Speaking truth to power has long been Stephanie Miller’s approach to comedy. But the lauded progressive talk radio host has shifted her focus since the election of Donald Trump.
“I think he’s too dangerous,” says Miller in a phone interview. “That’s why there’s such a movement not to normalize. People want real comedy with teeth right now, because this is a really existential threat we’re up against. This is not George Bush, who was just kind of doofy and incompetent. I think this guy is pure evil; I don’t think he’s sane, and I think he’s a traitor.”
Miller’s Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour, a semiannual revue she performs with John Fugelsang and comedy duo Frangela, has changed to match the looming threat. Now billed as the Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour, the show is geared to resisting Trump and his watered-down brand of fascism.
“Our show has gone from just being a comedy show to being a sort-of primal scream,” explains Miller.
“There’s something about the combination of me and Frangela and John Fugelsang that’s just perfect for these times. John speaks so fluently about the Bible and Christianity, and Frangela are so dead-on about the race issues going on in this country, and the show’s just joyful. It’s a chance for us to get out of the studio and be with the people who think of us all as friends. I keep hearing the same thing, that it feels like family.”
It only makes sense that the latest incarnation of Sexy Liberal will launch in Wisconsin, since the state’s Republican governor helped inspire it.
“Sexy Liberal actually started because of Scott Walker. It started totally by accident. We were saying, ‘Oh my god, this guy is such a bastard. We’ve gotta recall him,’ with what he was doing to the unions and workers’ rights and all that. So we were like, ‘We should do a show, and we’ll give to Recall Walker.’ So that’s why we’re kicking off the tour in Madison. It’s the birthplace of unions, and the birthplace of American resistance.”
Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour will be at the Barrymore Theatre April 22. Some proceeds will be donated to a yet-to-be-determined local charity, though Miller “has a sense it will be something environmental.”