Ella Fritts is an improv comic, a stand up comic, and a sketch comic. She currently runs an open Mic every Tuesday night at Balentine’s Restaurant in St. Louis’s Lafayette Square.
How long have you been performing stand up?
Two years, but I dicked around between April-October when I started. Let’s say two years.
Who are your biggest comedy influences?
Mostly TV: Community, The Office, Parks and Recreation, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Kroll Show, Arrested Development, and 30 Rock come to mind immediately as having a big influence on what I find funny.
Regarding stand up, John Mulaney, Maria Bamford, Patton Oswalt, Chelsea Peretti, Pete Holmes, Kumail Nanjiani, Kyle Kinane, Kristen Schaal and Kurt Branohler (together and separate), Matt Braunger, Chris Gethard, Mike Birbiglia, Jessi Klein, and Natasha Leggero. Or, more simply, the last two seasons of Comedy Central Presents, versus The Half Hour.
Also, shout out to people I watched grow in popularity (mostly Jenny Slate and Jessica Williams).
This was the hardest part of the questioning and I almost skipped it because I knew I’d miss someone.
Describe your worst experience on stage.
Back in the days of the Artbar open mic, when I hosted under Thom Murray
The joke: “Pretty cool that the only people upset about Caitlyn Jenner’s transition are people who nobody cares about.” (Referencing the D-listers who said shitty things about her coming out)
The heckle: “Gross! Ugh! My favorite Kardashian is Kanye.”
The way I remember it was I yelled back, “My favorite Kardashian is ‘shut the hell up while the comics are onstage,'” but I probably said nothing, ruining everyone’s sets by getting in my head and expecting the room to be liberal.
OH AND ONCE IN CHICAGO I WAS DOING A SKETCH AND RIFFING IN THE AUDIENCE AND AN OLDER DUDE TRIED TO BITE MY NECK SEXUALLY THAT SUCKED!!!
What’s your best on stage experience?
I did a show last year called Something Sketchy This Way Comes at Off Broadway. Big crowd who really liked me. Most applause I ever got from stand up. Good set for someone whom fifteen minutes prior, a young woman ran up to and said, “I just got mugged.”
What’s your favorite thing about the St. Louis comedy scene?
It exists. I think a lot of people assume you have to move out of the St Louis area to do comedy, but there are enough people like me or you to validate each other’s comedy. Then there’s the AUDIENCE and then we really get cooking.
Is there anything you’d like to say to the people sitting in the coffee house where I’m typing up this list of questions?
Ugh, why are you just typing spreadsheets??? I wanna read your shitty novel, not watch you manage some accounts!
Also, go tip your barista.
Rank in descending order of coolness: Pirate, Ninja, Zombie, Robot
Robot (never died never lived), pirate (dying out), ninja (dead), zombie (super dead)
Cake or Pie?
Pie. Fuck icing when you can have the illusion of eating healthy. And graham cracker crust?? OREO CRUST?????? Forget about it!
Plug something. It’s why we do this.
The Improv Shop. I have a team called Rear Window and you should watch us Thursdays and Saturdays we’re on the calendar. Or go on a day they’re open to watch a fun show. Or take a class.
I have a webseries called “Ella Fritts: Street Person” that people seem to like. Ryan Dalton directs and Stryker Spurlock edits.
My Twitter is here and my mom mostly reads them.