Comedian to make her Pride debut in Philly

Standup comedian Lynne Koplitz is the latest in a long line of comedians to grace the stage at Philly Pride. She’s best know for her appearances on TV shows like “Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best” and the current season of “Last Comic Standing.”

Koplitz has performed in all kinds of venues over the course of her career but said her appearance at Philly Pride will be a first.

“I’m really excited about it,” she said. “I’ve never performed at a Pride festival. I’ve done some other outdoor festivals like Bonnaroo and Summmerfest, but I’ve never done a Pride. I’ve been calling all my personal gays and asking them what I can talk about.”

Pride festivals, while full of joy and revelry, aren’t exactly natural habitats for standup comedians, most of whom are used to performing in dark, controlled environments where they usually have the undivided attention of seated and sometimes slightly intoxicated audience members.

But, Koplitz said she is up for the task.

“It makes it challenging any time anything is outside,” she said. “Comedy is really not a daytime thing. Any time you have to do standup in the afternoon or morning and then, on top of that, being outside, it’s the trifecta of difficult circumstances. I adapt very quickly. I’ve done a lot of outdoor shows for colleges and I think it’ll be more me warming up for The Village People than it will be me doing my act. If I can stick to my material, I’ll just work off the crowd and make it work. The bottom line is to keep it fun and happy. I’m a little nervous. I live in Greenwich Village in New York and I go to Pride every year. The parade goes past my house. I work with Joan Rivers and we have so many gay friends we love. I’m just working on some jokes and studying up on local Pennsylvania culture so I can have some funny stuff to say.” Koplitz said she is accustomed to performing in situations outside the norm, which is something she had to do as part of the current season of the reality competition “Last Comic Standing.”

“The process is grueling,” she said about being on the show. “You are in a holding room, you don’t watch the show, you don’t see the audience, and that is not how any comedian works. No comedian does comedy and does not walk through the room and see the audience before they go on. I know I haven’t. So it’s just bizarre. Like any reality show, it’s not completely real. But it’s real in that the judges really do vote and these are real comics who write their own material. That part is all real.”

Even with her busy performance schedule and numerous TV appearances, Koplitz knows that, to a lot of fans, she’s best known as “Joan Rivers’ friend,” and she’s OK with that.

“I’m on a reality show with Joan and Melissa Rivers,” she said. “I’m really good friends with Joan and on the show they always label me as Joan’s friend. I understand. I’m not a big famous name so I understand why people would say, ‘She’s Joan Rivers’ friend.’ Whatever you are bringing to the table is what everyone leads with. So with Philly Pride, I’m ‘Joan Rivers’ friend.’ For something else, I’m ‘Jenny McCarthy’s friend’ because I’m on the ‘Dirty Sexy Funny’ tour with Jenny McCarthy. I’d like to be known as just ‘Lynne Koplitz,’ but it’s fine. It doesn’t bother me at all. If it pays the bills, I am more than happy.”

Lynne Koplitz performs at Philly Pride June 8. For more information, visit www.lynnekoplitzcomedy.com.