Long before moving back to Barcelona, I knew who Kyla Cobbler was. She was the tall, gorgeous, hilarious Irish woman who had my dream job of – wait for it – bartending at the Comedy Clubhouse. And, of course, 50,000 devoted Instagram followers. But when I met her, the intimidation melted immediately as Kyla’s warm heart and open mind were apparent from the get-go.
Kyla is one of those people you can’t help but fall in love with. Her vulnerability and honesty is what attracted her thousands of followers to begin with. “I just started sharing stories, messing and playing, and it just grew organically,” she said of her social media celebrity. “Now I’m like 32 and in a relationship and so my life is really boring … but back then, I was going out and taking pills, like getting f–ked up and sleeping around. And I would just say that. I’d deliver the truth, so I think people appreciated the honesty.”
It’s that same honesty that Kyla’s brought into her stand up comedy. While many of Kyla’s jokes revolve around dating mishaps and other life adventures, one of her favorite recent bits is about walking onto a plane with just two female pilots. She sets up the joke as a feminist, but turns the audience’s expectations on their head.
“It’s so silly and it’s so fun,” Kyla giggles. “It’s very true … we’re all like, ‘yea, yea!’” Kyla cheers on feminism, “and then we’re like ‘oh s–t,’” as reality sets in. This goofy little 30-second bit is a grander remark on the realities of being a woman and how society informs our perspectives of what women should and shouldn’t do. Many years ago, some people might have said that women shouldn’t even be comedians, but Kyla is proof that some women are born to be funny.
Just two years ago, Kyla was an Irish blogger and now, she’s selling out the Cork Opera House with an annual residency. “I never really considered myself a comedian until Mike Rice invited me on his podcast and he actually called me a comedian,” she explained. “And I remember being like, ‘I’m not a comedian.’ And he’s like, ‘Hey, right so you’re not a stand up, but you’re definitely a comedian, like you’re writing material, doing material online,’ and I was like, ‘I guess you’re right.’ And then he was saying to me, ‘You should try to just try it.’ And I was so scared.”
But she tried it for the first time at Andy Casper’s Imprfcto Open Mic, luckily to an almost all-Italian audience. (Kyla speaks Italian) So Kyla told them in Italian to laugh at her and make her look like she’s doing a great job to Mike, and it worked like a charm. But the stage fright didn’t stop until at least a year later when she was finally going onstage consistently, which is now Kyla’s advice to new comedians: go onstage as much as possible.
Everyone in the Barcelona comedy scene loves Kyla, but that love is definitely not one-sided. We like to claim her as our local celebrity, but she really is an example of how living life and taking it as it comes can work out in your favor, especially in Barcelona. “I think if it wasn’t for the Barcelona scene, I wouldn’t be where I am today, 100%,” Kyla said.
“It was the love and support of everyone on the scene and the community vibe and just meeting everyone here, I’m like, okay, cool. These are my people,” Kyla added, which is one of the most unique things about this scene. Because most of us didn’t move here to do comedy — we moved here because we wanted some sort of exploration or adventure or cheaper rent, but comedy is what brought us together.
“I think we’re all amazing and you know what,” she suggested, “on a completely professional level, it’s a f–king strong scene. Like, we’re funny. The shows sell out. They’re great shows. We put a lot of work into them and it’s just like, I think there is a maybe this has been done unconsciously, but it is an abundant scene. Like, there’s enough for everyone. We realize that. No one’s greedy. Everyone kind of worked together to create something that’s really special and it worked. It’s a really special place and the shows are f–king incredible.”
They are! Even Sh*tty M*c is amazing (I have nothing to do with it … this is not a sponsored post). Seriously, though, we are lucky that Kyla calls us home, and not just because she makes the best golden lattes a gal could ask for. It’s really her jokes, her personality, and her energy that are golden.