Comedy: Q & A with Dana Goldberg

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From the November 15, 2012 edition

Dana Goldberg is a lesbian comedian who appeals to all — I like to think of her as a dirtier version of Ellen DeGeneres — making her a perfect headliner for the inaugural Off the Wall Comedy, Wall Street Nightclub’s LGBTQA comedy night.

The first time you went on stage was in front of 650 people. Was that intimidating?

It was a show called “The Lesbians for Change Foundation,” a big compiling of comedians, drag kings and the gay women’s chorus. They gave me a seven minute set and I was terrified. When I went on stage I didn’t touch the mic because I thought I would turn in to an amplifying vibrator.

I hit my first big joke and I heard the most deafening laughter. I went off stage and people were asking me, “How long have you been doing this.” I was like, “45 minutes.”

So you’re a natural?

Yeah, my kindergarten teacher told my mother that I was the funniest five-year-old she’d ever met. I’m not sure what that means, but apparently it’s always been in my blood. I was raised by a single-mother in a Jewish family, and two out of three kids are gay. So, it was either this or jail, or a lot of therapy — which actually still could happen.

Do you draw comedic inspiration from your family?

I think everyone’s family is dysfunctional in a sense. Anyone who says theirs isn’t concerns me. That’s not a place I want to go for the holidays, if your family doesn’t have some dysfunction.

They’ve definitely been inspiration and they’re incredibly supportive. Every once in a while I’ll tell a joke that probably makes my family cringe. Even my mother is really funny. I remember her being at one of my shows and having a cognitive thought on stage, “Oh my god, my mother is hearing this.” And she came up to me after the show — I told jokes about sex toys and everything — and my mother goes, “Dana, brilliant show. Did you have to say I was 63 on stage?”