Erin Foley , a comedian, actress and writer emerging into the national spotlight from steady touring, the Conan O’Brien Show and Comedy Central, brought her rapid-fire speech, physical agility and acerbic wit to the Hartke Theater (Catholic University), Saturday, October 26 — and slayed the crowd with her vivacity, humor and fresh imagination. Overcoming some early mike problems to deliver her powerfully funny set unamplified, she won over old fans and newly converted Foley followers with new material on everything from abortion rights — lampooning the right-wing notion that a fetus that can’t talk or move its fingers has constitutional rights like adults — to a recent break-up with her girlfriend.
And she offered fresh routines that will likely be be showcased in her forthcoming album, Lady With Pants, including a hilarious routine early in her set about going to a “top-optional” pool party in the morning in Las Vegas surrounded by women with fake boob jobs. She described the breasts as “giant, awkward bags of low self-esteem,” and then brought the routine to a new level by brilliantly miming the breasts — which she described as looking like hubcaps with a door-knob — as determined sentries “guarding the sternum,” while she adopted the pose of a vigilant Roman centurion looking from one side to another.
Some of her greatest routines killed those who never heard them as well as her loyal fans who may have seen them, but for many, never in person. These included her astounding bit about the cascade of pleasure and excitement that she’d get from winning the Superbowl. The routine keeps adding funnier and funnier details, somehow including in her personal fantasy sequence both Halle Berry and grilled cheese sandwiches.
By the end, the crowd stood to give her a standing ovation she certainly deserved.
Note: The going-viral video of her Conan set about gluten-free food is even richer and more ambitious in person, incorporating more details about the absurdities of Los Angeles and New Age lifestlyes.
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Foley, known from Conan O’ Brien, the film Almost Famous, Chelsea Lately, her own Comedy Central Presents Special, Curb Your Enthusiasm, the host of the Sports without Balls podcast, among a slew of others, is one of the most incredible comedians touring the country today, her PR people claim — and it’s not hype, either. Erin has branded a unique position for herself in the industry as not only a gifted stand-up but a talented actress. “Her versatility makes her one of the most sought after women working the comedy scene today,” one press release notes, and that’s certainly true for anyone familiar with her work at all. Small wonder that she has been ranked in the top 20 (#19) of female comics in the country by The Huffington Post.
The Huffington Post
also writes: “She offers smart comedy on politics, culture, sports and commercialism that can appeal to anyone in an urban area or with a college degree, regardless of sexual preference.”
She more than delivered on that and other rave reviews, meeting and exceeding the promise she’s shown as an opening act for other great comics, such as Maria Bamford, and demonstrating why she’s a headliner selling out clubs on her own in Portland, Seattle, Austin and virtually anywhere else smart people live.