I was very happy how this interview came together. Some of you may know I have covered the comedy beat for the Boston Globe for the past seventeen years or so, and one of the best parts about that job is coming across someone who is really funny and maybe just coming into their full voice, and you’ve never heard them before. A few weeks before this interview, I had not heard of Jess Salomon. She has been through Boston, having gone to college at Tufts, but didn’t start doing comedy until she went back to Montreal. And there’s an important step in between that – she studied law, went back to Montreal, and got a job working for the U.N. tribunal on war crimes.
It’s a great backstory, which I found after seeing she was coming to town to play CitySide Comedy. It should be noted, I would not have found any of that had her videos not shown her to be a smart, funny comedian, politically-minded at times but also personal and personable. I was glad when she agreed to sit down in the lobby of her hotel while she was in town. A little bit more about how she went from war crimes to comedy – she originally started working on a very dark workplace comedy based on her experiences at the U.N., a project she is still working on. Then she got onstage at an open mic in Amsterdam, of all places, because she could get there from the Hague, where she was working. She got the bug and hasn’t looked back since. She is an all or nothing type of person, she says. Which is good, because it’s hard to get anywhere in comedy without that.
Our featured track of the week is a chapter from the audiobook version of comedian Laurie Kilmartin’s Dead People Suck: A Guide for the Survivors of the Newly Departed. It’s an odd sort of audiobook, admittedly a morbid subject, but infused with Kilmartin’s wit and buoyed by personal stories. It’s a mix of live readings and studio tracks. It’s a tug at the heartstrings, a cup of cold water in your face, and a lot of laughs. Find out more at www.kilmartin.com.
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