A few weeks ago, we previewed Anjelah Johnson’s new Netflix special, Not Fancy. Before Johnson became a comedian and cast member on MADtv, she was a cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders. Here are a few other comedians who had former careers that were not even closely related to making people laugh.
Before focusing on comedy, Noah had a starring role in the South African soap opera, Isidingo. He also hosted an education program, a sports show and was a contestant on season four of South Africa’s competition show, Strictly Come Dancing.
Remember that British new wave duo from the 80s called Seona Dancing? We don’t either, but Gervais certainly does. His first experiences as a performer came from being part of this duo with his friend Bill Macrae. They never took off in the UK, but their single “More to Lose” became an anthem for teenagers in the Philippines. Okay, that is kind of funny.
Maybe Gervais would have found more success as a musician if he had Tig Notaro as a manager. Back in the 90s, Notaro ran Tignation Productions- a band management and promotions company out of Denver. Though she says she wasn’t very good at it, her work in the music business led her to Los Angeles where she tried stand-up for the first time.
He used to save robots! Well…sort of. Ferguson worked as a bouncer at the now defunct NYC East Village nightclub, Save the Robots. The club operated somewhat illegally underneath an nondescript store front. It was popular for a very late night/early morning crowd, sold only vodka, soda and juice, and encouraged BYORD (bring your own recreational drugs).
Before beginning her stand-up career, Lampanelli was a fact-checker for Spy, a satirical monthly magazine. However, she may not have gotten the gig at Spy if it weren’t for her time as a copy editor at Popular Mechanics!
Paul F. Tompkins
Tompkins’ recent Comedy Central special covered a lot of topics. Know what else Tompkins has covered? A lot of heads. Philadelphia’s South Street shop, Hats in the Belfry, sells just hats. Tompkins knows first hand, as he once worked there.
When Kinane was in his early thirties he worked in reality television…as a closed-caption writer. At one point, Kinane says he had to caption an Ultimate Frisbee game and spent much time on Google making sure the players’ names were spelled correctly.