I owe my knowledge of this hilariously raunchy comedian from St. Louis, Missouri to the video scrolling video wormhole that is YouTube. So, a friend of mine had introduced me to the comedian Chelcie Lynn aka Trailer Trash Tammy about a year ago. When I found out about their most recent tour, I was curious who was coming along with them. This is when I first discovered Libbie Higgins aka Crystal. While I was scrolling through their YouTube channel, I unearthed the video that would get me hooked on this type of comedy. If you like this video, then you’re ready for a comedy show that gives you an ultra realistic experience into the mindset that is Crystal and Tammy.
Not only does Libbie Higgins have such a relatable sense of humor, but hearing them describe their journey towards comedic stardom was awe inspiring. Believe it or not, they’ve been friends with Chelcie Lynn ever since first meeting on the social media app Vine back in 2012 or 2013. Libbie goes on to say, “So [Chelcie] found me on there and neither one of us had any kind of followers. [We both had] very dumb, but similar content. [At the time when we met,] I was doing stand-up comedy and Chelcie was not. Chelcie always said, ‘If I do comedy, I’m going to take you on the road with me.’ She kept that promise and we are out there doing it.” To the people who have never heard of Libbie Higgins, they describe their comedy style as “Obviously dirty, [but also] sarcastic, dry, obnoxious [and incorporates] social commentary.” I personally dare all of you to go drain your brain at one of their shows.
Do you need some uplifting filth in your life today?
Not all people who perform any career have always thought about pursuing it in the first place. After inquiring if comedy had consistently been the ultimate plan for them, Libbie said, "I have always seen myself doing funny comedy stuff. I didn't know exactly where it would take me when I was younger. I would always do stuff in front of my family. I was the 'funny one.' In the early YouTube times [since about 2008-2009], I started to upload stuff and I started to do live broadcasting because that was less scary than doing it in front of a real live audience. I have terrible stage fright. Every time I go on stage, I want to leave. I do 4-7-8 breathing exercises. I remind myself, 'It's better to do it and be scared than be scared and not do it.' I wasted a lot of time [being scared] most of my life. The catalyst for me actually starting to do stage stuff was leaving my ex husband. I was 40 years old and I felt like it was now." Due to how comedy can be used as a method to bully, insult, ridicule, promote racism and anti-LGBTQIIA+ views, I wondered how they handle the constant risk of ever being cancelled in the future. Libbie's statement was genuine in saying, "I do worry about being cancelled because I have OCD, so I worry about a lot of weird things. I try to just stay pretty [much] in the middle. I don't do political stuff. I don't make fun of other people. The thing that worries me is time. [At first] you think something is okay and then time passes and you think, 'Wait a minute, none of that is okay.' When I was a kid I loved The Eddie Murphy Raw album. Now, I listened to it and thought, 'Woah! Some of this stuff is not okay.' I think anyone can get cancelled at any time. I try not to worry about it too much. I try to just stay true to what I'm doing and not hurt other people. I'm not on stage to get a huge shock reaction. I am just trying to make people laugh and have fun for a little bit."
I love how performers can go deep within themselves and pull out creativity that highlights their individuality in the work they do. Libbie delves into great detail regarding her comedic inspiration and says, "My thing with Crystal and with any of my characters is I like to present very realistic [versions of them as people.] Crystal is real and is essentially me, but turned up. My favorite thing is to make the audience wonder, 'Is this real or fake?' That's my favorite kind of comedy. I can be funny, but also [make someone think,] 'Is this real life? Is this a real lady?' [Another character of mine] Carla from the McRib video tried doing videos with Tammy, but it was very difficult because they are both very type A personalities. It was very difficult for me to perform and interact with Chelcie as Tammy while I was Carla because it was too much. It was two strong characters and I couldn't figure out how to do it. I made a 'Carla-lite', which is Crystal. [The character Crystal] is more submissive to Tammy, but also she softens Tammy up. I love this. Crystal shows a side of Tammy that you don't always see. Tammy has a soft spot for Crystal and she doesn't want anyone to hurt them. It's interesting to see Tammy soften up. The only reason I have not used the character Carla is because I don't have a good wig for her right now. I will not do it without the right wig because for me it's all about the wigs. The wigs inform the characters. As soon as I put it on, I think to myself, 'Okay, this is who this is.'" Libbie also even touched on moments where they were discouraged in their career when they say, "I wouldn't say that I've had a moment where I want to give up, but I have had many intense moments of fear and just doubting myself. I never thought I would be done with this because I know that this path I am on now is the right path. I constantly doubt myself. I have imposter syndrome. I feel like I never know what I am doing. Somehow [I think to myself,] 'Just keep doing it.'
How does your art of comedy help others and aid in promoting positive escapism?
"I feel like my comedy helps people be okay with themselves and whatever that means. I spent too many years feeling bad about how I looked, acted, felt and being ashamed of this and that. I want people to know that it's okay to just be you how you are at that moment. You don't have to change your body to be happy. You don't have to manipulate your body to be happy. You don't have to change the way you act to appease certain people. I just feel like everybody's okay the way they are at that moment and that's okay. Ditch the shame and ditch the worry about it. Just do whatever. Live it."
**Photo credits: Libbie Higgins @libbiehigggins_ & Slop City Podcast**