Rochelle Takes on Comedy - Life is Funny

December 26, 2021

Guest column

Welcome to "Rochelle Takes on Comedy" by Rochelle McConico. Have an idea you'd like to share in a column? Submit your pitch here: comedywham@comedywham.com

Without life there is no comedy. Comedy comes from life so if you don’t live life, what jokes are you talking about?
Chris Rock to Trevor Noah

Hi, from the hospital!

I swear I have gone to the hospital too many times this year. I mean hospitals are great. I am glad they exist…. but I do not want to know them intimately. Unfortunately, my mom has been so sick this year that I have learned way too much about them. I can now give you the most efficient directions to patient rooms and the secret of how to get free coffee. Hit me up!

This year my mom has battled pneumonia (and won!) three times. It turns up like a bad penny. (Gen Z’s ask you mom what that is.) And every time my mom gets sick I lose my shit. You’d think that I would get used to it by now. But apparently having a loved one circle the drain every other month is not something you get used to. It doesn't grow on you. What grows on you is a lurking awareness that you can't possibly go through too many more of these and the hope that this is the last time you will. So this column is dedicated to my mom and her fighter spirit, hope, and the people who bring you through.

Who am I?

I’m Rochelle McConico, owner of MoonCricket Productions, a live comedy event company. I am a standup comedian, improviser, sketch actor, writer, director, producer and podcaster. I am writing for Comedy Wham because Valerie has amazing patience for a flake like me. (Editorial comment by Valerie - Rochelle wrote on Christmas day, that's not a flake, that's a Gift).

What's in this blog?
Insight into the ups and downs of being a comedian.
An understanding of how comedy and the comedy business works.
The skinny on shows around Texas.

This Week’s Randomness Packaged as Insight

I heard Trevor Noah quote Chris Rock on Kevin Hart’s Comedy Gold Minds podcast. Trevor said that Chris Rock told him that if he wanted to be a good comic he had to go out and live his life. That it is through living that you find your comedy. I love that advice.

Life is beautiful. Life is hard. Life is funny.

The ups and downs of life are not for the faint of heart. This rollercoaster takes no prisoners. And sometimes we have bad year after bad year like blackout bingo on the devil’s event’s calendar.

I mean in the last few years, American’s have realized our economic system is shit, our healthcare system is shit, our political system is shit, and that our family members - including ourselves - are all shit. It’s been eye opening to say the least.

The pandemic has been a repeated kick in the balls, and as a people, we’ve had to deal with a lot of bad things in a short amount of time. It hasn’t been fun and sometimes there has been precious little to laugh about.

But then - cue the superhero music - the unlikeliest of heroes emerge. Comedians.

We rise from our mothers’ couches, we alight from our cars aka mobile homes, we materialize out of clouds of marijuana and cigarette smoke - slowly because we’re still patting ourselves down looking for our lighters - find a microphone, and do what is needed. We make people laugh.

Just like you need health care workers and underpaid Burger King employees to make our society work - comedians are essential workers. In a time when laughter is one of the few release valves we have, it is our job to look into the abyss and bring back the comedic silver lining.

And to do that we have to live. And in doing so, we access the ability to bring back a truth wrapped in absurdity or drag an absurdity into the light. To share things that are both funny and poignant.

So I say talk about your pain. Talk about the things that make you smile, the things that make you horny, the things you struggle with, and all the unique quirks in between. Because through living we find both our humor and our humanity. And we need a lot more of that.

P.S. But for real - be funny. Because comedians will forgive you many things, but not that. We are still talking about whether Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette was a comedy special. What do you think? Hit me up on FB or Insta and let me know.

This Week’s Show Review and/or Shameless Plug

Fuck This Week

@fuckthisweek

This week - which was really two weeks ago - I saw Fuck This Week. If you haven’t gone, go! It was like the funniest group therapy session I have ever been to.

It’s set up so well. The players ask someone in the audience to share a story about their week and then ask follow-up questions to get the juicy details. And amazingly, people are pretty comfortable being honest and vulnerable about how life can be a shitshow.

In the show I saw, one person spoke about the recent death of their grandmother, and another about their freshly minted divorce. There was also a guy there who spoke about a paddleboard date and day trip gone wrong, which seemed the most benign of the stories, but if a red flag was a person, it'd be him so…we’ll let that sleeping dog lie.

But the best part of the show, besides being hilarious, was the solidarity they showed. They told us to all come together, raise our middle fingers in the air, and chanting Fuck This Week! It was cathartic.

Shout out to the show. Thanks for creating this space. And kudos to the players who have the skill to turn our dark human mess into belly laughs.

Keep doing what you’re doing! The Fuck This Week players are below. Follow them… on IG, not to their cars.

Fuck This Week

  • Mason Pitluk @masonbot
  • Alex Walker @awalkstomp
  • Maria Pond, @marialillipond
  • Chloe Ingram @chloeaingram
  • Frank Netscher @frankienets
  • Chadwick Smith @yeahyeahchad_
  • Carlos LaRotta @carlosheylarotta
  • Stephanie Vasquez Fonseca @stphnvsqzfnsc
  • Chris McKeever @crmckeever

Alright y’all I’ll see you next time! Please feel free to leave a comment, or let me know of a show I should go see by hitting me up on IG at @rochelle_war or on FB: MoonCricket Productions LLC. Thank you Comedy Wham for the platform. You rock!

Come See Me!

Improv

  • Jan. 10 & 24th: Skivvies ATX - The Creek and the Cave 8pm
  • Jan. 19th: Skivvies ATX - Spiderhouse Ballroom 8pm
  • Jan: 21-22nd: Super Black - SF Sketchfest 9pm

Standup:

  • Dec. 29th: Buzzkill at the Buzzmill - Buzzmill Coffee Shop 9pm
  • Jan. 4th: Comedy Wham - Hops and Thyme 7:30pm
  • Jan. 8th: Libation Station Comedy - Libation Station 7pm
  • Jan. 27-30th: Tower City Comedy Festival


PS: My Venmo is @Rochelle-McConico, and my CashApp is $rochellemcp. Just in case you were wondering. Cheers!

About Rochelle McConico

Rochelle McConico is the founder and CEO of MoonCricket Productions a live entertainment company specializing in interactive, multisensory comedic events. She is a visionary, writer, producer, and performer. In June 2020, Rochelle launched the Amuse-Bouche Comedy Festival to showcase the many great improvisers, comedy podcasters and stand-ups in New Orleans and performed as all three.

Rochelle also wrote, directed, and starred in three plays centering her alter ego character, billionaire media heiress Stangela Angela Hemsworth Kingsley Winthrop Farouk Adams III. I’m Only Here for the Snacks, and Stangela for President were both featured at Infringe Fest 2018 and 2019. Her third play Stangela’s Swamp Thing is currently in production and premieres June 2022. Rochelle also co-produces and co-hosts the comedy-advice video podcast Not Another Black Show and a bi-monthly live-streamed show - The Bookclub. Both shows are designed to take on serious topics and be seriously funny.

Additionally, Rochelle is a member of the multi-talented No Lye Comedy collective - a group of dynamic Black femme comedians. With No Lye Comedy, Rochelle co-produced and co-wrote the sketch and variety show Comedy.Peridot, performed sketch in the Dallas Comedy Festival and the Los Angeles Diversity in Comedy Showcase (LADC), and performed improv in the inaugural 2019 New Orleans Improv Festival and 2021 Baton Rouge Improv Festival. Rochelle has also written and performed for Morphed, a monthly stand-up and sketch show in New Orleans, and performed stand up in the Black Girl Giggles Festival.