Etta May coming to the Grand Friday

By Reba Pierce, Grand Theatre Volunteer, Published:

Comedian Etta May wants you to know if you think, “I ain’t got nothing in common with white trash,” a lot of the material for her stand-up act comes from looking into your living room window.

The polyester clad matron with the cat-eye glasses takes the stage at the Grand Theatre Friday evening at 7:30.

Born in Bald Knob, Ark., the 10th child following nine boys, Etta May has become a comic sensation. She has been described variously as the Queen of Southern Sass and Minnie Pearl with a migraine.

Etta May describes a life of grinding poverty following the loss of the family farm. Life then became a series of trailer parks across Arkansas. With characteristic humor she says, “Daddy kept the tires on the trailer pumped up and ready to go” as the family kept one step ahead of their creditors.

Although times were hard, Etta May fondly remembers sitting on the front porch and listening to adults tell funny stories. Southern comics, she says, tell stories rather than jokes, a method Etta May often employs.

Etta May joins the likes of Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White as the first female comic ever on the biography show “Comedy Club.” She won the prestigious American Comedy Awards Stand-Up Comic of the Year, and has appeared on Oprah, MTV, and as a guest commentator on “CBS Sunday Morning.”

Etta May’s comedy revolves around home and family, the foibles of raising teenage children, weight problems and the aging female body. As she often says, “I just wait for my husband or children to say something stupid.”

After realizing she could make people laugh, Etta May set out for Los Angeles and lived there for several years. On a visit to central Kentucky, she fell in love with the area. In 2000 Etta May permanently located to nearby Lexington and now has her extended family there.

“There ain’t no prettier sight than flying into Bluegrass Field,” she declares. She did stand-up at Comedy on Broadway when it was located on Broadway.

Underneath the Etta May persona lives a 50-year-old widely traveled, well-spoken woman and mother of four who has made the most of her fame to become a part of the human family.

She hopes you feel closer to her as a human being after seeing her show.

About tickets

Etta May appears at the Grand Theatre Fri., November 16 at 7:30pm. Tickets for Etta May’s performance are $25, $20 and $15 and may be obtained through the ticket office, 312 W. Main, phone 352-7469, or via the website A few tickets remained at press time.

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