On Comedy Roundtable, our hosts Jamie Bendall, Adam Haigh and Jamie Hernan interview stand up comedians, and other funny folks, in a series of segments during which the guests choose from a set of categories to answer lightning round questions. Sometimes off the wall, occasionally contemplative, the questions inspire fun conversations and give our listeners the chance to get to know the comedians they have heard on the radio, seen online or enjoyed during a live performance.
Octogenarian comedian Sandra Risser took time out from getting standing ovations at the Punchline Comedy Club during the World Series of Comedy to sit down at the Comedy Roundtable and answer questions from categories "Drinking" and "Can't Go Away Empty Handed."
Some might call Sandra Risser a late bloomer, considering she didn't start performing stand up comedy until her 60s; however, she was just too busy being a trailblazing computer programmer, amateur competitive body builder, theatre actress and designated driver when needed. Sandra has performed around the country, including in the World Series of Comedy in Atlanta, where she received a standing ovation (just like she did at the US Comedy Contest). You must see her perform live.
Check out some of her YouTube compilations:
https://youtu.be/Z0mZm9TSJ4g PG-13 Composite
https://youtu.be/wwppTAcYfDE PG-18 Show
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Ladies and gentlemen, comedy roundtable these are great questions. Yes, good comedian a math question. Really good question. Thank you. This is so much fun you guys. That is a good question. And that lightning round was so fun. That's a really good question. comedy fans con versation enthusiast it is a brand new episode of the comedy round table pull up a chair settle in. We have a great conversation for you this episode. Let's get this party started little comedy in conversation Jamie Bendel Jamie, Hernan, Adam Well done there's our and we have a very special guest we are recording this episode at the punch line comedy club in Atlanta. Our guest is one of the contestants who actually won her round this evening. Big winner. Santra reserve. Very good, right. Not everybody pronounces it correct. I was alright. Yeah. Well, we tried to get it right and give me a couple of opportunities and I may throw a wrong one in there before the episode is over. Here's the part of the show that is always most entertaining for me as a fellow comedian who has their bio read. Every now and again, we read the comedian's bio, the one that we can find. Yeah, so you're kind of like what does that say? Our guest is a smart, funny and older than Twinkies. She's eccentric, not crazy, now arrives in the fast lane and can still benchpress 500 grams. She believes in the two fairy clean underwear and Santa Claus. Sandra is a rising star in comedy who features major comedy clubs across the USA and headlines at smaller venues. She was a semifinalist in the World Series of comedy in Las Vegas, she received the only standing ovation in the history of the US comedy contest when she won second place in the headline, division. Well, welcome to the show. Why thank you very much. Yeah, glad to be here. Yeah, I truly believe the standing ovation thing because standing ovation. Does that mean I'm gonna get second place? No. Go to the first. Yeah, I hope so. In the standing ovation, yeah, no first place. All right. So give me give me a little bit of the 32nd elevator pitch about how we got into stand up comedy. I was an amateur competitive bodybuilder. I like being on the stage by myself. From there. I did some theater, and then gradually moved into comedy and quit theater. Wow. Okay, I want to go back to the amateur competitive bodybuilding. Yep. All right, how did that start? I turned 40. And I've got to train there for fit and trim as 40 year olds will do. And he was a bodybuilder and kept talking to me about how well I build muscles. And I actually was 49 when I started bodybuilding. Wow. So for us, Adam and I had 11 week 11 Weeks 11 Months of intense strain rededicated out Okay, five six days a week a hidden cut? I've always wondered what's the true cut down process to get competition ready? no salt, no oils? No. Well, at the very end you drink distilled water which is very bad for you sit in the sauna. So you sweat out the extra everything everything and as I said the big thing I think for me the biggest thing was no salt because I am a salt hauled and you compete then you compete and then you cheat day. Yeah, for day dream and then you kind of go back to any go back. So Sandra was an amateur competitive bodybuilder I consider myself a bit of an amateur recreational your amateur non competitive competitive whatsoever. Yeah, I just added salt to my sprite your Oh, I didn't do that. So in the age group, yeah. So you're competing against other women in their 40s or are I getting any younger division beginners group which is any buddy that's never won a competition? Okay, so I was again some younger people and I did the 40 and over Yeah, I thought about the fact that there were different competitive levels and I would love it if there was like I could compete with other like myself right? Where we all go parents like these. None of them are trying to be the dad bod division. Trying just slightly more than just slight Yeah. Well, I got for second place trophies. I never came in first and never came in third. Okay, standing ovation. You're always the second place are always second. Like, yeah, that's pretty good. I'm not complaining. No, yeah, I was happy. That was awesome. And then he retired at some point. Yeah. Then I started my own business. And I didn't have time. What was that business? I bought a travel agency. And I opened it two months before the airline stopped paying commission. All right, so we got out of that business. Yeah. And at some point, we go into comedy stage in theater that stage in theaters. Yeah. Okay. All right. And then, have you found it pretty easy. I mean, comedy. Yeah. I think I was a little slower than some to make it. I've been doing it. 18 years. Two years. No, I didn't start till I was in my 60s. Am I going to do math? Are you not possible? Are you going to disclose to started when you were in your 60s? Yeah, I did on stage I give my age. So no, it's no secret. I'm at of the 81 in June. I am sitting here shocked right now. Bodybuilding pays. Is it paid off? Yeah. Number salt for me. Seriously, you better you better get serious surgery? Oh, sure. Sure. All right. So you're telling jokes in your 80s? Yeah, you're resonating with an audience that's not always in their 80s with you? Almost never. Yeah, yeah. What is the age at which I've always wanted to know this. Okay. Supposedly, as you get older, the tongue gets a little freer. You speak your mind a little more quickly. When does that happen? For me, 7070 was the yes the line. Yeah, I even have a very short bid on it. I haven't read more. But that turning 70 was kind of like pulling the Spanx off my inhibitions. Yeah, so even though you've done the competitive and even though you've done the other stuff, you're on theater, whatever. There was still a part of you that was a little restrained and concerned, you know, held back there are still things I won't talk about on stage. Partly because I don't like topics who talk about gratuitous sexual acts and physical war. Yeah, stuff. Yeah. You don't want to talk about No, I don't want to talk about their stuff. But anything you want. You let it roll. Yeah. Yeah. That's great. Okay. All right. We're gonna get into some questions and we want you to let it rip. Yeah, okay. We have three topics you get to pick from those topics and then we're gonna ask you some questions about them. So the three topics for this episode are drinking drinking can't go away empty handed can't go away empty handed. jobs jobs of those which would you like to go first? Drinking? All right, clockwise or counterclockwise? clockwise, clockwise, starting with Adam. All right. Are you more of a beer or wine or liquor? Oh, I like liquor much. Okay. And is it a clear liquor or brown liquor? I don't think it matters. Okay. About the only thing I really don't like his gin. What's your favorite drink? I'm a gin and tonic and myself, but Well, that's okay. We'll still be friends. I mean, I've never understood why people want to drink a drink the taste like looking at a pine tree but it's just it's the smell. So if a gentleman came up and sat next to you at a bar and was trying to impress you and you were be impressed with the drink he ordered for you, then it would be perfect for you. What would that drink they? Chocolate Martini made with clear Creme de Cacao. That is an impressive drink. isn't impressive guy will take a bold move to show up with a Chocolate Martini. Martini with him to be clear, though I don't like it made with you make me stuff? Yeah, you make it with darkness like hey, bad black Russia. Yes, I completely agree what you got. So you mentioned your age. And I'm guessing at some point in your life, you've had a story involving drinking worthy of telling of those stories. What is your great drinking story? I think maybe it's really has to do with when I was working at in Kansas City, after work of would always go to this place and drink as a group. And that's when they did two fours. Yeah. I mean, every Of course, every guy there has to buy a drink for the whole table. And I don't drink that much. So I'd have all these drinks leftover. My ex husband would have drunk all of his and I said it. Okay, let me drive home. He said No, I'm fine. He seemed fine. And it was wintertime we went over this car Urvi icy road Oh no. Yep. pulled into the driveway. And he passed out before you open the garage door what he held on but you got home? No, I was terrified and that story Yeah, no quit got hope. But I think that's when I did stop drinking for a while. Yeah. And I became a designated driver before they were those windy winter roads. What do you say to your your ex husband? Well, at least thank you for staying awake till we got home and he's like, I think I was pretty much out. I've ever had one of those fall asleep at the wheel really terrifying moments. I think it's happened out of I've seen people do it out of tired. That's I mean fatigue. Yeah, yeah, that's funny. So I grew up in the West, and you drive those long roads where there's nothing there forever between like, Nevada and Utah. And it's just nothing. And people. I've seen people do that, you know, and I'm like, Hey, ya know, off the road, and you're just still, you're still at least while you're fighting for anyway, so you hit a rock or a cow. All right. So I am a 50 year old how much water should be drinking? Should I be drinking every day? I've always heard you're supposed to drink eight or eight ounces. But I've recently read that certain age it just goes to more or less in as he gets older, you will see drink more. And so I have no clue anymore. I was told the other day, it was half an ounce per pound. Really? Really? Yeah. Half an ounce per pound. Boy, that seems like a lot for me. Is a lot. I've got a couple gallons to put down then. Yeah. Water. I'm not okay. Talking about that. I couldn't have sit down with pencil and paper. Yeah, yeah, I think that's probably not a bad rule of thumb, though. I think that's a gallon and a half for me. But Oof. Okay. I mean, I'm a big boy, that would be like 55 ounces per atom. A lot. But you're already supposed to get 60 Your glasses of eight ounces. 64. Four. So you're pretty close. Yeah. Well, I appreciate that. Because I am secretly taking notes. I may enter a competitive amateur bodybuilding competition. Now when you're drinking that water and you're 50 Don't forget to put the little blue pill with it. Yeah. Listen much in the same way that you talk about. There are certain comedic subjects that you don't go towards there are certain community topics that I don't necessarily go towards. All right, we will be back with more of our guests when we return to the comedy roundtable. Congratulations, Jamie, you are the brand new professor of what may be kind of interesting to teach a class on apathy. apathy. Yeah, you think you could teach a class on that? But like department does philosophy, sociology, the philosophy major and I'm telling you that is not a class in philosophy, sociology, maybe here's the thing. Your students never show up. Let's say you're teaching a path because I'm sure that's what the students would call it. A path. 101 right. Hey, are you in a path? Yeah, who would you get Professor hurting? Oh, he's the best. I want to get an easy I go a path a path one on one. Vernon's class easy. He never shows up. But every day you show up for class doing do great things. You're great. You lose by the way you can get an A in that class is to show and it's one on one. So they're not very good at not showing up. Right? They're still like, I think I have to go. You just gave them a blank sheet. The final if you show up you fail. That's right. Yeah. And of course, as Adam mentioned, I'm so good and so renowned. Oh my god, were there. I would come in and I would give amazing lectures and new students like I don't care. I will give an amazing lecture. And then if they ask a question, or whatever you want on the test, what's your name? What's your name? Thomas. Thomas. I don't care. Doesn't I do not care Thomas? How come you never learn my name? Okay. Your grade my paper? I haven't even read it even in my class. Is that is your real name. You think I'm taking attendance I'm gonna go back to the guest. We are back here is still at the Atlanta Mark diner in Atlanta, Georgia punch line comedy Club recording this episode of the comedy round table. I've been enjoying the heck out of our conversation with you very interesting life transition. You said you were in theater at one point. Yeah. What Theatrical presentations were you in performances by? Creme de la Creme one was I get to play mod and Harold and MA Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's awesome. Oh, that was after that. I wanted one more shot. That's the pinnacle I'm putting now so Yeah, I've gotten to where I want to be. Yep. When you were doing the next one, your last one, where you just checked out like this isn't the show what was the thought? What was the last show? Well, the last one was a show called Spider island that nobody's heard of spider Island spider. I better island a musical? No, it's not a musical. Spider Island, the musical. Murder and axes and I played a little old lady in that and I got the axe. Alright, so our round of questions for this segment. Our choices are let's go with can't go away empty handed. Adam can't go empty in what is your favorite heirloom from a previous job? So you didn't leave empty handed? Do you have any heirlooms that you kept with you from a previous reference or mementos? Yes, I do. You can think of what what we programmed back then we had to use a template. And we had to make a flowchart. And I still have all my flowchart templates. Oh, that's awesome. Yeah. Those are good. Did you say you're a programmer? I was in computers for about 18 years. Is that right? Yeah, I did. Application designs programming. And I did a little systems work, but I preferred the raw gene applications. And I did everything in basic assembler language. Really? Yep. centrist. Right. There's all these little team lies. Yeah. Why do I fail in comparison on all all phases of your life? If I lived any one phase, I'd be happy. Alright, so you are throwing a birthday party. All right. And we were lucky enough to get an invitation. And we're at least one of us. Maybe two of us. And we're leaving. And you give us the party favors the goodie bag. What do you get what you get when you leave your birthday? You are giving away? goodies? At your next birthday party. Thank you for coming. Take this prize. Yeah, I know. I've done something that I had never thought about. I would probably give you some food. Yeah. Excellent. Yeah. Little take home. Yeah. You know, because normally when I give a party, I have baked a lot of stuff. Oh my gosh, cook to on top of it. She's a computer programmer. She's a body. She's a comedian. She could cook. I'm in love. I'm basically. Are you into younger men? We don't talk about nine years younger. Okay. I tell him if he doesn't shape up. I'm going 20 years. So I'm kind of fighting chance in 10 years. I have a question for you. Yeah. You said at some point you got divorced. Yeah. Okay. Just the one time divorced. Yep. Okay. How long were you married to that person? I think we were married about 12 years. 12 years. Yeah. Okay. So sometime in your 30s 20s you got married? When you got divorced? No. Were we got married? No, that's my husband now. Yes. I was 34 when America first. Okay. So now that guy's gone. You meet a new guy? Yeah. Is that this guy? Yeah. Okay. And he was nine years younger than you at the time? Yeah. Okay. Always nine years, it doesn't change. That didn't change does change. And that's what I'm about to ask. Okay. Well, do you find as you've aged together, the age difference has gotten smaller. In other words, when you're 30 No, I don't think I did not feel there was any age difference when we did get married. So the beginning Yeah, the feeling of it is very tall. He's very intelligent. And it's the intellectual that drew us to each other. And that doesn't change. Okay. Yeah. So she, she's, she's married to a tall, handsome intellectual, so we have no chance at him. Yeah, I was gonna say. Going a little bit tall. No, he's built about like, you know. thinner hair back in the game. And you got some things. That's interesting. What was his professional background? Oh, we worked at both the Bank of America. I was on the, at the time what was considered the online applications. And he was on the offline applications. Yeah, Romeo and Juliet story. If people are trying to find you online or what? How would they find you? My website is Sandra risser.com. That's a good one. I'm on YouTube. It's under SF Marissa and I am sad. into ERISA are Sandra Emirates are on Facebook. Awesome. What's the premise of the bid that gets you the standing ovation at the very end? And I did not do what the joke was a call back to at the beginning. I'm supposed to say that I have to go to the swimming pool and pretend I'm drowning to get a young man to kiss me at the airport, and the whole bit is that it's dark. I come home, if there's a murderer in the neighborhood, because there's police there. I need to know a robber. I wanted to know, there was some molester. I want his phone number. And I said, don't judge me. I don't get much reaction now that they banned me from this swimming pool. harassing the lifeguard Yeah. And then I say, ladies, you know what I'm talking about. Those men with their tan hard bodies in those little TD Speedos. They're asking for it. I love it. I love it. That's a great bit. All right. I think we should leave it there. Yes. Thank you, Sandra. We appreciate it so much. Continued success. travelsafe back to Phoenix. Thank you. We appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you, Sandra. Another great episode with our guests, comedian Sandra Risser, what a hoot lady, great energy and amazing life. Well, I got thinking if I keep doing comedy, I'm 30 years into doing comedy. If I keep doing comedy for another 30 years, I will be as old as our guest. Yeah, you'd have to double down I'll be amazing. I'll probably still tell some of the same jokes but alright, it's a great episode. Check her out online and we're gonna put the chairs back away. See you next time we gather here around the comedy round table for Jamie, Jamie and Adam. We will catch you next time.