“Chelsea Lately” writer/performer Fortune Feimster was surprised by the widespread retweeting and re-quoting of her Twitter comment last week regarding the revelation of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love child. The rising comedy performer cracked: “Good thing Arnold Schwarzenegger has been upholding the sanctity of marriage since apparently us gay folks don’t know how to” — and the remark was picked up by entities including The Los Angeles Times.
She then got some flak from people who defended Schwarzenegger. “I’m not trying to offend anybody, but he vetoed two marriage equality bills, and I have a right to point that out,” notes Fortune, who is poised, articulate, steady and very, very smart.
We know that she is all those things, because she was on staff here at Beck/Smith Hollywood Exclusive for several years while cutting her teeth in the comedy realm. She is also an alumna of the famed The Groundlings improv company as well as a standup comic seen in clubs on both coasts and in-between — who got her first national exposure last year on “Last Comic Standing.”
The intensity of a burgeoning show business career would be plenty to deal with without the added responsibility of being watched as an out gay woman. But “I don’t mind having that responsibility,” she says. “I’m a gay person. Obviously I have strong opinions about our rights.”
MEANWHILE: Chelsea Handler couldn’t be a hotter property, of course, with the new “Lies That Chelsea Told Me” attaining No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List, her popular E! show, and now, her newly picked-up NBC prime time series, “Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea.” (Laura Prepon is playing Chelsea, while the comedian herself shows up as a recurring character, Chelsea’s sister.) For Fortune, the focus is Handler’s 11:00 show and all the convivial contretemps that go with it.
How does she feel about Chelsea’s remarks about her clothes, her size — calling her “Mister”? “It’s like getting picked on by a big sister. It’s all out of love. She doesn’t say anything about me that I don’t joke about myself. I never feel it’s out of meanness. She also jokes about herself and other people, like Brad (Wollack) and his red hair. She homes in on whatever it is that makes you different,” says the North Carolina-born performer, who stresses that she’s grateful to her very funny boss.
Up ’til now, Fortune’s job requirements have included antics from portraying the singer Meatloaf and terminally chic reality personality Rachel Zoe — to having to be seen in a bikini top. She doesn’t mind looking ridiculous, but “I’m not one to bare it all,” she says. “I have my limits. No nudity.”