Carol Leifer: ''Really Big Shoo!'' -- Why you should watch the comedian's Showtime special and not ''Six Ladies Laughing''

By Ken Tucker
Updated December 07, 1990 at 05:00 AM EST

In looks and attitude, comedian Carol Leifer is a cross between Bonnie Raitt and Jay Leno: She’s smart and independent, and her jokes consist of clean, sharp observations (”Women say they like ‘the strong, silent type’; me, I like ’em weak and chatty”). Leifer proves herself an original in the half-hour concert performance Really Big Shoo!. She doesn’t make fun of her appearance, doesn’t spend a lot of time putting down the opposite sex. Instead, Leifer taps into pop-culture memories (”Petula Clark — remember her? ‘Don’t Sleep in the Subway, Darling’? What kind of guys was she going out with that she had to give them advice like that?”) and leaves everybody laughing.

By contrast, the six women in Six Ladies Laughing — host Andrea Martin (SCTV), Victoria Jackson (Saturday Night Live), Kim Coles (formerly of In Living Color), Stephanie Hodge (My Talk Show), Sue Kolinsky (Comic Strip Live), and newcomer Henriette Mantel — stand around grousing about their respective weights and their bad luck with guys. For such talented comics, they are dismayingly repetitive. Instead of laughing, these six women should watch Leifer’s show for pointers.