by Courtney Sevener
When I sat down to write this article, I just wanted to write “Maggie Maye was on CONAN,” and then sit back in my chair and cross my arms for a brief moment before setting my computer on fire, walking down the stairs of my apartment building, getting into a cherry-red convertible and blasting REO Speedwagon, never to be seen or heard from again. Because it’s a big fucking deal. (And hey, when do I ever get to set anything on fire?)
Maggie Maye is the definition of a triple threat. She can do it all — stand up, sketch, improv — and she can’t be stopped. No one would even try. She dominates any stage she is on with class, charisma, and heart. And the thing is, she’s kind. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing of a quality that is. I’ve never heard Maggie speak poorly about anyone, and I can’t say that about any other person I know, including myself. That’s right, Mark. I am tired of hearing about your girl problems. Just text her already.
I had just moved to California when Maggie came out for the taping. After spending my first few weeks getting used hell on Earth, Los Angeles – my new home, seeing my buddy from Austin come out to perform on a legendary show was the perfect remedy for my homesickness. And what’s more, she invited me along for the adventure. Because that’s what Maggie does. She’s the best.
As I waited in the studio for the show to begin, I thought about how it must have felt to be Maggie backstage. I thought about the audience and how they would react to her, and when she would win them over (immediately, I would learn). I thought about really wanting a free T-shirt that the hype man was giving away to audience members. I got one.
And Maggie crushed it. The best part about experiencing it live was watching the dimly lit Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter listening intently. Seeing them laugh at Maggie’s jokes. Delighting in Andy losing his shit when Maggie said, “No one ever says: Oh man she came up with 200 uses for the peanut? She’s acting black!” followed by yet another applause break. When she was done, I found myself shedding a few tears. Some from laughter, some just in awe of Maggie Maye.
Backstage, Conan ditched his tie and cracked a joke, “Alright, I’m gonna go yell at and fire some people,” and then turned to Maggie and said, “You were the good part!” This was Maggie’s night, and she earned every fucking second of it.
Courtney Sevener is a writer and comedian in Los Angeles by way of Austin, and is currently a student at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Though she misses Austin very much, it’s pretty cool to sometimes see Giovanni Ribisi eating a bagel in real life.