Marina Franklin is no novice when it comes to the comedy scene; sitting through one of her sets will immediately prove that. She is, arguably, one of the funniest comedians in the industry and yet, equally, one of the most underrated comedians right now. You’ve probably seen her on stages around New York City at venues like Stand Up NY, Gotham, and the iconic- Comedy Cellar… or, maybe you didn’t see her because your eyes were shut from laughing so hard. Rephrase- you’ve probably heard her on stages. Better? Better. Although, when you do see her, she’s hard to forget thanks to her gorgeous, neat fro which has become quite the signature. In fact, that’s actually how someone described her to me one time and I immediately knew who they were talking about. Went something like this:
Bartender: I was at the Cellar and there was a really funny black woman performing.
Me: That’s kind of broad.
Bartender: She had a pretty fro.
Me: Marina Franklin???
Bartender: YEAH! HER!
*and then we laughed and laughed and drank champagne*
Franklin approaches comedy in a very ‘matter of fact’ way. Her tone and delivery captures your attention in anticipation of a serious tale while her demeanor and animated expressions humorously contradicts that expectation, forcing you into a fit of laughter instead. She brilliantly utilizes her voice by way of different ranges, accents, and impressions to seal the deal of her punchlines, and incorporates a hint of acting to paint a vivid image of the story at hand. And boy, can she tell a story. Not only does she effortlessly flaunt the art of storytelling, she also escapes the many stereotypes placed on women in comedy. Further, she escapes the many stereotypes placed on black women in comedy in general- you know, the one where black women are all loud, rude, and well.. “ghetto”. On the contrary, her humor is refreshingly intelligent and has depth expanding far beyond the cliché ‘period and vagina’ jokes that women are so often accused of dwelling on and though many actually do dwell within such one-dimensional topics, Franklin is not to be included in that statistic.
While Franklin certainly isn’t considered to be an “up and coming” comic since she’s very well established in this field, it’s evident that her best years are still in the making as she continues to rise to the top of the comedy scene. Whether she’s performing on a stage near you (her schedule can be found on her site by clicking HERE) or breaking down hot topics on her popular podcast Friends Like Us, one thing is for sure- Marina Franklin is on her way to becoming one of the Greats.