Three women walk into a bar. One screams “vagina,” another scorns Ronald Reagan and the third puts a spunky twist on whiskey dick.
Eugene’s own Bad Girls comedy trio — Jane Malone, Cienna Jade and Gabby Jesus — bring a mixed bag of vulgar, albeit smart, upbeat and scathing comedy to local standup.
Single mothers sharing familiar struggles, the three fiery and fiercely funny females met a few years ago doing open mics in local bars and clubs. Now they’re headlining their freshman tour across the Pacific Northwest, featuring local artists from each city and ending in Eugene at Luckey’s Club with special guests D Martin Austin and Shrista Tyree.
Malone, a transplant from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a gifted graphic designer, found her way to standup when her only other option for a more fulfilling life in Salem was a loathsome book club. “It was a complete upheaval,” she says about performing standup. “I was hooked. I did 168 mics my first year.”
Jesus, a bubbly California native and winner of the Eugene Weekly’s 2018 Best Bartender award, similarly fell into comedy after doing an open mic at Luckey’s and immediately getting booked for subsequent shows. “It was pretty crazy fast how it happened,” she says. “Honestly, I would have just stopped doing it if it didn’t take off.”
Jade, a Pleasant Hill High School graduate and talented writer, spent some time in the debilitating profession of customer service. After watching comedy from her couch and writing her own jokes, she finally entered Eugene’s Funniest Comic Contest.
“I just kept putting it off,” Jade says of performing. “So my first experience with standup was actually a competition, because I needed a deadline.”
For years, Eugene’s comedy scene has been lacking in both diversity and marketing. Turns out fliers are helpful in letting people know that Eugene even has a comedy scene.
“It’s the grunt work that nobody wants to do but I enjoy,” says Malone, who heads a lot of the promotion for the local comedy scene.
Likewise, all three women have their hand in booking, hosting and moderating the social media presence within the community.
Despite their seemingly easy leap to standup, the chasm to comedy for women and people of color is always a little wider.
“It’s different for women,” Jesus says. “You need to work on your jokes and be legitimately funny. Most male comics just get grandfathered in.”
“There’s a long history of women being denied public speaking spaces,” Jade adds.
These female comics have managed to create a unique sense of community in an inherently male and cutthroat industry. They support each other, they take turns watching each others’ kids, they throw back drinks merrily and they give back to the community — in fact, the proceeds from the final show of their tour will be going to SWOP Behind Bars, an organization dedicated to making books accessible to incarcerated women.
The trio hopes to one day open a club, a missing element of Eugene nightlife. Until then, don’t miss these colorful and hilarious women drop some dick jokes at Luckeys. ν
The Bad Girls of Comedy perform 10 pm Thursday, May 23, at Luckey’s Club; $10 adv., $15 door, tickets available at badgirlscomedy.brownpapertickets.com. And for more information, visit eugenecomedyscene.com.