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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. logo
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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