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Jackie Kashian tries out political jokes

Jackie Kashian (Courtesy photo)
Jackie Kashian (Courtesy photo)

It took a couple of days, but Jackie Kashian has her land legs back.

The comedian just returned from the JoCo Cruise, a week-long “summer camp for nerds” according to the JoCo website, featuring comedians, musicians and writers, hosted by musician Jonathan Coulton.

“I’ve actually never wanted to go on a cruise because it felt like a hostage situation between me and the buffet,” Kashian said. “But it was a themed cruise and themed cruises are different. The only thing on a regular cruise everyone has in common is that they like cruises.”

While on the JoCo Cruise, Kashian did a live episode taping for one of her two podcasts “The Dork Forest,” which celebrates “dorkdoms,” or the nerdy subjects her interviewees are interested in (the other is the Jackie and Laurie show, which Kashian hosts with Laurie Kilmartin), and performed two standup sets, both of which featured material from her new album, “I Am Not the Hero of This Story.”

The album brings Kashian to Spokane Comedy Club for a run of shows Thursday-March 25.

While dorkdom has made an appearance in her standup in the past, the political jokes that open “Hero” have not. In fact, Kashian notes in the first minutes of the album that she dropped pre-written material to make room for new jokes about the state of the country post-Trump’s election.

“I don’t do political material, but I do now, I guess, because I’m human,” Kashian said.

The album was recorded in December and released earlier this month.

Kashian said she’s never put such new material on an album before, having only performed those jokes half a dozen times before recording the album.

“I was just thinking ‘Well, I don’t want to not address the elephant in the room, so let’s do this.’ ”

Kashian has heard time and time again recently that our current political climate has contributed to the golden age of comedy, but she’s having none of it.

“I would write jokes about airline food for two years,” she said. “I would give up my right arm for us to have democracy back.”

Aside from the odd Twitter bot or two, “eggs,” as Kashian refers to them, she hasn’t received much negative feedback about her inclusion of more overtly political material into her sets, mostly thanks to supportive standup audiences.

“They may not agree with whatever you’re joking about, but they sit through it and if it’s funny enough, they laugh,” she said. “If it’s not funny enough, they’ll tell you.”

She also doesn’t provoke much ire because, as Kashian said herself, she looks like everybody’s roommate from college or their aunt.

Those who can look past Kashian’s harmless appearance and have gotten upset about her material have something to fear, though, as it’s only getting stronger.

“(The political jokes) are much better today than they were three months ago,” she said.