GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) — Don’t let Jane Condon fool you.
For years, the Greenwich resident and stand-up comedian has been mining her adopted town for material. It often takes a ribbing in her routine for its perceived stuffiness. But that doesn’t mean the Brockton, Mass., native regrets the decision to move here 27 years ago with her family, choosing Greenwich because it was ‘‘the first town in New England.’’
Condon once worked as a reporter for Fortune and Life magazines, and wrote the 1992 book ‘‘A Half Step Behind: Japanese Women Today’’ after living in Japan for five years.
‘‘Then I came back, and I'd be lecturing about Japan and people would laugh, and I thought, ‘Oh, you think this is funny? Let me tell you about living in Greenwich, Conn. That’s the foreign country,'’’ Condon says.
After performing her stand-up routine for several years, Condon’s big break came in 2007 when she was named an audience favorite on NBC’s ‘‘Last Comic Standing.’’ Last year, she recorded her first comedy CD, ‘‘Jane Condon Live!,’’ at the famed Carolines on Broadway in New York City.
Condon recently entertained at Comedy for Abilis, a fundraiser for the Greenwich-based nonprofit that serves people with developmental disabilities. Hearst Connecticut Newspapers recently interviewed Condon.
Q: You have a lot of fundraisers lined up. How would you say your comedy routine is different at those events from what you do at the clubs?
A: I do more fundraisers and country clubs. Someone said to me, ‘‘Jane, you’re not really a club comic.’’ No, I'm a country club comic. I love to do benefits and fundraisers. Those are my favorite things. I do do country clubs and temples and schools, but it’s really nice doing something for a cause.
Q: You recorded a CD last year. How did that go?
A: That’s going great. I get checks. It’s unbelievable. We recorded it at Carolines. It was time, finally. I've been doing this a long time.
Q: What are your aspirations for your comedy career?
A: I used to say to have a sitcom. I wouldn’t mind hosting a show, but I really go wherever the comedy takes me. No matter what I do — I've done a one-person show, I may be doing some warm-up now for a TV show — I think I'll always come back to the stand-up. Jerry Seinfeld had a hit sitcom, he still does the stand-up. It gets in your blood and it’s hard to turn your mind off. It’s just the most fun in the world.
Q: Which comedians to you admire?
A: I love Eddie Izzard. I just forwarded something of his (a video of Izzard’s Death Star Canteen routine). He says, ‘‘I am the Lord Darth Vader,’’ and the guy behind the cafeteria line says, ‘‘Is that Dean Vader?’’ and he said, ‘‘No, Darth Vader of the Death Star.’’ Eddie Izzard is on my Twitter feed and he wanted to get to 20 million views, so I'm like, ‘‘I've got to help Eddie.’’
Q: So, you let some of your personality shine through in your comedy?
A: I'm serious. I have opinions. I have a little political section to my act. ... I say about how Congress has a 9 percent approval rating. You gotta wonder, how'd it ever get that high? This is sort of a new one that I'll be doing these next four shows, about how I think there’s too much news. I can do the news in 10 seconds. I like to call it MotherNews.com. Here it is, the 10-second news: Sean Penn went to Afghanistan. What an idiot. Justin Timberlake got married. Who cares? And the weather? Take a sweater. That’s all you need to know, right? I majored in political science at Wellesley, so I try to make a few political points. But mostly I'm talking about Greenwich, and my boys, and my husband. You do have to have a sex section. Mine is probably the smallest of any comedian in North America. And I don’t swear. Probably one f-bomb joke, if anything.
Q: Do people you encounter while on tour have any preconceived notions of Greenwich?
A: Yeah. But, what I do is, I often compare and contrast Greenwich and Brockton. I'm originally from Brockton, and that’s a blue-collar town in Massachusetts. A tough town. People get shot in Brockton. (It's) our way of saying ‘‘Hello.’’ ... And Greenwich, I have a headband and a nightgown. I say, ‘‘I moved to Greenwich. I was so worried about fitting in. I'm thinking everybody’s going to be a snob. But the people at the supermarket have been extremely nice to me. Like, if I forget to wear my pearls, they lend me some. And I really want to fit in so I got one of these’’ — and I have my black velvet headband. Actually they hand these out at the Triborough Bridge. They say, ‘‘Lady, take it. You'll need it.’’Continued...