View Full Version : Jennifer Coolidge Now Giving Stand Up Comedy A Try

Brian Damage
02-21-2010, 12:30 AM
She’s had a solid decade-plus playing the likes of Stifler’s mom in three “American Pie” movies, beautician Paulette in the “Legally Blonde” films and Joey Tribbiani’s agent on “Friends.”

But last summer, Jennifer Coolidge began a new challenge, taking the stage as a stand-up comedian.

“I hate to say it, but I got kind of tired of the Hollywood (thing), waiting for the right script to come in or waiting for the phone to ring with that great job offer,” she said in a telephone interview. “It’s a way to put control in my life.”

The Boston native has traveled the country as a stand-up comedian, and will perform at Penguin’s Comedy Club in downtown Davenport two nights next weekend.

The 48-year-old said her act includes tales of Hollywood ups and downs, and much of it is adult material.

Crowds, she said, have been larger and more appreciative than she imagined.

“I’m completely enjoying myself,” she said. “My life had seemed kind of isolated, meeting the same kinds of people over and over and over again. When you’re in the stand-up world, you meet everybody.”

Besides the “Pie” and “Blonde” movies, Coolidge is part of the ensemble cast for three Christopher Guest movies in which he lets the performers loose with largely improvised material.

“In the Christopher Guest movies, you kind of build up to a laugh. With stand-up, it has to happen quicker. But they’re both creative,” added Coolidge, who currently appears in Guest-produced ads for the U.S. Census.

She recently appeared in her first drama, “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” with Nicolas Cage, and said she wants to do more such work.

Coolidge’s character in 1999’s “American Pie” resulted in an acronym for an attractive mother (which, spelled out, cannot appear in a family newspaper) being added to the lexicon.

“The writers came up with that, and I was lucky to be up for that part. I do like the (acronym) thing much better than the cougar thing because the (acronym) thing sounds like it’s the boys’ idea and the cougar is more predatory.”

Coolidge — whose biggest role to then was a guest spot on “Seinfeld” — never heard from the directors why she was cast in the role. She’s just glad she was.

“I don’t know how they decided I was the right one,” she said, “but it did make a significant change in my career.”

Whether her career is more in movie drama, comedy or stand-up from this point on, Coolidge says, “Life is short and I’m up for anything.”