Stand-up comic Kristin Key coming home for annual Christmas show with new CD in tow
By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
Amarillo native Kristin Key realized a childhood dream in 2016, giving her even more reason to be home for Christmas.
The stand-up comedian, who has toured nationally since cracking the Top 10 of the fourth season of Last Comic Standing in 2006, will celebrate the release of It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Kristin at her annual Home for the Holidays show at 10 p.m. Dec. 21 at Hoots Pub, 2424 Hobbs Road. Cover is $10.
"Oh my God, I've wanted to do a Christmas album forever," Key said . "Before I even wanted to be a comedian, I'd say, 'When I'll grow up, I'm going to be Karen Carpenter, except I'm going to eat a sandwich.'"
Christmas has always been a big deal for Key, a minister's daughter who started her comedy career at 19 at the defunct Amarillo Comedy Club.
"My dad's a big Christmas music junkie, so as soon as the Thanksgiving dinner is over, Christmas records start playing, and every year, it gets earlier and earlier, so now I think when the last trick-or-treater has left, he puts on one," Key said.
Key, who incorporates singing and guitar playing in her comedy act, began adding original Christmas songs to her holiday show a couple of years ago.
"Someone asked me one time where they can get those songs, and I said you can't. I only play them once a year," Key said. "I thought about recording them for just a few people, but then I decided (earlier this year) to do a full-length, 15-track comedy album, and as an afterthought, while I was in the studio, I did a three-track EP of the Christmas songs."
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Kristin is actually more family friendly than most of Key's act, even though one track, Rudolph, Don't Go, is one extended poop joke about the red-nosed reindeer.
The song was inspired by a crack her dad made during the Olympics about the Brazilian rowing team: "The reason they rowed so hard was because it was their own duty."
"It wasn't that funny, but when I put pen to paper to write, that line couldn't get out of my head," Key said. "I knew Santa would say they need to be duty-free packages, and the song kind of wrote itself."
"Rudolph, Don't Go!," Kristin Key
Key produced her own stop-motion animated video for the song using Lego Christmas sets.
"It was the most frustrating five or six day shoot of my life," Key said. "It's an exercise in patience. Everything was going great for several hours, and I was working on one of the last scenes ... but the little Lego guys need to be clicked in to work, and they were on (cotton) snow, and they kept falling over.
"I was so frustrated that I threw over the whole table," she continued. "Now I understand why kids melt down. It's because their toys are hard to play with."
The Christmas EP is the first of three albums Key will release in the next few months. Up next is a live recording of one of her comedy sets in Seattle in October to be entitled I'm a Hooker, so named for a deeply personal confession Key makes during the set.
"I come out as a crocheter," she said. "I've got a whole bit about a crochet hook and a ball of yarn and say 'you might as well call me a hooker.' The label suggested that for the title.
"I've been holding on to that for a long time," said Key, who actually came out as a lesbian in 2015. "Hopefully in these politically charged times, people will accept me."
Other than sly cracks like that, politically topical humor really isn't Key's forte.
"I don't like to talk about it because I do want the world to get along," she said. "It's hard for me to see how divisive we can be when we forget there's another person on the other end of the computer. ... I'd rather us all stick together and figure it out together.
"I try to combat the hate with cute animal pictures and funny videos," she continued. "I'm trying to keep spreading hope and positivity and not dwell on the negativity and on what's going on."