Let these comics take your queer, Southern ‘Prayer Requests’

“Prayer Requests: A Stand-Up Comedy Cry for Help” is the “bless your heart” of Atlanta comedy shows. From the minds of Atlanta comedy scene staples and best friends Powell Mansfield and Katherine Blanford, it hits Red Light Café this week.

“Here in Atlanta ,we have a handful of shows run by a combo of queer/straight people, but our show is unique in that we were best friends before this,” says Mansfield, who is the gay half of the duo: “We come from completely different backgrounds and points of view, which I think makes for such a fun dynamic on stage.”

Ultimately, their every-other-month showcase finds the mix of Mansfield and Blanford’s queer and Southern sensibilities. It gives their venture both syrupy sweetness and biting sass.

Q catches up with the pair to talk about the show, as well as to find out more about them and get to know their humor.

When did you first know you were funny?

KB: When I pee peed my pants. I had my 1st grade class in stitches. I knew I had to do it again.

PM: My friends in college would always ask me to tell them my tales of debauchery when we were drinking at parties, and finally one of them suggested I try stand-up. I moved to LA for a summer and gave it a go. It went well, and three years later I’m as obsessed as ever.

What made you laugh as a kid?

KB: My brother’s injuries.

PM: Kathy Griffin’s specials and show, My Life on the D-List.

What makes you laugh now?

KB: Kim Kardashian stressed out.

PM: All my funny fraaaaands and also very awkward situations.

What is the biggest misconception about stand up comedy?

KB: It’s not called a “skit.” It’s a “set.” I’m not in 4th grade! Stop calling my set a skit,grandma!” PM: That it pays well.

PM: That it pays well.

What is the most accurate conception about stand up comedy?

KB: It takes a long time full of hard work and sadness to get good. Like a doctor. We are doctors.

PM: That we’re all trash humans with a vicious sense of humor.

If your comedy was a dance craze, what would it be and why?

KB: The cha-cha slide. It’s super easy, and everyone can do it. If you’re reading this, you should definitely get up there and do it. No one will be embarrassed for you.

PM: I’d say the lawnmower (look it up). It’s stupid and ridiculously fun.

Complete the following statements

When I’m not on stage, you can find me out _____________

KB: Drunk-driving my bike.

PM: Looking for some Corona Light and someone to hang out with me

______makes me happy, ___________makes me sad

KB: A tequila soda, Powell’s musicals soundtrack blaring in the car on a long road trip of death.

PM:

If you were a Disney Princess which one would you be and why?

KB: Elsa. When she gets pissed off, she acts like a real pain in the ass diva. And she’s a kween.

PM: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are my Disney Princesses/Sovereign Queens. No follow-up questions, please.

Tell us about the Prayer Requests shows?

It begins with us both sharing a “prayer” with the audience. Typically the prayers are incredibly self-centered and trite, i.e., I hope that my next spray tan looks fabulous enough for no one to realize I got a spray tan. Or, I hope that I stop hooking up with closeted gay boys who want to keep our romantic escapades a secret. We also have an oversized wine glass at the bar where audience members can anonymously write their own prayers ,and we read a few before we introduce each comedian.

What was the inspiration for the show?

One of us had an embarrassing walk of shame after hooking up with a boy after a crazy night at Star Bar, and the other simply texted, “praying for you.” It became a running theme in our friendship, and that’s eventually how the show idea came to us.

What drink pairs best with your show?

Anything that gets you loose and silly. Powell recommends consuming seven-to-nine Stella Artois on draft, and Katherine suggests having too many tequila sodas. (“Take a Lyft to the show, honey!”)

If your show was a Real Housewives franchise, which franchise would it be and why?

Our franchise would for sure be New York City, because we’re a perfect mix of fabulous, extravagant, and idiotic.

Tell Queer Atlanta one last thing to make them love you and your show forever.

Listen, Queer Atlanta, every single one of us is fabulous, and we’re here to help you celebrate that.. Come out to our show and celebrate your fierce/beautiful self while also having us read your prayers on stage.

Prayer Requests: A Stand-Up Comedy Cry for Help runs every-other month at Red Light Café in Amsterdam Walk. The next show is May 3, 8:30 p.m.

This article originally appeared in Q magazine. Pick it up around town, and read the full issue below: