Whitney Cummings’ stand-up more ‘vulnerable’

Fans of comedienne Whitney Cummings have come to expect her sharp, observational humor directed at the men in her life. But after two breakups and some introspection, Cummings is digging deep and turning her wit on herself. Las Vegas is the first stop on a tour of some two dozen cities, where she will try out her new material in preparation of an upcoming hour-long comedy special. She speaks with Vegas.com about her new material, this season of her show, “2 Broke Girls,” and what it’s like to be a dog lady. She performs at 9 p.m. Sept. 27 at Treasure Island.

This is your second time performing in Las Vegas this year.  

I love performing in Vegas, because the audiences are just a blast, because Vegas probably more than any other city, any given night you have the opportunity to see some of the best entertainers in the world. So, for people to choose to come see you, it’s a big honor. Usually, people are pretty enthusiastic and drunk and ready to party. Most people have lost a bunch of their money there, so they need to laugh. It’s always such a good time coming to Vegas. It’s always such a diverse cross section of people, so being able to come and make people laugh in Vegas, you’re like, OK, the material must be good, because usually in Vegas audiences are from all different parts of the country, if not the world.

Do you change around your material to make it a little more Vegas-y?

Not really. I just stick to what I do. I think that when people come and see me, I like them to kind of have an idea of this is what she’s going to talk about and this is sort of what her thing is. So, I stick to that, but if I had a weird experience on the Strip or out on the casino floor, I will certainly talk about it (laughs) because in Vegas, you really can’t go five feet without something really weird happening to you.

A lot of your stand-up focuses on relationships, and even as a married woman, I can relate to a lot of it. I laughed out loud when I heard your joke about women sending their men naked pictured of themselves, but you’d be snapping pictures of dishes. That is so me. That is what I would be sending my husband. How much of your material is based on real life?

All of it. I pretty much just take anything, I occasionally will get inspired by a friend’s story, that didn’t necessarily happen to me, but that’s kind of the deal. It’s stand-up. You really have to get as personable as possible and no matter how embarrassing or shameful it is.

In this next hour I’m working on, that I’m going to be doing when I come (to Vegas), is really, really deeply personal. It’s a level of vulnerability that I’ve never really gone to before in my stand-up, so I’m excited.

It seems really personal already.

Oh, good. Well, in that case it’s going to get super weird! But, I’ve gone through a couple break-ups, these last two years and I’m learning a lot.

My last hour special was kind of making fun of guys and I think people sometimes think that I’m a man hater, or something. This next hour special is more about my flaws and my fears. It’s like the tough exterior is melted away and you see more of my emotional side.

The “Wedding Ringer” just started production and on Twitter it said you play the character Madea?

Oh, no! that was a joke! That’s really funny. I’m playing a character named Holly. I play one of Kaley Cuoco’s (of the “Big Bang Theory”) bridesmaids.

What is it like working on a comedy film? I imagine it to be a bunch of pranks and laughs all day long.

It’s a blast! Kevin Hart is the star of it and he’s a hilarious stand-up, and Josh Gad is a comedy guy. It’s hilarious people and the director is awesome, so he’s really encouraging a lot of improvising. But the script is really funny, too, so it’s really just a bunch of friends getting to play around. It’s cool.

What is your involvement with “2 Broke Girls” these days? Are you able to spend more time on the show now that “Whitney” is over?

Yeah, I’m going to all the tape nights, and I’m actually writing scripts this year for “2 Broke Girls.” I just finished an episode and I’m really psyched that I get to be more involved. I’m there quite a bit this year. It’s going to be noticeably filthier this year, and now you know why.

Whitney Cummings and her dog, Ramona. Source: Twitter

On Twitter, you tweet about someone named “Ramona” and you’d think you’re talking about a person, and I click on it, and it’s a dog looking in a mirror or something.

(laughs) I know! I’ve become a dog lady. So, you guys need to tell me if I start seeming too crazy, but I just got her and she’s so awesome and I cannot stop tweeting about her. I’ve become a full-fledged dog lady. (Coos to Ramona) I’m walking her right now.  (To Ramona) No, come here. Come on! — I’m like obsessed with her. She’s so funny.

Is she your first dog?

Yeah, I’ve never had a puppy. It’s like having a little baby or something. (To Ramona) No, come here! – She’s trying to eat trash or something.

You know what they say: First you get the dog, then you get the kid.

Yeah, well, I think it’s going to be, I get a dog, then I get another dog. (laughs) I don’t see the kid happening anytime soon. You have to have a man who’s willing to have a kid with you first. That’s the catch.

Yeah, maybe, I mean, there’s other catches.

That’s true (laughs). Good point.

My sister’s last name is Kummer, but she tries to get people to pronounce it Koo-mer. Have you ever tried doing that with your last name?

No, no. No. (laughs) You just suck up the fact that your last name sucks and I’m grateful for it, because I think that’s a big reason why I had to get funny at a young age, because I was made fun of so much. I had to be able to retaliate. My last name is why I became quick-witted, but also people are always asking, ‘Is that your real last name or is that a stage name?’ And I’m like, why would I choose this name? (laughs) Like, no. But I wish I had thought of getting a stage name earlier, but whatever. I can always be a porn star if this doesn’t work out.

What other projects are you working on right now?

The most important thing to me right now is working on my hour special. I’m going to be taping it next year, so I’m touring. I think I’m doing like 30 cities and writing an hour special is a full-time job. I’m just really committed to doing stand-up right now.

The characters on “2 Broke Girls” are really close to my heart, stand-up is really just honest and being truthful, so it doesn’t really feel like work. If it starts feeling too much like work, that means I’m probably not being authentic or honest.

I’m really passionate about this new material I’m doing, so I’m excited. Vegas is my first stop on hitting the tour hard. I like to start in Vegas. If what you do works in Vegas, you’re probably in good shape. I’m just psyched to see what people think of this new, more vulnerable material I’m doing.