Comedienne Bernadette Pauley is a self-proclaimed “outsider” in Hollywood and New York.
There, she said, agents overrun clubs to push their show business agendas. Arizona is different, though. In Pauley’s experience, Stir Crazy Comedy Club at Westgate attracts fans who want to blow off steam after a long work week.
Pauley returns to Stir Crazy Comedy Club Thursday, June 20, to Saturday, June 22, bringing a variety of material based on “what’s annoying” about life through a litany of jobs, comedy performances and life experiences.
She made her stage debut 20 years ago at an open mic in Manhattan, riffing on the things that annoyed her as a young college graduate. Since then, she worked a slew of jobs, including cocktail waitress, paralegal work for one day and dog walker.
She also has worked as a real estate agent and a booking agent for fellow comedians. These experiences shape her comedically.
“I suppose all these years later I have more insight and I am a little bit better at talking about it,” she said.
As far as entertainment, Pauley has appeared on “Gotham Comedy Live,” “Comedy.TV” and “The Gossip Queen.” However, nothing compares to the rush of performing live.
“There’s something special about live stand-up that can’t be replaced,” she said. “You have this connection with the audience and it’s fun every time. There’s not all that malarkey there can be in this business because it’s just you and the crowd up there.”
Pauley is known as a confident female performer in a space dominated by men. However, she wants to be defined by her humor, not as a rebel fighting the system. Although she has been known to stand up for women’s rights, and wants to encourage others by her work, she mostly just wants to be “a funny person everyone can enjoy.”
“I’m just another person struggling to get by in this life, just like everyone else,” Pauley said. “If I can share some of that with people and make them laugh, that’s really all I care about.”
When Pauley is not home with her dog and husband, comedian Al Ducharme, she regularly tours the United States delivering her witty and fun stories presenting her perspective on the world.
This positive attitude extends to her good friend, comedian Gene Moore, who will open for Pauley in June’s performances.
Before his comedy career took off, Moore spent his time driving comedians to shows. He and Pauley met on one of these excursions years ago, and they have since been close.
“To this day, I’ll still call him and say, ‘Hey Gene, I’ve got 10 minutes, come pick me up for my show,’ and we laugh about it,” Pauley said.
“People like him are what make Arizona so much fun for me.”