Mary Lynn Rajskub plays "Chloe" on 24, but comedy fans love her for her roles in the seminal television programs The Larry Sanders Show and Mr. Show with Bob and David. Rajskub is also a stand-up comedian who brings her show The Complications of Purchasing a Poodle Pillow, to the Rex Theatre on Fri., Nov. 23.
Chloe's a character who's really become a role model for women.
For sure. I'm excited about that because Chloe started out as a by-the-books computer nerd, both unlikable and rude, but she's become someone who's loved by people for speaking her mind and being good at what she does.
Who was your role model growing up?
I would definitely say Laverne and Shirley. They had their own apartment, they were always getting into hijinks, playing pranks and just trying to make it in the world.
Do you engage in hijinks?
I'm trying to come up some smart-ass answer like, "I often get part-time jobs in cake factories and let the conveyor belt keep going while all the cakes fall to the floor." But I'd say my time for that is onstage, doing comedy.
What should fans of 24 expect from your comedy?
What I do on stage is far away from what I do on 24 with Chloe. My stand-up is personal and nontraditional. The show I'm doing now is a lot of observations about people, relationships gone wrong -- there's a threesome-gone-wrong story, actually -- and I talk about a trip to Washington, D.C., where Rush Limbaugh kissed me on the lips.
You perform at alternative rooms and theaters. Have you done any mainstream clubs?
I did a benefit at The Comedy Store. I thought it would be funny if, instead of going up onstage when they introduced me, I'd start screaming, "No! I don't want to go!" and a stagehand would tell me, "You have to go, you have to go!" But I'd keep screaming and she'd eventually have to push me out on stage. But that just made people uncomfortable.
I thought I'd win them back by changing the black microphone cover to a different goofy color. They didn't care for that too much. Since then I've discovered ways of letting the audience in on the joke instead of making them uncomfortable right off the bat.
I'll usually explain to the audience that I think things are funny when they aren't. And sometimes I'll do the material of Gallagher to warm them up.
Mary Lynn Rajskub 8 p.m. Fri., Nov. 23. Rex Theatre, 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $25 ($30 at the door). 21 and over. 412-323-1919 or www.rextheatre.com