The Punch Line comedy club in San Francisco is celebrating Women's History Month by hosting a series of prominent female comics every weekend of March. First up: Beth Stelling.
Beth Stelling is hilarious, but late last year she became a news story due to a situation that wasn't funny at all: she posted a photo on Instagram of her legs covered in bruises, which were caused by her ex-boyfriend, later identified as a fellow comic in L.A. In the post, she said she had been raped and abused by him. She wasn't alone; other women came out to back her accusations, saying they had similar experiences.
Though she was showered with praise and love across Twitter and other social media platforms, she was clear in her intentions:
So now I'm allowing this to be part of my story. It's not my only story, so please don't let it be.
And it shouldn't be. It certainly shouldn't be forgotten, but the real story about Stelling is that she's really funny. I mean really funny, and she has the résumé to prove it: before she came to L.A., she cut her teeth in Chicago, where she was named "Best Stand-up Comedian in Chicago" by the Chicago Reader in 2010. She's appeared on shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live, Chelsea Lately and @Midnight, and her half hour special on Comedy Central called Simply The Beth was listed by Vulture in their list of the 10 Best Comedy Specials of 2015.
Stelling's jokes are self-deprecating but witty; she's not going for the easy laughs. Some of her bits are little time bombs, but she's clearly a one-liner artist, as you can see in her 2014 set on the now-defunct Pete Holmes Show.
As her star continues to rise, chances to see her at clubs as small as the Punch Line will become rare, so I'd advise jumping on it now.
Beth Stelling performs at the Punch Line Comedy Club in San Francisco from March 3-5. For tickets and more information, visit www.punchlinecomedyclub.com.