I first interviewed Wendy Liebman in 2009 as I have been a long time fan of hers and she has been a big supporter of my endeavors. It was a thrill then to interview her and now 2 years later, it's even a bigger thrill to get to talk to Wendy once again!
Wendy Liebman has been performing comedy for over 20 years was a recipient of the American Comedy Award for "Best Female Stand-Up." She has performed in clubs around the country along with numerous television appearances: "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" (Rosie's first talk show), "The Roseanne Show," and "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson." Wendy has also been featured on multiple comedy specials for HBO, Comedy Central, and VH-1.
Now Wendy is taking to the stage once again: On November 5th her new TV special "Taller on TV" will air on Showtime at 8pm (and again throughout the month) and on November 4th & 5th Wendy will be live at The Brokerage Comedy Club in Bellmore, Long Island. If you've never seen Wendy live, now is the perfect time do so!
For more on Wendy be sure to visit http://www.wendyliebman.com.
1. You have been performing comedy for over 20 years now. What have you learned about yourself from being a comedian? I am very persistent! I once wrote a piece called "What I've Learned Doing Stand-up Comedy." Everything from "Don't worry about your hair so much" and "Wear what you want," to "This is not a dress-rehearsal but I am a work-in-progress," and "Sometimes I'm great, sometimes I suck, most of the time, I'm fine." (The whole list is on my blog site: lmaoww.blogspot.com).
2. How have you sustained such a successful career and what keeps you grounded in an industry that can lead others down a darker road? I had a job for the first 6 years so I had to go to a real job every day, my bffs and substance abuse.
3. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? Tina Fey.
4. How did your new Showtime special "Wendy Liebman: Taller on TV" (airing November 5) come about? How did you come up with the title? I decided to throw myself a 50th birthday party (Feb 27, 2011), but instead of a party, I thought I would perform. I rented a theatre in North Hollywood and luckily it wasn't available on my actual bday because that was the night of The Oscars! So on March 12 I performed for 300 family members and friends! And then we ate amazing cake.
I asked my husband to produce it and we decided that we didn't want to have to restrict ourselves in any way. So my husband found an investor, produced it with his friend, John Landis, had two amazing editors (one of them was, George Folsey, Jr., who edited Animal House), and then my husband and John Landis sold it to Showtime. In the middle of all that were a thousand helping hands. It takes a village to produce a special!
The original title was "Playmate of the Year" because I don't know if you know this but I was voted that...in kindergarten! But we were alerted that Playmate of the Year was a trademark, so we tossed around a few ideas and Taller on TV won. People inevitably say when they meet me in person after seeing me on TV that I look taller on TV. I'm 5'2" in person, 5'9" on TV.
5. What was the best part about doing this show as a TV special and what can audiences expect? My mother is in it, playing the drums. My father is in it singing in his a cappella singing group. It's a retrospect of my life and my greatest stand-up hits in addition to material I've never done before or since! I get downright philosophical in it!
6. You will also be performing at The Brokerage Comedy Club on Long Island, November 4th & 5th. What is it like for you to perform on your home island? Well, I know a lot of people in the audience. And I get to stay at my parents' house!
7. What's the best advice you've ever received? What advice would you give aspiring comedians? Stephen Wright told me when I was about to do The Tonight Show that I should just pretend I was playing to the audience that was there, not to the people at home. Joan Rivers once told me to make and save tons of money (wish I had listened).
Advice to aspiring comedians: Perform as much as humanly possible and try a new joke every time (also wish I had done that one).
8. Favorite way to spend your day off? Favorite way to stay in shape? Day off = hang out with my doggies! Stay in shape = walk my doggies!
9. Favorite skin care product? Coconut oil.
10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Pee Wee Herman