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If there’s anybody who can use a laugh nowadays, it’s probably a liberal Texan—and, no, they don’t giggle over Rick Perry’s debate gaffes; they wince. In any event, comedic help is on the way and will arrive Saturday, when radio talk show host and cable news personality Stephanie Miller brings her satiric Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour to Austin, the capitol of that reddest of red states. (Actually, Austin is to progressive Texans what the Alamo was to their forebears—a place to take their last stand.)
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Miller’s revue, which pairs her biting commentary with the comedy of pals Hal Sparks and John Fugelsang, is meant to be a light-hearted send-up of right-wing radio and television commentary and has acquired quite a following across the country for its pointed—often raunchy—political humor. The troupe is often joined onstage by a guest comedian. (Rob Reiner came out for the second night of the Los Angeles show recently.)
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"It started as a joke," Miller told The Hollywood Reporter.
"Then it just grew." She added: "We love how much it pisses of the right wing off."
Indeed, the sell-out performances in venues across the country over the past year have drawn protest and ire. Miller's crew is interested to see what awaits them in Austin.
The Sexy Liberal Facebook page -- occasionally the target of hackers -- on Friday announced the tour's pending arrival: "We hope all of Texas fills the house and makes it a SEXY blue state tomorrow night!"
One woman wrote on the page: "When will you guys be brave enough to come to the red sate of Georgia? We need some shaking up."
Miller's own radio career began in 2004 and her show is now a staple on the progressive AM band, as well as Sirius Satellite radio. Miller’s political pedigree actually is impeccably Republican, as her father, William E. Miller, was conservative icon Barry Goldwater’s running mate in the 1964 presidential election. She first took the stage as an apolitical standup artist, then gradually inched into the liberal satire that’s become her trademark. The Sexy Liberal Review features traditional standup routines, but the highlight usually is a freewheeling “panel discussion” in which Miller, Sparks and Fugelsang take questions from the audience.
A portion of the proceeds from the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour go to local charities and, so far, the show -- with word-of-mouth promotion -- has grossed more than $1 million. Those Austin lefties are likely to find its topical humor as bracing as a cold six-pack of Lone Star.