Robin Cloud
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Robin Cloud

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
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“Audience members found Robin’s comedy to be hilarious, relevant and well-worth the extra credit! Not only did she address racism, sexism and homophobia, but Robin showed a genuine interest in our students and their experiences, thus creating a safe and affirming environment for all – perfect for LGBTQA History Month.” - Fatima Pervaiz, Program Coordinator, Univ. of Toldeo


“Audience members found Robin’s comedy to be hilarious, relevant and well-worth the extra credit! Not only did she address racism, sexism and homophobia, but Robin showed a genuine interest in our students and their experiences, thus creating a safe and affirming environment for all – perfect for LGBTQA History Month.” - Fatima Pervaiz, Program Coordinator, Univ. of Toldeo


hat’s what I helped Robin Carson Cloud do for her wedding to Sarah Carson Cloud who I featured in my first post for GayWeddings.com. In an article on “suiting” gay brides, Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse quoted Robin describing herself as “the Ellen of the relationship. ” In addition to being what I would call a soft butch – like Ellen – Robin is also a comedian recognized in, among other places, Go! Magazine’s 100 Women We Love. - Dapperq.com


When Robin Cloud told her friends she was getting married, they offered to help in the way that friends offer to help, at least for straight weddings. - Washington Post


When Robin Cloud told her friends she was getting married, they offered to help in the way that friends offer to help, at least for straight weddings.

"They said: If you need anything, I'd love to go dress shopping with you."

And Robin responded in the way she had learned to respond, at least to straight people.

She said: "I am the Ellen of the relationship."

That, says Cloud, a 35-year-old lesbian who hasn't worn a dress in more than a decade, "seemed to clear it up for them."

There would be no pilgrimages to Kleinfeld, no debates on the merits of satin vs. charmeuse.

What the woman needed was a good man's suit. A good man's suit can be hard to find if you are a woman.

"Honestly, I don't know how it's supposed to fit," says Cloud. Though she normally dresses in masculine apparel, her job as a comedian rarely forces her to explore further than the casual convenience of Club Monaco or Uniqlo. The wedding "means I have to go to a real men's department, and that will be a little more intense. It's going to be an education."

This is the sartorial plight of the sporty, the butch, the soft butch, the tomboys, the bois, the "Ellens," the Big Dykes on Campus, the women who love women but don't love wearing skirts and really don't love those girly pleated pantsuits with princess seams and scalloped collars. The women who know how to buy work pants, play shirts, clubbing shoes and everything else, but who do not know how to buy formal wear (really, who does?) and are now navigating the experience for their now legalized weddings.
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"I've been really thinking about this," says Nancy Blaine, a book editor who, like Cloud, lives in New York but will hold her ceremony in a state where same-sex marriages are legal. "I've been wearing men's business suits to work for 20 years, but I still don't put on a tie. That's the one step that would raise eyebrows just a little bit higher." In the past she's shopped at warehouse sales to avoid potentially awkward interactions with salespeople. But for her wedding, "I want to be able to ask somebody. If I'm going to do it, I want to do it well." She wants the custom tailoring, the professional eye. She wants to pull out all the stops and wear a tie, and she wants to look darn good.

"Everybody knows where to go for ladies' night, where to go for [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] books," says Eboné Bell, whose Washington area marketing firm sponsored the annual Capital Queer Prom. "But for clothes? It's a free-for-all." Every year before the prom, or for other formal events such as Mautner Project Gala, an annual lesbian fundraiser held Saturday at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Bell fields dozens of questions from women who want to wear tuxedos but don't know where to go or what to look for. She test-drives several stores herself, walking in unannounced and seeing how the clerks respond to her request for a man's suit. She steels herself for the sidelong glances, the leading questions: So you're getting this for . . . a prom? So the person wearing this . . . is you?

- Washington Post


No one would dispute that HBO’s Def Comedy Jam ushered in a golden era for African-American comedy, helping launch Dave Chappelle, Chris Tucker and Bernie Mac, among others. But the Russell Simmons–produced showcase (which aired from 1992 to 1997, and was revived in 2006) also created a prototype for what audiences expected black comics to be: raunchy and in-your-face, yet not so left-of-center or conservative as to come across as weird or “white.”

Consider this weekend’s Black Comedy Experiment, a three-day showcase of diverse and eccentric humorists at the Tank in Tribeca, an antidote to a decade and a half of DCJ conditioning. In addition to Souled Out, a collective of clean-language NYC stand-up vets who initially bonded over their outcast status during the original DCJ era, performers include Onion editor and political satirist Baratunde Thurston, and Desiree Burch, an alt-comedy diva best known locally as the host of Galapagos’s dirty-lit reading series, Smut. Queer comics Keith Price and Robin Cloud bring provocative solo shows entitled Ebony Chunky Love Part 2: Heartaches and Hard-Ons and Bag of Bitches, respectively. “The diversity within the black community got glossed over [during the DCJ era] because everything was supposed to be all hard and urban,” says Souled Out’s Leighann Lord. “Richard Pryor was great, but there’s also Bill Cosby and Flip Wilson.”

Created and programmed by Bed-Stuy’s Elon James White, the Black Comedy Experiment is an outgrowth of the Black Comedy Project, a web forum White and fellow comic Baron Vaughn established last year. “I used to catch flak from people saying, ‘Oh you’re just kinda black,’ and I didn’t understand it, [but] then I’d talk to other comics like Baron and he’d say, ‘I get the same thing,’?” says White, who also founded Shades of Black, a traveling, Brooklyn-based showcase with a similar mission. “People [talked] about it after a show, but no one was putting it out there. So we decided to create something that would start a discussion among comics nationwide, and then see what’s the next step.”

When the opportunity came to bring that next step—this week’s showcase—to fruition, White (whose Web address is elonjamesisnotwhite.com) didn’t have to look far: Many acts he wanted to highlight were already posting commentary to the Black Comedy Project site.

While White and Vaughn say the response to the Black Comedy Project has been overwhelmingly positive, their movement hasn’t been without detractors. “Certain black comics have suggested we’re doing this to create our own hype because we’re not funny and can’t own up to it,” laughs Vaughn, a Shades of Black regular who debuts his one-man show Mystery Up at Negro Creek Saturday.

White is quick to explain that he means to provide an alternative to the brand of comedy put forth on DCJ and BET, not a condemnation of it. “It’s not like, ‘Eww, I wouldn’t do Def Jam’—all of us would do it in a heartbeat,” White says. “Why wouldn’t you? It was great—so many faces you’d have never known about were suddenly in America’s homes. What we’re saying is, ‘Why can’t there also be such a thing as a black Andy Kaufman?’?” - Time Out New York


“AMAZING performance. Top notch..improv, writing...FANTASTIC!” - Mr. Murray Hill - Mr. Murray Hill


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Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Robin Cloud is a New York City-based comedian, writer, college speaker, advice columnist for Dapperq.com and actor. Phew! She is the host and producer of her critically acclaimed live comedy show, “The Triple Minority Report,” which packs the house at NYC’s hottest comedy clubs.

Robin’s sassy, politically charged delivery coupled with her on-point character work has caught the attention of the press and media. She has been featured in GO magazine’s “Top 100 Women We Love,” Time Out New York’s “Quote of the Week”, and was a semi-finalist in NBC’s “Stand Up for Diversity Competition."

Her festival appearances include the Women in Comedy, Ohio Lesbian, Fresh Fruit, Emerging Artists, and Hot! Festivals. Frequently booked to be the Master of Ceremonies, she is proud to have teamed up with fantastic artists and organization such as the Hetrick-Martin Institute, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, NYC Pride, Mr. Murray Hill, Toshi Reagon, Doria Roberts and many more!

As a college speaker, Robin tours the country with her talk "Come out, Stay Out" which aims to educate and enlighten audience members on the LGBTQ experience and inspire individuals to transform their fears into acts of courage.

She is thrilled to be represented by OUTmedia and The Contemporary Issues Agency.