Mariah Girouard performs stand up comedy at the Comedy Clubhouse in Barcelona

Mariah Girouard Has a “Toxic Relationship” with Comedy

It’s 10 a.m. and I’m hungover for the first time in months. But luckily, I have Mariah Girouard’s voracious energy to keep me entertained in the Comedy Clubhouse podcast studio. Our 2023 split hour show, In the Sh*t, won the Clubbie Award for Best Split Hour and a Brighton Fringe Award, so we’ve been performing together quite a bit over the last year. Before that, Mariah won Barcelona’s Funniest FICer competition and progressed to the semi-finals of Romania’s Stand Up Revolution, making her one of the most decorated comedians of our scene.

Mariah’s dark and eloquent humor is sometimes surprising to those who first meet her. She stands at 4-foot-10-inches with Shirley Temple-like locks in her hair. But childlike innocence is not one of Mariah’s attributes — onstage, she rants about everything from awkward sexual experiences to growing up with a history of addiction in her family. And somehow, she makes it all funny by getting into the nitty gritty of the writing.

“I love Taylor Tomlinson,” she references as an inspiration. “If I need to do some writing and I need to get inspired or try to get my brain in creative mode, I’ll watch her. Because I feel like her style is very much something that I, not try to emulate, but I’m into her style. I think it’s probably closest to mine. I like watching her stuff … simply because her writing is really, really good. And it informs some of the things that I try to do because she talks about things where I’m like, ‘That’s not inherently funny.’ Which are things that I do too because I have a morbid sense of humor. So I think it’s interesting how she turns these … things that you wouldn’t normally laugh at into something that’s funny.”

In describing one of her comedy favorites, Mariah aptly described herself. But Mariah also has a silly, goofy side to her that’s always fun to see onstage. In fact, one of her legendary stories has even earned her the nickname, “Poo Girl.” 

“I was hosting Kelly’s Anything Else poetry show,” Mariah recounted a story of how she got her affectionate pet name. “It was supposed to be serious. This is poetic … And I had some people in the audience and they’re whispering. So I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ And they’re like, ‘Excuse me? Are you Poo Girl?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my god. Unfortunately, I know exactly what you mean. And yes, I am. But now’s not the time.’”

Obviously, Mariah has a good sense of humor when it comes to her nickname, but she still takes comedy very seriously. In fact, she still gets severe stage fright before performing. After her first set, Mariah was on a high. “I was like I’m amazing, I’m a professional, this is what I was born to do!” 

Stuart Kennedy, who we interviewed last week, had a similar experience (as did I). It’s a common feeling among comedians after their first set if it gets a good reaction. But then, reality sets in. 

“And then I quickly realized soon after that it was really hard work,” Mariah added. “And I was like, nevermind, and then it was like this love-hate toxic relationship with comedy for the first couple of years where I’d be like, ‘I can’t stay away but I don’t want to be here.’ So I would do it like once a month. I’d have to gear myself up. I had a horrible stage. It was a tumultuous affair.” 

But that’s comedy! You can have the worst bombs of your life and the best shows ever, and we keep doing it to chase that feeling. “Anyone who’s doing comedy is searching for some sort of high because that’s what comedy kind of gives you,” Mariah says. “There is no better high than standing in a room full of people and you kind of control them. You make them laugh.”

There really is something special about using words, physicality, music, poetry, or whatever mode to elicit a specific emotion from an audience, especially when that emotion is joy so pure that they can’t help but laugh. And there’s no better place to do that than in Barcelona.

“Barcelona is a special place to do comedy,” Mariah adds. “I think everything is like a telenovela here. So it’s like, pasión, you know, everyone’s like, they feel big feelings. And they show you those feelings. And you go to a place like the UK. And it’s like, they suppress their feelings and they’ll sit there and they’ll be like, ‘That was funny,’” without even cracking a smile.

Now, after her successful hour, Good Girl, Mariah is bringing a new half-hour of comedy to the Comedy Clubhouse on Sat. Feb. 3 at 20h. For people with big feelings, a dark sense of humor, and the unabashed knowledge that poo is inherently funny, Mariah is the girl for you. 

Get your tickets for the Spotlight on Eventbrite.
Mariah also co-runs Midweek Crisis every Wednesday at 21h.
Follow Mariah @mariahbigirouard.
Watch the full video of this interview on our YouTube Channel or and listen to the full audio wherever you get your podcasts.

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