1. Jen Jay Find on Facebook.

2. Seth Milstein Find on Facebook and Twitter.

3. Mike McGowan Find on Facebook and Twitter.

After a few false starts in comedy in her teens and 20s, Jen Jay signed up for her first comedy open mic at Luckey’s in downtown Eugene. (That mic still happens each Tuesday). With comedy club-owning relatives, she always wanted to try stand-up for herself. Since that first experience at Luckey’s, which she describes as “not awful,” Jay has gone on to perform several nights a week at open mics, to host her own open mic “Jokin’ Off with Jen Jay” at The Drake Bar in Eugene every second and fourth Wednesday each month, and to appear in a variety of comedy showcases in Eugene and elsewhere. 

The Eugene Weekly Best of Eugene 2022 Best Stand-up Comedian winner moved to Eugene in 2004 from Long Beach, California. As Jay puts it, she was raised by a “wild mom,” and she uses that as a jumping-off point for her material. “We moved around a lot as a kid. My mom wasn’t in the military or anything, she just wrote a lot of hot checks,” is a classic Jay-ism. “It’s totally true,” Jays tells EW over the phone. “I had a wild upbringing around wild people,” she says. “I use that as a jumping-off point to deal with the trauma,” but also as a jumping-off point to find things hilarious now, she says. If you’re interested in trying stand-up for yourself, Jay says to just go for it. “If you’re scared, come to my mic,” she continues. “I’ll hold your hand. I’ll also stay six feet away if you need that. It’s been my experience that the Eugene comedy scene is friendly and open. There’s room for everyone’s voice.”