Laurie Kilmartin brings dark humor to Dayton Funny Bone

Credit: Chris West

Credit: Chris West

“Last Comic Standing” finalist, comedian and writer Laurie Kilmartin will soon bring her stand-up act to the Dayton Funny Bone.

Kilmartin, who is from California, has been performing comedy since the late 1980s. She said that it just seemed wild that a person could stand on stage and make people laugh.

“I was watching stand-up and it seemed like a magical skill to make strangers laugh. It’s [stand-up] a terrible mistake I made in a different millennia and I’m still doing it,” she said.

She is currently promoting her new stand-up special “Cis Work Grief Sl*t.” The special can be streamed on AppleTV, Amazon Prime and YouTube. Her comedy is considered edgy and has been described as dark. Her comedy touches on grief, death and other similar topics.

“It doesn’t feel dark to me. I’m not super dirty or super filthy. It’s [dark humor] is the hardest to pull off. If I can get a laugh out of my mom dying of COVID, it’s a little more fun,” she said.

On season 7 of “Last Comic Standing,” Kilmartin was a top 10 finalist. She was eliminated in episode 7. She enjoyed the experience working with judges, especially her friend Greg Giraldo, who died that same year in 2010.

“It was lots of fun. Greg Giraldo was a judge and every time pics pop up on social media, I say ‘aww.’ But it was over quick. It was a pretty intense couple of months. You have two months to prepare for three sets and then eliminations start,” she said.

Kilmartin has also been a writer for many late-night shows including “The Late Late Show”, “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn” and “Too Late with Adam Carolla. Most recently she was a staff writer for Conan O’Brien’s show “Conan.” Kilmartin said writing monologue jokes helped her in her stand-up act.

“I like sitting down and writing monologue jokes because they are short. You have topics to write about, and I really loved writing a joke at 10 in the morning and then seeing it on TV that night. I just loved that immediacy. It helped me write shorter jokes for my set,” she said.

Kilmartin said she didn’t plan on doing stand-up this long, but as long as it’s fun she will continue. She said the business has changed so quickly recently with social media and the constant need to put material out. But she still finds being on stage with an audience alluring.

“The magic of stand-up comedy is doing it live. My favorite thing is when a new joke works. It’s that two-to-three-month period trying to add to it and make it better. Then it sort of calcifies,” she said.

Beyond stand-up, Kilmartin hosts a podcast with fellow comedian Jackie Kashian called “The Jackie and Laurie Show” where they discuss their stand-up comedy experiences. Kilmartin has also written a couple of books. But she will continue to do stand-up, as long as it’s fun, and is excited to bring her act to Dayton.

“I hope to have good crowds. I like having fun and talking to people in the audience. I want to emotionally stage dive into them. But not really stage dive into them,” she said.

More details

Shows are 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10 and 6:30 and 9 p.m. Saturday, May 11. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased by calling 937-429-5233 or online at

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