Katie Halper is a comic, filmmaker, and one of the newest contributors here at Feministing. Her work has appeared in sites like Guernica, Alternet, the Huffington Post, theNew York Times, Comedy Central and GritTV. When she’s not writing sharp and entertaining commentaries on politics, she’s doing stand-up comedy or working on her documentary called, “Got Camp.” Her comic routine encompasses everything from her Jewish heritage to sexism and homophobia. She’s performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, DC Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise. Her documentary tells the story of the summer camp Halper attended, which she calls “the opposite of Jesus camp,” where all religions and ideologies are encouraged. As she says, “It’s basically the right wing’s nightmare.” She’s one of the founders of the stand-up political comedy group Laughing Liberally, which is a project of Living Liberally that tours and performs in cities all over the U.S. On top of all this funny, political work, she teaches Latin American history during her day job.
Katie’s refreshing and funny voice has been a great addition to the site. No matter how serious the topic, she always finds a way to insert her comedic perspective into everything she writes about. Make sure you keep an eye out for Katie’s posts and get to know her better. Also, stay up to date on her comedic mashup videos on YouTube.
And now, without further ado, the Feministing Five, with Katie Halper.
Anna Sterling: What came first—politics or comedy?
Katie Halper: Politics came first. I went on my first anti-nukes march when I was one year old. I remember as a kid going to pro-choice rallies and anti-war rallies. I was very influential in the public discourse around Dukakis and Bush among 7 year olds, I’d like to think. I went to a very political summer camp where the bunks were named Harriet Tubman, Anne Frank and Pablo Neruda. And then people in college told me I should do stand-up and I remember thinking, “I’m not funny on command, maybe I’m funny spontaneously.” I did a stand-up show, it went well and since then, I’ve been doing comedy.