Katherine Ryan keeps it light and loaded on ‘Glitter Room’

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In her second Netflix special, the UK-based comic looks to stay positive

As her second stand-up special, Glitter Room is born into the world today (July 1), Katherine Ryan is feeling good about it, and a lot more relaxed than her first time around. And while she worked to keep the material largely light-hearted, there are certain things that she isn’t holding back on.

Much like her debut special, In Trouble, Ryan takes the time in her new hour to touch on subjects from a perspective heavily influenced by pop culture. Never really one to stray away from uncomfortable subjects, though, the UK-based comedian continues with her approach of touching on topics that may make you squirm a bit in your chair, or can otherwise be seen as divisive, inflammatory, or problematic.

There are mentions of the political climate and R. Kelly in the new hour, but Ryan made a conscious decision early on in working this material out that she was going to keep it on the lighter side, since she really doesn’t find a lot of what’s going on in the world to be funny.

“The specific political state of the world is something I touch on very little in this special, only because right now I feel like it’s important to talk about, and it should be talked about it, but some of it is so bleak, that it doesn’t make me laugh,” Ryan tells Vanyaland. “I don’t think there is a funny angle to a lot of what is going on in the world right now. There is a real theme of feminism and the danger of abusing vulnerable women, but it is mostly fun, and pretty light.”

While she worked up to recording this new special by touring the UK for a year, Ryan stuck to her trusted write-on-the-fly approach to coming up with new material, as she prefers to stay current in her references and topical humor. 

Keeping it new and fresh, and bringing new material to a new city, and traveling different parts of the country were what stood out to Ryan about the process of getting prepared for the special. She admits that while it’s nice to have a special at the end of a tour, the true gift in touring was the excitement and response she received from comedy crowds along the way.

Having lived in the UK for the last 12 years, and having started her comedy career there after relocating from her native Canada, Ryan has curated an internationally appealing viewpoint, with her balance of light-hearted pop culture references and more serious talking points. While she may have decided to keep it a bit more uplifting this time around, rather than focusing on the doom and gloom going around the world, she knows that it’s still important to talk about certain issues, like feminism and sexual harassment, because while she enjoys chatting about the Kardashians and Teen Mom, the serious stuff is still a part of who she is as both a person and a comedian.

“I always have a few subjects in my stand-up that could cause some problems, so there’s always that to think about, but I’m okay with that,” says Ryan. “That’s part of who I am, and if I slept soundly at night, I wouldn’t be doing my job correctly.”