Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 22, Ed. 1 Friday, October 14, 2011 Page: 24 of 48
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Jill of all trades
From the Emmy red carpet to phlebotomy school,
out comic Margaret Smith always has a plan
RICH LOPEZ I Staff Writer
For someone who's been in a Martin Scorsese
film (a bit part in GoodFellas), written a book
about single motherhood and won six Emmys,
it's hard to find out much about comedian Mar-
garet Smith. Her bios online are mostly mirror
images of each other, and don't
even think of checking the social
networks — she's not on them.
"I think f'm the only person I
know that's not on Facebook,"
she says. "People from way back
pop on there. If I haven't seen
them inso long, there's probably a reason. Really,
I'm just lazy. A friend of mine told me that there
is only one YouTube video of me out there. "
But the recent transplant to Texas (she moved
to Austin with her two children last year) and
former Ellen DeGeneres joke writer is busy
working on her stand-up again, so her focus isn't
likely on who her next friend request is from. In-
stead, it's figuring where her next paycheck
might come from. And that could be anywhere
from telling jokes to drawing blood. Fortunately,
she'll be doing the former this weekend at Back-
Backdoor Comedy, 8250 N.
Central Expressway at the
Doubletree Hotel. Oct. 14 -15. $15
, BackdoorComedy.com. ,
"I've sort of been ticking around, wondering
what I want to do with the rest of my life," Smith
says. "After Ellm, I moved to Austin and became
a phlebotomist, but then I couldn't find a job
doing that! People don't want a joke and a poke
— just the joke. I did some open mic stuff and
got a writing job here. I liked it."
Smith picked up several of her
Emmys writing for The Ellm De-
Generes Shoti), leaving just before
the n liter's strike of 2007. That
move forced Smith to rethink
her career strategy. With the
strike, a writing gig wasn't an op-
tion. Stand-up comedy was, but custody issues
of her two sorts forced Smith to move, either to
Atlanta or Austin; the latter won. She became a
Texan last year.
"I wasn't gonna go anywhere without my
kids," she says. "But things were different in
Austin. I was in a different arena of comedians
and there was none of the Hollywood shit going
on. It was kind of refreshing."
Although she's driving up 1-35 for a Friday
and Saturday performance, she might stick
around Dallas to spend Sunday at the State Fair.
She was thrilled at the idea of fried
butter and fried margaritas.
"If I get invited and someone is
willing to go with me, then I'd stick
around,* she sap. "With all that
fried stuff, I guess I better serVe up
some fried jokes, huh?"
Most of Smith's shtick relates to
her experience with her family and
as a single mom to two boys. She
jokes about taking her son to get
tested for ADD; it turned out he was
fine — site was the one with the
problem. She deadpans her family's
supportive nature of her comic
memoir, What Was I Thinking, was
evident in how they passed it
around eight times rather than buy
each family member their own copy.
But the out comedian doesn't joke
too much on the gay stuff, which she calls "not
that funny and a little dirty." Besides, not having
dated anyone in over six years, she's a little de-
tached from the scene.
"What's funny about being a lezzie? " she
quips. "I talk about dating guys when I was in
my 20s but I think those experiences are funny.
LAUGHING LESBIAN | Former Ellen writer and newly-minted
Texan Margaret Smith steers clear of gay jokes.
Jokes about women can get easily graphic and
I'd never do that onstage. Gay or straight, the
crowd may not relate and start to disconnect. But
I did receive the best compliment in the women's
restroom when this lady asked me if I had a tam-
pon. I just wanted to make out with her because
I'm too old to have one!" ■
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 22, Ed. 1 Friday, October 14, 2011, newspaper, October 14, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239189/m1/24/: accessed March 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.