A Comic Comes Into Her Own

WHO IS JULIA SWEENEY? We never got to know the person behind the ambiguously gendered ""Pat'' on ""Saturday Night Live.'' Now, in her moving and surprisingly funny one-woman show God Said, ""Ha!'' at the Coronet Theater in L.A., Sweeney comes into focus as a performer, a writer and a woman you want to take to your heart.

The hilarity is surprising because it arises, unforced, out of the blackest nine months of her life. First her brother Mike was diagnosed with Stage 3 lymphatic cancer, and moved in with her. They were soon joined by her parents, a well-meaning couple who drive their daughter batty. Then Sweeney is herself diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer.

Neither angry nor maudlin, Sweeney guides us with sweet, sane, unactressy honesty through her sojourn in the ""International House of Cancer.'' She can be equally funny about trying to conduct an affair under her parents' noses as she is spinning the bizarre tale of her missing ovary. This is the stuff of comedy? Indeed yes -- of a transcendentally human comedy.