Love them or hate them, the Kardashians are part of our culture. All that’s missing is a lesbian Kardashian — until now that is. Actor/comedian Fawzia Mirza is rapidly gaining attention for Kam Kardashian, her web series about the forgotten, queer (or should that be Kueer?) Kardashian sister. Mirza spoke with AfterEllen.com about her comic influences, the inspiration behind her series and what she’d do if she got Kim Kardashian in bed.
AfterEllen.com: When did you first realize you were funny?
Fawzia Mirza: I was the little brown kid who brought sandwiches filled with ground beef and cumin and cilantro rather than bologna or ham. I was the only Muslim kid, the one who didn’t celebrate Christmas or believe in the Easter Bunny. Humor was my way of being part of the group, being liked and making friends when I often felt like an outsider.
AE: Who are your comedy influences?
FM: My dad was a funny guy. He loved making people laugh at parties and always knew how to maintain the peace through humor.
AE: Aside from your dad, which lesbian comics do you think are doing interesting work right now?
FM: First of all, Chicago is lesbian-comic-breeding-ground — Candy Lawrence, Ever Mainard, Cameron Esposito, Mo Welch. I also love Fortune [Feimster] and Tig Notaro.
AE: How did the idea for your web series occur to you?
FM: I had an audition where I had to do a couple characters. I wanted to do a gay character and over drinks, a friend suggested a gay Kardashian and it kind of spiraled after that. We shot an initial episode which served as a starting point to gauge people’s reactions to the character. Kam seemed to resonate. I met up with my friend Ryan Logan, the director/editor and now co-writer of the series and we just started creating more of Kam’s world.
AE: So what’s Kam’s backstory? Watching, I’m sensing bitterness and alcoholism.
FM: Kam is a sticky fingered vixen who’s got a good heart, but loves whiskey and women. She was cut off, kicked out and left to fend for herself. Why? Well her family found out about her affair with Marcia Clark and had to cover up the resulting sex tape of this scandalous relationship. (Marcia Clark for those who don’t remember was the attorney for the prosecution during the O.J. Simpson trial). How was Kam supposed to know that her love could be a “conflict of interest?”And, come on, why wouldn’t the family, who has so many sex tapes, flings, divorces, babies and secrets, have a long lost lesbian sister? Of course there’s a Kam.
AE: Do you script each episode?
FM: We have a script and then we play with some of the language on set, especially in the vignettes. Sometimes we just cut up the scripts and then tape them back together again in random order and use that version as our shooting script.
AE: What are your plans for the series?
FM: Season 2 launched March 25! We did a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year for Season 2 and Indiewire named us Project of the Week this year as well. The storyline for season 2 is that Kam has been kidnapped by a secret GLAAD-like organization (GLAWD – Gays and Lesbians Achieving World Domination) who are interested in helping her improve her image. New episodes will come out every two weeks with mini-sodes in between.
AE: As a comedian, what attracts you to the Kardashians?
FM: As pop culture icons, they offer pages of material on a daily basis. And the Kardashians are funny. They are the most famous family on the planet. And they do ridiculous things. I don’t care what you think about them as a family, Kim alone has 14 million twitter followers — more than Obama — internationally, and can single-handedly shape trends for an entire population. Love them or hate them, they affect our culture.
AE: What does the omnipresence of the Kardashians say about our culture?
FM: People say Kim is famous for being famous. Well, that’s part of America—anyone can be a star. Anyone can have a hit single, make a movie, be on TV, have 1 million hits on YouTube. Unfortunately, we as a culture place so much emphasis on looks, on clothes, on sex, on money. I think the widespread popularity of the Kardashians is part of that misplaced emphasis. I like to be positive, though and I think one positive t[aspect of] this societal obsession with the Kardashians is that people are attracted to new kinds of women. And look, as a woman of color, anytime a brownish woman is considered sexy, and iconic, I feel like I win.
AE: If you could sleep with one of the Kardashians who would you pick? Excuse the incestuous implications.
FM: Instead of sleeping WITH a Kardashian, I would like to sleep NEXT to Kim. I mean, her beds always look really comfortable on television. I also think we’d have great snacks during pillow talk and I would totally put Kourtney’s breast milk on her legs without hesitation. I might even put them on my own.