Whitney Cummings (Buckhead Theatre 10/4) on 'Roseanne' reboot, STDs, egg freezing and her new book

This was posted by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Comic Whitney Cummings is not a woman who holds back.

In her upcoming new book "I'm Fine... and Other Lies," she talks about being love addiction, co-dependency, eating disorders, workaholism and vaginal steaming, to name a few of her issues. She's about to embark on a 16-date book/comedy tour. In Atlanta, she'll be swinging by the Buckhead Theatre October 4, the day after the book comes out. Attendees get the book, too. (Buy tickets here.)

"It's my first stop" after New York, Cummings said in a recent phone interview from the set of the revived ABC "Roseanne," where she is a writer. "You guys will see me figuring out what the tour should feel like. It's a fun, safe place to try out new stuff. Everyone there is down to laugh. Everyone likes to drink. It's good for your self esteem."

The book, she said, is "so emotional and so intense. And so dark in places." At the same time, she wants the show, though, "to feel light and fun. I'll talk about the news. I'll do stand up straight. I'll litter in some of the more emotional things from the book that makes sense. I'm trying to go deeper, more fearless, more vulnerable."

Cummings has done comedy specials for Comedy Central and HBO. She also starred in her own short-lived comedy series on NBC "Whitney," which lasted two seasons. Her most successful project was executive producing six seasons of CBS's "2 Broke Girls," which ended its run earlier this year.

"I feel so grateful," she said. "We got so lucky with that. We wanted to write about girls with financial troubles." Now that the show is in syndication, did she end up getting Jerry Seinfeld/Larry David level money? Unfortunately, she said not even close. It's 2017, not 2007. Plus, "I give all my money to my family - and my dogs. Those dogs will always make sure I'm an eternally broke girl."

Cummings said comics are playing an important role in such a divisive environment. "When a lot of people are distrusting the news they watch, comedians are stepping up talking about things that most people are too afraid to talk about," she said, "shining light on problems nobody else will admit whether it's Samantha Bee or John Oliver or Trevor Noah. Comedians are obsessed with justice and the truth. So I feel really honored to be a comedian right now."

She is also fascinated with the concept of shame. "I wanted to write stories I was too ashamed to tell on stage in the book," she said, "whether it was about mental illness or addiction or eating disorders, things that are really embarrassing and shameful."

Cummings even volunteered recently to do humorous videos with the American Sexual Health Association for their “Yes Means Test” campaign to reduce the stigma on college campuses to get screened for STDs.

"When I was in college, I was too ashamed to ask a guy if he had an STD," she said. "How many college kids suffer from STDs? What can I do to take the shame off this topic? I like to disarm. Shame is the root of a lot of our suffering."

Cummings, who just turned 35, froze some of her eggs two years ago for a possible future pregnancy. She said it was a way to take the pressure off having to find a dude immediately and having a baby pronto.

"It also takes money out of your paycheck," Cummings said. "I'm literally playing alimony to my eggs. Or child support to some frozen eggs sitting on a beach somewhere in Redondo, California. There's so much I want to do. I want to do another special. I wanted to write this book. I have a couple of TV projects. My body is not supportive of my career. My body has other plans for me. My body's plan is to slowly rot from the inside. By the time I'm ready to have kids, it's not going to be viable to do that."

She has been dating a guy for eight months and so far, so good. "He's never seen my stand up for a reason," she said. And she doesn't want him to read the book either. "It's like reading my diary!" she said. "The thing about comedians is we'll tell complete strangers things we wouldn't tell our best friend."

Cummings is also excited about a current project: working with Roseanne Barr in the writing room of the revived "Roseanne," returning to ABC in 2018 after 21 years. And as a woman constantly fighting low self esteem, she is proud of herself for getting this gig. "It's one of the greatest shows ever!" she said. "I must have done something right. I can't find a way to be mean to myself regarding that."


Whitney Cummings: "I'm Fine... and Other Lies"

8 p.m. Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Buckhead Theatre

3110 Roswell Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305


About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
I cover local radio and TV for both the print and online editions. I write a blog on the same topics.Rodney Ho's Radio & TV Talk blog (new) | Recent archiveSports...