“You can’t get through this without friends.”
That’s the core message delivered by Los Angeles, California moms Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley in their online video series, called “I MOM SO HARD,” and their live show, which comes to the Lyric next Saturday.
The message is a sweet one, but Hensley and Smedley – who each have two kids under 10 – are anything but saccharine. The videos showcase the ladies’ relatable, saucy brand of buddy comedy. They sit in a playroom, laughing and drinking wine or cocktails as they tackle subjects ranging from nighttime routines to the indignities of swimsuits to “Game of Thrones.” They describe themselves as, “Two moms getting it wrong. But we try to laugh about it.”
Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley have partnered with Yoplait for their upcoming tour. This hidden camera video showcases their hilarious banter as well as their sweeter side.
We caught up with the Hensley and Smedley ahead of their trip to Baltimore, chatting with them about their background and what to expect from Friday’s show.
Hensley and Smedley both have comedy backgrounds, but their inspiration for the “I MOM SO HARD” videos came naturally and will sound familiar to parents currently in the trenches.
“It started at a bar…no, I’m kidding,” said Hensley. “She came over one night and was nursing her baby. We sat down at the kitchen counter and were having a couple glasses of wine. Our husbands and kids were in the backyard and we were laughing and crying at how bad we’re doing this job.”
Hensley and Smedley’s husbands don’t appear on camera in the videos, but they’re still an integral part of the process: They’re the cameramen. Plus, they offer moral support when it’s most important.
“Both of our husbands are hilarious in their own right and are really supportive,” said Smedley. “We really throw them under the bus sometimes and they laugh as hard as anybody else about it.”
“What’s so great about their perspective is they give us the green light to be brave and go where we might be a little hesitant,” added Hensley.
Though the videos are, ostensibly, about motherhood, Hensley and Smedley note that they largely stay away from their kids as topics of conversation – the focus is more on their lives as women and friends than about their kids.
Still, they recognize that one day, their children might want to use their parenting as fodder for videos of their own. “We talk about our own parents and someday our kids might want to start a web series and talk about our parenting and that’s fine,” said Smedley.
Hensley added, “Go for it!”
The duo takes inspiration from classic female comics. “Jen and I are both big Lucille Ball fans – Lucy and Ethel as a friendship. We’re attracted to women with strong friendships, like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler,” said Hensley. “Women like teams and like to work as a team, contrary to what men think. When you have that solid friendship, you can count on them to get through this life.”
Smedley noted that in kitchens all over, women are doing the same thing she and Hensley do, just without a camera trained on them. “There are a million moms who crack each other up after a few drinks,” she said. “It’s a lucky thing to have a friend who makes you feel better. We think of the camera as our third friend, who’s up all night nursing and needs the laugh.”
On Saturday night, moms attending the show can expect a whole lot of laughs, the pair said.
“It’s a nighttime version of what you see in the playroom,” said Hensley. “There are videos, stand-up, an improvisation section. Our goal for ourselves is to walk in and say this is a roomful of friends and we’re going to laugh and make you feel a little better about the job we’re doing. We talk about being women and friends and how this life unfolds with us in it.”
If Jen Smedley gets her way, the Baltimore show would also include some football flair in the audience. “I would like to say I’m expecting Joe Flacco to show up,” she said, laughing. “I’m a huge fan.”
IMOMSOHARD will come to the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric on Saturday, July 15. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are available via Ticketmaster.
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