedians and then me headlining, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And she says this to me, she says, well, I watched the whole show and I noticed that the women were laughing a little harder at you than the men were. And I said, oh, did the men laugh harder at the men than the women were? And she said, oh, I, I dunno, I didn't look for that. I said, yeah, so fuck you, <laugh>.

Louise Palanker (00:47:08):


Elayne Boosler (00:47:08):

Pretty much it. Everyone's looking for trouble. I do my job. I don't care what you're thinking, what you're expecting. I have a mission statement and this is what I live for. And I'm doing this 48 years. And my mission statement is, I want you to leave feeling better than when you came in. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I think the world is so hard for everyone. If you took the time, I know people came home from work Friday and said, oh no, we have for this. I'm too tired. I don't wanna go. But we paid. Take the shower, get dressed, find a parking space. They come in, you can heckle me. I'll play with you. I don't, I want people to be so happy they came and they wa I just want that thing afterwards, them going, oh, oh, thank you. Because they feel good. It's a hard world out there.


Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I just want them to leave happy. I'm not there for anything but that. And I think people like, uh, certain comedians who came out of a bad childhood, every time I have a show where people come up and they're crying, they laugh so hard, I'm healing myself every time again. Oh, you know, I fixed it again. Hey. That's why I do animal rescue. Every terrified little creature who's helpless and is afraid someone's gonna come down and squash him every time I save another one. I just fixed my childhood again. Oh. You know, I love that. I

Fritz Coleman  (00:48:20):

Mean, that's, you're the healthiest outlook about that whole thing that I've ever heard. But I will

Elayne Boosler (00:48:24):

Say this, I'm sorry I didn't

Fritz Coleman  (00:48:25):

Hear what you said. You have the healthiest outlook about the whole performance dynamic that I've ever heard. But I will also say this and you'll agree with this. Hey,

Elayne Boosler (00:48:33):

And they're leaving again.

Louise Palanker (00:48:34):

No, he's, he's just working on the camera.

Fritz Coleman  (00:48:36):

Sorry. He's going out to get his snuck <laugh>. Um, uh, and I've seen this not with you, but with other females. I've talked to Diane Nichols about this. There is a, and maybe we, the world is changing now, but I have seen comedians, uh, of, of moderate skill, male comedians go up on the stage and then a female comedian comes up and the energy level just goes down one or two notches as if to say the female comic has just a couple of beats of proof they have to go through before they have earned the respect of the audience. It's not, sometimes it's not perceptible, but I've seen it happen where a little energy comes, I believe you, and then they, then they, uh, go forward and it's, it, it, it's hard work. So, uh, I hard believe women have to be prepared to bring it. I've seen women have to work, you know, harder than anybody go.

Elayne Boosler (00:49:32):


Louise Palanker (00:49:32):

So. And you get my

Elayne Boosler (00:49:34):

Philosophy is, you know, and, and it's true. How do you make it, you have to be so good that they, that you are undeniable. That's

Fritz Coleman  (00:49:42):

What Steve Martin said. You have to be so that they can't

Elayne Boosler (00:49:45):

Ignore you. None a gunny. Such a thief. No, I'm kidding.

Louise Palanker (00:49:48):

And confident. And confident. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> because it just takes a certain amount of knowledge that you know what you're doing. I'm in charge. I have the microphone. I'm the funny one. That's why I'm up here, and I'm gonna go ahead and do my act. And

Elayne Boosler (00:50:03):

I'm not saying there isn't a total prejudice. I totally agree with you. I'm saying I refuse to acknowledge it or dwell on it, or I would've been stopped.

Fritz Coleman  (00:50:12):

No, that would've, that would've kept you from going stage.

Elayne Boosler (00:50:14):

Exactly. You sound like Maria Bamford. Oh, her level of genius. Yeah. Or Eliza Schlesinger. Yeah. Her level of genius. She should be in the Dave Chappelle, Jerry Seinfeld sphere. They should be getting a hundred million from Netflix. Yeah. They should be on Lear Jets and selling out stadiums. That's how unbelievably brilliant they are. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I, there are so many mediocre male comics now, bringing home millions. Yes. And so many undeniably brilliant female comics now in the middle tier. And it is, yes. Completely unfair. But what can you do about it? You don't talk about it. You get out there and you just keep pushing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And you have to, if I didn't do that special, you know, I did that special. Okay. There hadn't been a woman do an hour, none. And all those years I do. The hour I found. Oh, so here's how it's sold.


You have to know that part. Um, my boyfriend looks at me and I said, I told you they hated me. He said, I always thought you were crazy taking it personally, but you're right. If they turn down Cosby and Letterman and Dr. Ruth, they hate you. What do you wanna do? I said, well, everybody worked for free. I wanna pay everyone. I'm gonna do the round one more time this year. Go back on the same level. I wanna pay everybody off and we're out of here. He said, okay, I'll teach filmmaking in San Francisco or New York or something. Okay. About 10 months goes by. I have the, the, uh, duddy Kravitz Bar Mitzvah film on my boy that's dated, that dates me on my living room shelf in a very expensive home movie. And what happens, he calls me up from lunch. He said, Hey, there are all new guys at Showtime.


And I always said, one day, hipper younger guys will come in. Yeah. And they'll be like us. The new generation of women are fine. So they came in, Peter Chuan, as a matter of fact, and Alan Sason, he took that up there. It sold in minus two seconds. They gave me a multimillion dollar deal for four more. Wow. And I went from nothing to everything. Oh my goodness. And here's the best part. The New York Times reviewed it the night at, you know, played on Showtime for the first time. And it was the review you would've written yourself. All you were trying to say to them, which was the writer said, where has this been? Oh. A normal woman standing on stage, not fleeing herself for our amusement. Wow. That's

Fritz Coleman  (00:52:24):

All you need right there. Wow. Where did you record that

Elayne Boosler (00:52:26):

Stuff? A month later, H HBO o created Women of the Night. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and gave every woman in the world a TV show. It was four women every Friday night. Each one got 15 minutes for the hour, but they had to name it Women of the Night. It still had to be hookers <laugh>, because they couldn't just

Fritz Coleman  (00:52:43):

Right, right, right. Where did you record that first special?

Elayne Boosler (00:52:46):

Uh, well, I put the, uh, on the, on the, I have a Box set out, which is really great. It's four amazing Specials and a brand new CD of new material called the 50 50 Club. But the first one, I like to say was done at the Shoes and Socks Lounge in downtown Ville <laugh>, which was, uh, a Tom Waits line, but it was the bottom line in New York. Bottom line in New York. I missed that Club Boy. And that, that club, there were two guy, there you go. You find a couple of champions and you get your career. Two guys who owned the bottom line in New York in the seventies, they loved me. Now the biggest stars in the world played there. Dolly Parton and Tom Waits, and Kenny Rank, and Alan made every single one of them let me open them. You know, it was 50 bucks.


But I opened for every one of those stars. Half of them took me on the road after that, after fighting them tooth and nail. We don't want her, we don't know who she is. We don't want some women comic on stage. No. Every night I went and opened for somebody and they all took me on the road. That's how, you know, it was good. So those two guys really, the bottom line in New York, Alan and Stanley just helped with the career. And, and you didn't have, they, no one ever opened a magazine or a newspaper and saw me crying, you know? I mean, oh, it's so hard. No, it's nobody's business, you know? Mm-hmm. Yeah. It sure is hard. Nobody's business do your

Fritz Coleman  (00:53:59):

Job. I don't, I don't know what the percentage is, but, but I also, uh, you, you know, you developed a confidence over your almost 50 years, but I, I've often said that 50% of your ability to make people like you on stage is your personality. It's the stage business. It's your confidence. It's how you conduct yourself. And as an example, not that you're in any way, you're, you're such a skilled comedian. But I, I look at Arsenio Hall and I try to figure out what it was about him that made him so popular. And I would say that over 50% of it was just his personality. It was his, it was his confidence on stage. It was this big smile. And yes, his jokes were funny. Uh, but, but that really wasn't the important part. You know what I mean? It just, he had this charisma,

Louise Palanker (00:54:50):


Fritz Coleman  (00:54:50):

Yes. It was a likability and a charisma.

Elayne Boosler (00:54:52):

And a genuine appreciation for

Fritz Coleman  (00:54:54):

Yes. For

Elayne Boosler (00:54:56):

Genuine, not fawning, but genuine. You know, he had me on a hundred times. I did that show a hundred times. Wow. And then I go out and play theaters, and half the theater was black people. And the owner would say, we never had this many black people in here before. I go, isn't that nice that people are discovering your venue now? You should book more apps that appeal to everyone.

Louise Palanker (00:55:13):

Yeah, yeah. Yes,

Elayne Boosler (00:55:14):

Absolutely. It was great for years, I'd go on stage and walk out and hear woo woo, because Arsenio opened up <laugh> a whole part of the world to me that no one else had opened up. Yeah. But you know, here's the thing. You can't fake likability. I'm telling you, they're comedians that are so successful. The top of the field in America, people don't like them. They go to see them. They think they're funny, they don't like them. And I hear this all, Hey, we saw so and so. Yeah. He's probably not really a nice guy. You say, no, he's not. No. But they laugh and they like them, but they, they know they love you, or they don't.

Fritz Coleman  (00:55:44):

No, I, I I think that's such, can't take it that that might be over 50% of someone's appeal. Oh

Louise Palanker (00:55:49):

Yeah. Absolutely. Yep.

Elayne Boosler (00:55:51):

But they're not laugh just cuz they like you. I mean, I remember I said to, you know, Tom, Tom, Dr. Uh, ed Bluestone, sorry. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, he, I keep mentioning him. He was from my day and he was a brilliant writer and comedian. And, uh, I said one day to him, I said, so-and-so is such a nice guy. And he said he has to be, he has no act.

Fritz Coleman  (00:56:10):

Well, that's the other way to look

Louise Palanker (00:56:11):

At it. There's a lot of that too.

Elayne Boosler (00:56:12):

Yeah. But, you know, it's not gonna get you through a loan and if you're a meanie, no. If the ACT's great, you'll work. But

Fritz Coleman  (00:56:16):

40 minutes in your smile's not gonna do it.

Elayne Boosler (00:56:19):

Yeah. You know, I, it's, I'm sorry. Go ahead, Luis.

Louise Palanker (00:56:22):

Oh, I wanna, if you have something more to share, please do. But I want, before we wrap things up, I wanna talk about your love tales of joy.

Elayne Boosler (00:56:30):

Thank you. That is what I was gonna say. Um, it's our 20th, uh, anniversary of animal rescue. We're at tales, T A I L S, tales of Um, we're not hands-on. We, in my travels over 48 years, I visited a million rescues. And most of them are small mom, and well, really mom and mom. Men don't do as much rescue as women. But, um, just these tiny little places all across the country that they put their own money in to save animals, because we kill three to 5 million dogs and cats a year that are adoptable. There's just too many. And, and they get killed in the pounds. And so I decided I'm gonna help all the little rescue organizations, all the local ones that don't have the infrastructure to raise their own money. So we give out, you know, tens if not hundreds of thousands a year, um, over 20 years, I don't know how much money. And we help the smallest neediest rescue groups.

Fritz Coleman  (00:57:21):

And it's not just dogs and cats. You do like praying, manes, any, anything that needs rescuing Eldrick

Elayne Boosler (00:57:26):

Wildlife for fighting poachers in India and Gaia and Africa. And you know, cats in Israel and a lot of dogs. There's a great organization that bring in all the injured dogs from Lebanon to Canada. There's, I've never seen a dog with four legs come in in the last five years. Wow. You know, it's a horrible life. And we, we pay for the vets. We pay for the flights, we pay for the pool fees, we buy the food. You know, we'll have an organization say, oh my God, our, our donations are off and we don't have food for 50 dogs in our kennels this month. And we'll send, you know, go to Amazon or Chewy and, you know, Walmart and send uh, you know, six months worth of food. This pandemic was amazing. We put up, well we put up, if you can't feed your animals, don't give them up.


We'll take care of you. And I spent six months sitting at that kitchen table sending thousands of pounds of food and medicine across this country to every state, every state, every day. Just, I'd say, send me a picture. I'd see the pit bulls, I'd see the cats. This lady writes to me from the middle of the country and she says, we love our rabbit, but I'm gonna have to sell her and I don't wanna sell her around here cuz I know around here they're going to eat her. And I write back, don't eat the bunny. Don't eat the bunny <laugh>. And I said, so much food and bunny stuff that she writes back to me and says, my daughter was here in the packages came, she couldn't believe it. She said to me, mom, that lady must really like rabbits. Oh. And I said, no, I just don't want you to eat the money. And I said, you have to send me a picture every month without money on today's paper, <laugh>. I wanna make sure that money doesn't get eaten. I get a picture. Funny, funny. But we did, we kept people's pets in their homes for the pandemic that visits food, medicine, nail cuttings. We you called the vets, Spain Neuter. We took care individuals, which you don't usually do that much. And kept people happy. And you know, we, and we would send six months worth of food. Cuz you gotta take the pressure off. It's nothing.

Louise Palanker (00:59:17):

Yeah. I had not thought of how this was affecting pet owners.

Elayne Boosler (00:59:21):

I always say keeping a pet in a home is as good as putting a pet in the home. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if, if you have your listeners, I'd like to say Amazon has a charity and you can pick a charity you like and every time you shop, they give us a piece of your shopping at no cost to you. So if you start and bookmark, smile, you start there. Every time you shop, all you have to do is choose us once Tales of Joy. Studio City. Cuz there are other tales of joys. Okay. Tales of joy. Studio City, bookmark Every time you shop, they give us a piece. We don't know what you bought. It's totally private and, uh, it's, it helps a lot. I mean, we, every quarter we get a few extra dollars from that and esp and if you live in LA you can sign up a as we can be your charity at Ralph's supermarkets. Oh. We get even more from Ralph's than we get from Amazon. You just link your Ralph's card to Tales of Joy and, and you'll see it at the bottom of your receipt every time you shop. They give us a piece of your shopping. Unfortunately not liquor, we'd be rich, but <laugh> Sure. Groceries.

Louise Palanker (01:00:22):

Sure. So when do you picture, and, and how do you picture yourself being comfortable enough to get back on stage?

Elayne Boosler (01:00:31):

Oh, I don't know. I, I really am at a loss. I wish I could be funny and entertaining about it, but I just don't see myself leaving the house yet. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I, I just, it's such a freak out, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. We, I made a date, a breakfast date with good friends and a half an hour before I said, I'm not coming. And my husband went, but I didn't go. I couldn't go. So I don't know. It's really P t s d I think. Right,

Louise Palanker (01:00:56):

Right. And I bet you're, you know, you are among many, so I'm just,

Elayne Boosler (01:01:01):

They say it's a thing. I think my husband's gonna start putting pizzas at the end of the driveway. Okay. <laugh> like a little further away every day than down the street than on the corner. That may help <laugh>. I don't know.

Louise Palanker (01:01:13):

I think that would help.

Elayne Boosler (01:01:15):

Yeah. I hope so. Boy, it was so great to see you, Fritz. I miss you every night. And it was so great to meet you, Louise.

Louise Palanker (01:01:21):

Oh, it's a pleasure. It's a pleasure. You're a delight. And I'm, I'm so appreciative.

Fritz Coleman  (01:01:25):

You're really humble and, and positive about your start. But you represented, um, I think the, the, the break I'm, again, I have to divide in male and female just because that's what we're talking about here. The breakthrough lady comic at the beginning of that tsunami that happened in the mid seventies through the eighties until it tapered off over the nineties. You're so right. You were the person and you are funny and personable and, uh, I'm so glad we had a chance to talk with you. Thank, thank you for coming

Elayne Boosler (01:01:59):

On. It was the special opening the door for those, that other series because they saw that people did indeed want to see women. Yes. And here's the simplest summation of it in one sentence. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I was playing San Francisco in the seventies. No one had really seen much. Women comedians. I did a whole show. There was a very, very old man with his wife in the audience. I made a joke about women working. He yelled out. No, I said, what? No, he said, women shouldn't work. Here's how simple it was. I said, well, who would you have come to see tonight?

Fritz Coleman  (01:02:27):

<laugh>. Ah,

Elayne Boosler (01:02:28):

That's all. It's here. We're Don't freak out

Louise Palanker (01:02:32):

<laugh>. All right. Here come our closing credits. We would love for you to join us online on Instagram and Twitter where we are at Media Path Pod and on Facebook where we are. Media Path Podcast. You can find full episodes with all kinds of bonus visual content on our YouTube channel Media Path podcast. We would love to know what media you've been enjoying. You can contact us at our social media or email us at media path podcast I wanna thank our guest Elaine Busler. We've got her social medias right here, and you can also find them in our show notes. Our team includes Dina Friedman, Fran Francesco Demond, John Madox, Sharon Beo, bill Flippy, Thomas Hubble, and you. Our theme music is by me and John Madox. I am Louise Lanker here with Fritz Coleman, and we will see you along the media path. And Fritz has more to tell you. And

Fritz Coleman  (01:03:20):

If you enjoyed this episode of Media Path, it would help us to be more discoverable by potential new listeners. If you leave us a quick review on Apple Podcasts, and if you're new here and this is your first time with us, please check out our back catalog. You may even find us binge-worthy. Recent episodes include, uh, great musical memories with Gary Puckett and the Castels and all kinds of wonderful people, Keith Morrison and, uh, all kinds of Josh Manz. Going back to the very beginning, you'll hear Henry Winkler and other great stars. Thank you for spending an hour with us and we would be overjoyed if you took a moment to share your thoughts with us or recommend us to a friend. Stay safe.

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