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Bottom's Up!

Jackie Hoffman talks about the release of her new CD, Live at Joe's Pub, and returning to the club for her special holiday show Scraping the Bottom.

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One might expect total nonchalance from Jackie Hoffman about her first CD, Live From Joe's Pub
, and that was exactly what the hilarious comedian-singer planned to feel too. "My first impulse was to tell people it meant nothing," says Hofffman. "But it took so much work and it was so crafted, I am really proud of it, and it means a lot that all these songs are now fully legitimized by being on CD."

The songs in question -- nearly 20 outrageous numbers that cover everything from her dislike of children, her illnesses, and her outright enmity for Christmas -- were all written by Hoffman, with a variety of composers. "I enjoy writing songs; in fact, I find them much easier than writing comic pieces or monologues," she says. "I tend to hear a certain musical style in my head, but when I give the lyric to one of the guys I work with, they always come up with something much better than whatever was in my head. I think they become inspired by these lyrics, since a lot of musicians have a particularly dark and nasty sense of humor they never usually get to express. In a way, I let them spread their wings."

Hoffman will be performing many of the songs from the album, as well as some new sure-to-be-favorites, at Joe's Pub in a show entitled Scraping the Bottom on Mondays, December 8, 15, and 22. "I was very self-conscious about doing any sort of best-of-show where I had to repeat old material, because my fans are very smart and very loyal and have really good memories. But with the holidays coming up, I decided how could I not do a show," she says. "There are a couple of real treats in this one."

Hoffman's plans for 2009 are totally up in the air, she says. "I would like to try doing one of my shows at a legitimate theater," she says. "But most of all, I'd like to do a play. My training is as an actress; this kind of work was born out of necessity. And I think what hurts me now is that casting directors and playwrights think of me as someone who does just these dirty little songs. But really, I just want to play Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
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