Possible spoiler: she wears black the whole time. Rachel Feinstein’s first one-hour stand-up special Amy Schumer Presents Rachel Feinstein: Only Whores Wear Purple premieres with limited commercial interruption on Saturday, April 23rd at 11:00pm ET/PT on Comedy Central.
Filmed in front of a packed New York City audience at Gerald W. Lynch Theater, Feinstein tackles a variety of topics with her blunt humor, including her love of “Christian sleepovers” and the reason why dick pics are unnecessary. Feinstein also demonstrates an incredible talent for embodying memorable characters such as her terrifyingly mature middle school crush, her overbearing mother, her judgmental grandmother and porn star Jenna Jameson.
Feinstein is a nationally touring comedian and actress, best known for her ability to morph into various ethnicities and genders. Feinstein has performed stand-up on Comedy Central previously, appearing on The Half Hour and Comedy Central Presents, and recently shot her own Comedy Central pilot. Recent guest appearances include Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, along with several appearances on Inside Amy Schumer and co-hosting The View. Feinstein has also lent her voice to Adult Swim’s Venture Brothers and the phenomenally successful Grand Theft Auto video game franchise. Most recently, Feinstein can be seen in a major recurring role on the Amazon series Red Oaks, and she is also set to appear in Judd Apatow’s new pilot for HBO, Crashing.
Recently, we spent some time with Feinstein to talk about her latest special, current roles, and what happens when friends and family witness her comedy:
My favorite color is purple, I’m off to a bad start according to the title of your new special?
Oh man, you are a worthless whore. Yup, you’re a naughty whore and you need to be punished.
What’s the correlation between the color purple and whores?
I had a baby sitter that told me that. “Only whores where purple.” She also told me that only whores carry suitcases. I don’t know which one is more of a confusing statement, but she did stand by both. “I’ll tell you what they have in there. They have little creams and rinses to cover up their whoring. That’s what they have in those ‘slut satchels’.”
Wow, the things we learn as pre-adults that live with us forever.
I know right. Very confusing.
Now did you find out later in life that she was “possibly” a whore and she would wear non-purple, intentionally, to throw you off her scent?
It’s hard to say. I’m not sure if she was just reminiscing about back in the day. She didn’t admit it if that was the case.
Did you ever end up babysitting when you were older?
I did. I actually like kids, but after they’d go to bed I’d eat everything in the house. So much to the point where I actually got called out a few times. But then I would just eat more because I felt bad about it. That’s how I coped with it.
By the way, congrats on your new special! And this has also been presented by your dear friend Amy Schumer. It’s great to have such an amazing endorsement, and for her to come out and say you are her favorite comedian.
Yeah, it’s really great. We definitely sit around and run jokes passed each other. When we first met, we were doing open mics and bringer shows together. So it’s fun to be able to do this. It was just the most satisfying night of my career. It was fun and also very purposeful to make things like this with your best friend.
It’s got to feel so rewarding. Working so hard and getting to this level where you are putting out specials and everyone knows your name in the world of comedy? You’re a big piece of the comedy pie now.
I need to just play this interview like a Tony Robbins tape, except at night. I hope so. It’s cool. Usually when I get a special I just think, “Oh geez, they’ve made a grave mistake.” And then I fantasize that there will be a fire or something and I won’t have to do it. And then I go on the road a lot right before and realize, “Oh, I can do this.”
How do make the call on what to wear for these things? It’s forever. Did someone save you last second from wearing a onesie on stage?
Haha! Well, if it was up to me I would just go to Conway. I don’t really know that much. I actually at Goodwill right now, I swear to god. The music is really bumpin’ in here by the way. Just you don’t think that I chose this. With all seriousness though, it was really nice this time because there was someone who told me what to wear this time. There was a stylist. She was really cool and just made everything so easy because I don’t know what I’m doing.
You recently performed at the Patrice O’Neal in New York City, had a killer set, and the crowd really dug your latest material.
Thanks, that show was a blast. It was my first time I’ve got to do that benefit. It was such a cool night. Patrice’s family was there and it makes them so happy. I loved doing it.
Well, I’m glad you brought up family, because it’s something you bring up a bunch in your new special. How do they react to how much you share on stage and how open you are about those relationships?
I think my mom likes it. She gets mad if I don’t mention her. “Where was I in your little talent show, your little program?” She just asks gently. My dad was in the first part of the special but I ended up not using it. He’ll most likely be in the next one. He’s even weirder than my mom. He’s just harder to explain. He’s so bizarre. However, my mom shares it with her friends, when I talk about how I think she really wants to be black, she thinks it gives her some street cred with the people she works with.
Well, you’ve given her a reason to be on social media and now she has to keep up her appearances.
She just told me that she’s having the next door neighbors over to watch it. And I told her, “I don’t think it’s appropriate. It’s dirty. Don’t you have anything else to show them?” I feel like it’s just going to be weird. They’re going to think I’m a godless whore or something. And then I felt bad because she had set up this whole evening. There’s certain stuff that I don’t need “Buck”, that’s one of the neighbors’ names, to know about and I don’t know how he’s going to feel about it. I’m a little frightened. There was one time my parents were watching my show and I said “mediocre handjob” and made immediate eye contact with my dad in the audience. It was one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life.
I love that you can’t undo or un-see that event.
I know, it’s just horrific. The bottom line is that they are really supportive. It’s just that sometimes it’s uncomfortable to say those sort of things in front of them. My mom always says, “Hey, I’m from California, you can say anything in front of me.” No one knows what that even means. But she just tells me to go for it. They are really lovely and supportive parents so I can’t really complain.
I simply couldn’t imagine explaining an “Amish handjob” to my mom.
I KNOW! My neighbors are going to see that! My parents are now going to be imagining me giving one and that’s so horrific.
It’s easily the best description of slapping a flaccid p#nis around, and if it’s not a t-shirt, it has to be.
Thank you so much, you don’t know how much that means to me. Well, it’s worked out, most people’s parents are just disgusted by the whole thing.
You are so calm on stage when I see you perform now and it comes through in this new special. You are in total control and in the moment. Does it feel that way to you, or does it still go by in a flash?
I’m certainly more relaxed then I used to be. I’m more honest than when I first started. I’ve been able to find a way to communicate by using less which is great. There are moments when you react to certain things in the room. You come off relaxed but you see that people are talking or notice weird factors that would come into play guiding your material based on how you think they would react. For instance, I was running the special a week before we taped, and some guy in the middle of my set yelled out, “You have a camel toe!” At that moment, I was not relaxed. I looked down and I felt that I didn’t have one so I said I didn’t. Then a lady yelled out, “No, she doesn’t. It’s the way the light is hitting her jeans. Nope, that’s not one.” Then there was like a whole discussion that broke out in the crowd about whether I had one or not. So in moments like that I can’t say I feel particularly relaxed. They were actively arguing.
It sounds like it was an open Facebook discussion about your current state of dress?
Yeah, it was like an open forum! Well, the guy ended up getting thrown out, he was a real prince. And on his way out there door he was yelling about how he is Trump’s speech writer and that I’ll be in Trump’s next speech, which was quite a confusing threat. What a weird thing to pretend to be. A very funny fake cred.
That sort of makes me believe him. Why would you randomly make that up?
That’s a good point. He did look the part.
Your racking up some awesome credits between Trainwreck, Top Five, Friends of the People, Teacher’s Lounge, and this show I’m loving called Red Oaks. More people need to know about it. Tell me about your experience on the show?
I had a guest starring role on that show last season. I played this intrusive swinger. My husband and I were always trying to get people to have sex with us and we weren’t really reading the room. It wouldn’t be the vibe, it would be at like a Bar Mitzvah. So we just played very hostile swingers. Every scene I was in during my run on the show, I was supposed to be trying to kiss someone who didn’t want me to kiss them. It was quite the feeling.
Amy Schumer Presents Rachel Feinstein: Only Whores Wear Purple premieres with limited commercial interruption on Saturday, April 23rd at 11:00pm on Comedy Central.
Check out these two clips: