What does the longest-running sketch comedy troupe in San Francisco do when it’s about to turn 15? Why, throw a Quinceañera, of course!
Killing My Lobster will be slipping some high heels onto those pinchers for a traditional waltz on Friday, September 14, at the Verdi Club. Presiding over the celebration/fundraiser will be 2012 Best Comedian (according to readers of SF Bay Guardian), Marga Gomez.
Marga is a national headliner, re-transplanted from New York, making SF her home base. And she just might hijack the Quinceañera away from those wacky Lobster kids.
Corey Andrew: Any idea of what to expect at the Lobster Quinceañera?
Marga Gomez: Some people might drink too much.
Corey: That’s possible.
Marga: I’m hoping. I am hoping people dress up for Quinceañera. I have a dress that I bought for $5 at Ross that I’m gonna wear.
Corey: Does Ross carry a lot of traditional Quinceañera dresses?
Marga: In San Francisco, we’re not slaves to tradition. I just went to the juniors department, and I got something with a lot of pink that’s too small for me. I also have a tiara.
Marga: I’m gonna make people think it’s my Quinceañera. I think it’s gonna be a party. They are about the most-hilarious people.
Corey: They are good folks over there at Killing My Lobster. They told me about the concept for their anniversary, and I think just the idea alone is a stich.
Marga: They’re all virgins in that group, so after this party, all bets are off. There will be some pregnancies, I think, from that night.
Corey: Some Lobster Quinceañera babies in nine months.
Marga: Little Lobsters.
Corey: What has your Quinceañera experience in the past been like?
Marga: I actually had a Quinceañera for myself in June for my birthday. I sort of rolled back the clock. I learned that it’s a time when you go from flats to heels. A change of shoes is probably good to bring to the party. There’s also a customary waltz people are supposed to do. Sometimes there’s a stabbing, but it all depends on what time of year it is.
Corey: There are some very entertaining Quinceañera YouTube videos out there.
Marga: Yes. It’s gonna be low-class, high-class—somewhere in between. People have a lot of respect. Killing My Lobster will bring their grandparents. A lot of relatives will be there, too. No food, apparently. So, there will be a lot of puking.
Corey: Eat early.
Marga: I’m hoping there will be a piñata. I can’t imagine there wouldn’t be.
Corey: As you can buy everything online, there’s gotta be a lobster piñata available.
Marga:: I’ll try to throw in all the Spanish I know as the host.
Corey: Do you know quite a bit?
Marga: I mostly just know the curse words.
Corey: Those might come in handy.
Marga: In English, I’ll be G-rated, but in Spanish, I’ll be X-rated.
Corey: Perfect. They are also pitching this as sort of a prom as well.
Marga: OK. Then what else, a bar mitzvah? Are they throwing everything into the pot?
Corey: They should have done the bar mitzvah two years ago, I guess.
Marga: It’s a great group. They have their thing going in San Francisco and have such a wonderful following. So inventive. I love sketch comedy. There’s not a lot of good sketch comedy. So it’s great when you have a group like Killing My Lobster.
Corey: Absolutely. You’re also involved with a couple more SF comedy events. The SF Comedy and Burrito Festival sounds like fun.
Marga: I’m very excited. I have been running a comedy showcase in the Mission since January, every Thursday, called Comedy Bodega. My goal was to have a room in the Mission. My show takes place at a drag club. Have you ever been to Esta Noche?
Marga: It’s on 16th, between Valencia and Mission. It’s the only Latino drag queen club in the city. Every now and then, I would wander in there and see a great drag show. I noticed it was empty other nights, and I wanted to start a room. A lot of us need a place where we can just work out stuff—not an open-mic but a showcase. The guy there was a fan of mine, and he gave me Thursday nights. I found out Comedy Burrito Fest was happening. I said, ‘Look, we are right there. We’re in the heart of it. We’re inside of a burrito. Please put my night at the festival.’ Then they booked two other nights at Esta Noche. That’s gonna be our little corner of the festival. There will be all these people who have never been inside a gay bar, much less a Latino drag bar. There’s a large painting of a naked guy right above the buffet table.
The festival is really cool. I don’t know if it’s just the comedy community, but we really love our burritos because we’re all broke. This is being able to bring your burritos inside. It will be great as long as nobody farts.
Corey: Right, you need some well-ventilated rooms.
Marga: Some Beano.
Marga: The great thing about Este Noche is it already smells in there. You will never smell a fart in there.
Corey: The Mission has become this hotbed of very, very creative comedians. They’re not doing their five-minute showcase. They’re working out some really interesting, long-form stuff.
Marga: Exactly. I moved back to San Francisco from Brooklyn. The Mission does feel like that, the energy. You can be quite entertained and well-fed for not too much money in the Mission.
Corey: Congratulations on getting voted Best Comedian in the Bay Area. Are there responsibilities that come along with that like superheroes or pageant winners have?
Marga: Yes. I have to go now and do 10 minutes every week at Republican centers. There’s no responsibility. I guess the main thing is I’m not supposed to overdose because that would really bum out the voters.
Corey: That really would. They would have to come back and see who got the second-highest number of votes.
Marga: Getting introduced as ‘Best Comedian’ is a real easy way to bomb. I leave that out and say it afterward. When they’re not laughing, I say, ‘You understand who’s here? You know who I am? 2012, Best Comic, from a newspaper! Seen one of those?’
For more information on Marga Gomez, visit MargaGomez.com, and for more on the Killing My Lobster Quinceañera event, visit KillingMyLobster.com.
Corey Andrew has been interviewing comedians and writing about comedy for the last decade and a half. In 2011, he published the book, “Laugh Lines: Conversations with Comedians.” Corey was a writer and performer with Midwest sketch troupe, The NonProphets, before moving to the Bay Area with his family a few years ago. If you have ideas for future columns about comedy, you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/coreywrites.