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Jen Kirkman is 41 years old, divorced, and childless. And she's completely unapologetic about it. When friends ask, "Who will take care of you when you're old, if you don't have kids?" the comedian replies, "Hopefully servants." She even wrote an entire book about a child-free life, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids. Since her view on parenting is perfectly clear, she's using her next book and stand-up tour to prove to everyone that even though her life may appear to be in shambles, she's actually doing just fine.
Between Kirkman's latest memoir, I Know What I'm Doing—and Other Lies I Tell Myself, and her Netflix special, I'm Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine), it's obvious that she has moved past the "justifying her decisions to people" phase of her life and straight to the "I don't give a fuck" stage. She talks about eating a block of cheese like a sandwich and accidentally and proudly becoming a cougar. And she isn't afraid to casually admit what she doesn't understand, like: How does she reach the Department of Homeland Security to report potential terrorism? And what is feminism, really? She knows one thing for sure: "Feminism isn't doing the stupid shit that men do. If that was the case I'd be peeing on my front lawn and starting wars."
And those who wonder if it's all just an act need look no further than Kirkman's appearances on Comedy Central's Drunk History (she's a regular guest). Anyone who can recount the tale of political cartoonist Thomas Nast taking down Tammany Hall leader "Boss" Tweed—after downing two bottles of wine—knows exactly what they're doing.
Jen Kirkman Sat 4/23, 8 PM, Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport, thaliahallchicago.com, $20-$25.