Kerri Lendo is an Austin-based stand-up comedian that will be featuring for Maria Bamford this Wednesday and Thursday at Helium. This interview was conducted by C vs. A contributor Rashanda La Beats.
How did you first get started in comedy?
The first time I did stand up was an open mic one summer at the Laff Stop in Houston. That was followed by the occasional bar open mics and hookah longues in college at Penn State along with the writing for the humor magazine Phroth. I got the chance to dive into stand up and beyond when I moved to Austin four years ago.
Who are your comedy influences?
I watched everything I could on Comedy Central when I was younger. I'm constantly being influenced by new comics I meet, thats one of the great things about this business. Maria [Bamford] of course is a great influence and role model. I got lots of favorites, Paul F. Tompkins, Lisa Delarios, Martha Kelly, Brent Weinbach, John Mulaney, I could go on and on.
What attracted you to Austin?
My move to Austin wasn’t too calculated. I had been there once for SXSW and it seemed really fun. I knew I wanted something different from the East Coast. I knew I wanted a smaller scene to start out in, Los Angeles and New York seemed too big. I figured I would try Austin and if I didn’t like it I would head to the Northwest. I didn’t know anything specific about the comedy scene, but I knew it was an artsy town and that some kind of scene had to exist. I feel lucky to have stumbled onto such an amazing scene.
Are you keeping Austin weird?
I've been too busy keeping Austin well mannered.
Do you ever cater your set to your audience? Like, the joke I saw you perform at PSU, where you discussed how ridiculous pearl tampons were, would you not do that joke in front of, say, pad wearers?
I definitely have the audience in mind when I am figuring out my setlist. In Austin, you could get a bunch of rowdy UT students or suburbanites getting away from their kids, depends on the club and show you are doing.
How do you balance comedy and the 9 to 5 job?
Lots of naps.