Can a comedy tour be ‘sexy and liberal?’

This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

At each stop on Stephanie Miller’s nationwide ‘Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour’ -– launched at Madison, Wis.’ Barrymore Theatre in April -- a surprise comic guest shows up onstage. At the tour’s Southern California debut Friday night at the Wadsworth Theatre, the surprise guest was Lily Tomlin, who joined talk show host Miller and comedians John Fugelsang and Hal Sparks for a panel discussion at the end of the show.

But there was also someone onstage who might better be described as a “surprised” guest -– that was character actress Edie McClurg, who had only expected to stand up at her seat in the audience to wave and smile but instead was dragged onstage by her friend Lily.

“She grabbed my hand and said: You have to come up,” McClurg told Culture Monster at the after-party at the Wadsworth.

Despite her surprise, McClurg said she felt right at home in this show, which raised funds for the L.A.-based Trevor Project, a national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for gay, bisexual and transgender youth. “People always think of me as that sitcom lady, but I’m very involved in politics,” she said. Her main interest, she added, is “equality for all, no matter what your lifestyle is.”


Since its first sold-out performances in Madison, Miller said, the show has used its sexually explicit and liberal-leaning humor to raise funds for a local cause in each city. But despite its sociopolitical edge, Miller said that the evening of comedy was created “just to make people laugh” and that the title “started as a joke.”

The formula is working well enough that the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour has earned more than $1 million to date. Adding to the profits, Miller revealed onstage that Tomlin had paid for her ticket. “I don’t know how you feel about paying to see … you,” Miller said.

The Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour will offer one more show tonight at the Wadsworth before moving on to San Francisco.

-- Diane Haithman