'Lizz Free' for Two Nights
Comic and 'Daily Show' co-creator Lizz Winstead in Austin
By Kimberley Jones, 2:23PM, Wed. Jun. 20, 2012
Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show and Air America, touches down for two nights in Austin in support of her new book of essays Lizz Free or Die and a cause dear to her heart, Planned Parenthood.
Conversational and cheerfully contrarian, Winstead's book touches on her strict Catholic upbringing and her conventions-flouting adolescence (her first night sneaking out to a club ends in a disaster when she discovers her liberally applied zit cream glows neon under the club's blacklights), as well as her evolution into a politically engaged standup comedian. In 1996, she co-created The Daily Show and also served for some time as its head writer; later, she was instrumental in the Air America Radio network.
Winstead isn't afraid to air her dirty laundry in the book. And I doubt she'd call it dirty, anyway: She has a matter-of-fact, often very funny way of chronicling the moments that have made her who she is today. One chapter recounts how, pregnant at 16, she wound up at a free (Christian) clinic, asked about abortion, and was warned that "your choices are mommy or murder." Actually, there were three: Become a reproductive rights activist.
Her two-night stop in Austin includes a reading tonight at BookPeople, followed by a show tomorrow at the Palm Door benefiting Planned Parenthood. It's part of her ongoing tour called "Planned Parenthood, I am here for you!" As Winstead explains it, "I have this crazy notion that in this life I wanna be part of the solution. And when it comes to reproductive rights, throughout my life, I have had to turn to Planned Parenthood for many of my healthcare needs. They were the only affordable solution. And they were always there for me."
Winstead reads tonight (6/20) at BookPeople at 7pm. The Planned Parenthood benefit takes place tomorrow night at the Palm Door. Also on the bill: Kathy Valentine and her band The BlueBonnets, as well as "some surprise special guests." Tickets costs $75 general admission, $175 for VIP. Buy tickets here.