Elayne Boosler takes the stage at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on May 14. A very funny woman, and also a passionate animal advocate, Boosler asserts, “If you’re not covered in dog hair, your life is empty.” She laughs, saying she loves performing in Westhampton Beach. “It’s a gorgeous little jewel of a theater, with a very smart comedy audience. And very well dressed. And handsome. And pretty. How am I doing?”
Comedian, writer, and sought-after national anthem singer, Boosler is sure to deliver lots of laughter and love to her Long Island audience. Known to many for her feisty political humor, Boosler is also a woman with a big heart. She’s dedicated much of her career to animal advocacy. “It’s what I do the other 23 hours of the day,” she says.
As the founder of Tails of Joy, the nonprofit she started in 2001, Boosler and a team of volunteers provide aid in pet emergencies, work to enforce anti-cruelty laws, and rescue and find new homes for abused animals. (More information can be found on tailsofjoy.net.)
“We help the smallest, neediest animal rescuers all across the country. We’ve saved thousands of animals’ lives, advocated for humane treatment of all animals, put the idea of ‘adopt don’t shop’ out into the consciousness.”
Boosler doesn’t stop there: In 2013 she wrote a musical and spoken-word piece called “Rescue, A True Story,” which will make its world premiere with the Glendale Philharmonic Orchestra.
“If you think of Peter and the Wolf, there’s a narrator telling a story, and then the music. I wrote the story, a wonderful composer wrote the music afterwards. Since so much of my life is about animal rescue, I always look for ways to involve people in thinking about animals in a good way.”
Boosler has spent her 40-year career appearing on shows involving comedy, politics or animal issues. It’s a long list. She’s produced and written five one-hour Showtime comedy specials; directed two movies for Cinemax; had multiple appearances on Comic Relief and Politically Incorrect; and hosted specials, series and events.
In 1985, Boosler financed her own comedy special, Party of One, which opened doors for female comedians. She has traveled the world, performing standup for the Queen of England, for American troops in the Middle East and Africa, and at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner for President Clinton.
Currently, Boosler’s working on her book. “It’s now up to 50,000 pages and covers 600 years of my career,” she jokes.
When asked what kind of comedy she enjoys, Boosler says, “I love any comedian who is original and funny—any comic who really has an original voice. And I love well-crafted material. I love everything from fall-down slapstick to very brainy. Just be funny.”
Boosler loves what she does. “I’m lucky enough to be able to make a living doing something I enjoy that makes people happy. Still writing, doing a brand new show and drawing an audience over 43 years is rare and wonderful.”
Elayne Boosler performs at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach on Saturday May 14 8 p.m. For ticket information, go to whbpac.org, or call 631-288-1500.