Social media personality and stand-up comedian Checlie Lynn is returning to Cleveland for a night of laughs Thursday, April 6! The show is scheduled for 8:00 PM at Cleveland’s TempleLive and will feature Chelcie performing stand-up comedy as her ‘Trailer Trash Tammy’ character.
Originally making a name for herself on the now-defunct social media platform, Vine, she now has millions of followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. Her viral video span smashing her face with some KFC to tackling Luke Bryan (in an effort to punk his mom). There’s something about Checlie and her Tammy character that can make even someone who generally doesn’t subscribe to her line of humor have a big smile on one’s face.
It’s not easy for one to make a full-time living off of viral content and stand-up comedy. Chelcie has defied the odds and has become a great American success story. When asked if she ever in her wildest dreams thought that this would one day be commercially viable:
“Never,” she tells CleveRock during a recent phone interview. “When I started doing videos on Vine, nine or 10 years ago… Remember Vine? Before TikTok and all of that? I was just having fun and being stupid. I wasn’t a social media influencer or online comedian. That stuff wasn’t happening then. I never really thought that it would become a thing that I would have a lot of followers, or that it would be my day job. I wasn’t even thinking about it. I was just having fun. It just turned into this. I quit my 9:00-5:00 a little over five years ago. I couldn’t believe it when it happened. I was on my way to work one day and I was making a few hundred dollars a week on YouTube. A lightbulb went off and I put in my two weeks. I can’t believe I did that! It’s taken off ever since. It’s been wild.”
Checlie’s brand of comedy is suited for adults only. Most (if not all) of her topics are far from children-friendly. She’s had her run with the social media censors who have suspended her YouTube and Instagram channels on more than one occasion. Comedy is meant to be…well, funny! Living in a sensitive culture as well as what Chris Rock coined “selective outrage” makes it difficult for comedians to do their jobs, especially when clear guidance on what is and is not acceptable is not provided.
Checlice was questioned on if this is a dangerous and slippery slope for content platforms and creators alike:
“Yes. Big time. Big time. Big time. Big time,” she said emphatically. “I feel like censorship has gotten out of control over the past few years. It’s been hard, at least for me, to put out content because the stuff that is being taken down, yet at the same time, you’ll see something and be like, ‘Well why isn’t that taken down? That’s much worse than I ever put up.’ It’s just a pick-and-choose type of thing. I feel like it’s gotten out of control and it’s kind of annoying and it makes it hard for me to do my job. It’s ridiculous.“
The day prior to this interview, it was announced that Federal Employees will no longer be able to have TikTok installed on their government-issued devices. Chelcie, a regular content creator on that platform, has turned a few heads and toed a few lines with her videos was asked if she takes any credit for these measures.
After she got done with a long laugh…..
“I wish I could take credit. I guess TikTok is that addictive to people. I used to not scroll, but in the last couple of months I think I’ve got scroll-iosis. I’ll stay up in bed until 2:00 AM, just scrolling.“
Sure, it’s a job now! But Chelcie was creating content long before the checks started pouring in and she was able to branch out to live performances. It all began as a creative outlet and labor of love; one that would still be continuing today even if it wasn’t her profession.
“It was just something fun for me. If things wouldn’t have taken off, I guarantee you I would still be putting stuff out there,” she stated. “Maybe not as much, I don’t know, but I feel like that I needed that creative outlet because I never really had that growing up. I went to such a small school. We didn’t have band, art, football, drama, none of that! We didn’t have things to do. Very, Very small town, with no red lights. I graduated high school with 12 people. I needed that outlet. When social media came around, I felt like I really needed that. I feel like I would still be doing it, for sure.”
This interview reluctantly went to Chelcie’s first shows in Cleveland back in 2021 at Hilarities Fourth Street Theatre. I went in blind, not knowing exactly what to expect. (My wife and I have differing opinions about what we consider to be funny on social media channels.)
“I love it when people are surprised. If you are coming out or being brought to the show or randomly buying a ticket, I would prefer if you didn’t look me up at all. I love the element of surprise,” Chelcie said. “It’s a stand-up comedy show. I play a seven-minute video before the show because people are used to seeing me in video and I wanted to have that element in the show. There’s a clip in the video that gives a little bit of my social media background. I do about 50 minutes of standup as my character, Trailer Trash Tammy. All of the material that I do is real life, real stories that have happened to me. Everything I talk about it is 100% real. I just tell it in the voice of Tammy and it really works.”
The “Trailer Trash Tammy” character that Chelcie assumes has a ring of truth to her. Artist license or autobiographical?
“Well, a little bit of both,” she explained. “She is a character but sometimes my husband will say, ‘Tammy is really coming out strong’ if I really get after him. I’m a lot like Tammy. The only difference is that she is very abrasive and she can be a little rude but somehow still loveable. People still love her. I’m not a very abrasive person. I’m very nice. I definitely have some Tammy in me though.”
For fans that have already seen Chelcie before, will this be all new material or include some of the classic bits she performed during her last time through town?
“It’s a little bit of both. I’ve gotten rid of some stuff and replaced it with some new stuff,” she replied. “Some of the old stuff I’m still tweaking. If you’ve been to the show before, it will be a little different for you, for sure. It takes me a long time to tweak stuff. I like to work on stuff a lot. Some people do the material for six months or a year and then they have new stuff. I’m over here still working on it so you’ll get a little bit of both this time around”.
Prior to her show at Hilarities, owner Nick Kostis told this interviewer that folks traveled hundreds of miles to attend her show. I shared this tidbit with Chelcie.
“That’s mindblowing to me. I’ll meet people that will tell me that they flew in from Alaska or drove eight hours. That blows my mind. It’s crazy,” she said. “Honestly, I can’t even believe that people show up. I can’t believe that I get to do this as a job. That blows my mind. I hope my mind is never NOT blown. The fact that I’m going on tour again, I just can’t believe it. It’s wild.”