November 10, 2011 | by Juliette Ebner
Gearing up for laughs

Comedian and actor Jason Stuart will be at the Riot Act Comedy Theater from Nov. 17-19. (Photo by Shannon Youngclaus)

Actor/comedian Jason Stuart
Riot Act Comedy Theater
801 E Street, N.W.
Nov. 17-19
Tickets — $20 ($17 for Thursday’s show)
Riotactcomedy.com
Jasonstuart.com

Jason Stuart came out to his friends and family about 25 years ago, but sometimes he’s still questioned about it, even by his own mother.

“My mom calls me on the phone and we’re talking and I say, ‘Mom, I met this really great guy’ and she says to me, ‘Is he gay?’ and I say, ‘No, he’s a leprechaun, of course he’s gay’ and she says, ‘Why are you yelling at me?’ I said, ‘I’m not yelling at you but I came out 25 years ago,’ and she says, ‘Oh, I forgot.’ That’s how its evolved, that being gay doesn’t really mean anything to her anymore. It’s just another thing she has to remember.”

Stuart is bringing his new show, “I’m the Daddy and I Have Candy” to D.C. when he performs at Riot Act Comedy Theater Nov. 17-19.

While he likes performing at clubs and other venues, Stuart wishes he could do his show on the terrace of his apartment, to step out like Evita, perform and then go right back inside.

“I wouldn’t even have to wear pants,” he says.

Stuart’s show is about him. It’s about getting older, wanting to fall in love and stories about his family.

The smallest things can inspire a joke for Stuart, taking things that happen in his life and just telling them in a funny way. While being interviewed, Stuart figured out the punchline to a joke he intends on using in his show.

“I don’t say, ‘Oh, I’m going to sit down and think of things that are funny today,’” Stuart says of coming up with jokes. “As you think of things that are funny, you write them down and you work on them on stage.”

He’s opened for people such as Jennifer Holiday, RuPaul and Ellen DeGeneres. Stuart’s even been on Broadway, doing shows with Sandra Bernhard and Joan Rivers.

“She’s so current … she so seems to enjoy doing what she’s doing, even at her age, I think she’s 106. It’s hard to tell,” Stuart says of Rivers. “When I saw ‘American Idol’ … and Steve Tyler, I thought it was [Rivers] and how great she looked, but I was wrong.”

Most recently, he’s appeared in Logo’s comedy series “One Night Stand Up.”

Stuart has also performed at various benefits supports issues such as AIDS and homelessness. He is the chairman for the first ever Screen Actors Guild LGBT Committee, created to provide support to LGBT actors and to educate the membership, the industry and the public on LGBT actor’s issues, with a focus on ending discrimination against LGBT actors in the workplace.

“I would say, living in the closet is a very difficult thing to do. It’s the whole symbolism of it,” Stuart says. “What happens is … you’re standing on shoes, there’s a leather jacket in front of you … the door opens every once and a while and light flashes in your eyes … they take things out and they put things back … and that’s how you make all your decisions in your life.”

He often gives his lecture “Coming Out in Hollywood” on being openly gay in the workplace, at corporate programs based on his connection with his audience.

Even with all his success, comedy isn’t Stuart’s passion. Acting is. He’s appeared on numerous television shows ranging from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” to “The Closer.”

“I just loved working with Kyra Sedgewick. I thought she was so present. I thought the writing was fabulous … the director was terrific,” Stuart says of working on “The Closer.” “My passion is to work with really talented people.”

Stuart has definitely worked with some big names throughout his career, both on television and the big screen. He’s done movies with Martin Short, Faye Dunaway, Wilson Cruz and Angelina Jolie. He has upcoming appearances in the films “BearCity 2” and “K-11.”

“I’m really sexy,” Stuart says. “If any gay man that’s hot, sexy, smart and wants to relocate to L.A. should come to the show and profess their love to me.”

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