Janine Hayes, comic and mom, took fourth place in Nickelodeon’s recent America’s Funniest Mom Contest. For the third year, she organized an evening of stand-up comedy by a group of women (all mothers), to benefit the PTSA of John Adams Middle School and Will Rogers Learning Community.
“This is our first year with sponsors!” Hayes told the full auditorium at JAMS as she started the show. After thanking the sponsors – Trader Joe’s, Islands of Beverly Hills, and Arrowhead – she segued into comedy before anyone realized she wasn’t just doing an introduction.
“I have four children and I’m a nanny for a family with four children. A guy asked me how I could have all those kids. So just to annoy him – I ovulated.”
“At some homes, people are asked to take their shoes off. If I have my kids take their shoes off, dirt falls out. In our house, it’s ‘Put the shoes on! Put the shoes on!’”
“The only spectator sport I’d watch is boxing. Because as a mother I’m so tempted to say ‘Hey guys what’s going on? Play nice!’”
Not the typical musings of an all-American Mom.
Hayes’ co-stars were also not quite the Donna Reed Show. Julie Kidd described herself as “your typical California Mom – blonde hair, blue eyes, three black kids, and single.” She joked about the financial difficulties of her lifestyle: “Living from paycheck to paycheck isn’t easy – especially if you’re unemployed. Last week I gave my kids coupons.”
Ms. Pat breezed on to the stage and off – she had a plane to catch. But during her set she had the JAMS audience howling. She’s a veteran of the “notorious” Uptown Club in Atlanta and much of her set was bawdy and revolved around sex and racial issues.
“I had my first child in middle school,” she confessed. When her health teacher complained that she ruined the class in Sex Education, Ms. Pat said her response was, “Well at least I got an A!”
Jan Davidson, whose two children attend JAMS, admitted, “I’m a terrible mother. The more you screw up, the more interesting your children will be.”
She joked that for Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, “I’m an actor/comedian – so I got to keep my daughter at home and we sat by the phone.”
On her marriage: “I just lost a bit of weight and now I’m wearing my wedding rings by choice.”
Vicky Barbolak was the winner of the Funniest Mom Contest, but her material didn’t mention motherhood at all.
“A long engagement doesn’t work for me,” she said. “I can only hold my stomach in for two weeks.”
And on actresses who are too thin: “I heard an actress say she only ate things she could see through. So at breakfast I picked up a donut!”
At the end, Hayes brought all of her Funny Moms out on stage for a group bow.
Hayes has produced a stand-up comedy benefit for JAMS for three years. She says the show’s audience has grown from 50 to 250 people, and some of the show’s performers have gone overseas to entertain troops. “One year I did a show of all-male comics and I loved it,” she said. “But this year I decided to do all females.”
Interestingly, Hayes already knew most of the other comics. She said that Ms. Pat was the only one she met through the Nickelodeon contest.For those who couldn’t attend, the JAMS Comedy Night with Funny Moms was taped, and a DVD will be released later this spring, with proceeds going to raise more money for the schools