Charm City is always buzzing when the delightfully funny Poppy Champlin is in town. Back in Baltimore to perform “The Queer Queens of Qomedy” at Magooby’s Joke House on Sunday, March 31st, Poppy brings with her two additional comedians that will be sure to have audiences in stitches. Poppy recently chatted with Baltimore OUTloud to tell audiences about the performance, a health scare, and the healing touch found in comedy.

“This is the fourth or fifth time our Queer Queens of Qomedy have come back to Baltimore,” Champlin noted. “Baltimore seems to love us, and I love that we keep coming back. Proceeds from this performance will be going towards the GLCCB. My queens for this performance include the entertaining Karen Williams. She’s a lesbian icon in the community. She’s also an African-American activist, mother, and grandmother. She’s been through it all and has a lot of opinions about everything.”

Champlin added, “I also have a new queen who I’ve used once before. Her name is Kathy Arnold, and she’s from Brooklyn. She’s new and fresh. I would even underline the term ‘fresh’ because she’s definitely coming up through the ranks. She’s playing a lot of clubs through New York right now. It’s very much a boy’s circuit, but she’s been killing it with her material. It’s definitely hard to be new and fresh these days. I, of course, will also be performing. I have some new songs that we’re going to share.”

Champlin went on to explain about her recent health scare which she bravely faced with humor. “I just went through a recent cancer scare – breast cancer. It was very small, and I had a lumpectomy. I made a ton of jokes about it, and I’ve performed some of them already. Hopefully, people won’t be scared by it. Comedy is medicine and sometimes it’s the best medicine for what people are going through in their lives.”

With a career spanning over three decades, Champlin went on to explain where she finds her source of inspiration. “I believe that a comic’s mind just picks it up. We pick it up off the TV or in conversations with friends that sparks an idea to take off and write a bit or joke about it. My mind, it seems at times, almost comes off cartoony. Comedy, sometimes, just comes to people naturally and organically from life.”

Champlin added that while meeting with her doctor one of those organically funny moments occurred. “The doctor was doing the biopsy and said, ‘You’re going to feel a little prick.’ I turned and said to him, ‘I haven’t felt one of those in 25 years.’” Champlin laughed. “Making jokes during it was not a good idea, but I did.” Champlin went on to explain that she will be in her third week of radiation when she holds the show at Magooby’s later this month. “I will still be having [radiation] when I’m at the show. So that will be interesting because they said by the third week you get tired, and that will be my third week.” Champlin added with a chuckle. “I now may have an excuse to hire a driver.”

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Frankie Kujawa
Frankie Kujawa
Since 2011, arts writer Frankie Kujawa has covered a wide scope of entertainment stories and celebrity interviews. From the late Carrie Fisher and LGBTQ icon George Takei to comedians Lily Tomlin and Kathy Griffin to performer Idina Menzel, Kujawa’s candid interview ability brings readers past the byline and into the heart of the story. His unbiased previews of Baltimore-Washington’s theatre scene have allowed readers an inside glimpse of today’s most popular local and national performances. A Baltimore-native, Kujawa is proud to call Charm City his home.