Holiday #LADYCRUSH! Vanessa Tortolano

Featured Video Play Icon

Name: Vanessa “Pants” Tortolano
City: Madison, WI
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
How many years? 3.5 years
The stunningly talented and exceedingly functional yet bizarre Vanessa Pants wants to take you out of your world and wring out the pain with laughter.





1) Tell us about your first time doing comedy: The first time I did official stand up was at this really cool club that has since closed, called the Inferno. I went way over my time of course, but it was the first real good hit of my addiction and I’ve never turned back.

2) What’s the worst joke you’ve ever written? I wrote a quick joke about women in a very dude way. I said it once and I threw it away. eesh.

3) Tell us about a time you bombed or was heckled: I’ve bombed so many times. So. Many. Times. It’s getting to be less and less. I’ve never really been heckled, but at the beginning of being a comic and just going to a lot of comedy shows, I was a heckler because I didn’t know etiquette yet. I was like the “hallelujah” lady. Like it was all positive, but distracting and you don’t do that ya big jerk. Once I did it and ALMOST got talked to about it, then realized what I had done and then went and cried in the bathroom because I was a bad audience member. It was my birthday, there was champagne and that’s still no excuse. Just laugh at the jokes. No chiming in or whoooing….

4) Who inspires you? (in comedy or not) Jackie Kashain and Laurie Kilmartin are huge inspirations. They are super hustlin’, crusher headliners and they are women who have been doing standup for over 30 years and they know their shit. Also, Pete Holmes. He’s so goofy and positive and a great writer.

5) How do you deal with creepy male comics/bookers/audience members? I’m kind of intimidating so I don’t get it much. Usually looking someone in the eyes and telling them just how you feel in that moment, with a bit of rage in your eyes, is enough to get them to stop. I also say whatever it is really loud. They hate loud women…

6) What’s the best advice you’ve received from another comedian/industry professional? Cut out all things unnecessary. Words, sentences, etc. Trim the fat. Get on stage and do it as much as possible. It takes 10 years to BREAK INTO this business

7) What’s the worst advice you’ve received? Don’t talk about your vagina.

8) Who is your Comedy/TV/Film/Celebrity crush? Jason Momoa is super hawt as is Ruby Rose

9) What’s the most embarrassing moment that you’re willing to share? Once I was in a circle of friends talking and I was like 7 months pregnant and I was saying something and the biggest loudest fart fell out of my ass and it was terrible.

10) What is something you would like us to know? Sometimes I really love humans and think they are super special and amazing. And then other times I feel like we should all just burn.