Courtesy Adrianne Chalepah
Comedy Night with Adrianne Chalepah, 7 p.m., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., free, csfineartscenter.org.
When comedian Adrianne Chalepah was a child, she would eavesdrop on the matriarchs of her family as they sat at the kitchen table, drinking coffee and chatting. While they tended to usher her out of the room “because they were having adult conversations,” she felt drawn to the laughter around that table. “I realized that when adult women were away from children and men, that they shared a side of humor that was unfiltered and uncensored and just completely free.
“I always strive to recreate that in my life,” she adds. “That feeling of laughter in a presence of women.”
About 10 years ago, Chalepah joined 49 Laughs Comedy, a beloved group of Native American comedians, and has since used this and other platforms to amplify the voices of indigenous comedians, especially the women in her life. In 2014, she founded the group Ladies of Native Comedy, which also includes comedians Teresa Choyguha and Deanna MAD.
Though female comedians can face skepticism from the often misogynistic world of mainstream comedy, and Chalepah herself has endured catcalls and criticism, she has used her experience to refine her own unique comedy. She calls her tone “light-hearted,” covering topics such as her indigenous heritage, family, relationships and more. Her curiosity toward all aspects of life and society has helped her build a career doing what comes naturally to her — finding commonality with her audience and making people laugh.
On Feb. 15, Chalepah and the Ladies of Native Comedy will be featured in a Netflix docuseries, Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy
, which documents comedians all over the world pursuing their craft in difficult circumstances. While Chalepah feels privileged in comparison to some of the comedians featured in the show, she says that indigenous comedians here in the U.S. still face their own challenges, and misconceptions about Native people remain prevalent.
“As an indigenous woman … I feel like the narrative in the mainstream media about us is always so serious, and the world doesn’t see our funny side. And the world deserves to see our funny side; we’re really funny