HEIDI HEASLET can currently be seen on E!’s The Funny Dance Show. This new series features your favorite comedians attempting to move their feet in a dance competition. The comedians have been competing for the chance to win $10,000 for a charity of their choice. Heidi is not just a co-host but also a creator and an executive producer.
AC: What can audiences expect from The Funny Dance Show?
HEIDI HEASLET: You can expect to see nothing that you have ever seen on a televised dance floor before. All of our dances are comedy-based concepts. Although we have some of the industry’s best choreographers, Kat Burns, Chris Grant, Comfort to name a few. The winners on our show thankfully aren’t judged solely are their technical capabilities. It’s more of a Nailed It vibe on our show. We are the inverse of Dancing with the Stars and we really really mean it when we say ‘So you think you can dance?’
How do you rehearse your jokes? Do you test them on anyone?
I should get better about this. I just be saying things that I feel, and people laugh. Of course there’s a structure, almost a math to it and I’m always working and refining that equation. Mostly, my life is really a joke, and the punchline is usually me, so I’ve got a lot to work with. I do watch my sets back when I get up the guts to watch them. Stand up for me is just, emotional stripping. It’s just you on stage and you are kinda baring it all out for everyone’s pleasure, mine included. To be able to take things that may hurt us and turn them into joyful laughs is a pleasure and a valuable weapon for survival. I hope I am always able to do that, and I feel lucky I’m able to do it now.
What was it like being part of the show?
Creating this show from its inception in the Belly Room of The Comedy Store back in 2017 has been a wild ride. We accomplished part of the dream here, to be executive producing and starring in your own show you made from scratch. I’m not even sure I can give an answer to what these last three years have been like without writing a book.
Who did you particularly enjoy working with?
We had 32 comics grace our stage, 10 choreographers, 8 dancers, and an incredible 300 person crew. In addition, every person involved at our network E! Entertainment. It’s really hard to narrow it down why every person involved has made this so special for me. Its my first TV series that I produced and hosted, so every single person working on this show even the ones I didn’t get to dance with, mean everything to me. Sounds corny but I mean that.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Cardi B, and some time to myself.
When did you begin to see comedy as a potential career avenue?
Tough question. Comedy has been such a large part of my life its difficult to pinpoint when I saw it because it’s kind of always been there all along. It did become more obvious how much it has been apart of my life and will continue to be after I started getting paid to do it.
How important is social media to you right now?
Another complex question for me! I would not be where I am without it, and I think some days I need to lean into it more because that’s really where I made my largest audience laugh. Making people laugh is the goal, and I was poorly dancing before TikTok. Personally, I don’t always like how social makes me feel, so I have to put the phone down. Sometimes I feel disconnected to my own life even though social media is about connection. Social Connection means you get both the good and the bad, just like human connection except always right there in the palm of your hand. So the most important thing to me about social media is how I am choosing to use, or not use it. Some shit is just for real life, and some real-life shit needs to be shared. A balance is important to me.
What do you want the world to look like in 10 years?
I hope it looks more like the good side winning. More equal, more loving, a little slowed down would be nice so that we can really enjoy our time here.
Everyone seems to have an app idea at the moment, what’s yours?
Man fuck an app, I be wanting to teleport but I guess that comes with problems too. Let me try it out though! It would at least save on gas and travel money [Laughs].
In front of the camera. what is a fear you’d like to conquer?
I love being in front of the camera, it’s my first true love, like that in the moment love where it just feels right and perfect. What is hard for me is looking at myself on camera, all I see when I watch myself back are my “flaws” or “mistakes”. I would like to start enjoying seeing my own strengths so that I can enjoy them the same way others do.
What can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
I can’t actually tell you anything! It’s a secret and I’ll get in trouble. I am focused on creating and producing more TV, making more people laugh with my stand up and perspective. Also, watch The Funny Dance Show on E! so we can come back for season two! I want to keep shining a light on comedians, choreographers, and dancers. Plus, we gave away 80k to charity, I wanna do that again and tell my crew we can come back to work. So tune in now!
Aside from your upcoming projects, is there one thing you’re particularly excited about for the future?
Right now in the middle of this pandemic, all I want to do is go to a dive bar or a house party and dance like a passionate idiot. Fun Fact: one time Dave Chappelle (he has no idea who I am) but he told me I was a great dancer at this after-party, and he knows comedy [Laughs]. Get me a DJ who knows West Coast Cali beats and human contact asap. That’s what I’m looking forward to.
The Funny Dance Show airs on E! every Wednesday at 11pm
PHOTOGRAPHY: MATT MISISCO
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES