Lez Stand Out: Caitlin Bergh


Caitlin Bergh will be the first to tell you that life is weird, especially hers. For Caitlin, coming out has been a comedic coming of age story that she wants to share with the masses in a “can you believe this happened?” flurry. She started in comedy for that purpose, to share everything that has ever happened to her with audiences and, more than most, she is capitalizing on her natural sense of humor and the fine art of laughing at herself.

“I really just love to share. I don’t think I actually understand the phrase ‘TMI’ because when is it too much?” Caitlin said. “I’m so curious; I want to know everything that happens to everyone, especially if they can make it funny.”

And so it goes. Her perspective is refreshing in the comedy scene. Not just because queer comedians are hard to come by but also because her willingness to open up about the most private parts of her own life make her completely unique. Finding a lesbian with a sense of humor strong enough to withstand the trials and tribulations of honestly making fun of what it is to be gay is like finding a unicorn. Whatever the case, Caitlin manages to make it look effortless. She weaves every painstakingly outrageous detail, from finding women online to the crazy lengths we go through to find love and all the exes along the way, into hilarious material that inoffensively play on the nuances of lesbian idiosyncrasies.

”Being queer – and, I imagine, being any kind of minority—provides an endless source of material,” Caitlin said. “You have a unique chance to look at the ‘norm’ and see how funny it is that we even have a norm in the first place, as we are all so different. I feel really lucky that I ended up being queer, because if I had been straight, I’m not sure I would have had the space or the need to question everything around me, and if I hadn’t questioned everything around me to the point of utter exhaustion, I wouldn’t be the high-strung, paranoid, funny lady that I am today. “

By her pushing boundaries as to what she is willing to cop to in public, she makes the audience feel comfortable both laughing with her and at their own expenses. Her laid-back approach to pushing boundaries makes her stories universally relatable to anyone who’s struggled with the process of finding themselves. Her way of finding the silver lining is what makes her so approachable. She is a storyteller, who just happens to be knee-slapping hilarious. As she says, “Questioning our stereotypes breeds laughter in the moment and, later on, tolerance. See? Comedy can save the world.”

Caitlin counts the edgy Maria Bamford and playful Kristen Schaal to her list of favorite comediennes, both comedic pioneers in their own rights. Caitlin is well on her way with her own very personal perspective on the human spirit. And while Chicago seems like the obvious go-to for finding fresh new comedians, on Comedy Central’s recent rare appearance in town to scout talent, Caitlin was on the very short list of talent being one of only two women and the only lesbian to perform. The term ‘one to watch’ certainly seems like it was meant for her.

Caitlin is a cast-member at one of Chicago’s oldest comedy venues, The Lincoln Lodge, as well as a founder of The Funny Story Show, co-producer of Performance Anxiety Chicago and #LadyBros comedy. She is a winner of the Moth StorySLAM and this month she will be performing her new one-woman show, CHUNKS, every Sunday at Studio Be.

CHUNKS is a series of funny stories that almost all have a different type of “chunk” in them,” Caitlin said. “I can’t disclose the type of chunks that you will hear about, because I would hate to ruin it for you. But you should know that they are all very intriguing and pretty gross. And they are all true. The idea of the show is that we are all really gross, and if you think you aren’t, you are only fooling yourself. “

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