Arts & Culture
Singing Along with Lahna Turner
Talking to the Jewish funnywoman about making people laugh, Googling god, and the time someone had a heart attack during her set Read More
When comedian Lahna Turner steps onto a stage, she seems sweet, shy, and soft spoken. But once she delivers that first line about, well, oral sex, the audience realizes she’s not as innocent as they thought. It works in her favor though; when she playfully giggles during songs about sex and Helen Keller, you can’t help but be drawn to her onstage persona.
With songs called “Angus Bangs Sheep,” and “The Schlong Song,” as well as a duet number that features Helen Keller moaning while Anne Frank shushes her, one would think that Turner’s routines would cause more of a shock. Only once, though, has she gotten guff from an angry audience member, outraged at Turner’s bit about Googling god.
Another time, a table full of senior citizens left loudly in the middle of her set. “I guess I offended them,” she said. “They got up so abruptly that I really made a big deal, because it was noisy and rude and interrupted my show. It turns out one of them was having a heart attack. I felt really bad.”
Despite her off-color lyrics and song themes, Turner is by no means a vulgar person off-stage. She spends most of her time with her husband, comedian Ralphie May, and their two young children. Turner met May when she started doing comedy 14 years ago, and she regularly opens shows for him on the road when not headlining clubs herself.
In addition to performing, Turner recently completed the treatment for a sitcom based on her life with May. She also plays a teacher in the upcoming film, Teacher of the Year, and will appear on an episode of The Dog Whisperer.
But for Turner, the journey—which included years of waiting tables and cleaning houses—has been worth it. “Just the other day I got an email from someone who said they had a bad day and seeing my show changed everything,” she said.
“Laughter is the best medicine. It can heal a hurt heart. I love to laugh. Who doesn’t love to laugh? The rush of being on stage and getting people to laugh together is an amazing feeling.”