Carol Leifer, a stand-up comic and writer rumored to be the inspiration for Elaine on Seinfeld, is on a national tour for her new book of essays, When You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win. It was recently endorsed by the Jewish Book Council, so Leifer will make a stop at the Apler JCC tomorrow night.
If you're unfamiliar with Leifer's brand of comedy, check out her new Funny or Die video here. Below, she addresses the Seinfeld rumor, critiques Micheal Vick's spelling skills, hints she might have turned Ellen DeGeneres vegan, and tells us why she's a big fan of Bret Michaels and Donald Trump.
Was it hard to get started as a female stand-up comedian in the 1970s?
When I look back now, I feel lucky that I started at that time, because the stand-up club scene was all so new. There weren't a zillion comedy clubs like there are now. You kinda knew every comedian. Being a female, I was always in the minority, but that was an advantage for me. It really made me stand out, and the male comics at the time were very mentoring. People like Jay Leno, who' s still a very good friend of mine, became a mentor to me, and to this day, he's still giving me advice. Yet it was very sexist back then; they would put together lineups where I was the token female, but at least I got on.
What gives you more comedic material -- being gay, vegan, or Jewish?
They're all sources of material. What I love about what I do, the more you talk about your life, there are so many people who have similar experiences.
I know another famous vegan lesbian: Ellen. Is there a connection between the two?
funny because I had been vegan for about six months when I went to a
taping of Ellen's show. She had heard that I was vegan and was
inquiring about it. Lesbians are really known for being animal lovers.
Gay women always have so many pets. Besides loving my dogs, I really
see animals all on the same plane. And after reading a book like Skinny Bitch
or seeing videos from inside a dairy farm or a slaughterhouse, it's
really hard to turn back. Because we love animals so much, it's the
next logical step.
Is it true you bought Michael Vick's handwritten apology note from his dog-fighting trial?
we have it framed in our house. I had heard that the Humane Society had
put it up for auction, and I thought this could be a double whammy of
what us Jews call a mitzvah. I plan on selling it again when the time is really ripe, and I'll donate the money again to another animal rights group.
So how's Michael Vick's handwriting?
It's not very good... nor is his spelling.
read that Elaine is a combo of the women Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld
dated. You dated Jerry. Do you recognize any of Elaine's
characteristics as your own? People are going to wonder about your
Other than the
fact that I think Jerry thought it was an interesting relationship to
portray on a show -- a friend who you've dated -- that's where the
You just finished filming Celebrity Apprentice. Who was the most fun on the show?
not allowed to talk much about it as it hasn't aired yet, but I will say
that the person who I was most surprised by was Bret Michaels. I really
thought he would be this self-involved guy, but he couldn't be a
sweeter, more down-to-earth, nicer guy. He's really my favorite person
from the whole experience.
Did you ever want to grab the Donald's toupee and throw it out the window like Elaine did with George?
ain't a toupee, I'll tell you that! I have a newfound respect for him.
When you watch the show, you'll see why. I was really impressed at his
puppetry... in that boardroom, he knows how to pull the strings of
everybody. I was really impressed by his intuitiveness with people.
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Leifer will appear at the Alper JCC (11155 SW 112th Ave., Miami) at 7:30 p.m
tomorrow to read from her new book of essays, When You Lie About Your
Age, The Terrorists Win. Tickets cost $10. Call 305-271-9000 or visit