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Comedian Erin Foley to empty pockets, jokes on Columbus stage

Comedian Erin Foley is set to perfom at Woodlands Tavern Feb. 8.  Credit: Courtesy of Natalie Heflin

Comedian Erin Foley is set to perfom at Woodlands Tavern Feb. 8.
Credit: Courtesy of Natalie Heflin

Stand-up comedian Erin Foley might be able to empathize with moderate shoppers who become the targets of upselling.

Foley hates shopping, she said — so much so that she only shops for clothes once a year. And on one such annual excursion, Foley was stopped by one of the women selling perfume in a department store.

The woman tried, unsuccessfully, to sell some perfume to Foley by tempting her with a “free purse” if she spent a certain amount of money on perfume.

“I don’t carry a purse,” Foley said to the woman, as recounted in an interview with The Lantern.

Confused, the woman asked where Foley kept her things if she didn’t carry a purse. In her pockets, Foley said.

“Like a man?” the saleswoman asked.

“No,” Foley said. “Like a lady … with pockets.”

And thus was born the name of Foley’s latest comedic tour.

Foley is set to bring her Lady With Pockets Tour to Woodlands Tavern in Columbus Saturday.

Personal anecdotes such as the one about her shopping experience often become the basis for her jokes, Foley said.

“Everything I talk about happened to me,” she said. “It’s really personal.

“My favorite type of stand-up is when you go see someone perform for 45 minutes or an hour and you feel like you know them. And that’s how I write, through things that happen to me.”

According to Foley, everything that happens to the self-proclaimed sports-obsessed lesbian and New York-to-Los Angeles transplant is worthy of being in her comedy routine.

Foley said some of her material stems from the time she was diagnosed as gluten intolerant and found out that it was a real thing to dating a woman several years younger than her.

Foley has expanded her comedic presence beyond just appearing in comedy clubs, however.

Foley has made several film and television appearances, including a half-hour special for Comedy Central and a spot on “Chelsea Lately.”

She also has her own podcast called “Sports Without Balls.” The podcast is Foley’s excuse to talk about nothing but sports for an hour, she said.

“I love sports and I’ve played sports my whole life, and I’ve always wanted to merge comedy and sports,” she said.

Asked about Ohio State’s athletic teams, Foley said she doesn’t closely follow the football team — but she does keep tabs on another OSU team.

“What I do really like and know more about is the basketball team,” she said. “I really like the men’s basketball team.”

Though she’s found time to put out 30 episodes of her podcast and to fall in love with OSU senior guard Aaron Craft, Foley said stand-up remains her favorite medium.

“I love it so much,” she said. “The live access — you write all day and try it out that night — the immediacy, the connection with the crowd — that can’t be beat … The beauty about stand-up is really connecting with the crowd.”

Tickets to Foley’s 8 p.m. show at Woodland’s sold out, Natalie Heflin, Foley’s representative, said in an email. A second show at 10 p.m. was added, she said.

Woodland’s Tavern is located at 1200 W. 3rd Ave. Doors are set to open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show and at 9 p.m. for the 10 p.m. show. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $30 for VIP seating.

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