Pay Gap

This month is loaded with free comedy from Twin Cities leading ladies of laughter.


March might be Women’s History Month, but women in the Twin Cities are impacting the Minnesota comedy scene all year long. To celebrate their talents, 14(!) incredible comedians, all women, will be a part of the Pay Gap Comedy Series every Wednesday this month at the Market at Malcolm Yards. For free.

From comedy legends like Mary Jo Pehl to newer voices like Pearl Rose, this month’s schedule features an eclectic lineup of personalities and comedy sensibilities. The one thing they all have in common? They’re all hilarious.

March 1

Wendy Maybury

Current hometown: St. Croix Falls, WI

Years performing: 12

When can you see her? March 1

Wendy Maybury has had a career that most comedians can only dream of. Her debut album, She’s Not From Around Here debuted at number one on the Amazon comedy charts. She’s performed for nearly 5,000 people at the Minneapolis Convention Center opening for the late Louie Anderson, and she hosts the long-running monthly showcase, Day Drinking with Mom, at House of Comedy. But that’s not to say her career has been all roses.

“Once my dad heckled me at House of Comedy and completely stole the show,” she recalls.

Leave it to your parents to keep you grounded.

When she’s not crushing on stages, Wendy is a mother, photographer, and a master of decluttering. But don’t let her wholesome image fool you: She’s also been known to joke about parking ramp sex, turbo Baptists and Nazi grandmas. Truly a renaissance woman if there ever was one.

Last month, Maybury flew to Alaska to perform, but all you must do to see her is drive to St. Paul.

Who should see Wendy live? According to Wendy, her enemies may include whitewater rafting outfitters, children (ages 6-9), unwoke white-trash cops, bats, Aunt Debbie and Biggest Loser trainers. Everyone else should be good to go.

Ashli Henderson

When can you see her? March 1

Who should see Ashli live? Whether she’s recreating famous R&B videos, going viral online, or commanding a raucous crowd as a host or a headliner, Henderson is right for anyone ready to party— even on a Wednesday.

Mary Jo Pehl

When can you see her? March 1 & 22

Who should see Pehl live? From Mystery Science Theater 3000 to her recent memoir, Dumb Dumb Dumb, Pehl’s comedy is great for anyone who likes dumb movies, silly jokes, and incredibly witty anecdotes.

Maggie Faris

When can you see her? March 1 & 22

Who should see Maggie live? From her tongue-in-cheek YouTube series, Dyke it Yourself, to her silly songs professing her love of the Minnesota State Fair, Maggie is like a comedy carnival with plenty of different attractions and tricks for everyone!

March 8

Sarah McPeck

Current hometown: Richfield

Years performing: 12

When can you see her? March 8

The late-in-life lesbian who followed her little gay heart to Minneapolis, Sarah McPeck has become the godmother of LGBTQA+ comedy in Minnesota. As the creator and host of the monthly WENSGAYS comedy showcase at Sisyphus, spotlighting queer comics (as well as some very funny allies), McPeck is a master of lifting people’s voices as well as their spirits. Unless you’re a middle school student, that is.

“I was teaching improv at Eagan Middle School where none of the kids chose improv,” she recalls of her career low point. “It was just forced upon them for an after-school activity.”

While the kiddos may not have embraced McPeck’s comedy spirit, she has had much better success with countless other improvisers as a teacher at the Phoenix Theater.

That larger-than-life persona was on display in 2021 when she was selected to emcee the Twin Cities Pride Festival, and it will be on display this month at Malcolm Yards Market.

Who should see McPeck live? Late-life lesbians, early-life lesbians, anyone who wants to feel positive and uplifted and walk away with an appreciation for life will love her. Just no middle-school improv students.

Ellie Hino

When can you see her? March 8

Who should see Hino live? She’s the cool mom you always wished you had. She loves her son, but has a filthy mouth. She wants to rage with the kids, but also needs to be in bed at an appropriate time. Watching Hino perform will make you feel like you’re hanging out with the cool kids, even if you have kids of your own.

Gabby OK

When can you see her? March 8

Who should see Gabby live? Gabby once said that when she performs at breweries, she likes to talk about more general things, such as aliens, instead of getting up and being like, ‘Y’all like gay stuff, right?” So do you like aliens? Do you like gay stuff? You’ll like Gabby.

Bailey Murphy

When can you see her? March 8 & 22

Who should see Bailey live? Bailey gives a voice to the voiceless and says all of the things many of us think and never get the guts to say out loud. From politics to sexuality to race relations, Bailey has a lot to say and is authentic in the way she says it.

March 15

Tiffany Norton

Current hometown: St. Paul 

Years performing: 15 

When can you see her? March 15

Whether you know her as a boisterous comedian, “Bangs” of KS95 fame, or as smartass pastry slinger The Bitter Baker, Tiffany Norton is a master of combining personal reflections with comedy on modern issues with a side of smartass.

While Norton has had some incredible highs over the course of her career, such as producing her own web series and headlining clubs and theaters throughout the country, she’s also paid plenty of dues along the way.

“I performed after an all-you-can-eat pasta dinner buffet,” she recalls, “while the front row slowly dozed off into a food coma.”

Despite having such a long, successful run in comedy, Norton has managed to stay fresh over the years by staying active on stage and keeping current with her jokes—even if it means looking inward. For example, Norton used to have a good chunk of solid, proven material about being married. But when she got divorced, she chucked it in order to present the most authentic version of herself.

These days, she’s still headlining stages, doing voiceover work, and making a mean sugar-glass garnished cupcake. A true triple threat!

Who should see Norton live? Anyone who is fabulous, snarky, or loves to bitch—but like, in a fun way.

Cianna Violet

When can you see her? March 15

Who should see Violet live? One of the funniest new faces on the Twin Cities comedy scene, Violet regularly performs alongside headliners such as Tommy Ryman, and entrances audiences with everything from drug stories to her love of cats (but not at the same time. Usually).

Pearl Rose

When can you see her? March 15

Who should see Rose live? She isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She’s embraced her inner dark phoenix (her words) and found a way to express her anger about capitalism, racism, and customers at her restaurant job in a way that anyone who is also somewhat pissed off can connect with.

Khadijah Cooper

When can you see her? March 15

Who should see Cooper live? Cooper has comedy in her blood, as her mother, Ci Ci, is a long-time Twin Cities comic. That said, Cooper is very much her own woman, incorporating her professional life as a sexual health educator into her comedy. If you want to laugh OR have sexual health questions, Cooper’s got you covered.

March 22

Ali Hormann

Current hometown: St. Paul

Years performing: 3.5

When can you see her? March 22 & 29

Ali Hormann recently tweeted: “Starting standup comedy as a married mom in my mid 30s: Pro—Not one single comic has ever tried to have sex with me. Con—Not one single comic has ever offered me drugs.” That is a very good summation of Hormann, who has always been adamant that she is more than one thing and so is her comedy. She’s a mom raising kids who listen to Billy Joel and Run DMC, and a millennial doing her mediumest because her best is exhausting.

She’s currently the co-producer for Don’t Tell Comedy, which puts on very cool pop-up comedy shows in secret locations all over town, and is a regular performer at places like Laugh Camp, where she opened four sold out shows for Alonzo Bodden last year.

More than anything, Hormann will likely be very excited that she is not on Zoom—she says Zoom comedy is one of her career lows—nor trying to eTeach her children because that might be the only thing worse than trying to make people laugh on the computer.

Who should see Hormann live? She rules. She’s a mom who loves her kids, but misses having hopes and dreams (kidding…mostly) and is a great show for ladies of all ages, hopes, and dreams. Especially if you’re willing to offer her drugs.

March 29

Shyloh Blake

Current hometown: Minneapolis

Years performing: 3

When can you see her? March 29

While the pandemic forced most comics to put performing on ice, Shyloh Blake decided it would be the perfect time for her to break into standup. She began producing a regular Zoom comedy showcase aptly titled This Sucks, allowing her to keep writing and stay sharp.

Since then, she’s been relentless in her pursuit, performing at every club in town, hitting the road, and recently making the move to headliner at various shows across Minnesota.

“The key has been to find my authentic self on stage. Whoever that may be,” she said in a recent interview. “I think it’s a developing journey. I don’t think I can pinpoint that quite yet.”

Though she’s found more success on stage over the past year, the increased visibility has led to an influx of weird trolls online offstage.

“It’s funny because people will say things like, ‘You’re gay!’ or ‘You’re fat!,’” she says. “I’m just like, you’re not even being creative. I know who I am.”

From emotional support dogs to her dating life, Blake is more focused on sharing how she navigated life experiences as opposed to what some Instagram dorks say in the comments.

Who should see Blake live? Anyone who likes their comedy to feel like a casual chat with a friend. Blake is friendly, relatable, and warm in a way that makes you feel like you’re going to be besties forever. Unless you’re a shitty Instagram person.

Bianca Dennie

When can you see her? March 29

Who should see Dennie live? Grown adults. Dennie is a strong, confident performer who shows respect to her audience—but expects the same. Don’t expect to see her trying to shout over a rowdy crowd of partiers in a nightclub. Dennie talks about her life as a mother and soon-to-be grandmother, combined with her experiences in dating (or choosing to stay single), and knows her sweet-spot of performing to people her age (WE DID NOT ASK WHAT AGE) and couples.

Karen Pickering

When can you see her? March 29

Who should see Pickering live? There is truly no one better than Karen Pickering. The former school lunch lady has been performing locally since the ’80s and can take you down a path of motherhood, dealing with school kids, Lutherans, or selling shoes. She’s eclectic enough to fit in with any lineup or audience, and creative and funny enough to steal any show.