I'm serious about style and I am also serious about not taking myself seriously. It's abundantly clear that there's a stigma surrounding those in the comedic community regarding a lack of style. When I say community, I mean not just stand-ups, but also comedy writers, theatrical performers, and script/screenplay writers -- performing and executing all different styles from traditional to improvisational to alternative comedy. I consider myself a comedy writer -- I've never done stand up (not yet, at least. But I'm pretty sure my act would just be comprised of me going up to the microphone, tapping it and asking "is this thing on?" then panicking and crab walking off stage. Alt alt alt alt alt alt comedy, if you will). My mother describes my style as "overwhelmingly flamboyant" and "Aunt Lucy will have comments about that ensemble." Because of my wardrobe choices, I've had people tell me my look doesn't match my written material which includes, but is not limited to: Jo-Ann Fabrics, kale, ABC's hit 2008 primetime series Alias, the general trajectory of Hilary Duff's career, Citi Bike, the word "curate," and a list of uncouth things I've uttered in a nightclub.
Aside from a few notorious eccentric personalities, dressing up in any over-the-top garb is seen as distracting. Have you ever seen anyone deliver self-deprecating humor in a Celtic cloak? (If you have, HMU.) I brought this topic up with my comedic social media cohort and LA based comic Alison Stevenson, who agreed that the notions surrounding comedians and what they wear is purely psychological and mostly of the bullshit persuasion. She reminded me about the infamous red leather number Eddie Murphy donned in his Delirious special. Flashy clothing makes the act more memorable. Joan Rivers basically paved that road. Over the years, many cared less about standing out visually, and grew more reserved and prone to fit the millennial definition of "basic."
But that's also where the comedy comes in to play. Some memorable looks of mine were "mannequin styled by one of the Children of the Corn" and "conservative SAT tutor with an affinity for anime porn." Who says it has to be a persona? Why can't it be me? Sometimes it reflects the material, other times it's flagrantly antithetical. My brain is producing the bit, not my clothes. My hair doesn't marginalize my brand of humor; it's merely homage to the slew of glam rock icons I worship. I wear a leather jacket because it makes me feel like a high schooler who just discovered awesome stuff happens after curfew. I own a chiffon jumpsuit just because I like the way I feel in it. Even my ankle monitor can be super chic!
On the whole, when it comes to comedy, I think it should follow the dress code I believe everyone should follow which is fuck the dress code. I don't have time to worry about what my sense of style says about my style of humor writing. I already spend 18-20 hours a day wondering how to properly pronounce "gyro." And I shall continue do so in an intensely hued pashmina.