Jersey gal and comedic mom Dena Blizzard, best known for being a viral video sensation, will bring her one-woman show “One Funny Mother” to Segerstrom Center for the Arts for four shows on Dec. 18-19. Although the former Miss New Jersey and mother of three has become an online hit over the past four years, she has worked as a comic for over 19 years, and is ready to bring her personal stories of the struggles and joys of marriage, motherhood, friendships and more to the Samueli Theater stage.
Your “Back to School Rant” video continues to be a hit school year after school year. My sister, who is a 4th grade teacher, said it actually helped her receive school supplies and thank you cards from parents.
My sister is a teacher as well, she teaches fifth grade. And so I think it was a culmination of a bunch of things. I’ve seen her spend her own money and parents complain about buying supplies. When I made it, I wasn’t even gonna post it. I said to my girlfriend, ‘Is it that funny? I don’t know if it’s that funny.’ And she thought it was a little funny. We didn’t really think anything of it, but now you see how much all of that apparently needed to be said. Like people, just so we’re clear, you don’t have to teach your own kids, but these nice ladies over here will and could use a little help. Let’s do this.
How has that hit video changed your life?
It was crazy. I was actually in a conference when it first came out and started going crazy. And then I actually had to come home and go school shopping and it was so weird because I couldn’t find yellow binders anywhere, because I said in there that if teachers want a yellow binder, I was gonna get it. So people bought them all. When I was standing in line, one lady saw me and she was like, ‘You’re the drunk lady from the internet.’ And I was like, ‘Oh wow. Yep. No, I am. I’m that lady.’ We actually ended up going out to Target and buying all the things I talked about in that video. I put all my kids’ teachers’ names into a hat and we picked out winners for each one and brought it to the school.
How have people connected with you and your family since you started streaming content?
I think the pandemic really changed a lot for us. Pre-pandemic, we were just kind of making some really silly videos and I couldn’t really appreciate how much these videos helped people or connected with people. And when the pandemic hit, all of our touring stopped. So all entertainment stopped, and I just didn’t really have anything left except for Facebook. And we spent the next year and a half really kind of creating this really wonderful community online and our immediate family that was there. So we started making one video a day for the first hundred days of the pandemic. Most of them are funny. Some of them I might have been just openly crying, I don’t remember.
By summertime, we started doing a morning show. My kids were like sleeping until 11 a.m., and I was up at 6 a.m. like a dumb dumb with nobody to talk to. So I started going live, and in the middle of the pandemic, we might have had 50 or 60,000 people watching every morning. I started to realize how important it was to just be around other people. And there were tons of people watching us who were living alone, so we were just like a voice. And then there were a ton of people that were around their family and just couldn’t stand them anymore and were like, I wanna talk to anybody but them. And so it became this great retreat.
What does it mean to you to be a headliner at Segerstrom Center for the Arts?
I feel very blessed to be able to do what I’m doing and to have theaters like them believe in this type of entertainment, and believe that entertainment can take on a lot of different forms. Being able to speak about something like motherhood, that in the past maybe has not been so admired for how hard it is, is so great. And the pandemic just made it like we are warriors and we have survived. So to have a theater get behind our show, this is really lovely.
Want to give a little teaser of what your audience is going to experience?
So this is a play all about motherhood. It’s the story of my journey going from being single with no kids, to being married with three kids in less than five years, and how much life changed. So the whole first part of the show is the changes that happen. The second part of the show is the importance of girlfriends and how they get you through. Like I say in the show, the friends that you make during the beginning part of motherhood are most likely the friends you have for the rest of your life, and how important those relationships are. And I talk all about marriage and how much it changes and how much you wanna kill him and love him at the same time. So it really is my story, and there’s some improv in the show as well. It’s just a fun night. Hopefully when you leave, your face will hurt from laughing. It’s a funny show with some great messages, and a good time all around.
‘One Funny Mother‘
Segerstrom Center the Arts – Samueli Theater
December 18-19; 2 and 7 p.m.
Tickets: start at $49, available in person and phone
600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
More info: scfta.org or call (714) 556-2787