Top 15 Comedians

Lisa Corrao#14. LISA CORRAO


Astoria comedian Lisa Corrao’s first exposure to late-night comedy came early. While other kids were staying up past their bed times with a flashlight and comic book in tow, Lisa’s late-night antics comprised of listening to Johnny Carson.

“My dad was always a fan of standup,” she said. “So my mom would fall asleep super early thinking her children were in bed, but we would stay up with my dad and watch late-night sets on David Letterman and Johnny Carson. He would cook, and it was like we were having this whole party.”

Despite her early fascination with the craft, Corrao didn’t pursue it for years, opting instead to become a 6th grade public school teacher in her native Miami after graduating from college.

“I was a hilarious teacher,” she said. “I would tell the kids, ‘wait and see, I’m going to be a standup comedian.’ And what they didn’t know was I actually wanted to do it.”

On a whim, Corrao decided to take a comedy course after seeing a flyer at a venue, and performed surprisingly well during the classes’ graduation in front of an audience of over 300.

“The first time I was lucky in that I was funny,” she said. “So I was like ‘this is amazing. I never want to do anything else.’ The first time you don’t realize you do have a lot of rough sets, so I had this great beginning then I realized oh, I have to figure out how to do this consistently and how to write a joke and how to perform, and all these other things.”

Corrao began hitting open mics after her initial performance, and soon found herself experiencing a major career high after performing just two times on stage. For her third performance, the mother of one daughter auditioned for the Nick at Nite comedy competition The Search for the Funniest Mom in America, and snagged a featured spot.

“It was insane to start comedy that way,” she said. “Here I’m a brand-new comedian and I’m being flown to perform at a club in New York City. I was thinking, ‘I can’t believe I didn’t start comedy when I wanted to.’”

Corrao ultimately made it into the contest’s top 10 finalists, and after that initial success, returned to learning comedy basics.

“The story gets less exciting after that point,” she said. “It became more about really learning the craft, which was very important to me. To really become good at it is like anything else, you’ve got to put in the time and really learn how to do it properly and write like crazy and get as much face time as possible, and I love that.”

Since, Corrao has performed at a host of comedy festivals, including Comedy Central’s South Beach Comedy Festival, the Women in Comedy Festival, and The Boston Comedy Festival, and has recently launched a live webcam talk show “Our Big Apartment Show” with fellow comedian and roommate Wendi Starling, which is shot from their Astoria apartment.

Check out Lisa on “Our Big Apartment Show”, or on the “It’s Eric Nagel” show on Sirius XM, on which she’s a regular guest.

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Posted by on Dec 30 2015. Filed under It's List, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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