Tuesday Thomas opens doors for trans comics in the L.A. comedy scene at the Pack Theater

A blond woman in a tiger-print speaking into a microphone
Tuesday Thomas performs for an L.A. crowd during her first stand-up special.
(Tuesday Thomas)

Tuesday Thomas knows that when booking an all-trans comic lineup, the last thing she wants is the same perspective and punch lines rehashed by every performer on stage. Instead, Trans Hilarious, debuting tonight at the Pack Theater, aims to avoid tokenism by changing things up and showing that there are as many ways to be trans as there are to be funny.

“We can talk about all different kinds of things that make you laugh,” Thomas says. “You’re not going to witness five different tutorials on inverting your penis in the vagina surgically … I think that’s what’s holding some people back when they think of an all-trans comedy show.”

As one of the most active trans comics in L.A., Thomas is used to standing out like a sore thumb on most cisgender lineups. On a recent night at the Comedy Chateau, the brash blond is the first to flaunt her identity, flaws and all, in front of a crowd. “I look like if Where’s Waldo and Joan Rivers had a hate f— at the Gathering of the Juggalos,” she said to chuckling audience. “If you ordered Jennifer Coolidge off of Wish, this is what you’d get.”


For the last 10 years, trying to break into the traditional, male-dominated comedy club scene has been a struggle. Which is why she’s spent most of her career blazing trails that require learning new tricks, even at 60 years old (however, she does like to remind the audience that “my pussy is only 40”). She wears her age as a badge of honor in the trans community — even going by the nickname “Tranma” on TikTok.

Tonight, Thomas pulls together a variety of trans and intersex comics from across L.A. to create the first Trans Hilarious show. With Thomas taking the reins as host, the inaugural show features five comedians — Fifi Dosch, Leah Mansfield, 7G, Alexia Jasmene and Sammy Mowrey.

As small theaters and local clubs reopen their doors, Thomas hopes that also means more openings for marginalized performers who were shut out of a large part of the local comedy scene long before COVID came around.

“Everybody always said you got to get in this club or that club and I wasn’t getting picked for any of these signup lists at the major clubs,” Thomas said. “I actually had one of the paid regulars call in and put me on the list at a club after two years of trying and that’s when I realized this is bull—.”

Being passed over for stage time inspired Thomas to curate her own queer comedy gatherings. In 2015, she started Freak Show — a raunchy and irreverent circus of burlesque, comedy, music and improv. The popular monthly event circulated through several L.A. comedy venues and eventually branched out across 16 cities in the U.S. for five to eight shows a month, including a residency in Vegas right up until the pandemic hit.

That’s when Thomas really had to get creative.

A headshot of a woman wearing a plaid shirt
Alexia Jasmene, formerly a pastor, now performs a mix of acting, comedy and music
(Sean Kara)

Thomas rebranded her event, calling it CHURCH@Freakshow, and got it recognized by the U.S. government as a religious 501(c)(3) organization. She enlisted fellow comic Julian Michael to be her co-pastor. The shows now double as religious services where congregants worship laughter as a means of healing. A portion of their proceeds are donated to various LGBTQ organizations and charities.

Trans Hilarious retains the punk rock spirit of Freak Show under Thomas’ guidance and in the variety of the night’s performers like Alexia Jasmene, who in a former life was a part-time church pastor in the U.S., transitioned in China, and now does a mix of acting, comedy and music. As someone coming back to stand-up after a nearly four-year break, Jasmene says it’s refreshing to come back to the stage with a show like this.

“It’s great that there’s nonbinary performers and one of the artists is intersex,” Jasmene says. “It’s a reminder that we have a community in name, but really, it’s impossible to make an actual community because of just how variant and disparate everything is.”

A woman in a pink nightdress with a flower in her hair lines on her stomach in a bed with a rotary phone to her ear
Fifi Dosch.
(Iconic Pinups)

Comedian Fifi Dosch is the perfect example of how different trans comedians’ experiences can be. Dosch, who previously did stand-up regularly as a man at the Comedy Store, transitioned during the pandemic and says she was welcomed back to the legendary club with open arms when she came back for her first show last November. While it’s been a highlight of her career to perform at the Store again as a trans woman, Dosch realizes the road is often tough for comics in her position.

“It can be sort of isolating these clubs sometimes, they’re still for the most part very straight places,” Dosch said. “I wouldn’t say stand-up comedy is the most welcoming environment for anybody. And if you’re trans on top of that, life can feel unwelcome to you sometimes. I think it’s good to have a [show like Trans Hilarious] for people to feel accepted.”

Pack Theater managing director Royce Shockley says shows like Trans Hilarious have become part of the venue’s mission to be more accessible to all forms of comedy shows, especially those produced by members of marginalized communities. Currently more than 50% of the Pack’s shows are produced by people from BIPOC and LGBTQ communities around L.A. seven nights a week.

“The main thing about our theater is that anyone can put up a show, anyone can get on stage,” Shockley said. “Pretty much every night of the week, there’s a show where someone can easily submit to get some stage time. We didn’t feel that it should be this coveted thing that’s only doled out to certain people, from certain people — comedy‘s for everyone.”

Thomas’ goal is to keep the show happening every second Thursday of the month at the Pack, and as more trans comedians become anxious to step out into the spotlight, she wants them to have a place to be seen.

“I’m hoping this show just shows people that we’re here and we’re good,” Thomas says.