In late 2007, I saw a stand-up comic on the internet and thought she was outrageous and outrageously funny. I knew I wanted to interview her for an article I was working on called, “Five Lesbian Comics You May Not Know but Should.” That was seven years ago and Bridget McManus has since become an AfterEllen staple – creator and star of the Logo TV show Brunch with Bridget, Grey’s Anatomy recapper, Afternoon Delight columnist, among others – but more importantly, she’s become one of my closest friends. Oh, and she married one of my other closest friends, Karman Kregloe, who is also the Editor-in-Chief here, and the one who gave me my first writing job. It’s a whole, big, incestuous ball of lesbian awesome.
Because of all that and much more, I could not be happier that Bridget McManus is now enjoying much deserved recognition and full-time employment as an on-air talent and warm-up comic on The Queen Latifah Show. I called her to talk about how it all came to be, why Queen Latifah‘s set pillows should fear her, and how she went from doing stand-up in back of a video store to being on network television every day.
AfterEllen: Hey, you.
AE: You’re a weirdo. You’re also a successful weirdo.
AE: No, I’m not. You’re the rising star on The Queen Latifah Show.
AE: What is happening over there? Doesn’t Francine know I’m trying to interview you for the first time in years?
AE: I recently learned that was your first interview. I didn’t know that.
AE: As I am known to do. And now, you’re the hottest commodity on The Queen Latifah Show! How did you end up with such a sweet gig and how does it feel to have it?
AE: I love that you beat out a whole bunch of dudes. You’re basically Queen Latifah’s sidekick now. I think that makes you a princess. Or court jester? But wait, weren’t you the DJ for a hot second?
AE: I’ve been to the show taping, twice.
AE: Listen, I need to come back when you’re doing a give-away. I want a flat screen TV and a copy of Herbie Hancock’s new autobiography. When are the big-ticket items being given away, so I can clear my schedule?
AE: Aww. I hope she sends you pictures of herself on a zip line. Hey, speaking of being at the tapings: You are a total maniac when you’re working. You never stop moving, never stop dancing, never stop playing with the audience. You keep the energy up, for hours. How you do it every day?
My warm-up is different from other warm-up comics. Instead of an “act,” I’m very physical with the audience. Because people want to play, and dance and have fun. Queen Latifah will come out and take selfies, we give away T-shirts. I will find the couple who’s been married the longest and force them to get up and dance with each other and the audience always cheers. I feel like I’m at a party every day. And then, I get home and crash.
AE: Didn’t they recently try to calculate how many calories you burn every show?
AE: Queen Latifah seems to be very enamored with your antics. She loves when you do splits, as we all do.
Queen Latifah wanted to show the audience at home what happens in the studio before taping. So, I was dancing with her, doing The Running Man, and I thought it would be funny to do a split. But of course, we’re on TV, so just in case, I grabbed a pillow to cover my crotch — as ladies do. And then, I got up, put the pillow back on her couch, and ran back to my little DJ station. She said, “I cannot believe you put the pillow back!”
AE: I love this story.
For the Christmas episode, I sewed Queen Latifah a Frosty the Snowman pillow. And an audience member recently made me a pillow too! I think she did it so I would stop abusing Queen Latifah’s pillows.