WORDS BY PATRICK STRAIT
Samantha Ruddy is ready to see people again.
She’s not a hermit, necessarily. But when the pandemic hit, Ruddy took an extended layoff from standup, and is just finally getting back on the road. The tour includes two shows in Minneapolis this weekend at Comedy Corner Underground, Ruddy’s first time back since 2019.
“I had a really difficult time writing standup during the pandemic, because I wasn’t performing it and I never realized how reliant I was on talking things out on stage,” Ruddy says. “But since I started doing standup around New York again, I’ve been writing constantly and feeling more creative than ever.”
Ruddy’s witty, understated comedy has made her a favorite on stage, on-screen as a digital producer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and online as a writer for Reductress and others.
This past June, Ruddy made her debut on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, which set the wheels in motion for her tour. Even if she did a poor job planning it based on weather.
“The tour is going really well,” she says. “It’s always a little scary when you go to a new city that you’ve never performed in before and don’t really have connections, but it’s turned out to be amazing. I’m really looking forward to Minneapolis, even though I’m going to freeze. But it’s a good time of year for comedy there, because you can either see my show or die of exposure outside.”
Aside from risking death, Ruddy says she’s excited to get into town and reconnect with the local comics and the scene. And go ride the SpongeBob rollercoaster at the MOA.
“One thing I forgot about traveling is how much time you spend by yourself,” she says. “When I come to a new town, I like to try and hang out with the local comics and be more social. If I just go back to my hotel room, I don’t have as much fun and I’m not as excited about the trip. Basically what I’m saying is please take me to the Mall of America.”
While it remains to be seen if Ruddy will get a hat with her name airbrushed on it from Nickelodeon Universe, she does have a very fond shopping memory of her last time in town that she hopes to relive.
“Last time I was there I went to this consignment shop called Urban Jungle,” she recalls. “I got his blue Tommy Hilfiger jacket that I wear every day, so I’m excited to go back there.”
As for the rest of this year, Ruddy is hoping to polish up her new hour of material and record a special, and hopefully land a new TV gig. As long as it doesn’t interfere with her standup.
“I think whatever job I take would need to either allow me to work remotely or have breaks for me to do standup. I love doing standup and this break showed me just how much I need to be back out here doing it.”
IF YOU GO: Samantha Ruddy
Comedy Corner Underground
8 PM, $15