By Beth Mack
February 3, 2022
Two years after filming her stand-up Netflix special Sweet & Salty in Charlotte, the Belmont-raised comedian and actor Fortune Feimster is set to return to the Queen City region. Feimster will host three performances at Knight Theater on February 5 and 6 as part of her national 2 Sweet 2 Salty tour.
Feimster was drawn to comedy at an early age as an avid fan of Saturday Night Live and comedian Carol Burnette, but a career in comedy seemed improbable for someone from rural North Carolina. Fast forward to today, and Feimster is a well-known Hollywood comedian, writer and actor. She has appeared on television shows such as Chelsea Lately, The Mindy Project, and Kenan, in addition to making numerous movie appearances. To round it out, she co-hosts a radio show, What a Joke with Papa and Fortune, with fellow comedian Tom Papa on Sirius XM, and has her own podcast, Sincerely Fortune, with her partner Jacquelyn (Jax) Smith.
In her latest Netflix special, Sweet and Salty, Feimster relives hilarious tales from her childhood that took place in Belmont and North Carolina, from joining the swim team to her mother having her become a debutante. Feimster also recants some of her experiences during her time at William Peace University in Raleigh, yet it was not until she was watching a Lifetime movie in her mid-twenties that she realized she was a lesbian. While these events make for great stand-up content, looking back 20 some years later, they were undoubtedly hard times. Despite being a lesbian from the rural South, where even today acceptance of LBTGQ+ individuals is not ubiquitous, Fortune extrudes upbeat, positive energy in everything she does. “It’s who I am. I am naturally a positive person and I see things in a sillier way and just genuinely wake up happy,” said Feimster.
The 2 Sweet 2 Salty national tour was originally set to launch in March of 2020, but the pandemic forced her hand and the tour was postponed. During her pandemic hiatus, Feimster took some time to unwind, married long-time girlfriend Jax, and had the chance to write brand new material.
Fame and fortune have found Feimster in her flourishing comedy career, making strides and providing visibility for the LBTGQ+ community. Her national tour has sold out performances all across the country, even in more conservative-leaning states. But even though Feimster hasn’t lived in the South for almost 20 years, she still can’t shake her accent or the love of Southern food.
“I love coming home to that Southern hospitality and the food of course. My go-to is always Bojangles,” Feimster said. But, “there was a time in my life where I didn’t think I would be welcomed in Oklahoma because of being an out gay person. I had 2,400 people come out to my show and it just blows my mind that I am in this position and my story is resonating with people. I am really grateful and it has been awesome to see.”
Through all of her success, she remains humble and grounded. “At the end of the day it’s telling stories that people can relate to and can laugh with me about.” Surely, her stories of being born and raised in the South are something mostly all North Carolinians will be able to relate to.