“The big, craziest thing I did on the road in 2009 was travel to Kuwait and Iraq to perform for the troops,” Jackie Kashian says. She also found time for her podcast, The Dork Forest, wherein fellow comics ponder various outlets for obsession. You can obsess at jackiekashian.com. –Libby Molyneauxâ€¨
â€¨LAW: So — happy damn New Year. What are you hoping for in 2010?
It would be nice to be my mother's favorite comic. Right now, it's Norm MacDonald. How weird is that? First off — it isn't me. Second, NORM MACDONALD? Just weird. But that's Milwaukee for you.
â€¨â€¨The Dork Forest is still going strong — what has been a highlight?
Getting e-mails from dorks from uncharted parts of the forest. These are people who need to tell me about their love of air guitar or Billy Joel. And I need to hear from them. I dream of a bird-watcher. Where's my bird, dork! I believe the actual term is birder.â€¨â€¨
What did your husband get you for Christmas?
Burke Williams. Because he was raised right. PJs and a pair of earrings are lovely, but Burke Williams is a gift I wouldn't get for myself. Good work, Honey! â€¨â€¨
What has your comedy given the world?
I don't think it's hubris to say that my comedy has brought nations together this past year. Or at least nation-states. I'm certainly effecting change at a grassroots level. I'm talking to you, Indian Casino gigs.
â€¨â€¨What do you do all day on the road?
There's the inevitable search for free wi-fi. I'm trying to see some “local color” when I go to a town these days. I went to the Erie, Pennsylvania, art museum, which is tiny, $4 to get in and kinda fantastic. (erieartmuseum.org.)
What makes you laugh out loud?
Lately it's commitment to something not entirely ready to be seen publicly. I hope not in a mean way. It's the commitment that holds a seed of hope. Something horrible that is finally allowed its chance to do well, and may yet prove itself. I saw a guy who billed himself as a “stunt comedian” and used a folding chair in not very creative ways, but it lasted 20 minutes. He was committed, and he had hope. It wasn't at all like watching Precious. â€¨â€¨
You seem too well-adjusted to be a comic. Comment?
Well, just because I don't invite everyone to the committee meeting of rage and insecurity I hold in my head on a semiregular basis doesn't mean I'm not broken .â€‰… Ah, only in L.A. would I defend my apparent mentally and emotional stability by implying that I'm actually a mess.
If you could call a moratorium on one overused stand-up premise, what would it be? â€¨Well, I can tell you what it won't be. The Snuggie. Keep on keepin' on America.
Jackie Kashian performs at Drunk On Stage at Akbar, 4356 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; Mon., Jan. 26, 8 p.m.; free. (323) 665-6810.
Tue., Jan. 26, 9:30 p.m., 2010