Daily Show creator appearing in Fort Worth

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Lizz Winstead with two of her fellow Lady Parts Justice League comedians will be in Fort Worth on Thursday, May 18, volunteering at the Whole Women’s Health clinic and performing that night at the Ridglea Room.

Lizz Winstead was a comedian specializing in political humor when she moved to New York City and got a job as a segment producer for Jon Stewart’s old show. That led to her signing with Comedy Central where she pitched a comedy news show as an alternative to the 17 newsmagazines already on the air.

“They kept saying, ‘OK’,” she said. “So I kept barfing out things I thought about in my underwear. I never thought my dream show would be my first show.”

But it was. And when they asked her what she wanted to call the show, she thought it would be on every day so she said how about The Daily Show? Again they agreed and hired Winstead as its first head writer. When the show premiered, there was a writing staff of six.

Today, The Daily Show has twice that many.

Winstead stayed about three years before moving on to do a show for Oxygen and made some pilots before launching Air America, the liberal radio network. She followed her Air America stint with a year-and-a-half of performances Off Broadway and then a book deal; Lizz Free Or Die was released in 2012.

About that time, laws limiting reproductive rights were passing around the country, so Winstead launched the Lady Parts Justice League, “a combo of writers, comics and activists who make funny videos of hypocrisy,” Winstead said. Using humor and outrage, they raise funds for women’s clinics, visit the clinics and, while they’re in town, volunteer there.

In Fort Worth, Winstead, Joyelle Johnson (who has opened for Dave Chappelle) and trans comic Ian Harvie (who has appeared on the series Transparent) will volunteer at Whole Women’s Health. Winstead said this clinic never had a fence for privacy and security. They just put one up, and Winstead and her Lady Parts Justice League volunteers will be there whitewashing it and planting a garden.

That night, Winstead, Harvie and Johnson will perform at the Ridglea Room off Camp Bowie Boulevard. The show’s a pre-kickoff to their national Vagical Mystery Tour that begins in Atlanta on June 2. Winstead said she loves having local material to include in her act, so she’s excited about coming to Texas where we have “a sea of crazy.”

Ridglea Room, 3309 Shady Side Trail, Fort Worth at 7 p.m. on May 18. $20. Tickets available here

— David Taffet

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 12, 2017.

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