Our night out

Kates and I just returned from a night out ...

A "Mom's Night Out." With comedians, Stephanie Blum, Mary Kennedy and Laurie McDermott.

Great fun. Ha-larious fun. It's a show especially made for moms, but it's a great show for couples too ...

Laurie's Web site has some great videos to give you a taste.

Here's a preview I wrote for the show ...

This one’s for all the harried moms out there who are tired of screaming kids, monstrous in-laws and oblivious husbands.

Three up-and-coming standup comics — who hail from Brooklyn, Boston and Chicago — have joined forces to reach an untapped comedy market: moms. And they’re hoping you dump off the kids
(with a babysitter or some equivalent) in exchange for a much-needed break from the chaos. And some laughs, of course.

Stephanie Blum, Laurie Mc-Dermott and Mary Kennedy are bringing their “Mom’s Night Out” comedy tour to Kenosha and will appear on Friday, March 7, at Chops on the Lake. The comedians also are
scheduled to perform on March 5 at Zanies in Vernon Hills, Ill., and on March 6 at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee. All shows are at 8 p.m.

“The greatest thing about our comedy is we tell it like it is,” McDermott said. “We tell everything the way that it happened to us, which makes it raw and hysterical. I can’t express how many moms would be sad if they miss our show.”

But dads who have attended the show are giving it rave reviews, too.

“Dads love it because they get to see what the mom’s night out is like,” McDermott added. “You can’t sit down with your husband and say, ‘This is why I’m frustrated. This is why my life is so hard.’ It’s something every mom should bring dads to so they get it.”

“Mom’s Night Out” has been performing shows across the country to audience members who are desperate for entertainment that speaks directly to them. The show has been so popular, it’s currently being groomed for television. Together they are breaking new ground in live comedy, but individually each comic brings a style all her own.

McDermott, a Chicago native known to thousands of fans for her laugh-out-loud “CEO of the House” columns, is a mix between sweet Mary Tyler Moore and manipulative Eva Longoria. McDermott can deliver lines that are sweet and clean one moment and unobtrusively naughty the next.

One of her flaws, she admits, is that she talks about death a lot. “Like if my husband cheats on me, I will kill him,” she quips. “I never noticed that I do that. It’s reality. It’s funny if you twist it the right way.”

But McDermott, who claims to be a mother of four kids — a 7-year-old, a 3-year-old, a 4-month-old and her 37-yearold husband — also argues life is too short not to fill the time with humor. If you can find
humor in the most stressful times, she says, you become a better person.

“You have to remember in the year 2068, I’m not going to be here anymore. I’ll be 100 years old and I guarantee you I will be dead. Life is short and I’ll have a good time while I’m here because it’s going to be over.”

Stephanie Blum, a Brooklyn native, takes on an apathetic “mom next door” role with a style of humor that’s sarcastic and irreverent.

A former school psychologist, she won New York’s Funniest Teacher contest and became addicted to writing and performing comedy. Eventually she was commissioned as a contributor to two national publications, Child Magazine and Parents Magazine, while her new show, “When I Cough I Wet Myself,” is being hailed as “a moving self-portrait of a woman caught up in hilarious and excruciating life circumstances beyond her control.”

“I base a lot of it on family, coming from truth with a little embellishment — but a lot of times not,” says Blum, who’s been married for 11 years and has an 8-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl.

Recently, Blum and her husband were trying to decide whether they wanted to have another child — with the fl ip of a coin, of course, because that’s the way life-changing decisions are made in her household.

“People think that’s insane, they say ‘I ask God,’ ” Blum said. “And I say, ‘Well who do you think decided on the coin?’ ”

Blum’s comedy also pokes fun at her parents, who have been married 50 years (“I asked my mom what was the secret and she said ‘Never go to bed angry.’ And then she’s like ‘I haven’t slept in 50 years.’ ”) and her struggles to lose weight (“One of the things I tried is bulimia, but I can’t be bulimic because I procrastinate, so I just think I’m going to throw up tomorrow.”).

“It’s amazing to do something that creates laughter and makes people feel good,” Blum said. “A lot of times like with Oprah, you see these shows where they’re like ‘It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me! Not a moment goes by that I don’t feel blessed!’ but there are times you want to kill your kids and run out of the house and scream.”

Kennedy, a Boston native, can be seen on television’s “ER” as recurring character Officer Trudy Lange. She also has been featured on Comedy Central, VH1, Spike TV and the USA Network, and in dozens of prominent comedy clubs across the country.

But her biggest claim to fame might be her family tree. She’s a second cousin to those more famous Kennedys.

“I’m the Kmart Kennedy because I come from the poor side of it,” she said, before delving into stories of her teenage years on the road with her musician mother, who also was Irish Catholic, and her band, The Moodswings.

“I definitely draw from my mother,” Kennedy said. “She tells you the way it is. The comedy about my mother writes itself. My mother’s idea of a family outing was a pub crawl across Ireland.”

And her dad joined the NRA: “He’s the only Republican in the Kennedy family,” she says.

For everyone involved, the moms say, the show is about laughing at some of the things that we sometimes take too seriously.

“Everybody needs to laugh,” McDermott said. “I guarantee what we talk about in the show people will be talking about for years to come. We’re a reference point. And a lot of moms, they don’t go out, but it’s like, ‘Hello! Sometimes you need a few girls to gather with.’ ”

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