Having a sense of humor is mandatory when you’re a parent. Without it, you could easily lose your sanity, especially in these turbulent times. And if you’re a single parent, you probably need a triple dose.
Humor is a great motivating tool and works wonders when you want your children to do something they don’t want to. When you inject humor into life’s challenging mix of ups and downs, annoying stuff is easier to deal with. Most parents would probably agree that being firm but kind of funny is an effective way to create a loving bond with your family. And it’s a good way to keep your kids in line, as they all-too-suddenly transition into smart-alecky adolescents and know-it-all teens.
El and Mel agree.
Between regular feedings, diaper changes, and pediatrician visits, these hilarious mom comics are just finding out that humor is the best medicine when it comes to fussy tots and dirty laundry.
Melanie Kinard and Ellie Dunn, a two-woman-comedy-music duo, have been real-life best friends since they were 12, and have been performing all over the city (and the world) for many years. But after a bit of a hiatus, these funny gals decided to reinvent themselves in the form of “The Mommy Show (for Adults Only).” They plan to present their new act in venues city-wide, but were proud to make the official debut at QED Astoria in Queens on June 3. So stay tuned. You can expect more shows in Park Slope, the Upper West, and the Upper East Side in late summer and early fall.
“When we first developed our act, we were both living in Queens, and we worked on material in the living rooms of our respective apartments. Back then, we were all about being single ladies, gallivanting about town with our fabulous gay friends. But now that our songs are more about nursing babies and less about nursing drinks, we’re catering to a whole new crowd.”
As newbie moms and doting wives, the duo can’t wait to get on stage and share songs, stories, and sassy one-liners about parental angst and their families’ trials, joys, and tribulations with anyone who will listen.
El is a Queens girl and is 16-month-old Charlie’s mama. Instead of doing big Midtown shows, she says Mel and El’s goal is to make life more convenient for parents who need a night out.
“We’re going to bring the show out to different neighborhoods and connect with the parent-centered businesses and organizations in those areas.”
Mel recently “defected” to Harlem from Queens with her hubby and kiddies — Colin, 3, and Claudia, 3 months. She said they want the show to be a place where you can relax and laugh and also meet some cool parents from your own neighborhood.
As the friends’ lives changed, so too did their act.
“I got married when I was 35, so I had plenty of years to be a little bit ridiculous and make a lot of mistakes,” said Mel. “I continue to be a mistake-making ridiculous person, but now I do it with a husband and two kids.”
“We made ‘The Mel and El Show’ and performed versions of it all over the place — from a downtown crowd at Joe’s Pub to 3,000 gay men on an Atlantis Cruise in the Mediterranean — and then we had kids,” says El. “All of our material started to be about pregnancy and babies and parenthood, so we finally decided to fully embrace it and ‘The Mommy Show’ was born.”
But Mel and El’s fresh, new laugh-out-loud show isn’t just for mommies. They describe it as a totally inclusive experience that has been entertaining moms, single folks, grandparents, gay parents, and other people with senses of humor for years.
Do the comediennes have any tips for working moms?
“I read some article recently that basically said, ‘There is no such thing as work-life balance,’ and that sounded right to me,” says Mel. “It’s been a relief to let go of the idea that I should always feel super ‘namaste’ all the time. When I’m working, I’m worrying that I’ve abandoned and ruined my kids. When I’m with my kids, I’m obsessing about checking things off of my work to-do list. It doesn’t end. Most days I would benefit from a vacation.”
“That was profound. I was going to say something fairly basic, like ‘Don’t go to the office with poo on your shirt,’ ” says El.
“That’s wise, too,” says Mel.
For more on Mel and El, visit www.welcometothemommyshow.com.