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Last Comic Standing: An Interview with Cory Kahaneyby Dale Sherman -- 08/01/2003
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Of the comics who tried out for Last Comic Standing, only three women made it to the final ten. Of those three, only one won a head-to-head competition. That woman was Cory Kahaney.
For many, Last Comic Standing was the first opportunity to get to see Cory, but that does not mean that she had been in hiding before the series began. People who check out the comedy scene in the New York area had known of Cory for quite some time, leading to Cory winning “Best Comedian” in New York City from Backstage magazine in 2001. Meanwhile, some fellow comics have even called her a “comedian’s comedian.”
Nor was Last Comic Standing Cory’s first appearance on television. She has done numerous appearances on such shows as Politically Incorrect, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, and The View. She even had a HBO special, Having it All (& Other Myths).
Cory is a seasoned professional in the business, no doubt about it. When I first asked her for an interview, she jokingly responded, “was it you or our partner that raked me over the coals in your articles?” While some would have dismissed the idea of an interview after that, Cory was more than willing to discuss her thoughts about the show, struggling with the stereotypes that women face in such a male-dominated business, and also her thoughts about our “raking.” A true sign of a professional and many thanks to Cory for her time in providing answers to our questions.
When we began to talk on July 29th, just hours before the final competition episode, Cory jumped right in with her thoughts about our column dealing with her competition against Tere Joyce (Episode Five).
Cory: Let’s start with my joke toward you – that you guys have raked me over the coals. And, you know, your article was the first foray into the message boards, if you will… it was a good devirgining I will say; because I got to see how someone who doesn’t know me might interpret or view me. So it was a kind of an awakening. It was painful but I also had to realize that everything is always different when you’re not in the club. So many people come up to me and they say, “How could Dave lose?”, and I said I can’t explain it to you – you weren’t in the room. If you were in the room you’d understand.
RealityNewsOnline: And I think it is our problem: at our end all we see is the editing. Watching the competition, you are looking and here’s all this funny material from both of competitiors. They are both funny, but you know that it’s editing. That they’re showing all the best bits of both of them. This came up a lot on the internet whether it was you or Tere or whether it was Ralphie or Rob, people say, “The voting is so off with her or Rob and why is that?” I think it comes down to the editing.
Cory: I think it is that, but it’s like on other reality shows. Last Comic Standing doesn’t want to ruin anyone’s comedy career. I mean again, you have to take my word for it, and you can certainly check with other people.
I happen to like Tere an awful lot. We’ve reconciled any grievances and I explained to her, I said, “look, like, you were a slob,” but that has nothing to do with comedy. Do you know what I mean? The little snippets of me being annoyed with her not cleaning up were so separate and apart from the comedy thing; and you have to understand that I came from a catering background at 12 years of being a caterer, so they put me in a house with a gourmet kitchen and a bunch of comedians and I undertook the role of making sure that we had groceries in the house and we had food. Ralphie and I did a lot of the cooking – he did a lot on his own. I made sure that we were all eating and the natural family dynamic occurred with me being the mom and Dave being the dad and Vos being kind of like the grandfather if you will. Everyone in that family dynamic, just about everybody cleaned up and participated and was always making sure they were doing their share. And so when Tere wasn’t that was when I got snippy. But that was separate and apart from the comedy.
The other thing you don’t know is that I did get to see a snippet to Tere’s comedy when we did that show in Venice so I kinda knew that if I had to go up against Tere it wasn’t going to be much of a contest at that point. The only person who made me nervous beside Ralphie May – he’s tough to beat, when he’s on stage it’s pure joy – honestly he’s in a zone and everyone feels it and it has little to do with even the material. He’s such a tremendous presence – without the weight – he’s a tremendous presence. So I was comfortable of going up against just about anybody, but I was a little afraid of Geoff. I knew Geoff didn’t like me and I knew Geoff kept voting for me the whole thing was making me uncomfortable. Boy, did I feel like an idiot.
RNO: It seems like whenever they’ve shown Dat – whenever he’s shown in an interview he flip-flops on you. “She’s conspiring against me,” and then, “She really helped me…”
Cory: First of all, he’s immature and he looks at the world as a black and white world. When he was dying with that pitch [Episode Six], he came out and practiced in front of everyone. And I looked at Vos, who looked at me, and he said, “help him.” I said, I’m going to help him; I don’t want him to be embarrassed. I was the only one who has pitched. I’ve pitched about 18 times and so I know how to structure a pitch and explain who you are, what you stand for, what the show is about, and a few tiny fill-ins. That’s what a pitch is all about. And I worked with him.
It doesn’t mean that he didn’t get on my nerves. He would come up and say, “hey girls, I have tampax in my bag, would you like some?” He’s waking us up to tell us this? You know?
We became a dysfunctional family. If he’s hungry I’m going to feed him. If he needs help with his homework, I’ll help him. But if he’s acting like an idiot, I’m going to put him in his place. It doesn’t mean you don’t like somebody even when you did that, but Dat didn’t understand. To him, everything is all good or all bad. I’m sure some of that is age, I think he’s 26. I mean he’s like 26 going on 11.1 2 3 4 5 Next-->
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