Step Aside Boys: Boulder’s Nancy Norton Is First Woman To Win Boston Comedy Festival

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Photo: Boulder Comedian Nancy Norton
Boulder comedian Nancy Norton at the CPR studios on Oct. 18, 2018.

It had never happened before — a woman winning the Boston Comedy Festival. That is until Nancy Norton came along.

Norton, a stand-up veteran for 30 years, is from Boulder and regularly performs at Denver’s Comedy Works. Her jokes often focus on aging, gender fluidity and sexual orientation.

She told Colorado Matters that she couldn’t believe she beat out younger competitors and won at her age.

Interview Highlights

Norton on what brought her to stand-up comedy:

“The reason I went into comedy is from really watching people die. I know it’s ironic. But I was a hospice nurse and I watched people die. It’s a very sacred, authentic time, it’s precious and people don’t waste their words. And they told me in no uncertain terms, I am at peace right now because I lived my dreams.”

On her state of mind at the Boston Comedy Festival:

“In the past, I called myself a choker, not a joker. I choked at contests. I wanted it too badly ... and I tried too hard. I told myself, you know the grand prize was $10,000, and I said Nancy you’ve done the 10,000 hours, go get the $10,000. It’s OK, like I had to give myself permission to win.”

On which jokes are timeless:

“I do a lot of jokes that about being gender confused. I don’t even know if it was confused, I think it was pretty clear that I’m gender fluid. And why doesn’t society get it? So I do these jokes about wanting a gun and holster set and getting an Easy-Bake oven. You know, having to play cowboys and Indians with an oven on my hip, very awkward.”

Norton’s next show is Oct. 20 in Colorado Springs.