Brett Butler, who played Grace Kelly in the ABC television series Grace Under Fire, arrives at Boca Raton's New York Comedy Club this weekend, bringing with her charm, originality, a Southern lady's finesse, and, of course, a sense of humor.
Not that Butler doesn't cuss, but you can also expect some wit and sophistication. The comic combines fast-paced and razor-sharp political jokes ("I love to have fun with Katherine Harris and Janet Reno"), true tales of culture shock ("I wasn't Southern until I left the South"), one-liners ("I had no idea I was of an inferior gender until I turned 40"), and other stories that illustrate life's insanities and paradoxes.
With her unique voice, both physically -- it has a deep, soothing tone -- and figuratively, Butler has captivated comedy audiences since her first performance, when she did some of George Carlin's old skits, like "the hippy-dippy weatherman," in a school pageant in second grade. While she concedes that having tits and a seductive voice has helped her with the captivation part, she also argues that success involves much more. "Too many women comedians these days are too profane and self-deprecating," she says. "I just work really hard on being really funny. I'm original, and I don't participate in man-bashing."
But do look forward to politician-bashing. Butler describes herself as proletarian but literate, "a socialist with a Gold Card." Although she maintains she is no left-wing Bill O'Reilly, Butler is unafraid to present her oft-left-leaning opinions. "Just because the Kennedys had a political dynasty doesn't mean the Bushes have to," she quips.
The club, formerly known as the Boca Nuts Comedy Club, was a joke (meaning it sucked) before it was acquired in January by the New York Comedy Club, which redecorated the place, replaced the cafeteria-like seating, and added some big-name headliners to its schedule, such as Butler, Walt Willey, John Diresta, and Billy Bingo -- although the MCs are still local talent on rotation and are inconsistently funny.
Butler says she thinks Florida is unique because it's a mixture of Good Ol' Boys Land and New York City suburbs. "I enjoy places where I can be as wise and loud as I want to, and I think Boca is going to be one of these places. But I also enjoy the redneck country in Tampa Bay."
We'll let the good ol' boy remark slide, but Boca is definitely not a suburb of New York City -- we all know it's the other way around.