Writer and stand up comedian Carrie Snow, came up the ranks through the world of sitcom writing, but never lost her passion for stand up comedy. After the ups and downs of dramatic weight loss surgery and parting ways with Roseanne Barr after a long run as one of her writers, Snow keeps returning to her stand up roots.
The Weekly caught up with Snow as she was traveling back to Los Angeles from her childhood home in Merced where she goes, “twice a month to deal with my mean, crazy and now demented mother.” This weekend, she’ll be traveling to Bonkerz Comedy Club at Palace Station for three nights of stand up performances and mom jokes.
How is your book, My Mom’s Meaner Than Your Mom: True Stories of Mean Mothers, coming along?
Well, the story’s not over because mom’s still alive. I haven’t quite found the arc of the book. It’s about surviving, with humor, having a mean and crazy mom. And now that she has dementia, my joke is my mom doesn’t know it, but she’s a democrat again! The jokes just write themselves. I think part of the arc is that my sister just went into remission from having cancer for a year and we realized our mother didn’t have to die for us to live. I go home and make sure she has 2-ply toilet paper, even though we don’t think she deserves it, and I bathe her dog and go to Costco.
How do you find time for stand up with all of your family obligations?
I’ve kind of been doing my sister/mom dharma. I learned that word in yoga. It means your duty. I sneak in stand up when I can. I have such a different appreciation for it. It’s still not fun to walk into a hotel room by myself but it’s more fun than giving my mom’s dog a bath.
You had gastric bypass surgery and even helped Roseanne Barr through this same ordeal, how has this weight loss changed your outlook on life?
For some reason, I’m not on a diet now and I practice yoga and I get to be as close to a person as I have imagined. The fact that I don’t get recognized anymore is OK. I go upside down on stage. I do a dirty joke in a head spin and I’m having the best time ever. … [Roseanne] was really good and hired a lot of the comics. However it ended, she did a good thing for me, and I say a little prayer for her every December 20th, which is the anniversary of my surgery.
Did you have a favorite character to write for on Roseanne?
When I got to write on the Roseanne sitcom, my favorite thing was getting to write jokes for Martin Mull. That was a dream come true. I had met him through a friend in the ‘70s, but then to get to work with him and write for him – what a treat!
Did you ever write your own experiences into your characters?
That’s how you write jokes in the first place. My boyfriend used to be a writer on the Drew Carey Show and he had that wonderful experience of community where everybody’s going bowling after they had written all day, all that real camaraderie. Whereas the Roseanne writers, when we see each other, it’s like we were POWs together. I don’t have my own bowling ball, let’s be honest.
What was your brief stint like acting on Roseanne?
That’s when I finally realized it was way more fun to be a writer than a performer. I was not down with the whole being an actress thing. I don’t think I was that great at it, whereas standup is so much fun for me. With the writing you got to be funny sitting with the writers with your feet up, and as a performer you had to sit there like a piece of veal in makeup and a dress.
What was your role in the film The Aristocrats?
I’m kind of like the canary in the coal mine and if you can’t handle my part in The Aristocrats, then you will run screaming from your own home when you hear the rest. I was old friends with Bob Saget because we were in LA together. He’s dirty, but he’s so sweet. … I say that Bob once bought me junior slim Tampax for Hanukkah to leave around the house, so guys would think I was really tight. And if that’s offensive, then the rest of the movie, you’re just going to have a seizure. It’s not the joke, it’s the telling of the joke and the fraternity of comedy. I say fraternity because it’s mostly guys. Being told the joke is like being anointed, being made to laugh until you wet yourself a little. And the horror, the horror of it all.