What’s the best way to describe Etta May? “Minnie Pearl with a migraine.” To put it simply, when Etta May takes the stage, she is the reigning Queen of Southern Sass and Your Woman for the 21st Century! This colorful comedienne, known for her trademark floral blouse, polyester pants, horn-rimmed glasses, and print bandana, used to tip the scale at an impressive 250 pounds. Having dropped over a hundred pounds she reflects, saying “You realize you’re getting fat when you sit in the bathtub and the water in the toilet rises!”
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- Born and raised in Bald Knob, Arkansas, Etta May grew up alongside nine older brothers, who referred to their baby sister as “the human sacrifice.” In fact, Etta May’s parents – her father a potpourri farmer, and her mother – bedridden by constant childbearing, – did not realize Etta May was a girl until she required a training bra.
Etta met Delbert, an aspiring truck driver. On their first date, Delbert spared no expense and picked her up in a limo … okay, an 18-wheeler… and drove her to the nearest drive-in movie show. They were married that evening and it’s been full throttle towards domestic bliss ever since. Nine months later, she was blessed with a boy, followed by a girl and two more boys. She says, “I named my kids after my favorite TV show, ‘My Three Sons.’ Rob, Chip, Ernie, and Tramp.” “My teenage daughter thinks wearing a three-hook bra is playing hard get.” “Her whole vocabulary consists of one word ‘WHATEVER!!” “My kids are little monsters…lucky for me the doctor gave me Valium. What a wonderful drug! Then I realized the prescription was for me and not the kids!”
Through the years, Etta May had a string of dead end jobs. She faithfully drove a school bus for over 10 years. She says she learned how to handle unruly kids by Armor All-ing the seats, and touching the brakes, all the way home. One night, while volunteering as a bingo caller, she recalls, “the ball sucker got stuck.” Forced to entertain a room full of angry Catholics, Etta May realized she could make people laugh. A personal tragedy changed her life. Caring for her cousin dying of breast cancer in Los Angeles woke her up. An amateur night at the Comedy Store on the sunset strip and Etta May was on her way.
Etta May won the prestigious American Comedy Awards: “Stand-Up Comic of the Year,” has appeared live on Oprah, Arsenio Hall, Comic Strip Live, MTV, and regularly on TNN, just to name a few. Her hilarious performance on “The Comedy Store’s 15th Anniversary Special,” broadcast in prime time on NBC, nearly upstaged seasoned pros such as Robin Williams and Richard Pryor.
Audiences may already be familiar with Etta May from the Bob & Tom or the Rick & Bubba syndicated radio shows; Etta is also currently headlining the Southern Fried Chicks Comedy Tour.
- Marital Advice Rule #1
Life on a Pedestal