Jen Kober taping Netflix standup special at Southlake Theater on Friday, Saturday

Published 2:08 pm Wednesday, November 22, 2023

When Netflix producers asked Jen Kober where she wanted to film her standup special, she could have said Los Angeles or New York City. She didn’t.

She chose her hometown, Lake Charles, and folks who are ready to laugh “so hard their faces hurt” during Thanksgiving weekend are invited to be part of it.

“No politics, no lectures,” Kober said. “We live in a crazy world and this show will take your mind off that for a while. Isn’t that what comedy is supposed to do?”

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Shows for ages 16 and up will be taped Friday, Nov. 24, and Saturday, Nov. 25, at The Southlake Theater. Doors open at 7 p.m. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.

This state-of-the-art performance venue is a new space, located where Skate City used to be on Nelson Road. Tickets are $22.50 available through

Kober said she told producers she wanted to film in Lake Charles before she was sure there was a place with the right space and technology to suit Netflix. Then she found out about the Southlake Theater.

“It turns out that my dad (a doctor) operated on the owner of Southlake Theater’s dad and saved his life, so he said whatever you need.”

Kober, whose first comedy routine was in a Barbe High School classroom, said she is not only happy to announce that the filming will take place at a Lake Charles location, but also that her entire special will be produced, filmed and edited by local artists and crew. The special is even being directed by Kober’s longtime local comedy cohort and best buddy, Jeff Derouen, who will also be the opening act at the shows. Jetuan Whedon will be show hostess.

“When I knew we were filming in Lake Charles, I knew Jeff D had to direct,” she said. “He knows my material so well from all our tours together, and he gets what I’m going for. We have been performing together for over 25 years, and to bring it all home in this big way, with Jeff directing it all, is such a big deal for me. I’m so grateful to have so much amazing local talent around me — and to have them so excited to work with me on this has been the best part!”

The show is set to be released by Netflix in 2024.

Kober is an actor and comedian who has made a name for herself on the national stage with roles in several films and TV shows including “The Righteous Gemstones,” “Dead to Me,” “Hacks,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Purge,” “American Horror Story,” and most recently she appeared in the Star Wars spin off, “The Mandalorian.”

With her standup career, Kober has been globe-trotting all over the world with performances this year in Berlin, Amsterdam, Zurich and London, not to mention her comprehensive tour in the U.S., which has brought her to stages in 49 of the 50 states.

“I still have to get to Alaska for a show. I’ve been there to visit, but it’s the one U.S. state I haven’t performed in yet,” reports Kober. “The traveling has been so extensive, which is both wonderful and awful all at the same time. I’m so excited to be able to go all over the world and experience all the craziness and variety that these incredible cities have to offer. And I am most grateful to be able to have honed this hour on the road, and still getting to bring it all back to Lake Charles to get it on tape, because this is where it all started.”

On Thursday, she’ll be eating Thanksgiving dinner with her family at her sister’s house. Her sister, she says, fries a turkey and makes a decent broccoli rice casserole that she always looks forward to. Her first stop however, will be Nelson’s Donuts and she’s going to make sure any out-of towners, and especially out-of-staters get a taste of Southwest Louisiana at Pat’s of Henderson’s.

The Theater venue is handicap accessible. Call in advance for special needs accommodations, and remember, for those looking for a little light exercise after the feeding frenzy of Thanksgiving, laughing burns between 10 and 40 calories.