Alysia Wood
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Alysia Wood

Buffalo, New York, United States

Buffalo, New York, United States
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"Washington Daily News says"

". . .a spindly coil energy and a real crowd pleaser." - The Daily News

"The Bulletin says"

". . .original, yet down-to-earth, avoiding cliches and drawing on her unique set of life experiences." - The Bulletin, Oregon

"Comedian Adds Humor To Sensitive Topics"

If you believe that laughing is the best medicine, the place to be last night was Alysia Wood's comedy performance in the Student Union Theater.

The show began promptly at 7 p.m., where the comedian was introduced by the SUBOG Comedy Chair Miguel Almodovar.

"Wood was selected because what we look for is more then just funny, we look for comic diversity," Almodovar said. "So far we have had black, white, Indian and women comedians perform this semester giving people a broader range and breaking stereotypes."

He gave great praise to Wood, acknowledging many of her achievements, including being a finalist in California's contest for Funniest Females, and welcomed the comedian to the stage with enthusiasm.

Wood began the night poking fun at the theater's poor lighting, which she said immediately distracted her because of her Attention Deficit Disorder. Other sensitive topics discussed throughout the night included anger management, sex, breakups and parent-daughter relationships.

"These jokes," Wood said, "come from my life. Pain is where many of my jokes stem from. I truly believe you laugh the hardest when you are going through a hard time. It's a lot easier to turn something negative or serious into a joke and make a bad experience funny."

Adding humor to these sensitive topics is exactly what Wood did, and it was clear that her young audience could relate to much of what she said. Wood induced an exceptional roar of laughter over the corrupt sex education she received by her parents. She informed the audience that her sex education was based on books on books such as "Where did I Come from?" which she re-titled "Why I Will Never Go Into My Parent's Room Again," and other books such as "What Is Happening To Me," a book on puberty, and "Why Does it Burn When I Pee?" a book on sexually transmitted diseases.

Essential to the success of any comedian, Wood turned any awkward moment into a joke, maintaining a laid-back, relaxed environment. She established a relationship with her audience, tuning into their likes and dislikes, and was attentive to the crowd's personal preferences.

"It was a very intimate setting," said Sofia Stromberg, a 3rd-semester psychology major.

Because of the intimate setting Stromberg described, Wood encouraged the audience to get actively involved. This involvement included audience shout-outs and commentary, which Wood used as fuel to expand her material.

"I love college students because they get the jokes," Wood said. "Unlike drunk men in a bar, they listen to what you are really saying."

Wood concluded the night with her own beliefs about the inability of guy friends to relate to females during a breakup and her love-hate relationship with "ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition." Both jokes, containing racy humor, ended the night with smiles and applause.

"She's the best female comedian I've heard in a while." said Nick Phillips, a 3rd-semester exploratory major.

Wood was equally excited about the night.

"I loved tonight's crowd." she said. "I had a lot of fun. It was my first time at UConn, but I would love to come back."

Contact Tara Joyce at - University of Connecticut - The Daily Campus

"Interview with comedian Alysia Wood"

Anyone can tell a joke, but it takes talent to tell a joke and make it funny. Not only does Alysia Wood make people laugh, but she also willingly agreed to do an interview with us. We would usually award her double bonus points for this, but she also gets brownie points for mentioning Back to the Future TWICE in our interview with her. If you happen to find yourself on the west coast this spring make sure to check out one of her performances. She'll be performing in California and Seattle (go Mariners!) pretty extensively over the next couple months. Check out her tour schedule at, but for now read our interview with her below.

Q: You had an opportunity to become a 911 operator but chose to be a comedian instead. What drew you toward your interest in law enforcement and why ultimately did you decide on stand up?

AW: Whoa, whoa, whoa... I didn't want to enforce the law. Washington's 911 included medical, fire and police dispatch and call receiving. I was already doing the medical part in a hospital and had stand up in the back of my mind. I wrote jokes during class knowing that the hours at 911 would've conflicted with standup. After I graduated from the course, I tried it last minute, loved it and never looked back. It was a low paying career that I wasn't even good at yet. To answer your question, I'd clearly lost my mind.

Q: Erma Bombeck once said "Laughter rises out of tragedy, when you need it the most, and rewards you for your courage." How has comedy made a difference in your life?

AW: Before comedy I had credit... so I suppose comedy rewarded my courage with a bankruptcy attorney.

Q: When a joke bombs onstage, do you retract it from your next performance or do you chalk it up to being stricken with a dense crowd?

AW: I subscribe to the theory that if you think it's funny then it definitely is, you just aren't presenting it to the audience correctly. So I work the joke to death. If I retired a joke every time it bombed, I seriously wouldn't have any jokes.

Sort of like gold, which starts out dirty and fucked-up looking. If not, then obviously someone else created it before it hit your hands.

Q: You were born in Louisiana and now are residing in Los Angeles. What were some of the first cultural differences you noticed between the two?

AW: Actually I went from Louisiana to Seattle, where the natives sincerely believe "stereotypes aren't valid" and "I don't see color." Then I moved to New Jersey where the people REALLY embraced race differences and stereotypes. Then I moved to LA where race is "marketable, baby."

Q: If you could traverse the space-time continuum, what advice would you have given yourself 10 years ago?

AW: Traverse the space-time continuum? Did someone beat you over the head with a Back to the Future box set?

Q: Female comedians have long battled the stigma and stereotypes of being inferior crafters of humor. Your success and very clever routines truly help debunk this myth. What advice would you give to other aspiring female comedians?

AW: I give the same advice to the girls that I give the guys: don't ask me, I don't know what in the fuck I'm talking about.

Q: Your honesty about your A.D.D. and your near suicide at age 12, demonstrate your courage to show vulnerability and candor in a world where so many have us have adapted a "guilt free" modus operandi. Who influenced you with this level of frankness?

AW: That specific joke was a funny story before I wrote it but I love the challenge of making an uncomfortable topic undeniably funny...

A lot of comics before me demonstrated that the painfully true stuff is the funniest and most powerful. Personally, 20% of my set is generally stream of consciousness because I have ADD, I'm a bad liar and I've learned it's easier to go with the grain than against it... and I can't do pratfalls. I am "above" pratfalls but only because I don't know how to do them. Believe me, if I knew how to do a pratfall, I'd spend the entire set running into the brick wall.

Q: What do you feel is the toughest aspect of constantly being on the road?

AW: Well, I love the road. I only left because I needed a raise and health insurance.

Q: Where can we see more of you in 2007?

AW: The only thing I've booked so far is Seattle March 8-10. Otherwise, I'm running around LA. I keep my schedule current online so harass your local club and keep an eye on

Q: We always end interviews with word association. We say Wombat and you say......

AW: Back to the Future box set.

Interview with comedian Alysia Wood
Written by Simon Thorn
Feb 14, 2007 at 08:40 PM

""We would recommend Alysia Wood to any school""

"We would recommend Alysia Wood to any school"

To whom it may concern,

This past year Loyola University New Orleans had the privilege of hosting the great comedian Alysia Wood. We found her, and her representation to be extremely professional and a pleasure to work with.

We loved how Alysia Wood tailored her comedy to our school and student body. We found her skit on the “inspirational sayings” on our school’s sidewalks hilarious and love how she added that in off the cuff.

We would recommend Alysia Wood to any school. Her sense of humor and outrageous expressions will relieve the stress of any college student and make them laugh.


Brian Parks
Vice President of University Programming Board - Loyola University New Orleans

""A great addition to our activities line up""

"A great addition to our activities line up"


The members of our Campus Activities Board, would just like to say thank you for performing here at Belmont Abbey College.

You were a great addition to our activities line up.

I know the group was smaller than you are used to, but you took the extra time to be very personable and interact with all that were there.

A lot of the students spent the next week talking to their friends about your performance and DVDs (which quite a few bought).

They really liked that you took the time afterwards to talk about how to get into stand up comedy.

Thanks so much for coming out, Hopefully we’ll be able to bring you back to a larger crowd next time!

Patrick A. Motter
Coordinator of Student Activities
Belmont Abbey College
- Belmont Abbey College

"UB Welcomes First Female Comedian"

It was life as a comedian or life as a 911 operator for Alysia Wood.

Wood was looking for a job when she was offered a position as a 911 operator. At the time, however, her mind was on comedy.

"While interviewing, I realized the hours at 911 would've prevented me trying comedy. Now or never," she said.

At first, life as a comedian was not easy for Wood. Her first performance at an open mic night was anything but smooth.

Wood read joke-writing books to write her set and then memorized it, but she said that she was over prepared.

"Onstage, I realized it was crap," Wood said. "I got a mix of nervous, pity laughs. So I panicked and talked about how nervous, uncomfortable I was which got a huge laugh."

The huge laugh came from a crowd of eight but it inspired Wood to stick with comedy.

"That one honest laugh got me hooked," she said. "I told my friend, 'That sucked! I can't wait to do it again!'"

Wood has been a comedian since 1998 and has expanded her audience from open mic nights to colleges, clubs, coffee houses, bars and international youth hostels.

"My motto is, I tell jokes where jokes are told," she said.

It was just last year when Wood added colleges to her list of venues, and Eastern is on that list. She said she enjoys the college audience.

"They laugh at the jokes but also understand the point comics are trying to make," Wood said. "They catch the little nuances that others don't."

Wood will perform at 9 tonight in 7th Street Underground as part of University Board's comedy acts.

"People should come see my show because it's funny, and I don't know what's going to happen either," she said. "I show up with a rough outline, but thanks to my ADD, it never goes according to plan."

UB comedy coordinator Gretchen Claypool said, "I'm very picky when it comes to choosing comedians and I think she's fantastic. She was just full of energy."

Claypool told Keith Alberstadt, who was the first comedian to perform at Eastern this semester, that it was difficult to find good female comedians. Alberstadt suggested Wood.

"Doing a little networking is how I found her," Claypool said.

Wood is the first female comedian that Claypool has booked during her time as comedy coordinator and hopes people like the show.

"I'm hoping people are not judgmental about the show," she said.

Claypool thinks that attendees will appreciate that her jokes are different from other comedians.

However, when asked what topics Wood covers in the show, she could not sum it up because she includes a variety.

"I talk about everything, but I do try to talk about things that haven't been done to death," Wood said. "I will turn anything that strikes me as funny into a joke or funny story."

Although Wood can turn almost anything into a joke, she started small by renting standup tapes.

"I had a lot of free, unsupervised time. When I wasn't getting into trouble, I was renting standup videos and memorizing them, pulling them apart and putting them back together the same way my brother dissected the VCR," she said. "I wasn't funny at a young age, but I was always a comedy mimic and fan."

As a child, Wood was not always known as a funny person despite having a father who told jokes constantly.

"My father always told jokes and stories, so I grew up watching and listening to standup endlessly," she said. "(However,) as a kid, I was painfully shy. I wasn't known as a funny person until I was a teenager."

Posted: 11/10/06

Kristina Peters/Activities Reporter

© Copyright 2006 The Daily Eastern News
- Daily Eastern News (EIU)

"Comedian entertains students"

Eastern students seemed at ease when Alysia Woods turned some of the most embarrassing and painful times in her life into laughable situations.

Comedian Alysia Woods traveled across the country from Los Angeles to perform Friday night in 7th Street Underground. She entered a stage dressed like a college student might be: long hair, jeans, an orange and brown vest with a thermal shirt underneath and a book bag carrying the notebook where she kept note of the audience's responses to her punch lines.

She began the night by making light of the outbreak of E. coli in spinach. Recently, she did a show at Indiana University, where she was walking through the cafeteria and noticed a sign stating the school was no longer serving spinach.

"So now lettuce has AIDS," she said.

Woods' down-to-earth attitude made her relatable to all of the audience members. Many said they liked that she talked about serious issues in her life and made fun of them.

"You can kind of relate because she brought forward her problems," said Lauryn Kroger, a senior elementary education major. "That's what makes a comedian funny: when you can relate to the comedian."

Woods revealed an experience many would keep hidden: one about a time she tried to commit suicide with Midol at age 12. Taboo subjects about suicide or suffering from an eating disorder can become another punch line written in her notebook.

"It's something you remember," she said. "Most of it's things I stumbled (into) through life. If you take that pain and make it funny, it can go away."

The audience was even given a history lesson on beer when Woods mentioned watching a special on the History Channel. Beer has been around since before Biblical times. So she made a connection between that and the superstition of people being possessed by demons or spirits.

"Sure, Uncle Jerry was possessed? No, he was just drunk." Immediately, Woods did an impression of a drunken person, and the crowd laughed.

By telling jokes, Woods has learned a lot about herself. Comedy gives her the answer she needs when she has a problem, she said.

"I love that jokes have formulas to them," she said. "It's the tools you need to get through life."

As a female comedian, she notices that not many female comedians are taken seriously. Yet, she said she is determined to work hard against the odds.

"You can't fight through a stereotype if you are not good at what you do," she said.
© Copyright 2006 The Daily Eastern News

Tearria Ruffin/Campus Reporter

Posted: 11/13/06 - Daily Eastern News (EIU)

"Beer Bottles, Hookers and an Electrical Socket"

Comedian, Alysia Wood, to perform in the 7th Street Underground

Nicole DeToye
Posted: 11/1/06

What do you get when you mix a large helping of A.D.D., hours of laugh and stories about brothels, bar fights and a strange location for an electrical socket? You get comedian Alysia Wood.

Wood, a new face to the Seattle comedy scene, liked comedy from a young age. Her father introduced her to it, telling dirty jokes he made Alysia promise to keep from her mother. Unlike many comedians, though, Wood wasn't born funny.

"I wasn't always funny, but I was always a comedy mimic and fan," Wood said. "As a teen and latchkey kid, I had a lot of free, unsupervised time. When I wasn't getting into trouble, I was renting standup videos and memorizing them, pulling them apart and putting them back together the same way my brother dissected the household electronics."

Wood used those videos to prepare herself for her first open mic night.

"I over prepared," she said. "I read joke-writing books and wrote for six months. I rehearsed my set, timed it, revised it and mastered it. Then I went to the club and signed up. I was ready to kill when the club owner came up and said, 'You're next'!"

Wood wasn't next.

"I (waited) for six comics to go up," Wood explained. "Once the vast majority of the audience left, the owner finally said, 'This next comic - well, she's not a comic, she's never told jokes before and being a girl she probably won't be funny. Here she is…'"

"Next thing I knew I was alone with eight people, three of which were comics. The laughs I got were a mix of nervous, pity laughs."

From there, Wood's career quickly progressed.

"It's a lot like any other work force, except that it's almost 100 percent on-the-job training," Wood said. "There was a demand 'on the road' for funny women. So at open mics, I showed dedication and worked hard.

The dedication paid off. Soon, Wood got the attention of local bookers.

The Sting of Defeat

Even after all that practice, she still wasn't perfect.

"I'm still 'walking off' the sting of every show I ever did in Jersey," Wood said. "At one point, I bombed five shows a week for more than three weeks. After the third week, I gave up. I realized they just didn't like me. I was standing on stage when I realized that I hated their guts. I started screaming at them, telling them how much I hated them…why I hated them…and then they laughed for the first time ever. Oddly enough, after I stood up for myself, we saw eye to eye, which makes it okay to laugh."

Wood explained she isn't the only comedian to ever bomb on stage.

"I screw up every night. Every performer does," she said. "Some people are just better at hiding it than others. Any live performer knows live shows are like snow flakes, in that you screw them all up uniquely. That's why live shows are exciting for me. I don't know what'll happen next."

Screwing up on stage is one of the biggest fears that keep people from trying comedy. Wood had advice for those who still haven't gotten up the nerve.

"It's sort of like sexual experimentation," she said. "You'll either hate it and never do it again or you'll like it and do it over and over and over and over… but you may as well hurry up and try it before you're too old and responsible to blame it on being young and drunk."

More seriously, Wood said to read the Gene Peret's books, "Zen and the Art of Standup Comedy."

She also added, "Don't get a comedy coach. It's cheaper and faster to bomb. Believe me - you'll need the $300 registration fee later for bankruptcy fees. If you don't need it, then donate to a nonprofit organization - like"

Beer Bottles, Hookers and an Electrical Socket

Aside from bombing on stage in New Jersey, Wood had other interesting experiences on the road.

"(While I was performing) a woman kept heckling me," Wood said. "Another woman said to the heckler, 'Would you shut up? We are trying to hear what she's saying!' The heckler started calling her names, so she told the heckler to shut up."

"I'm watching all of this, bewildered when the heckler picked up a beer bottle and cracked it over the woman's head. At that point, a full-blown riot broke out around the stage. I couldn't even get off stage. An 80-something year old woman finally broke it up by saying, 'Okay, okay that's enough!'"

The night before that, Wood decided to visit a brothel.

"Comics were always talking about a brothel at a road gig. I thought, I have got to see that next time I do that gig."

"So after the show I asked for directions and I found out that all women - unless they were 'working girls' - had been banned since the 1970s due to wives constantly shooting their husbands. I argued and argued that it couldn't be constitutional until they finally gave in hours later and sent me to the brothel - with escorts. The next day the booker called me (and said), 'Alysia, could you at least try to not get arres - Amp Magazine (EIU)

"Women lead the laughs at Comedy Caravan"

Stand-up comedy is no longer a man's world.

More and more female comics are trying their hand at telling jokes for a living.

However, some female comics still feel heat from a once male-dominated entertainment form. Los Angeles-based comic Kristin Key thinks female comics struggle because there are so many that do material that not everyone can relate to.

"There are so many bad female comics," said Key, who was a cast member on NBC's Last Comic Standing 4. "They don't explore their material. Alysia and I do comedy like men, but we're women. It's obvious. We give female comedy a better reputation. We're not talking about babies and periods."

Key and Wood will perform for the Comedy Caravan series at 10 p.m. Tuesday at Where Else Bar, 304 W. State St., West Lafayette. This is the first all-female bill Comedy Caravan has brought to Lafayette-West Lafayette for several years.

Key, 26, has been doing stand-up since she was 19. She got hooked after an open-mic at the only comedy club in her hometown of Amarillo, Texas. Prior to that she said she never even had watched stand-up.

"My friends always told me I was funny so I just tried it," Key said.

After years on the road, Key got her big break by cracking into the large cast of Last Comic Standing. She showed up at the tryout in Austin, Texas, at 4:30 a.m. to make sure she was seen. Key's brand of no-holds-barred humor, which has earned her the nickname "Preacher's Kid Gone Wild," got her past the preliminary rounds. She was one of the 10 finalists on the show. Josh Blue, a comic with cerebral palsy, won the competition, which aired from May to August.

Key's success on television has translated to bigger shows, agents, managers and a national record deal. Her current CD, Preacher's Kid Gone Wild, was independently produced, but the following Buckle-Up will be released in February to most major record stores.

Wood made a regional splash in Los Angeles by placing in the top 10 of the Funniest Women in California contest. Her style is not as brash as Key's, but she lives by the credo "Funny is funny." She cites female comics including Brett Butler, underground sensations such as Doug Stanhope and late greats Mitch Hedberg and Bill Hicks as influences.

"For me personally, influences are important, and being a comic is a working art," Wood said. "You learn from headliners and learn every night. Through osmosis one day, it all comes together and works."

In the eight years she has done stand-up, Wood has seen advantages and disadvantages in being a female comic.

"In the beginning, it's really unfair," Wood said. "Women don't get enough time, and you have to fight through the stigma and stereotypes that women aren't funny. Now, I get auditions and more opportunities because I'm a woman. If you work hard in the beginning, it will work out in the end. If you go around feeling like you're discriminated against, it only hurts you because it takes energy away from you trying to get better at your craft."

Tom Sobel, the booker for Comedy Caravan for decades, said he always tries to book diverse comics. He was not proud that Tuesday's show will be the first all-female Comedy Caravan in Greater Lafayette in several years.

"Having this is very important," Sobel said.

Women lead the laughs at Comedy Caravan


November 5, 2006
- Journal & Courier (W. Lafayette, IN)


Alysia Wood Live at Comedy Underground



Alysia Wood is one of the bright new faces to come out of the strong Seattle comedy scene. The Louisiana native has settled in Los Angeles, quickly becoming a regular at Hollywood comedy hot spots.

She was selected as a Hot Comedian of 2009 by Campus Activities Magazine. The Daily Eastern News agrees, "Wood can turn almost anything into a joke."

National Lampoon Comedy Radio on XM calls her Hysterical! and constantly airs her sound bites. She debuted on the prestigious, nationally-syndicated show "Bob & Tom", where her material was complimented as well-written well-structured.

In addition, Alysia was a finalist in numerous competitions, including the California's Funniest Female Competition. says, I love it when Alysia comes back to Seattle--she brings a little edge back to the Kingdom of Polite and always manages to have something surprising and very funny to say.

Another review from says, Be sure to watch this girl!