“This show is a show that I have been producing myself – I’m in my sixth year,” Champlin says. “I usually choose a few other lesbian comics to come with me and we go to different cities throughout the country and try to sell out the theaters that hold 300-600 people. For 2012, we wanted to do comedy clubs because it was where I got my start.”
This year, the shows are centered in the Southeast and include dates in Louisville, Birmingham and Nashville as well as Atlanta.
“We will be playing in predominantly straight national comedy club chains,” Champlin says.
Champlin shares her excitement about having Shaw with her on the tour.
“Vickie Shaw is one of the most sought-after comics working the circuit. She’s a mother, she’s a grandmother, and she talks to everybody,” she says. “Her comedy is universal and I think that most of our comedy is universal.”
Shaw launched her comedy career after coming out.
“I came out in my late 30s. My children were 15, 13 and 8. I also didn’t start my comedy career until around the same time,” Shaw says. “Before that, I was a stay at home mom, a Southern Baptist and a member of the Republican Women’s Club. And then I thought, ‘Why not be a lesbian?’”
“Once I came out, I started doing comedy, which is all about your life. I started doing some stuff about being gay but my act is really about everything in my life. I’m a grandmother, a mom and a partner,” she says. “My partner and I have been together for 13 years and our family has all lived together and we have the babies, dogs and relationships and I just talk every night about things we can all relate to.”
Champlin promises QQQ will be “one of the funniest gay shows that come through town.”
“Myself and Vickie Shaw are highly ranked in the top five of lesbian comedians and we’ll both be there. Barb Neligan, who I have just discovered, is going to be right up there very soon. She’s from Nashville and she plays the banjo which, she says, is the law since she’s from Tennessee,” Champlin says.
In addition to stand up, Neligan also writes for CMT and was a finalist in the Southeastern Funny People Search.
“When you get a Vickie Shaw and a Poppy Champlin together, usually the only place that you will see this type of high-ranking talent is on an Olivia Cruise.
Otherwise, you might have to travel to Provincetown or the Dinah Shore Weekend out in California,” Champlin says. “I’m bringing the best to Atlanta and I hope that people will take advantage of the opportunity to see this caliber of comedy while we’re there.”
Another fun addition to the QQQ tour is that it is now sponsored by HRC. With each paid ticket, audience members can opt to receive a free membership to the HRC.
Shaw promises the comedy will provoke everything from incontinence to better mental health.
“People can expect to pee in their pants,” says Shaw. “It’s such a blast. We have so much fun. Just because it’s called ‘Queer Queens’ doesn’t mean you have to be queer to come. We really want everyone to come and have a great time. I love Atlanta and the people who come to our show will be guaranteed to have a good time. It’s a lot cheaper than therapy.”
Top photo: Poppy Champlin (pictured), Vickie Shaw and Barb Neligan are the Queer Queens of Qomedy. (Publicity photo)