No matter who you are, who you love or where you come from, Ian Harvie will make you feel as though you are family. Everyone will be able to relate to his observations about life, relationships, and the routine challenges we all face from day-to-day. His wickedly funny stories are couched in an amiable personality that could put any audience at ease, while his folksy, ingenuous delivery almost – but not quite – tempers his zinger punch lines, making them not just hilarious but seriously twisted. Even if he wasn’t so witty, without even trying, Ian could set an audience on it’s ear, opening up new realms of irony. He could be your brother, your best friend’s boyfriend or a merely a clean-cut preppie trying his hand at stand-up, but he’s not. In fact, there’s a good reason Frontiers Magazine referred to Ian as “Quite possibly the most unique stand up comic in the country”…Ian’s not “just” a queer comedian – he’s the world’s first FTM transgender comic… which, when put into context, will make his anecdotes about his own phobia of public restrooms all the more side-splitting!
But because Ian is so comfortable in his own skin, and has such an appealing “boy next door” stage presence, not to mention a keen eye for observation and is an adept mimic verbally as well as with body language, his humor spans all boundaries, from gender to politics, cutting directly to the core of the human condition, in all it’s infinite strangeness.
It’s this facile sense of ease and not just his gender-bending presence that makes Ian’s humor groundbreaking, and has lead him to make history on more than one occasion. It’s the very quality that attracted the notorious Margaret Cho to not just publicly rave about Ian’s work, but to feature him in her smash show “The Sensuous Woman” and tour with him nationally and internationally constantly; it’s what landed him spots on One Night Stand Up and OutLaugh Comedy Festival on the Logo Network, and Comics Unleashed on ABC and his own 1-hour comedy special filmed for television in early 2012.
Ian describes it this way: “I was born female; there is no question that I understand this. I keep my “F” for Female on my drivers license and birth certificate because for me, that is a biological fact. Plus if I ever have to go to jail, God forbid, I’m going to the girl jail! I believe that ‘female’ is a biological sex and legal term; while my gender is something else entirely, that is something I get to create myself and modify as I see fit. I do not consider myself or identify as ‘male’, however I do identify as a ‘man’ (of sorts), these two words are not necessarily connected for me. Here are words I identify with and like to use when describing my gender (and usually in this order): Butch, Trans, Trans Man, Masculine, FTX (X = something more masculine) and FTM (Female to Masculine – not Male). I don’t feel like I was robbed of the correct biological sex; I believe I was born in the right body, and that I just may want to change it a little bit. Really, who hasn’t felt discomfort about some part of their body and wished they could change it or dismay about the limited language given to describe gender?”
Born in Portland, Maine raised on the shores of (no, this isn’t a joke) Beaver Pond, Ian is one of a mere handful of polysyballic New Englanders. Raised on a steady diet of television sitcoms and variety shows, Ian made his comedic debut at the age of eight, standing in front of fitted sheet hanging from a clothesline. Obsessed with “The Carol Burnett Show” and Impressionist Rich Little, Ian channeled Rich’s impression of Richard Nixon, and, as they say in the biz, he “killed”.
Though that particular act is regrettably no longer part of his active repertoire, it gave him the drive at an early age to explore comedy and to develop the quick-witted, quirky persona audiences love today. He honed his skills to precision in both Portland and Boston comedy clubs, making even staunch, tight-lipped New Englanders laugh loudly and often. After moving to the West Coast in early 2006, he further expanded his horizons by producing and appearing in his own self-titled, critically lauded “The Ian Harvie Show”, which has been running since April 2007 at famed music and comedy club, Largo in Los Angeles. A post-modern, offbeat and very queer combination of talk-show and variety entertainment, “The Ian Harvie Show” is a grab bag treat which features not just brilliant stand-up by Harvie and his guests, but also compelling and seriously entertaining in-depth interviews with talented performers like Alan Cumming and Leslie Jordan; actresses Jorja Fox and Jane Lynch, and award winning adult film star and Trans-man Buck Angel.
Audiences of every possible cross-section of society are quick to relate to – and laugh along with – Ian’s eccentric views on love, families, adolescence, substance abuse, and gender identification, as well as his acute dissection on the circus act that is the stunt double for today’s popular culture.
You can find Ian touring his new one-man stand up comedy show titled “Superhero” around the country, which was also filmed as a 1 hour special for television.