You have to be joking? Calra Bijl


The joke that you loved but no one else did?

It’s a street joke. I didn’t write it, I think it was my dad who told it to me; I haven’t been able to tell it without cracking up before reaching the end (maybe because I’m French). I’ve stopped telling this joke in America because it was always met with dubious stares:

A chocolate croissant and a plain croissant walk around Paris.

The chocolate croissant asks the plain one: “Why are you shaped like the moon?”

The plain croissant responds: “Do I ask you why you have shit on your ass?”

The joke that worked but you are not so proud that it had?

Over 9 years ago I had a long bit about refugees. In it, I was saying that refugees have ‘no sense of humor’ and that ‘they complain all the time how they don’t have a country’ and my response to their complaining was: “well my TV broke this morning, so I guess we all have problems.” It was awful and funny and already back then it was very much current. Every time I started telling this joke, I wasn’t sure if it would work or destroy my set. When it worked I felt bad for thinking of such evil things to say about refugees and when it didn’t work, I felt bad for thinking of such evil things to say about refugees and even worse, I felt totally unfunny. Oh well, I still tell the joke because it’s important to talk about refugees… I even wrote and directed a pilot for a sitcom about it, but guess what, no one bought it.

The comedian(s) that made you want to be a comedian?

French comedians Smain, Lemercier, Robin, Palmade. When I moved to America, Chapelle, Seinfeld, DeGeneres, Poundstone, Izzard. I learned English from them and they’re the reason I tried stand up. Today, I love listening to Ricky Gervais and Blanche Gardin, they make me laugh.

The last thing that made you cry with laughter?

I was at the beach earlier this month, this woman set down her things near our towels. I looked at her probably because I thought she set her things down a little too close to us. Anyway, I’m looking at her, she takes off her dress and she heads towards the water. She’s wearing the top part of her bathing suit and a light blue underwear. I can see she’s wearing underwear but I thought, well, maybe that’s how she rolls, who am I to judge, right? Then she comes rushing back to her bag, hurries to put the dress back on and our eyes meet and I start laughing and she does too. Seconds later she shows me the bottom part of her bathing suit that was buried in the bottom of her bag. She hadn’t realized that she was still wearing her underwear. She changed rapidly and I laughed a lot.

That little episode made me laugh but honestly, it didn’t make me laugh as much as thinking of the chocolate croissant walking around with shit on his ass.

Clara Saves America 


Greenside Venues @ Infirmary Street – Ivy Studio

Aug 3-12 & 13-18

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