Feminist, single mother, sharp critic of patriarchal norms: Can Katherine Ryan’s comic persona survive that she becomes (gasp) a “missus”? The full word is the title of her new show, but fans need not worry – this is very business as usual.
It means Kardashian jokes, honest and dirty sex chats, quarrels about cultural differences and input from her almost 13-year-old daughter Violet. During the lockdown, the latter became the breakout star of Ryan’s excellent podcast Tells everyone everything.
These days, “awakened” Violet digs through her mother’s old jokes and cancels her, Ryan sighs. She also works as a fashion police officer and describes Ryan’s glamorous look for Missus – a floral mint dress and glittering headband – as “The Statue of Liberty in a row”. Hard but fair.
In a slim set, Ryan laments his status: it’s only losers who get married, right? Piers Morgan did it twice. She talks about the unlikely reunion with her teenage boyfriend while she was in her Canadian hometown in the film adaptation of Who do you think You Are?, aka “Please do not let me be a Nazi”. There she ran into Bobby. Seven months later they got married and the couple now have a son together.
Hopefully Bobby knew what he was getting into as he is the butt of most of Ryan’s (loving) jokes. Ryan describes his confusion over being presented with exotic foods like halloumi or basil, saying it was “like fucking The Little Mermaid”. He struggles with British accents – they look on Love Island with subtitles – and in return the British hear his name as “Barbie”.
Although Ryan is now in a traditional family composition, Ryan believes she is still one feminist pioneering. After all, successful male comedians have super hot wives – why should she not have a hot husband? And Bobby is likely to remain her subject, as Ryan claims that the only group you can currently joke with without causing offense are straight white guys.
She does not comment here The Will Smith Oscar eventbut she claimed on Instagram earlier this week that being offended is the point of a celebrity monologue: “Can’t take a joke, stay home.”
But that may not be all that provides some material: The written Ryan has a skirt around her recent abortion. Instead, there are some lively family anecdotes, including an awkward post-coital moment and her cowardly sisters: one Covid anxiety, triple and masked, the other one conspiracy-toting anti-waxer.
Surprisingly, Ryan defends anti-vaxxers and blames our fraudulent government for destroying people’s trust and snarling it Matt Hancock “can not even grasp convincingly”.
But it is with the personal, not political, material that she really thrives, and even though her home life has changed dramatically, Ryan is still an empowering and vicious fun force.