Peggy Platt Stands Up For Laughs For Women
Comedy preview The Eastside Comedy Club presents Peggy Platt, 10 p.m. tonight and tomorrow at the Kirkland Roaster & Ale House, 111 Central Ave., Kirkland. Tickets $7.50. 827-4400.
Let's keep this simple: Peggy Platt is a feminist. Peggy Platt is funny. Peggy Platt thinks feminist issues can be funny.
The prominent local comedian will sometimes ask men in her stand-up audiences to raise their hands if they consider themselves feminists. She'll look long and hard into the sea of faces, spotting very few fish.
"OK," she'll say, grabbing their attention. "What if I told you women find men who are for women's issues sexually attractive?"
Ahhhh. Hands fly into the air. She'll stare down the stragglers, saving her best shot for last. "What if I threw in a free beer?"
Men, she reports proudly, love her stand-up act. The truth is, it's hard to imagine a person who wouldn't find Platt funny. At 35, Platt is sort of a superhero of humor. She's able to write stand-up, plays, songs, and characters. She can sing and act, and emcee events. Sometimes she's political, sometimes she's not.
Platt will make a rare stand-up appearance tonight and tomorrow at the Kirkland Roaster & Ale House. Since 1991, when she formed the variety act Dos Fallopia with singer/songwriter Lisa Koch, Platt's spent fewer and fewer hours in front of stand-up crowds.
She grew up on the Eastside, and welcomes a chance to return home. "I like the idea of playing an overseas gig," she says.
As a child, everyone found her funny - a crucial building block to successful comedy. She also became known for her causes, even as a child. "I have an uncle," Platt says, "who has always referred to me - very affectionately - as his `Little Commie.' " She's lent her name and time to groups including the National Organization for Women (NOW), the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), and the Chicken Soup Brigade.
Platt studied theater, but enrolled in beauty school for "something to fall back on." It didn't work out. "I think it was the powder-blue polyester smocks everyone was required to wear," she says.
Her first open mike, at age 21, went over so well that she stayed in the game, working the rounds here and in San Francisco. In 1992, the Seattle Weekly voted her best comic. Platt's been on television, in a movie, and won the Seattle Laff-Off competition. Perhaps most exciting of all, J.P. Patches once told her she was funny.
"It was like, `My God. J.P. thinks I'm funny!' " Platt says, her blue eyes practically dancing. "And I'm a Patches pal."
It seems silly - not funny - that by discussing women's issues, Platt becomes political.
"It's the nature of the game," Platt explains in her deep, gusty voice. "I openly use topics that scare people, like talking about menstruation."
This summer, Platt and her Dos Fallopia partner Lisa Koch will unveil their new variety act at the Cabaret de Paris. "Bewigged, Bothered and Bananas" contains several new characters for Platt to inhabit on stage, and, she points out, several new wigs.
Whatever she's cooked up, you can count on Platt to be funny. After all, this is a woman who delights in more than feminism. Back home, Platt's the proud owner of 150 - count 'em - figurine poodles. She confesses to a deep love for poodles and figurines, and the combination of both in one item creates a kitschiness awesome to contemplate. Luckily, Platt does the job for us, spinning great comedy and a delightful take on life.
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