2015-02-12 / Around Town

Two Top Comedians Head Winter Festival Bill

By James Merolla

Comedians Kevin Meaney and Kerri Louise will help you shake your winter woes at their Feb. 20 show. Comedians Kevin Meaney and Kerri Louise will help you shake your winter woes at their Feb. 20 show. Laughter is the anti-blizzard; it warms and melts the heart. Snowpacked Rhode Islanders could use the right kind of red faces right now.

To that end, Newport Comedy Series producer Joe Rocco is bringing two of the hottest comedians to the Hyatt Regency Newport on Friday, Feb. 20. Laugh the night away with Emmy Award-winner Kevin Meaney, whose audience still hasn’t recovered from his last appearance, and special guest Kerri Louise.

“We have had some fantastic comedy shows for the Newport Winter Festival over the past 10 years, starring some of the most talented New York and Boston headliners. Having a legend like Kevin Meaney, who had a sell-out Newport crowd rolling in the aisles for 70 straight minutes three years ago, and the hilarious and sexy Kerri Louise on the same bill makes for what very well could be our best winter show ever,” said Rocco.

“It’s rare that a comedy club or any venue features two nationally known headliners in the same show, but that’s what we are doing again this year for the Newport Winter Festival,” added Rocco. “We like having a male and female entertainer. Together, they truly will put on one of the best, if not the best, Winter Festival show ever.”

In describing Meaney – who began his life in the national spotlight after an appearance on “The Tonight Show” a quarter century ago – Tom Shales of the Washington Post said, “Picture the precocious love child of Jonathan Winters and Ethel Merman and you have some idea of Kevin Meaney’s act.”

As for Meaney, he cannot wait to return to Newport.

"I'm on even better medication now, so my show in Newport will be totally insane," said Meaney. "I'm being driven up to Newport from New York City in an ambulette."

He has appeared on both Johnny Carson’s and Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show,” “Saturday Night Live,” and on Letterman, Regis, Oprah and Conan. Meaney will appear with special guest Kerri Louise, a dazzling mom whose comedy reflects her real life (see article below). She has appeared as a regular correspondent on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and also was asked to be on the very first Dr. Oz Show. Her guest appearances include “Comics Unleashed,” Comedy Central, NBC’s “Access Hollywood,” and ABC’s “The View.”

Louise can’t wait for her return. “I love Newport. I love working here as well. It’s a beautiful place. The people are beautiful and they’re always up for a good time,” she said.

A Conversation with Kerri Louise

For hot comic Kerri Louise, life is truly a balancing act – three young children, including twin boys, one on each hip, a comedian husband who plays his own shows, changing diapers, changing routines, scheduling gigs, writing bits.

She will share all of this with her audience on Friday, Feb. 20 at the Hyatt Regency Newport.

As her family evolves, so does her act. NTW Does your comedy become your life and vice versa? Louise Yes, absolutely, especially because I’m a storyteller. Most of my comedy is based on my real life situations. My monthly "webisode" called "Mommy Minutes" is based on the events that actually happen each month and, most times, those episodes end up in my act.

I still do some of the single jokes I wrote in my early years. Mostly I save those for the younger crowds so they can relate. NTW Have you toned anything down knowing that as your kids get older they will see mom on YouTube? Louise No, not really. Of course, I wouldn’t do anything that Kim Kardashian would do on You- Tube, but I wouldn’t have done that before kids! Maybe that’s why I’m not famous yet! I’m a little bit more aware of my surroundings and that I’m a role model to my kids now, but I have not made a huge effort to tone anything down.

My kids are not allowed to see any of my adult humor webisodes of Mommy Minutes even though they’re starring in them. NTW How often do you tour? Is Dad watching the kids? Louise As you may know, my husband is a comic. Fortunately, or unfortunately, however you want to look at it, I can never depend on my husband to watch the kids because he is so busy doing comedy on the road. I have to find six people to do my job and sometimes it’s just not worth trying to find all these people to do what I do and explain it to them. In other words, I don’t work as much as I used to and my career has definitely taken a back burner to be there for my kids.

Is it frustrating at times? YES! Would I want it any other way? NO! Do I still need comedy in my life to keep me sane? YES! Will I ever quit? I say I want to quit almost every day but, NO, I will never quit! NTW What is the one thing you find that is NOT funny? Louise My husband! Just kidding (sort of ). I don’t like vulgar humor for the sake of just being vulgar. I don’t like humor that is pushed in your face for the sake of shock value only. I love vulgar and shock humor if it has a point to it and is a well-written joke!

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