NYLON’S INSIDE JOKE offers an intimate look at your favorite comedians as they workshop new material at home and on stage.
Catherine Cohen is a diva chanteuse for our times — best known for singing hilarious, sweeping ballads and ditties about her dating life, anxieties, and bodily functions, dusting some glitter on it all. Inspired by Broadway and comic legends like Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters, and of course, Mollie Shannon’s character in the seminal 1999 comedy Superstar, Cohen finds herself firmly in the middle of the two dichotomies: “I think marrying the glamour of the Broadway stage and the depravity of human existence is what’s interesting to me.”
Back in March, Cohen released her lauded Netflix musical comedy special The Twist...? She’s Gorgeous. The show itself had been five years in the making, which is also how long she’s had her residency gig called “Cabernet Cabaret” at Alan Cumming’s tiny East Village gem Club Cumming, where Cohen holds court in opera gloves, go-go boots, and a bubblegum pink guitar.
Now, with The Twist...? She’s Gorgeous out on the streaming giant, it’s time for Cohen to workshop some new material, a process though which she led NYLON. Always a master at finding the levity in darkness, one of her latest original songs is inspired by the grim topic of the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade.
“We’re living in this really cool time right now where when are actively being stripped of their rights and I wanted to address that in my comedy,” she explains. “Groundbreaking alert! And I kind of had an idea of a way to juxtapose making fun of myself and the experience I had the first time I gave a blowjob with the horrors of the world and being stripped of my bodily autonomy.”
“I know there are things that might help me heal/ but when I see a Pilates machine I feel,” she strums on her couch, singing with a feather touch of vibrato. “Like it’s medieval torture device.”
Later, she begins to get dolled up for her performance, choosing a tried-and-true puff-sleeve mini dress. “It’s important to dress like a dumb little slut on stage,” she jokes. “No, I like to look hyper-feminine, very glamorous, fabulous.” Once on the Club Cumming stage Cohen confronts her audience. “Are you mad at me?” she quips. As if they could be.
Watch NYLON’s Inside Joke With Catherine Cohen in full, below.
VP, Creative, Video: Lauren Sofair
VP, Production, Video: Whitney Buxton
EP: Julie Cid
Director/Producer: Rebecca Halfon
Cinematographer: Marshall Stief
B Camera: Jasmine Velez
Sound: Casey Eastmond
Post Supervisor: Amy Eakin
Editor: Claire Fishman
Motion Designer: Ling Yang