Q&A with CofC guest comedienne Jessi Campbell

"Straight-up gangsta" (Photo courtesy of Jessi Campbell).

“Straight-up gangsta” (Photo courtesy of Jessi Campbell).

Jessi Campbell is the funniest woman I have ever interviewed. But to be fair, it’s her job. Jessi is currently touring to promote her new album, “Winner, Winner” comprised of her latest comedic sketches, including but not limited to “Ghosts in the Bathroom,” and “Yes, I own cats.” Previously, she’s been seen on CMT’s Next Big Comic and is currently visiting hundreds of colleges for our viewing pleasure. Jessi Campbell will be performing Thursday, Sept. 12, in the Physicians Auditorium at 8 p.m. Here is my laugh out loud interview with her:

CD: Describe yourself in 3 words.
JC: Bipedal Advanced Primate

CD: Was there a specific moment when you realized, “Man, I’m funny?”   JC:  I remember being told to write something on the board in first grade – I had gotten in trouble for some sort of tomfoolery – and I was writing it painfully slow, just to drag it out. You know, to really stick it to the teacher and I was getting a lot of laughs. That’s probably the first time I realized I liked being funny and hated learnin’ and behavin’.

CD: Who’s your comedic idle? Do you ever get compared to Melissa McCarthy? JC: I get compared to Melissa McCarthy all the time. And Chris Farley. And any other comic who loves to eat.

CD: Do you have any weird rituals you do before going on stage?
JC: I murder three hobos. Two or four just doesn’t have the same effect. When you want things to
be right you gotta pay the price, am I right?

CD: Weirdest/most embarrassing stage moment?
JC: I got the giggles once. I had one of those giggle fits where you just can’t stop laughing. For like
ten minutes. Every time I go on stage I worry if it’s going to happen again and it terrifies me. There’s nothing more awkward than watching someone who has the giggles.

CD: You’ve been described as “straight up gansta.” Thoughts?
JC: When you got the mad flo, homies take notice.

CD: I came across a photo of you shoving flowers into your mouth. Was there a specific concept behind that photo shoot?
JC: Pretty flower. Put in mouth.

CD: What would you be if you were not a comedian?                                                                                                                   JC: Probably a nuclear physicist who just retired from the Olympic badminton team.

CD: In 2010, you were invited to be a part of the Army I A.M. Strong tour, where you got to preform at bases all over the country. What was that like?
JC: It was hard, being in combat. I can’t really explain the feeling. Being with other people and so utterly alone. Hearing shots fired at all hours. You never really sleep, you know? You close your eyes, you hope its for a long time, but it never is. You hope you’re doing the right thing, but you never really know I guess.

CD: Your new album “Winner, Winner” was released last week. Can you tell me about it?
JC:  I would love to tell you about it, but it’s hard to explain. Can you truly capture the beauty of a rainbow? Can you really describe the feeling a song that you love gives you? When you hug a loved one and feel their warmth against your body, their very being transporting love into your own body, can you really explain that? That’s what listening to my CD is like.

CD: Favorite junk food while on tour?
JC: If Taco Bell paid me to eat their food I would be a millionaire.

CD: Where do you get your inspiration?
JC: Everywhere? I find everything that happens funny. You can’t live one day without seeing something ridiculous.

CD: So, what’s coming up next for you?
JC: College season has started so much more travel and getting to see more of the beautiful US of A.

CD: Any inspiring words for aspiring comedians? How about for any apathetic College of Charleston students out there?  JC: Live your dreams, you’re an eagle. Spread those gorgeous wings. You have feathers for a reason! Use them! Soar, you beautiful bastards, soar!

CD: Finally, are you a freak or a geek?
JC: What is it called when you play 300 hours of a video game instead of making friends?

Catch Jessi Campbell live at CofC, or check out her new CD “Winner, Winner” available today on iTunes.

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Christina D'Antoni is the Features Editor at Cistern Yard News, and an intern at the food culture magazine The Local Palate. She is a CofC senior, a writer, and above all, a foodie looking for any and every excuse to hit up Xiao Bao Biscuit.

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