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Kristen Becker: Stand-Up Comedian

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Kristen Becker: Stand-Up Comedian

A product—or possibly a victim—of having grown up in two uniquely different cultures, Buffalo and Shreveport, La., Becker is the Artvoice’s 2010 Best of Buffalo winner for Best Comedian and creator of the Dykes of Hazard Comedy Tour. Easily one of the most recognizable faces on the scene, you can catch her perform Tuesday nights at Nietzsche’s, where she hosts the mixed pro/amateur night Doin’ Time Comedy Showcase.

When did you first realize that you were funny?

I think in college. My family is pretty funny, if you hang out around my them long enough, someone will tell you that my sister Kelly is the funny one! I firmly believe that good comedians get that way by being surrounded by funny people. If you are surrounded by good timing and quick wit, I think you absorb some.

How did your experiences growing up—or years, not growing up—shape your sense of humor?

I think it had everything to do with my sense of humor. I am truly a half breed, having spent half my life in Buffalo and half of my life in Louisiana. When you leave Normal Ave on the west side and drive directly to a nice suburban subdivision, you need a sense of humor to adjust. I spent most of third grade saying the phrase “charge card”. why? Because all of my classmates thought that phrase brought out my Western New York accent the most and it made them laugh.

How would you best describes your type and sense of humor?

I’m a goofy, cynical, smartass, with a love of satire.

Do you write most of your material ahead of time? How much is improvised based on the reaction of the crowd?

Most of my stuff at this point, for a big show is stuff I’ve been working on or have written. If you catch my open mic on Tuesday night, you are more likely to catch improv.

What was your worst experience with a heckler? Do you have a strategy for dealing with a tough customer?

Knock on wood. I don’t remember an over the top heckler—so far. But I feel better about handling one at this point in my career, the longer you’ve been doing it, the more confidence you have, the better you are at shutting someone down.

BONUS: Buffalo is used to being the brunt of the joke, but do you think Buffalo is a generally a “funny” town?

I think we are a funny town, if we let ourselves laugh. If we give ourselves permission to laugh. We have to be, you can only deal with the tough times we have seen as a city through laughter. Talent wise, it is starting to show, we have some really strong comedians coming out of Buffalo. Now we just need people to come watch!

DOUBLE BONUS: Tell us your favorite dirty joke.

Ha. I could tell you one I’ve heard, but that would be hack. And I’m pretty sure my dirtiest joke won’t make it to print.

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