Consider yourself forewarned: if you enter the comments section with Franchesca “Chescaleigh” Ramsey, you might lose a limb. Confused about the new Ghostbusters trailer? Wondering why ‘caucasian’ is still a word we use? Be careful what you query. She has a quick, striking wit, and she’s not afraid to use it against anyone and everyone.
Ramsey is a writer and contributor on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, where she just started hosting a segment called #HashItOut, about internet foibles. She also hosts MTV’s Decoded, where she asks, “What if you farted every time you were racist?” and “Is Nicki Minaj a good role model?”—essential viewing.
In terms of internet presence, the loveliest thing about Ramsey might be her too-good-to-be-true LinkedIn profile, the one that hasn’t been updated since 2009, when she still lived in Florida and worked as Communication Manager for the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce (the only position listed). I bet she killed it at that job.
When was the first time you remember making someone laugh? What happened?
Not the first time, but the most memorable for me was freshman year of high school. I had a really difficult Spanish teacher that I was constantly butting heads with, which resulted in me complaining about her to my mom. But being an aspiring actress my complaining was accompanied by an impression of my teacher’s squeaky voice. Cut to end of the year parent teacher conference and my teacher introduces herself to my mom and my mom shoots me the most pained look as she’s trying to hold in her laughter. We spent the car ride home cracking up because she couldn’t believe how spot on my impression was. It made me so proud because my mom is pretty tight lipped and ultra professional so it was a big deal to make her laugh so hard.
What is the toughest part about being on the comedy scene in Brooklyn today? What is the best?
Honestly, I think the comedy scene can be tough no matter where you live. You have to have a lot of faith in yourself and the ability to bounce back when a set doesn’t go well or you lose out on a gig. While comedy is full of laughs, it’s really not for the faint of heart. The best is the community. There’s so many talented comics and content creators in Brooklyn, so there’s lots of people to collaborate with and draw inspiration from.
Who do you find funny?
My husband Patrick. He’s one of the funniest people I know.
What was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
After Lemonade dropped I was having a mild freakout and my husband was mercilessly making fun of me. While part of me was salty as hell, I couldn’t help but cry laughing because he was right to go in on me. The whole thing was ridiculous but I couldn’t help but be overcome by emotion!
What are your goals for your comedy career?
I’m aiming for mogul status! I want my own tv show, but I also want to produce and direct for other people and help foster new talent.
And finally: What is your favorite knock-knock (or otherwise goofy) joke?
Ok this is really dumb, but super cute.
One day this guy finds a penguin aimlessly roaming around his neighborhood but isn’t sure what to do with it. So he asks a local cop for help. The cop says, “Oh just take him to the zoo.” The next day the cop sees the guy and the penguin strolling through the neighborhood hand in flipper. The guy’s got sunscreen on and a bunch of swim noodles under his arm and the penguin’s wearing floaties and a little pair of googles on his head. The cop stops the guy and says, “Hey I thought you were taking him to the zoo?” The man replies with, “Yeah! And we had so much fun that today we’re going to the waterpark!”
To see 49 more of Brooklyn’s funniest people, click here.
Photo by Nicolas Maloof.