Fans of actress and comedian Jen Kober, a Lake Charles native, will have a chance to see her live at L’Auberge’s Jack Daniel’s Grill this summer. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, May 30, 2013 11:48 AM
Standup comedian and actress Jen Kober is from Lake Charles and she lets everyone know it. Her Web page bio starts out, “Originally from Lake Charles, La., Jen Kober has bounded onto the national stage bringing crowds to their feet with her original blend of standup story telling.” Of course she remembers her roots because much of her comedy is based on people and culture in south Louisiana.
She plays in Los Angeles, where she lives, Las Vegas. Tampa, Jacksonville, Corpus Christi and other venues across the country, and she stays true to herself, she told the American Press in a telephone interview from her home in LA.
“I recently played at a small room in Ventura and said, ‘The heck with it,’ and gave them my Louisiana humor. They considered me their hick friend and really went with it. Some of them don’t know it’s really the truth, but they get it,” she said.
“It seems like there are southern people everywhere, and the south of every state has its share of hicks,” she said.
The shows she plans for L’Auberge are all new, she said, and will have a lot of improv.
“I’m having Jennifer Bason come in to perform with me. We have been doing improv together since we met in Orlando 1999.
“We really work good together in improv,” she said.
While much of the shows will be improvised on the spot, Kober has written a number of skits, including a parody of KPLC-TV. She and Bason will play the station’s on-air personnel. Another parody is “The Real Housewives of Cameron Parish.”
“We’ll also use a lot of local talent,” she said. “We’re having auditions at L’Auberge Tuesday, June 4. It will give local performers a chance to learn a new skill, working with experienced improv comedians,” she said. “We will work with them in the week before their appearance and help them with improvisation.”
Asked if she coined the phrase “skinny bitches,” she said she cannot take credit for it. She got it from her mother. Jen uses it in her stories to contrast her full-figured physique to fashion-model slender beauties.
“My mother used to see one of these women and mutter it under her breath,” Kober said. Then she told me she got it from comedian Joy Behar. When I met Joy, I got to thank her for the term.”
Kober raves about the experience of making six episodes of the HBO series “Treme,” filmed in New Orleans.
“John was crazy about Smoothie Kings (yogurt drinks). During breaks we popped in his golf cart and run over to Canal Street so he could get his Smoothie King,” she said. “He was just like the dad we all remember from the series, “Roseanne.’ I still watch repeats of ‘Roseanne’ every time I can.”
Jennifer Leo, who played Goodman’s wife on “Treme,” was so helpful in teaching Kober about acting for the camera as opposed to a live audience, she said. Leo remained in character during breaks so she would always be ready to show the emotions called for in the story.
In fact there was very little levity on the set of the serious drama set in post-Katrina New Orleans, she said.
“Some people didn’t know I was a standup comedian until we were through. They were amazed.”
Kober divides her time between comedy gigs and movie and TV roles. She has signed for six more episodes of “Anger Management” with Charlie Sheen on the F/X network. She is in the movie “Paranoia,” to be released soon, with Harrison Ford and Richard Dreyfuss.
“On Mother’s Day I had lunch with Richard Dreyfuss. Afterward I called my mother and told her, ‘I have had the best Mother’s Day ever, and I’m not anybody’s mother,’” she said.
She also had a role in “Grudge Match” with Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone.
“Clint Eastwood came by the set, and I didn’t recognize him, but I said, ‘Could that be Clint Eastwood?’ He leaned over to my ear and said, ‘Yes I am.’ I’ve never been so embarrassed.”