Dawna Kinne: The Funniest Mom in the Whole Friggin’ Galaxy

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As Nick at Nite gears up for a third season of its reality series competition, Funniest Mom in America, beginning Tuesday, April 3 at 8:30 p.m. CT. Real-life mom and Nashville-based comedian Dawna Kinne has competed against several rounds of others looking to win a shot at this year’s title. One lucky winner will win $50,000 plus the chance to host a special night of programming on Nick at Nite.
Funniest Mom 3 is a six-part series which follows these moms’ journey to glory. The show follows them from auditions to regional competitions, where twelve moms advance to compete in the semi-finals. Throughout the series’ six-week run, viewers will get the chance to learn more about these moms and their families as we travel with them to their hometowns and get a glimpse at their lives. Roseanne Barr will serve as the host for season three.

Nick at Nite invited all moms across the U.S. to send a tape of themselves at their funniest from October 30 and December 14, 2006. In November, the network began holding open calls at various comedy clubs across the country as well.
In January, Kinne told NashvilleStandUp, “I made the five semi-finalist chosen from Raleigh Regional. Next step – they take the 20 regional finalist and pick 12 to go to LA – so send good big karma my way for making it to the 12!!! I feel pretty damn good hitting it to the 20’s – tonights show was packed with some major funny mothers. The celebrity judges were Hal Sparks from “Queer as Folk” and Kim Coles from “Living Single” – they were awesome.”
This year’s competition takes on a different twist, as visitors to nickatnite.com can vote a thirteenth contestant into the semi-finals! nickatnite.com will post footage of the best moms from the auditions, as well as direct submissions – and users to the site can vote for the mom they think should go to the semi-finals. From the semi-finals competition, six moms will be chosen to compete in various comedic challenges.
NashvilleStandUp talked to Dawna about the experience so far..
how many rounds have you been thru?
Just two so far – Audition in Louisville/Memphis and the Regional – it will get really hard core competitive when I get to LA.
what were the auditions like?
These auditions were different in that it’s open to anyone who wants to give it a go – that American Idol flavor was there – some very funny femmes and some that “looked like those weird Australian creatures with big eyes.” Seriously, there were all ranges of talent.
what percentage of the people were professional comics, vs. clueless “hell, I’m funny!” types?
There were probably 5 our 15 typically who were pro or semi pro
how does this contest compare to others you’ve done? (Carnival Comedy Challenge, Last Comic Standing, etc)
It was all women – and the prize is pretty juicy! I’ve met some of the finalist from last year’s season where they got a lot of camera exposure and it has truly helped them get work; some contests will promise the moon and deliver a moon-pie. This one gets you seen by a lot of industry in different areas.
what’s the next step?
Waiting for the call from Nick at Nite as to the 12 going to LA – but truthfully I feel very good about my chances to make the 12 — I felt very solid on my set and my audition and the feedback from the judges was really great. But, this contest, like anything of this nature (i.e., Last Comic Standing), the judges/producers probably already know what they’re looking for for the season, and it will truthfully come down to a “casting” decision as opposed to “who is really the funniest mom in America.” I don’t say that as a criticism necessarily – if I were in the Television Industry trying to make a buck that’s what I would consider too I guess. It’s just important for people who go after these kinds of venues with hopes of getting out there in the public eye, to KNOW no matter what happens you can’t take it personally, the end decision may not be so much about true talent, but rather about ratings and sponsors happy enough to write the big ole checks. So go at these things with the intent to have fun and enjoy the experience and you will, don’t let your comedy life depend on it.
what’s the grand prize?
The grand prize is $50,000 and lots of work, and of course the title “Funniest Mom in America” – really just a stepping stone to my ultimate goal – “Funniest Mom in the Whole Friggin’ Galaxy”
regardless of the results of the contest, what are your plans for the career now that your kids are about to fly out of the nest?
Second verse, same as the first – just constantly working on it all and trying to get it even more right – life, funny, and writing.
do you have any advice for new comics?
Pay attention to what you see being done out there, keep working on yourself and your act and finding your voice and write, write and write – and never throw any thing written away. I’ve found scraps of jokes written in lipstick — the sprig of the idea — just barely there, but not yet mature — but you come across it on a different day – in a different mood – with different colored lenses on and several more years of life under your belt and it finally grows to fruition — sweet and juicy and funny as hell!
do you have any advice for new mothers?
Sell your breast milk to Chad Riden [a reference to one of my MySpace blogs – Chad]. And don’t hide your passions from kids – let them see you go for your dreams – that way they’ll go for theirs’….or they’ll suck the life out of you while they are searching for what they are passionate about…moving in and out of your house, not paying rent, not buying food, not cleaning…..smelling up stuff….breaking your shit and never replacing it……wait what was the question?
got anything you want to promote?
I would like to promote my new super hero powers; with just my eyes, I can inflict a sudden and simultaneous brain freeze, leg cramp and sharp gas pain on my arch rivals. I would also like to promote the use of sterility as a method of birth control in certain rural areas of Alabama.
Dawna Kinne @ NashvilleStandUp
Nashville Scene: The Funniest Mom in American Could Be Right Next Door
WikiPedia: The Funniest Mom In America
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