Marina Franklin
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Marina Franklin

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"Marina Franklin"

Marina Franklin has paid her dues climbing the ranks of stand-up with her never ending city shows, spots at some of the biggest comedy festivals in the country and appearances on Chapelle’s Show and Last Comic Standing. This summer, she’s got a new movie called The Awkward Kings of Comedy—it premieres on May 30 at 92YTribeca—and she’ll be taking the stage at the Comedy Cellar, Comic Strip Live and Caroline’s. Adam Wisnieski talked with her recently about comedy, house music and flip-flops.

What was it like making your first movie?
Surprisingly it wasn’t a nervous feeling because I had been on Chappelle’s Show and I work most nights performing live in front of audiences. I have been friends with Victor Varnado, the director, for over 12 years and this was my first time being in a movie directed by him. He made the experience comfortable and fun! He told me the reason he picked me for the part as host was because I was the first black female comedienne he knew that was not afraid to show her goofy and nerdy side as well as to be freakin’ hilarious!

What shows do you have coming up this summer?
I’m mostly at the Comic Strip Live—that’s my home club. And then I also perform at the Comedy Cellar.

What’s your favorite place to do a show?
My favorite place to play is really the Comedy Cellar. I say that because it’s the top comedy club in the country—I would love to be there more.

Where do you like to hang out in the city during the summer?
Like, outside of comedy do I have a life? I have a life! I’m actually a house head; I love house music and that’s very rare. My favorite place to hang out would be Cielo. I love that club for house music on Wednesday nights with Louie Vega.

What do you do to stay cool when it gets really hot?
I have lots of sex and then I cool off. You know cause the sweat actually helps you. I stay in my cool apartment in Harlem with my beautiful cat and we just cuddle up. I don’t have a man so that’s what I do, the other part was fantasy about the sex thing.

Is there anything that pisses you off about the summer?
The first day of summer. There’s so much pressure to go outside, especially in New York. Sometimes I don’t like nice days because everybody comes out and I don’t like everybody. [Also] I can’t stand flip-flops. Even right now, the first day that’s even 60 degrees, I see people with their flip-flops. I’m like, OK seriously, I don’t want to see your toes and I think it’s disgusting. - New York Press

"50 funniest New Yorkers"

[...] Years of working the clubs has brought out the best in Marina Franklin: She’s a spark plug who talks about her life and times in the city with great physicality, expressive eyes and a little smirk to let the crowd know nothing’s all that serious. Her impressions are not of big, political figures, but people that everyone recognizes from bodegas and street corners; one of her enduring bits about being chastised by a Harlem mother is crisp and detailed, offering not just a glimpse of the estrangement Franklin feels, but a chance to laugh with her as well.­—ML [...] - Timeout New York

"The Jay Leno Show: Pee Wee Herman, Amy Poehler"

[...[ Marina Franklin's correspondent set also brought some much needed comedy to the show. It had a great sense of honest comedy without going over the top from some very genuine people as she toured Harlem in search of signs of the city's slow gentrification. Any one of the people Marina interviewed would have made a much funnier guest than Pee Wee Herman. [...] - Huffington Post

"COMEDY CENTRAL SHOW: The Awakward Comedy Show"

[...] Black comedy takes a different turn as five distinctive comedians take to the stage to challenge stereotypes about smoking weed, confront rumors about black albinos and take a stand for every black person ever caught listening to Simon and Garfunkel too loud. Join Hannibal Buress, Eric Andre, Baron Vaughn, Marina Franklin and Victor Varnado for a hilarious night of comedy that might just get a little awkward.
Marina Franklin is an up-and-coming comedian who has appeared on "Chappelle's Show," "Last Comic Standing," "Girls Behaving Badly," "Premium Blend" and "Comics Unleashed." She most recently served as a correspondent on "The Jay Leno Show." [...]
- The Futon Critic

"Side-splitting comedy is back"

[...] Featured this year are Marina Franklin, an international comedian, David Kau, Riaad Moosa, Krijay Govender and Trevor Noah.

Franklin comes from the US and has participated in a number of comedy performances. She made her mark in the US as a finalist in the hugely popular reality show Last Comic Standing, where professional and amateur stand-up comedians go head to head. [...] - Sowetan LIVE

"David Alan Grier Interview for 'Comedy You Can Believe In'"

[...] David will host an array of raucous comedians like Mark Curry, Bruce Bruce and Marina Franklin during the network's Very Funny Festival in Chicago. [...] - Huffington Post

"John Oliver and Friends are Back! The Second Season of "John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show" Premieres Thursday, March 24 at Midnight"

[...] Among this season's talent: Anthony Jeselnik, Brendon Walsh, Deon Cole, Glenn Wool, Jen Kirkman, Kumail Nanjiani, Kyle Kinane, Marina Franklin, Mike Lawrence, Moshe Kasher, Rory Albanese, Rory Scovel and Tommy Johnagin. [...] - The Futon Critic

"Reality Bites: Last Comic Standing 3 - Episode 1"

[...] So the Season Two-ers were given a choice from among four comics who had made it to the round of 20 in their season: Marina Franklin, Sue Costello, Jessica Kirson, and Kerri Louise.

I loved Marina Franklin, and had been delighted when she was called back to perform in the Season Two Finale, so I eagerly hoped that she would be selected. She was miles above the other three comics. [...] - The Trades

"Meet Jay Leno's new comedy queen (VIDEO)"

Marina Franklin won’t be giving anymore advice to mothers on how to raise their children.

The Chicago-born comedian had a run-in with one mother who was yelling at her child and Franklin decided to intervene.

”’You don’t talk to your child like that,’ I told [the mother],” Franklin laughs. “But then she started yelling at me and I didn’t know what to do.”

And now the story is a part of Franklin’s stand-up act.

Franklin’s everyday comedy helped land her a spot on NBC’s “The Jay Leno Show,” as a correspondent.

Franklin, who has lived in Harlem for more than 10 years, says comedy has been her outlet since an early age.

“I think any moment that’s serious for too long is boring,” Franklin said. “If people aren’t laughing and I’m not laughing, then it’s just sad.”

Franklin struggles to describe her comedy style, but cites comedians Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Wanda Sykes as her inspirations.

“You have to put in a lot of hours and be willing to stay up until 3 o’clock, 4 o’clock in the morning,” Franklin said of her work ethic. “If you want to get better you have to be out every single night working on your craft. And that’s what I did.”

Franklin has appeared on “Chappelle’s Show,” NBC’s “Last Comic Standing II,” and has also performed her material overseas.

She said the Leno opportunity came at a time when she is becoming more comfortable on stage. Her first comedy segment focused on Harlem’s gentrification and aired last week.

“The best part is the work, the comedy, that’s what it’s all about,” Franklin said. “Seeing it come together and it looking like a good piece, it was so exciting.”

Comedian Kyle Grooms calls Franklin his “sister in the comedy game.” Grooms has appeared on Comedy Central, BET’s “Comicview,” and “Def Comedy Jam.”

Grooms and Franklin have toured and filmed comedy specials together. They also practice new material on each other.

Franklin called Grooms when she learned she got the Leno gig.

“Anything you get in this comedy game is a blessing,” said Grooms, who is currently touring in the United Kingdom. “It’s always good to see a friend get something positive.”

Franklin is shooting her next comedy spot for Leno this week.

“I see myself doing bigger and better things,” Franklin said. “I’m just so excited about everything that’s happening. I’m getting more comfortable at what I’m doing.” - The Grio - NBC News

"Melbourne International Comedy Festival to bring laughs galore to Merredin"

THE Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow is making its way to Merredin on Thursday, June 7.

Tickets to this much anticipated event are being snapped up fast where arguably some of Australia’s funniest comedians will take the stage at Cummins Theatre and give it all they got.

First up they have Smart Casual, consisting of Roger David (on guitar) and Fletcher Jones (on beard) who are described as Australia’s smartest, most casual musical comedy duo.

They have toured their shows nationally and internationally and by international, they mean Singapore.

Then there is David Quirk, a Melbourne-based stand-up comedian and actor.

His comedy has been described as radical, dark and hilariously appalling.

Another performer who will take the stage is New York-based Marina Franklin.

She is emerging as one of the hottest comedians in the comedy scene today and has made notable appearances on the The Jay Leno Show, The Chapelle’s Show and Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn to name a few.

[...] - Merredin Mercury


-Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show
-The Jay Leno Show
-Awkward Comedy Show
-Chappelle’s Show
-Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn
-NBC’s Last Comic Standing Season II
-VH1’s Black to the Future
-Comedy Central’s Premium Blend
-Showtime at The Apollo



New-York based Marina Franklin is emerging as one of the hottest comedians in the comedy scene today, with such notable appearances as, Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show, The Jay Leno Show, Awkward Comedy Show, Chappelle’s Show, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, NBC’s Last Comic Standing Season II, VH1’s Black to the Future, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend and Showtime at The Apollo.

She is a favorite in Comedy Festivals across the world, like Melbourne Comedy Festival, Scotland's Glasgow Comedy Festival, BBC's World Stand's Up, Rotterdam's Comedy Factory, Montreal’s Just For Laughs, Ireland’s Kilkenny Comedy Festival, and Nashville’s Bonnaroo Music Festival. Franklin’s career in entertainment wasn’t always in stand-up comedy; originally from Chicago, she made her acting debut at the Illinois Rep Theatre. She then quickly realized her love for acting and went on to pursue a MFA in acting at Syracuse University. Franklin is viciously likeable, if there is such a thing.