Trapped In A
Lauren Weedman mines cringe-worthy moments for humor but doesn't go
beyond her own world
a performance billed as “A Woman Trapped In A Woman’s Body” at the UCB
Theatre on October 11, Lauren Weedman, a former Daily Show correspondent
and guest actor on Reno 911, delivered a hesitant, tentative reading
from her own new comic memoir of the same name.
And when she did get into the material, it proved all-too self-absorbed
and smug, yielding way too few unique or novel amusing moments. Granted,
there may have been some confusion about what Weedman’s performance was
supposed to be, as she has done solo one-woman shows, and this was
intended to be a book signing, although that proved a bit awkward in a
Before getting into the material though, Weedman stumbled through
self-deprecation about herself and her material for five or 10 minutes.
Then she segued into insecurities about her ex-husband and in her
current relationship -- that she says took her to the point of sneaking
reads of her boyfriend’s journal (the ubiquitous David that was the
focus of a lot of Weedman’s storytelling). This revelation only makes
you feel sorry for what this poor David must have to put up with.
The book is subtitled “Tales From A Life of Cringe,” and there certainly
was a lot to cringe at in Weedman’s reading/show. She did have an
account of Thanksgiving with David’s family and a host of awkward things
she also managed to do around them, including trying to joke about his
first wife, who died young, we presume.
Judging by some of Weedman’s self-produced web shorts, she aims for a
cringe-inducing comedic persona, and that was definitely on display at
this show. But the thing is, as Jester interview subject Jason
Mantzoukas recently said (see interview),
being funny really requires confidence and command above all else, and
trying to make lack of command into the joke is a tricky proposition,
and it’s a proposition that Weedman hasn’t quite mastered.