Funny Human of the Week: Candy Lawrence
BYT Staff | Mar 4, 2014 | 3:00PM |

By Matt Byrne. Byrne is a freelance writer based in Chicago, IL. He runs The Steamroller, a blog about the alt/not shitty comedy scene.

Hi again, it’s Matt Byrne, here with a person whose jokes I like that I think you might like too. This week’s person is Candy Lawrence, a Chicago-based standup who does some of the most original and rewardingly ridiculous standup I’ve ever seen. Candy uses her background in sketch and improv to its fullest extent onstage, forcing audiences into the moment with an ADD-addled spontaneity and over-the-top absurdity.

I’ve mentioned in this column before that I work at a record shop in Chicago called saki, which occasionally plays host to comedy shows, including a monthly standup/sketch thing called Freak Happening, hosted by future FHotWs Goodrich Gevaart and Nick Rouley. This past weekend at Freak Happening (which doubled as an aborted performance of Werewolves in Space: A Rock Opera), Candy absolutely destroyed onstage, performing only 1-2 minutes of actual prewritten material sprinkled across 10+ minutes of bizarre tangents and goofy make ‘em ups, making full use of the stage’s uniquely space-y set dressing.


Just last month, Candy was a guest on (former Chicagoan [sensing a theme here you guys??]) Cameron Esposito’s Put Your Hands Together standup showcase/podcast taping at the UCB in Los Angeles. Let’s watch a clip of her set, which features some of my favorite bits!

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Caroline Rhea, stand-up comedian and actress, brings a fresh, smart and spontaneous approach to all of her work. In 1989, Caroline ventured to New York to start her career in stand-up comedy. She studied in the stand-up program at the New School of Social Research and trained at the comedy club, Catch a Rising Star. With nightly gigs at New York's venerable clubs, Caroline's status quickly grew and she became an integral part of the city's comedy scene. Her career was further boosted by numerous appearances on "MTV's Half-Hour Comedy Hour," "Comic Strip Live" and "Caroline's Comedy Hour." For the last seventeen years, Caroline has continued to perform to sold-out audiences in top comedy clubs all over the country and in Canada. Her feature credits include, "The Perfect Man," with Heather Locklear, a supporting role in "Man on the Moon," the story of the late comedian Andy Kaufman, co-starring Jim Carrey, "Christmas With the Kranks," opposite Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, and the wrestling film, "Ready to Rumble," opposite Oliver Platt, David Arquette and Scott Caan. Caroline's television career has taken off since she first starred as Aunt Hilda on The WB's sitcom "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch." She will next be seen in Lifetime's made for television movie "Fat Like Me," airing on January 8th, 2007. She was last seen in a one hour stand up special, part of Bravo's "Funny Girls," entitled "Rhea's Anatomy," which aired on Halloween 2006. Other credits include; host of "The Caroline Rhea Show," regular guest on Whoopi Goldberg's "Hollywood Squares," Drew's girlfriend on "The Drew Carey Show," the made for television movie "Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire," "Pride and Joy" on NBC, Host of NBC's "The Biggest Loser", Comedy Central's "Pulp Comic," "Comic Relief 8" and "HBO's One Night Stand 2005." She also appeared in the pilot of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," written byLarry David. A Montreal native, Caroline currently resides in New York and Los Angeles.
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Candace JAZZMAN Lawrence! Right???

I said earlier Candy has a background in sketch comedy, remember? Her best-known work in that field is as 50% of The Money Kids, a sketch duo she performed with Lauren Lapkus, who you might recognize from her appearances on Orange Is The New Black, House of Lies, or as Tracy Riordan, the occasional co-host of the Comedy Bang! Bang! Podcast. The Money Kids received much acclaim in Chicago and New York during the late ‘00s for their weirdo energy and inventive bits. Here’s one of the few surviving clips from that era, shot at the much-revered iO theatre here in Chicago.

Candy’s on Twitter, too, microblogging crazy goofs and spoofs on the regular.

She’s regularly offering up valuable #lifehacks:

hash browns on my glasses from breakfast cooool SAVED THAT FOR LATER

— Candy Lawrence (@comedylawrence) January 9, 2014


Everyone is on their phones at this bar. Should I pretend to drink this candle?

— Candy Lawrence (@comedylawrence) January 14, 2014

And guides readers down a rabbit hole of self-exploration:

my anxiety started in 2004 when ‘White Chicks’ came out -still tryin to figure out y the Wayans bros thought that movie was a good idea

— Candy Lawrence (@comedylawrence) November 26, 2013

Thought I walked into a Walgreens, but didn’t realize it was a Pet Smart til I got to the back of the store. Smelled of cedar. Lesbian probs

— Candy Lawrence (@comedylawrence) November 16, 2013

While occasionally dropping in a little nugget of truth:

You guuuuys remember message boards? Those weren’t cool.

— Candy Lawrence (@comedylawrence) November 12, 2013

Yes sir your shirt is right I AM ON YOUR PERIOD

— Candy Lawrence (@comedylawrence) February 18, 2014

What I’ll leave you with is an episode of What Am I Looking At?, a web series that follows host Ali Clayton (another Chicago-based standup) and a special guest around to a series of gallery openings throughout Chicago. Before we part ways for another week, let’s spend a few minutes together watching Candy scat along to Jewel and try to feed wine to paintings of dogs.