* Written and performed by Kate Clinton

Kate Clinton is one of our most disarmingly sensible comic voices. Who else could stand up in front of last year’s Creating Change conference in Pittsburgh and so winningly deliver a rebuke to the Human Rights Campaign for endorsing New York Senator Alphonse D’Amato? “You say D’Amato,” Clinton crooned, “we say *fuckin’ asshole*!” In her latest standup show, *Correct Me If I’m Right*, which played at New York’s Westbeth Theater Center in January and February, Clinton stood in front of a chalkboard like a hip-and-groovy schoolteacher conducting an irreverent social studies class. Topical humor is dangerous territory -- we’re all so thirsty for up-to-the-minute commentary on the latest political foibles, and it’s hard for comics to keep their material equally fresh. But among Clinton’s instant quotables was the observation “I don’t know if Janet Reno is lesbian, but her hair is.” Bemoaning that gay people have evolved from a movement to a market, she mentioned an ad for gay colonics: “Swallow a prism, shit a rainbow.” And she went to town on the impeachment hearings, “a bizarre Internet chat room come to life.” She nailed Sen. Henry Hyde as looking like “a large Teletubbie” and noted of Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, “They drug-tested him and found traces of formaldehyde.” When it comes to poking pretensions, she doesn’t spare herself, either. She’s in couples counselling with her activist girlfriend, Clinton says, “so now I find myself doing all the things I used to make fun of in my act. Except guys.”

The Advocate, March 16, 1999

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