A funny guide to Pride with all the must-see comedy documentaries and live shows in L.A.


On May 7, 2022, the inaugural Netflix Is a Joke festival’s “Stand Out” show welcomed to the Greek Theatre stage 22 diverse LGBTQ+ comedians, including Eddie (Suzy) Izzard, Wanda Sykes, Lily Tomlin, Sandra Bernhardt, Rosie O’Donnell, Trixie Mattel, Tig Notaro, Sam Jay, Mae Martin, Joel Kim Booster, Fortune Feimster and Bob the Drag Queen. In the wings, documentary director Page Hurwitz kept cameras rolling and conversations flowing.

Premiering at the Tribeca Festival June 7 and reaching Netflix June 18, Hurwitz’s “Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution” dives deep into the history of stand-up trailblazers like Moms Mabley (out in the 1920s in her 20s) and Robin Tyler (the 1950s, age 16) who demanded equality.

By the late ’70s, Tomlin explains, “Comedy became an act of resistance,” in the face of Anita Bryant’s “Save Our Children” discrimination campaign. Bernhardt experienced a parallel battle with Ronald Reagan in the ’80s. (Historical turns of progress inevitably meet religious persecution.) As a young comic during the AIDS crisis, Todd Glass heard hurtful cracks from Eddie Murphy, Sam Kinison and Andrew “Dice” Clay. He grew fearful of being outed even as Margaret Cho, Rosie O’Donnell and Ellen DeGeneres rose to stardom through the ’90s.

Elsewhere, mustachioed history/political science buff Guy Branum lends context to jaw-dropping archival footage, Hannah Gadsby speaks to the rise of identity-forward material, and River Butcher and Solomon Georgio pay homage to Izzard’s influence around the globe.

On the local film front, comic and cartoonist Mo Welch’s “Dad Jokes,” a stand-up special/documentary partially filmed at the Lodge Room in Highland Park, debuts on YouTube June 14. Pioneering trans activist Tuesday Thomas gets the doc treatment with “The Trash Goes Out on Tuesday,” premiering June 12 at the Independent Filmmakers Showcase at Regal L.A. Live.

Elsewhere across Los Angeles:

Trixie Mattel’s packed calendar for WeHo Pride 2024 — “one of my favorite Prides in the universe” — includes June 2’s annual Santa Monica Boulevard parade. (The Comedy Store returns with its own comedian-packed float.) Enthuses Mattel, “I’ve attended, I’ve hosted, and I always have the time of my life.”

On June 7, Fifi Dosch hosts “a kind of on the hush-hush” but “very trans, very kinky comedy show and art exhibit” at a secret Van Nuys locale dubbed the Greenhouse. “We don’t advertise the address freely,” Dosch cautions of the “really fun trans refuge and party,” but for attendees who message @greenhouse.comedy.and.art on Instagram, “We’ll give the address if we can prove you’re not a cop.” Art show begins at 6 p.m. with comedy at 8. Previews Dosch, “I’ll be hosting in a hammer-and-sickle bikini.”

Cantiq

June 21 at Echo Park’s inclusive lingerie store, Sammy Mowrey’s “Boyfriend: A Queer Comedy Show” brings aboard Jake Noll and Pluto Papaya, “some of my favorite queer comedians in L.A., opening for me while I run my half-hour set.” Intending to tape the special within the next six to eight months, Mowry says, “I’m trying to get the feel of the flow.”

The Crow

In Santa Monica, a new Family Pride weekend launches with safe, all-ages events. June 14 at 7 and 9 p.m., the Crow’s signature “Storyectomy” series returns with community and allies getting personal alongside headliners like Cameron Esposito. June 15 at the Santa Monica Pier, the Crow hosts free “Fierce Fables: Drag Queen Pride — Family Edition!” storytelling at the Carousel from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., along with face painting, a Family Pride parade and dance numbers from Pickle Drag Queen, Pandora Boxx and Johnny Gentleman.

Back at the venue’s Bergamot Station home base that afternoon, programming includes family-friendly improv from Pull My Finger, a youth open mic, the “BYOB(Baby)” comedy show, music from singer-songwriter Abby Posner and “I Gotta Crow” stand-up with Nina Nguyen, Jeffrey Jay, Jeena Bloom, Zoe Zakson and Jackie Monahan.

Dynasty Typewriter

A double dose of “Josh Thomas: Let’s Tidy Up” comes clean in Westlake June 2 and 3, Natalie Rotter-Laitman does an hour June 17, Drew Droege’s new “Messy White Gays” play gets dirty June 24, and Nikki Levy hosts “Don’t Tell My Mother” June 25 with Rachel Scanlon, Vico Ortiz, Jen Kober and musical guests Ezra & the Pussyboys.

The Elysian

Frogtown’s favorite comedy theater offers “Joe Castle Baker: Something to Think About” June 8, the descriptively named “Cameron Esposito Is Taping a Thing” June 9, “Twin Flames” June 16, “Big Dad Energy” June 27 and “Gentlemen’s Club” June 30. Longtime scene producer Sam Varela’s Naked Comedy brand further sweetens the Elysian calendar with June 4’s clowning collage “Self-Portraits With Shan Fahey” and June 8’s “Ahamed Weinberg Presents: Repentance,” a Downtown Women’s Shelter fundraiser with Esposito, Brendan Scannell and host Titi Lee.

Additional Naked Comedy productions include live-animated show “Picture This! Pride Edition” at the Virgil June 21 and Quei Tann’s “The QT Comedy Show!” Hollywood Fringe festival run with rotating lineups June 16, 21, 23, 27 and 29 at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

The Improv

On June 6 at the Lab, “Nori Reed and Lovers” gets busy with Sam Oh, EJ Marcus, Rachel Pegram and Aparna Nancherla. June 24’s “The Mav & Kalea Show” finds Mav Viola and Kalea McNeill doing time up top plus hosting four of their TBA comedy pals.

Largo
Before Ellen DeGeneres begins touring in late June en route to filming her final-ever special, two DeGeneres test dates were extended to four: June 4, 5, 12 and 13. Tig Notaro’s monthly “Tig Has Friends” slot momentarily shifts to Notaro and partner Stephanie Allynne’s “She Said, She Said” June 16.

Lyric Hyperion

From the heart of Silver Lake, “Haley Stiel Works on Some Things” June 1, Rachel Kaly brings “Major LOL Vibes” June 2, “Planet Courtney” takes orbit June 6, “Hannah Einbinder Presents Friends and New Material” June 21, “two rogue lesbian nuns take over” in “Divine Perversions: A Sapphic Mass” June 23 and Titi Lee turns “Good Girl Gone Baddie” June 30.

Nico’s

Atwater Village’s newbie wine shop only opened in January, but its Baby Battista bar venue has already become an alt hot spot. “Ever Mainard and Their Mostly Gay Friends” donate 100% of ticket sales to the Fund Texas Choice nonprofit June 11, with Mainard returning June 27 for solo-show-in-progress “Ottis.” (Mainard’s “Y’all Gay Podcast” co-host Ali Clayton releases debut comedy album “Country Queer” May 31, a mere 15 years into her career.) June 25 at Nico’s, Naked Comedy and Jeena Bloom’s “Cruising Comedy” promises “the hottest and hardest stand-up comedy action you can handle!”

UCB

The Hollywood sketch and improv mecca pits “Gays vs. Straights,” in a “gameshow death match” June 1, the venue’s first all trans/gender-nonconforming/nonbinary improv team delivers “QT’s Present…Joy!” June 2, Jesse Esparza and Dan Leahy a.k.a. “Two Loud Gays” perform “very loud, very gay” sketch June 4, the all-queer cast of “Conversion Camp” variety gets campy June 5, and “Dating Gayme” makes matches with a “1/2 Homosexual Dating Show, 1/2 Queer Improv Spectacular” June 16.



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