Lisa Corrao happily learns her comedy lesson
Lisa Corrao had one of the most demanding, least rewarding jobs known to humankind and endured death threats on the job, then moved into only a slightly less frightening profession — stand-up comedy.
After a teaching career that included middle school kids telling her they wanted to kill her, Corrao traded lesson plans for microphones and she hasn’t looked back. It was the right decision considering that Corrao, a native New Yorker who recently moved back to NYC from Miami, has not only had success as a stand-up, she scored an acting gig on Nickelodeon’s “Every Witch Way.”
She also did a TV ad selling catheters and Joel McHale made fun of it on “The Soup.” We get into that later.
Corrao and I discussed her decision to leave teaching for comedy, whether being on Nickelodeon gives her pause when it comes to telling dirty jokes on stage and whether or not her daughter finds her funny.
TC: You left a teaching job to pursue comedy full-time. Was that a tough decision or could you not wait to leave the classroom for the clubs?
LC: I was so scared that I was going to die in some weird accident or by the hands of a crazed student, and then the headline would read “Teacher is killed blah blah blah.” I didn’t want to be known as a teacher! As soon as I realized I wanted to pursue stand-up, I happily walked away. So, now, at least my murder-headline might say that I’m a comedian. (interviewer laughs)
TC: Was there ever a time after you quit teaching when you second-guessed yourself?
LC: Nope. Teaching left me with emotional scars. That’s why there are a lot of bad teachers too. It just sucks the life out of you. There’s just no motivation after one or two students threaten your life. Good teachers should make a million dollars.
TC: You opened for Joel McHale when he did stand-up in Florida, then an ad you were in was featured on McHale’s show. Did you know beforehand that the ad was going to be on, and what was your reaction after seeing the segment?
LC: I had no idea “The Soup” was going to do that, although when I read the scripts I swear I actually fantasized about them making fun of the commercials. I was very excited when they did! I tweeted about it and was very happy. The company, um, not so much. Miss that gig. (interviewer laughs)
TC: Does being on a Nickelodeon program make you think twice about doing an edgy or a dirty bit on stage?
LC: I’ve definitely censored myself more on Twitter because of it, but when I’m on stage, I don’t think about it. Part of the beauty of stand-up is not having a filter.
TC: Does your daughter think you’re funny?
LC: Yes, but she doesn’t think I’m funnier than her. She’s right. My proudest moment as a mom was when she was 3 years old, and I realized she understood sarcasm. I had just gotten a website so she started calling me “Lisa Corrao Dot Com” just to be a jerk. Best kid ever.
Here it is, The Best Tweet I Can Find In Five Minutes:
Ugh. Having the HARDEST time balancing the heating zones in my mansion. #sofrustrated
— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) November 21, 2014