Comedy That Ages Well: ‘Funny Women’ Tour Coming to Warren

WARREN, Ohio – It wasn’t until comedian Carole Montgomery reached a certain age that she noticed something that was missing from the scene.

“About six years ago, I realized that [women comics] never get to hang out,” she said. “I said to my husband, ‘There should be a show featuring women who’ve been in the business for years and have been successful but never world famous.’ He said, ‘That’s a great idea.’ And it just snowballed.”

She put together the “Funny Women of a Certain Age” comedy show, which became an immediate hit.

The show will make its Mahoning Valley debut Jan. 20 when it comes to the Robins Theatre.

Marsha Warfield – best known for playing Roz, the bailiff on the 1980s sitcom “Night Court,” is the headliner of the lineup, which also includes Vanessa Hollingshead and Montgomery.

“Funny Women of a Certain Age” premiered in a New York theater in September 2018. Six months later, it had a deal for a Showtime special that premiered in 2019. Subsequent specials were released in 2020 and 2021.

Montgomery has been the constant in a cast that has included Teri Hatcher, Fran Drescher and – starting with the 2021 Showtime special – Warfield.

Marsha Warfield and John Larroquette in a scene from “Night Court” this month.

The national tour was launched in 2022.

With Warfield back in the national spotlight because of her guest appearance on the rebooted ‘Night Court’ series earlier this month, the timing for the Warren show couldn’t be better.

Montgomery is glad to have Warfield on the tour. “Within the comedy community, she is a legend,” Montgomery said.

The former writer on “The Richard Pryor Show” proved she still had it on her “Funny Women” special on Showtime.

“She is iconic,” Montgomery said. “She played against Bull Shannon [the bailiff character played by the late Richard Moll] on ‘Night Court’ and also [actor] John Laroquette. A comedian wants those small roles in sitcoms that lift up the star, who usually plays the straight man.”

On stage, Montgomery said Warfield is “as funny as ever, if not funnier.”

As the host of the touring production, Montgomery takes the stage first and gets things started. Next up is Hollingshead, and then Warfield. Each does about 30 minutes, although Warfield has carte blanche to go as long as she wants.

The comedy, of course, leans into the worldview of an older woman. But Montgomery said women of all ages – and the men accompanying them – are well-represented in the audience.

“Everyone wants the shiny, new young thing, but people over 50 have more experience,” Montgomery said. “You reach a point when you don’t have to impress anymore. I’m very comfortable in who I am as a comedian, a person, a woman.”

For a lot of women, the show is a girl’s night out. “I’ve seen them show up with their friends in a minivan,” Montgomery said. “But I prefer they bring their men. I had a guy who must’ve been in his 80s, and he yelled, ‘Take it off.’ I couldn’t stop laughing.”

Early in her career, Montgomery heard it said that promoters didn’t want more than one woman on a comedy lineup because they all talk about the same things. She assures that won’t be the case at “Funny Women of a Certain Age.”

“If you don’t like me, you’ll like Vanessa and Marsha,” she said. “They are so good at what they do. If you really like comedy, you’ll see two of the best – I don’t want to include myself. And having Marsha is so special, because she is so busy doing a lot of TV.”

The “Funny Women of a Certain Age” show will start at 8 p.m. Tickets range between $39 and $59 (plus applicable fees) and can be purchased at and at the box office, 160 E. Market St.

Pictured at top: The “Funny Women of a Certain Age” tour features Carole Montgomery, Marsha Warfield and Vanessa Hollingshead.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.