Stacy Cay is a Kansas City comic with a unique voice you won’t want to miss. Stacy is a trans woman comedian and model raised in rural Arkansas. She’s performed at the New York Comedy Festival, has opened for Josh Gondelman and Niles Abston, and produces two shows in Kansas City: Spend the Night and The TOGAY Show. Audiences describe her as “hilarious”, her senators say she’s “disgraceful”, and Tucker Carlson calls her “satanic.”
Favorite response to a heckler or troll?
Someone called me a dude, so I replied “Guess your dad’s gay then”
BRIEFLY describe your worst gig (noting that you survived).
I did a show at what I found out later was a cop bar in Liberty, Missouri. I opened my set talking about the Irish festival I went to earlier that day and made a joke about how Irish pride sounds a little too much like white pride. Boy, did they hate that joke.
What were you like as a teen?
I’ve always wanted to be a comedian, but growing up in rural Arkansas doesn’t provide many opportunities.
I was funny as a teen (or at least I tried to be) to the point of being annoying to my family. I didn’t think comedy was something I could actually seriously do until over the pandemic I started consistently going to outdoor open mics and started getting booked on shows as soon as venues opened back up.
On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?
Your experiences are relatable, but you’re going to have to do a bit of explaining and use small words with cis people for them to get your jokes.
Finding that perfect balance of being educational while not being too nerdy is key to making cis people laugh!
What’s your first impulse when someone says “women aren’t funny”?
Maybe women just aren’t writing jokes for people who hate women, like you!
When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?
A drive to relate to other people and a constant desire to get better. You can never really bomb on stage as long as you learn something from it!
Best comedy advice you ever got?
Record the audio of everything you perform and listen to it afterward. If you don’t like listening to yourself, most other people won’t either.
Worst comedy advice you ever got?
“Make your comedy so everyone can laugh with you.” Some people are bad and don’t deserve to laugh.
I have no intention of making my comedy more palatable to bigots because my life is inherently offensive to them. Why would I want to make them laugh?
Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy”?
Being outnumbered! It’s rare to find a room that’s majority women, but it sure is awesome when it happens.
How has being funny helped you in your offstage life?
It’s always how I’ve processed trauma. And it helps to connect with people in pain. A well-timed joke can be the sugar that helps the medicine of life go down.
Was there one person who inspired you to go into comedy?
Another Kansas City comic, Stephen Taylor, performed as a comic on a storytelling show I was on where I told a sad, completely unfunny story.
He invited me to open mics, told me I should try it out, and gave me encouragement along the way in the early days. He’s another comic who fled the south during the Trump years, so our experiences are similar. He’s also amazing on the stage, and I try to replicate energy like his in my act.
What single word always cracks you up?