Desi Lydic is a comedian and a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” Her Comedy Central special “Desi Lydic: Abroad,” which explores three countries that best America on gender equity, premieres May 13.
Where do you come up with your best ideas?
I come from the improv world, so I’m my most creative when I’m in a room with a handful of other creative minds all working together to build the best idea. It’s a big part of what I love so much about the collaborative environment at “The Daily Show.”
What is the best non-material gift you’ve received?
While I was in Iceland shooting “Abroad,” I interviewed a cool and inspiring all-female rap collective (which is actually a thing in Iceland) and they all share the same tattoo. It’s a small upside-down triangle representing female empowerment. After the interview, we all celebrated by going out dancing and drinking and I wound up with a matching tattoo on my wrist. I am officially the 23rd(?) member of “The Daughters of Reykjavik.” Thanks, Comedy Central! Also, my son — I should say my son, right? Son number 1, tattoo number 2.
What is the best non-material gift you’ve given?
For a year, I wrote down one thing a day that my husband did that I was grateful for. I gave it to him at the end of the year. I think it probably was more meaningful to me because it put me it the happiest headspace all year long. Gratitude is a powerful tool.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
11 hours of labor.
If you had to choose a different profession, what would you do?
I would love to direct one day.
What is the most useful mistake you’ve made?
Where do I begin? I’ve made a million, but all have led to valuable lessons.
“Instead of wanting to be the little orphan saved by Daddy Warbucks, I wanted to be the drunk lady with all the punchlines who moved her body so freely and belted out hilarious tunes.”
What’s the strangest experience you’ve had?
A few years back, there was a two-week period where I kept running into Elizabeth Berkley. Everywhere I went, I saw Elizabeth Berkley: the movie theater, the book store, the parking lot of the grocery store. I’m sure she thought I was stalking her. When I was 14, I probably would have, but not in my 30s. I’m too damn busy, and stalking is a full-time job.
What opportunity do you regret passing up?
No regrets, which is the next tattoo I’ll ask Comedy Central for.
How do you relax?
Take a hot shower the second I put my son to bed at 7:30, crawl into bed, and watch the hell out of some “Vanderpump Rules.”
If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go?
Back to Sandwich Harbour in Namibia, the only place in the world where the desert and sand dunes meet the ocean. It’s absolutely breathtaking. It’s like seeing two worlds colliding. I would bring my family this time. I would love for my husband and son to see it.
What is your most indelible childhood memory?
I was introduced to the movie “Annie” at age 3 and I was transfixed. My mom and dad recorded it on VHS off the broadcast airing, so it was complete with the best ’80s commercials. I watched it over and over and over and I’d cry, “Turn that back on!” when it ended. The odd thing was that instead of wanting to be the little orphan saved by Daddy Warbucks, I wanted to be the drunk lady with all the punchlines who moved her body so freely and belted out hilarious tunes. Carol Burnett was magic to me, and I think that was the moment I knew I wanted to be just that, an alcoholic. But also a comedic actor.
What’s the most valuable thing you learned in school?
How to get noticed by dressing like a 10-year-old version of Melanie Griffith in “Working Girl.” Some shoulder pads are just not meant for children.
When you’re stuck how do you get unstuck?
I take a walk or consult a friend. Also, I don’t wear Spanx anymore.
What is your proudest moment?
That 11th hour of labor and everything that came after.
What would you like to experience before you die?
Seeing a female president of the United States.