Jen Kirkman has two great albums (2006’s Hail to the Freaks and 2011’s Self Help), a best-selling book (2013’s I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids), a wonderfully intimate podcast (I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman) and a bunch of killer television appearances (in addition to her regular gig on Chelsea Lately, Kirkman has also spun altered yarns on Drunk History and has multiple wins on @Midnight).
Now comes her new stand-up special, which is called I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine) and premieres on Netflix on May 22. It’s a culmination of a lot of the stuff she’s been working on and going through over the past few years, which was a happy accident. “I really wish I had that kind of thinking where there’s a goal. I don’t know anyone who would be able to control that kind of arc,” Kirkman tells EW. “But it did sort of wrap up organically and nicely in that way. Some of it is material I’ve been doing a long time, but the people of the world who don’t know me haven’t seen it yet. I put everything together that made sense, and it will have this kind of climax. Usually climax is a good thing, but for me this is kind of terrifying, because like every comedian who puts out a special, I can’t really do that material any more live.”
Check out the exclusive premiere of the trailer for I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine) below.
Throughout I’m Gonna Die Alone, Kirkman manages to strike an incredible tone, which expresses her exasperation with divorce, aging, sex and relationships without ever really devolving into actual anger. “That’s a very deliberate choice,” she says. “I never used to think Jerry Seinfeld was an angry person based on the comedy that he put out into the world. Then I heard him in an interview, and he’s like, ‘Everything bothers me, everything pisses me off.’ He’s legitimately angry every day. And that kind of anger is what created the sock in the dryer bit. If you act angry about it, it’s not going to be funny. To act bewildered is funnier. I didn’t hear him say this until after it was already a natural conclusion I came to.”
There’s plenty more Kirkman to come. She’ll be out on the road for most of the summer, and she’s wrapping up a number of other projects. “I just finished my second book. That one will be very similar to the special. I really like this book, and it’s really vulnerable. It’s called I Know What I’m Doing (And Other Lies I Tell Myself), and that will be out next year.”