maevepress.com | Boston Globe-14-year-old comic Maeve Press
The evolving career of female teen comedian, actress, writer and photographer Maeve Press
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Boston Globe-14-year-old comic Maeve Press

Maeve Press star wars phone

14-year-old comic Maeve Press takes a seat at the grown-ups’ table.

By Alex Frandsen

Age 14 is supposed to be the pinnacle of pubescent awkwardness. Most kids that age are busy asking their friend to ask Becky if her friend Rachel is like, totally into you, or assuring their parents that this is not just a phase, it’s just who they are now. Maeve Press, though? She’s busy prepping for her appearance in the Women in Comedy Festival, where she’ll be the youngest performer in the event’s history. The New York native will be performing on four different stages this weekend.

Q. You’re the youngest comedian at this festival. Is that something you think about?
A. I’ve always thought that age doesn’t really matter in comedy. If it’s funny, it’s funny, it doesn’t matter how old you are. I don’t get any special treatment from anyone because of it either. If I’m not funny, people won’t laugh. Comedy is more about being human; my age doesn’t affect that.

Q. Where do you get inspiration for your jokes?
A. I get a lot of material from questions I have about the world, and my experiences in school and in life also help me think of material, too. I get a lot of my material and characters from classes and teachers.

Q. Who do you try your material out on before you do it in a show?
A. I’ll try it out on whoever will listen. Usually my baby sister, my mom, my dad, my guinea pig, my cats. I get a lot of people asking me to say a joke during class or at lunch, so there too.

Q. You can pick one other performer to grab lunch with, anyone in history. Who do you choose?
A. Hmm. I think either Tig Notaro or George Carlin. They’re incredible.

Q. What’s one of your jokes that you can give us before the festival?
A. I do a lot of observational material, so I’ll talk about things that worry me. For example, I read an article about the right to die, so at first I was like, “Wow, I didn’t even realize you had a choice!” I get it now and I think it’s really important. I’m a little worried about my family though because we’re not the most patient people. I can see it now: “Oh no, grandma has got the sniffles! I think that’s it, that’s no way to live.”