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Funny Business: What 'Take Our Daughters to Work Day' Looks Like When You're a Comedian (Photos)

take our daughters to work day, take our daughters and sons to work day, take your kids to work day, comedians with kids, bonnie mcfarlane, jessica kirson

Bonnie Mcfarlane and her daughter, Rayna.

My 6-year-old daughter could probably tell you a lot about the comedy business, though thank God she shows no interest in it herself. She’s been to so many gigs with me, she might as well start managing my career, and in fact I joke all the time that she does. What she really wants to be when she grows up is a fashion designer (like, duh!), so I’m making her hone her chops as my stylist. Every time I have to go on TV she has the final say on which outfit I wear and what accessories I get to add to it. So far, she’s never missed the mark.

I often bring my daughter to gigs with me out of necessity, because I’m a single mother, like my friend Calise Hawkins. You’ll recognize Calise from the videos we’ve done together for NickMom, or from her appearance on Last Comic Standing, where they profiled her and her daughter, Asha. Calise has never had to bring Asha to a stand-up gig in a club, but she did bring her to an audition once – for 30 Rock. Calise told me, “I had to lay her on a blanket so I could audition. One lady held my baby, man.”

Jessica Kirson – who you can catch on The View tomorrow (Friday) morning or who you may have seen on The Tonight Show – has brought her daughter on stage a few times, and Bonnie Mcfarlane, who is married to another comedian, Rich Vos, says her daughter loves the spotlight. She told me, “Once when we were walking into Stand Up New York she turned to me and said, ‘I gotta go up, I haven’t been on stage in forever!’”

So here’s what Take Our Daughters to Work Day looks like when your job is slinging punchlines. It’s a hard knock-knock life!


  • My Daughter and I at Comix 1 of 13
    My Daughter and I at Comix
    So much has changed since this photo was taken: the meatpacking district location of Comix no longer exists, nor does my marriage.
  • My Daughter On Stage with Me in 2008 2 of 13
    My Daughter On Stage with Me in 2008
    At The Living Room Show in Park Slope, where she's been many times, thanks to the kid-friendly "no f-bombs" rule. (Not that she hasn't heard an f-bomb or two at home...) I wore that shirt a lot in 2008.
  • On the Set of Take You Home 3 of 13
    On the Set of Take You Home
    My daughter on the set of the music video Take You Home, which she appeared in. She's been in several comedy videos since she was born, and come to the filming of others. Most recently she came along while I filmed Sh*t Native New Yorkers Say.
  • The Obama Girls of Comedy Tour 4 of 13
    The Obama Girls of Comedy Tour
    I first met my friend Calise Hawkins on this tour. You see both of us in the back row of this photo, but what you don't see is Calise's then baby daughter asleep on the floor behind the couch.
  • Cruise Ship Show, 2011 5 of 13
    Cruise Ship Show, 2011
    Calise and I with our daughters on a comedy cruise around Manhattan.
  • Watching from the Wings 6 of 13
    Watching from the Wings
    Just dying to go on stage! Bonnie Mcfarlane and her husband, comedian Rich Vos, have brought their daughter Rayna with them on many gigs.
  • Lakeside Theatre, Chicago 7 of 13
    Lakeside Theatre, Chicago
    An engrossing interview, I'm sure.
  • Bonnie Mcfarlane and Her Daughter at Gotham 8 of 13
    Bonnie Mcfarlane and Her Daughter at Gotham
    Testing out some new material....
  • Upstaged! 9 of 13
    Upstaged!
    These kids are too damn cute. Literally - who can compete?!
  • Jessica Kirson and Her Daughter at Gotham 10 of 13
    Jessica Kirson and Her Daughter at Gotham
    It's pretty clear Jessica's daughter is great at mimicing her mom!
  • Jessica Kirson’s Daughter at Gotham 11 of 13
    Jessica Kirson's Daughter at Gotham
    She's a natural!
  • Jessica Kirson and Her Daughter at Gotham 12 of 13
    Jessica Kirson and Her Daughter at Gotham
    The next Joan and Melissa Rivers!
  • Jessica Kirson and Her Daughter at Gotham 13 of 13
    Jessica Kirson and Her Daughter at Gotham
    Motherly love...

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