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  WINDY CITY TIMES

NUNN ON ONE: COMEDY Emma Willmann talks stand-up, Louis C.K. and more
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2018-01-16

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Comedian/actress Emma Willmann—who describes herself as "gender-wiggly" and "extremely gay"—is coming to Chicago for three stand-up dates.

The Maine native graduated from Simmons College Boston and received a masters from The New School New York City before moving into performing.

She made her television debut with The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and is currently on a hot streak with more television. HBO's Crashing and the CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are both keeping Willmann busy on the small screen these days.

She has also teamed with another out Chicago performer, Matteo Lane, to create a podcast called Inside the Closet.

Windy City Times: Where you calling from?

Emma Willmann: I am in New York, where I live. I was in LA for six weeks when I was doing Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I am going back out to California for pilot season.

WCT: Do you want your own show?

EW: Of course.

WCT: Would you call it simply Emma, like Ellen when she used her first name?

EW: I don't know. It just so happens that our names are similar. I like having my hair short and blonde. I am a big fan.

WCT: Who is your favorite comedian?

EW: He's not a comic's comic, but I love Katt Williams. He is so entertaining to me. I love Richard Jeni, Brian Regan, Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K., but if I am watching something for fun it's Katt Williams.

WCT: You toured with Louis C.K. in the past. What are your thoughts on that situation? [Editor's note: C.K. has admitted to sexual misconduct involving several women.]

EW: I first met him at the Comedy Cellar in New York. He was performing after me and I had a good set. I was kind of rushing and trying to cram all of my material into 15 minutes so he could see a master remix of all of my work. About three weeks later I got a call asking if I wanted to open for him for a few days.

When the stuff came out it was hard for me to comment on because he was great and professional to me. His tour manager was a woman. There were women all around him.

Our conversations were about his family or comedy.

I don't think his work should be erased. I don't see why it's being so cherry-picked. If we are going to take his stuff away, then I think Woody Allen's stuff should be taken away.

If someone does something awful it doesn't mean we shouldn't still have their work to study. We still have Hitler speeches up. We need to see the good and bad so we can get the full story and not repeat ourselves.

WCT: What topics are you discussing in your stand-up currently?

EW: I feel like many comedians have Trump jokes and I don't have any of that. I don't talk politics.

It is very feel good and self deprecating. It's about my family and my experience of being from a small town, my being dyslexic, and gay. I will talk a good amount about dating and relationships.

I have been very nostalgic about '90s boy bands so I have been talking about that recently. Maybe it is a coping mechanism with everything that is going on in the world.

WCT: Who is your favorite boy band right now?

EW: I have been listening to Backstreet Boys a lot.

WCT: Are you single now?

EW: I am, but have been in relationships back to back. I'm trying to not jump into something now.

WCT: Are the people that hop from relationship to relationship the same people that get an animal as soon as the last one dies?

EW: That's the best question I have every heard in my life. I think it is the same thing. It is not knowing how to be just with yourself. It is constantly needing that slot filled.

Part of some people's identity is to always have a dog. Maybe they should get a ferret next time!

WCT: When was the last time you were single?

EW: It has been a long time. Even when I was single before I was talking to a few people. This time it is dead. Like in sales when there are no leads. If I was selling cars but there are no prospects coming in. The For Sale sign isn't up!

I'm thinking about buying a sex robot, not even to have sex with, just to have in the apartment.

WCT: It could keep away burglars if they look in the windows.

EW: I didn't even think of that!

WCT: What are you working on in the future?

EW: My episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is the season finale and the two episodes before that. The season finale airs Feb. 16.

I am in Crashing Feb. 4.

WCT: February is a good month for you.

EW: It is a very good month. I am also doing an upcoming Netflix show where comedians get 15-minute sets on it. It should be a good year!

Zip over to Zanies, 1548 N. Wells St., to see Willman Jan. 19-21. For more on Willmann, visit EmmaComedy.com .


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