Award-winning syndicated humor columnist (www.lostinsuburbia.com) and stay-at-home mom Tracy Beckerman knows what it’s like to feel like you’ve become uncool. She’s the author of “Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir: How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs.” Wojo caught up with her for this week’s three questions. Read more about Tracy in Wojo’s column over at Parade.com.
1. Has being funny always come naturally to you, or did you have to hone the craft somehow?
“No. It came naturally to me once I started doing it, but I didn’t know it was there until I started accessing it, until I had a reason to be funny, which was to write a column. I didn’t know that I was funny.
“Honing it? Absolutely. It’s like any other skill. There are certain techniques that you use and then there’s a certain amount of working it until you really find the best funny in whatever joke it is that you’re telling … It’s like a muscle too. I know sometimes when I go on vacation for a week or two, and I don’t write anything, I come back and I’m like ‘I got nothing. What am I going to do?’
“I have a red clown nose, and sometimes if I have trouble getting my mindset back into funny, I’ll put the red clown nose on. And I’ll start writing with the red clown nose on because I feel like, you know what, if I look funny then maybe I can be funny. I don’t know. It’s kind of weird inspiration. Don’t judge me.”
2. Who in the comedy world most inspired you to get into this? Why?
“When I was little, my mother had all those Erma Bombeck books on the shelf ‘The Grass is always Greener…’ I remember reading them as a kid, and on the one hand, I thought they were funny, and on the other, I kind of didn’t get it because it was family humor, a parenting perspective. And I was like ‘I don’t think that’s funny.’
“But I do recall reading those and then when I started writing about my kids, I was like ‘Hey. This is like what Erma Bombeck used to write about,’ and I went back and read her books again. I was like ‘Now I get it.’ And what I loved about her sense of humor, which is so different than what a lot of humorists do today, is it was smart and it was clean.”
3. If the story of your life were made into a movie, who would you want to portray you? Why?
“Well, for the longest time I wanted to play me, but now I’m too old. Is that sad? I’m too old to play myself. Oh, my God. I said to my husband, ‘How about Sandra Bullock? She’s funny. She’s pretty.’ He’s like ‘No. She’s too old, too.’ I’m like ‘Oh my God.’ And he’s like ‘You need to think younger.’
“I don’t really know the answer to that question. I’m going to have to do a screen test. Maybe a guy in drag – especially during the ‘mom bob’ [hairstyle] and ‘mom jean’ years, definitely.”