Kristen Lundberg is ‘Super Serious’ about making us laugh
By Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin
Photo: Kristen Lundberg brings “The Super Serious Show” to Mayday in Cincinnati on Aug.1; photo credit: Lindsey Driscoll
Kristen Lundberg and I have chosen to meet during happy hour at a bar with a patio. I’m jarred by the startlingly deep voice that comes out of the little pixie sitting across from me – her quick, small hands dwarfed by her pint of beer, which is sweating almost as profusely as we are. Despite the petite frame and cutesy ornamentals, it’s obvious from word one that I’m not speaking with a child; the resonating timbre of her voice betrays the fact that I’m conversing with a woman who has a plan.
She’s a comedienne, a model, a writer, a filmmaker and an all-around digital artist. She participated in the Cincinnati Fringe Festival ’13, performs sets here in Dayton at Wiley’s – where she made it to the finals in the Fireworks Competition – and wins awards all over Cincinnati. Her most recent wins include the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Award in the Best of Cinci 48 Hour Film Project Awards and Best Actress in the Ohio Community Theatre Association Awards for the production of “The Curious Savage,” in which she played Fairy May. Somehow, she found time to talk to little ol’ me about “Saturday Night Live,” the consumer culture and getting mugged, amongst other things.
How do you find the time to do all that you do?
I manage my time really well. Every day it’s two of three things. I’m either going to work and doing some stand-up later on that night or I’m going to work and writing something for stand-up, or the freelance jobs are at night, so sometimes I film during the day and then go do the freelance stuff. –Kristen Lundberg
I’m kind of putting my fingers in a bunch of little comedy pies. I’ve got the stand-up thing going on and then I write and produce my own films, I act in them. I do a different character each film, so some people say it’s kind of like Carol Burnett, who just has all of these different faces. -KL
You mentioned Carol Burnett. Do you have other influences? Idols?
When it comes to comedy, I just love anything that’s pop culture. A lot of the subject matter that they cover on “SNL” (“Saturday Night Live”) really resonates with me […] People always say, “Oh ‘SNL,’ those were the golden days back in the ‘70s.” But I don’t really feel that way. I feel like the ‘70s were great for being in the ‘70s, but what they’re putting on now is great for now […] I’m really interested in consumer culture and how that plays a role in comedy, the commercials that are funny that aren’t trying to be funny. They’re just awkward and everyone is trying to figure out how to get your money. I just think it’s really interesting and cool. -KL
Is “SNL” a goal? Would you like to write or act?
Oh my gosh, absolutely. I follow up on everybody who’s been on “SNL.” I read about them […] I like Jane Lynch’s comedy, but I feel like her story is just too happy. I like people who have a little bit more pain growing up, like Sarah Silverman. She wrote for “SNL.” Amy Poehler. Amy Poehler was more of an actress on “SNL.” I would like to write. And perform […] Steve Martin generated a lot of his own content, and it translated well to live stand-up and film. I read Steve Martin’s book, “Born Standing Up.” I read about these people and I’m like, “OK, how are they doing this? When am I going on ‘SNL?’” -KL
Tell me about “The Super Serious Show.”
My friend Tim [Willig] and I, we do a dark comedy thing, it’s called “The Super Serious Show.” I guess you could compare it to Zach Galifianakis’ style. His stand-up isn’t really just standing there and talking. He plays the piano, he draws things, it’s kind of like – [into mic] IT’S NOT PROP COMEDY – you could say it’s kind of like Steve Martin, too. We’re going to be playing songs that are funny. We’re going to be yelling our comments on consumer culture. We’re going to be yelling at commercials publicly. I’m going to be dictating what the audience is going to scream at these commercials because everybody is thinking it, but nobody is saying it and doing anything about it! So, I want to make fun of these corporations, you know, they think they’re so cool and they want our money so bad, but they’re not really doing anything that good. –KL
You seem older than 24.
Maybe it’s the tan. I’ve been doing some modeling on the side. Everything I do is on the side. There’s no one main thing. Like I said, I have my fingers in all kinds of pies, little baby pies […] We’re in a tough business. We’re all trying to entertain. And it’s rough. -KL
Sounds like a tough job.
I feel like I could be able to say I rightfully clawed my way to where I am right now. I’ve been through some stuff. I’ve been mugged. I’ve had stuff stolen. -KL
It was three years ago. I was delivering pizza. I delivered to the wrong side of town, and some guy thought that he would be cool and beat me up and take my money. I only had $7. But yeah, I would say [my life] is coming out to be a pretty good story. -KL
I can’t help but agree.
Kristen “Mammyspanx” Lundberg and her cohort Tim “Awesome Guy” Willig will perform “The Super Serious Show” on Thursday, Aug. 1 at Mayday, 4231 Spring Grove Ave. in Cincinnati. Learn more about the future legend at mammyspanx.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin at JenniferHanauerLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com.