Alex Borstein has been a part of many of our upbringings as cast member of MADtv and as the voice of Lois Griffin on FOX’s long-running series Family Guy. Borstein is also set to premiere a new sitcom on HBO next month called Getting On.
In addition her super busy schedule Borstein is the national spokesperson for The National Hemophilia Foundation, a charity very close to her heart because of it’s direct influence on her personally as a carrier and family. Borstein will host What’s So Bloody Funny? an evening of comedy variety at the Highline Ballroom on October 30th to raise funds and awareness for the National Hemophilia Foundation. We caught up with her to talk about her close connection to the cause, her new HBO show and she manages to juggle it all.
You have a show coming up at the highline ballroom on the 30th. Can you tell fans what they can expect if they’re going to be in New York?
You know, it’s kind of awesome, because it’s really different; it’s like nothing else I’ve ever done. It’s not going to be just a stand-up show, there’s going to be other bizarre stuff going on. We’ve got people that are going to be performing; some we can’t announce, some I can hint towards. I could say that it’s going to be another brunette Jewess known for comedy and then you could guess who it might be.
Well, I know who one of the people is and it’s hard for me to not tell also.
Well, yeah, that’s the fun thing—if you guess I could neither confirm or deny.
And you want people to dress up for this since, too, right? It’s the day before Halloween.
Yeah, it’s the day before Halloween. The event is “What’s So Bloody Funny?” and it’s a fundraiser for the National Hemophilia Foundation, which is for people with bleeding disorders such as myself. So, you know, “bloody funny,” bleeding disorder, get it? Thankfully the comedy of the evening will be better than that. I can guarantee it. So it’s right before Halloween and we thought it would be kind of a fun time to do it. People can dress up and we will be choosing the lamest—the worst—costume. Probably the best Ms. Swan or the best Louis Griffin.
Are you dressing up yourself for this?
Maybe. I don’t know. You think I should?
I think so. I mean, you know…
I think I will probably look normal for a duration of the show, and then perhaps make an appearance in a costume at some point during the show.
Okay. A lot of secrets are coming out.
Yeah, I know, so many secrets. There’s going to be some traditional stand-up, and I’m doing a little bit of a multimedia performance. And we’ve got one guy, Marcus Monroe, who does amazing things; there’s juggling involved, which I know can sound cheesy and like you’re going to a children’s circus, but it’s not, it’s amazing. And then there’ll be some music, some singing, and some insanity like that.
If people aren’t aware, the foundation you’re working for, it’s you and some family members who have this condition as well, correct?
Yes, it’s the National Hemophilia Foundation and hemophilia, for those of you that don’t know what it is, it’s a bleeding disorder. It’s when your blood doesn’t clot like other people’s does. You’re missing factors that help your body to clot, so if you get an internal bleed you can just bleed profusely and get severe joint damage. Sometimes there can be brain damage if it’s a head bleed and sometimes, worst case scenario, it can lead to death with a real severe hemophiliac. But, most people that live with a bleeding disorder just constantly have to stay up on the treatments. The treatments are changing and getting more and more cutting edge every day, and that’s hopefully what we’re going to be doing is raising awareness, raising funds, to help continue to push our treatments to getting better and better. Our main mission right now is called “My Life, Our Future,” and we’re trying to get every hemophiliac to have genetic testing so that we can identify each hemophiliac’s specific gene mutation that creates hemophilia. By doing so it’ll give us clues into treatment and one day possibly a cure.
That’s pretty awesome.
It is pretty cool. I’m fascinated by genetics and the work they’re able to do by isolating each person’s specific mutated gene. The future is now; it’s better than any science fiction movie you could see.
I would say that if there’s an upside to this, it got you into comedy.
Growing up with a brother with hemophilia and I’m a carrier with symptoms, which now they would actually diagnose me as a mild hemophiliac – my daughter’s in the same position as I am and I just took her for her first appointment and they diagnosed her a mild hemophiliac – it effected our lives every day. After injuries, constantly being in the emergency room, what kind of became my release valve was comedy. Doing stuff to lighten the mood around the house became a lifelong obsession with comedy.
It sounds like such a great cause, so it’s cool you’re raising a ton of money and awareness for it.
When I go to see a show, if someone hosting or involved has a direct tie to the cause, it makes a huge difference to me. I find that the material makes more sense for the evening and there’s genuine heart put into it. It’s not just like some hired some douchebag from the local news to MC it, which most of the events I go to are.