Kristin Key
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Kristin Key

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE | AFTRA

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE | AFTRA
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The best kept secret in music


""Keyd In""

Keyed in
'Last Comic Standing' finalist Kristin Key rolls with the punch lines
by Andy Graham, The Scene
November 2, 2006

'Last Comic Standing' finalist Kristin Key.
Before she got to deliver a punch line, Kristin Key had to stand in line. For seven hours.

Key was one of more than 300 people lined up in Austin, Texas, one morning last winter hoping to audition for this year's version of the NBC reality/comedy series "Last Comic Standing."

"It's an open cattle-call," Key said by phone last week in advance of upcoming Bloomington dates. "All the rest of the auditions are set up by managers and agents. They have to pick somebody from the line, though, so as to avoid getting sued. I was just lucky enough to be the one who got picked there in Austin.

"I got there at 4 a.m., and then, right about the time I was to audition, they broke for lunch. So I took a quick nap in my car. Without that nap, you never know, I might not have gotten the gig."

Audiences aren't likely to nap through Key's routines, which Bloomington will have five chances to judge for themselves.

The "Last Comic Standing" finalist plays the marketplace at the Union on Friday, then two shows a night at Bear's Saturday and Monday.

On her Web site, Key defines "funny" as: "Fearlessness, intelligence and nonsense all wrapped into one." And the 26-year-old's debut CD isn't titled "Preacher's Kid Gone Wild" for nothing.

"We preacher's daughters are usually pretty honest, I think," Key said. "Maybe it's just a guilt issue."

Key is blunt, and doesn't shy from profanity when she feels it serves the comedy, though she came to that relatively late in life.

"I didn't start swearing 'til about 16 or 17 and didn't do it very well." she said. "I called somebody a 'damnit' one time. I yelled out, 'You're just a damnit!' But once out of my parents' world, it became a whole new vocabulary open to me.

"A poet wants every word available to give their thoughts, their soul's expressions, meaning. A comic wants every word available to give the best line to the joke."

A Texas native now living in L.A., Key cites Johnny Carson, George Carlin, Ellen DeGeneres, Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle and Steve Martin among her influences. Since she plays both guitar and banjo, she was asked if she'd ever hauled out the latter instrument to enliven a comedy routine, as has Martin.

"I've played the guitar on stage, from time to time, but never the banjo," Key said. "Martin is easily a better banjo player than me, for one thing. It's a very funny instrument, potentially, but I guess I haven't found a way to make it funny. Maybe a badly-played banjo could be funny, just on its own."

Key is intent on forging her own style, anyhow, and one she says doesn't fit anybody's perceived notions regarding female comics.

"I hear all the time that I'm not your typical female stand-up comedian," she said. "Some people seem to have a predisposition not to like female stand-ups, for whatever reason. I guess their sense is that you'll either just bash men, talk about your period or talk about babies.

"I talk about life. I tell jokes about anything and everything. I'm obviously a woman, and make no bones about that. But that's not all my comedy is about."
- The Scene- Bloomington, IN

""Comic Who's Paid Her Dues Gets Dream Job: A gig on TV""

Since Kristin Key first tried her hand at stand-up comedy six years ago, she's visited 28 states, gone through four cars and may now finally be getting her big break.

Tuesday night, you'll see her on NBC's "Last Comic Standing," and Wednesday night Key will be onstage at Loonees Comedy Corner, where she performs through Sunday. At this weekend's shows, Key will record her first stand-up CD for a record label and tape a comedy special that will air on XM radio.

"I've done a lot of gigs where you play a show at 10 at night and then you drive 10 hours the next day with no one but yourself and your hangover," Key said on her cell phone while doing just that for a per- formance in her home state of Texas. "I think I've paid my dues. I'm kind of happy I'm starting to see some rewards."

Key isn't allowed to say how "Last Comic Standing" turns out -- the show's winner will be announced Aug. 8 -- but she's happy to be riding the wave. All she ever wanted out of comedy, Key says, is to tell jokes on television.


"That was pretty much the whole goal: just to get some jokes on TV," she said. "I kind of a forgot about the dream because I was too busy being a comic."

Being on "Last Comic Standing" reminded Key why she started down this path in the first place -- taking the stage at an open-mic night when she was 19 and falling so instantly in love with stand- up that she quit college the same week.

The story may be inspiring, but dry your eyes: Despite being a preacher's daughter, Key is a comic, not a choir girl.

In the episode that aired two weeks ago, she was playing "crotch ball" on the deck of the Queen Mary, where NBC housed the contestants during the show's taping. The game involved the comic staple of kicking a ball at another person's groin.

"My favorite moment so far was 'crotch ball,'" Key said.

On the same episode, Key and the other comics were given obscure magazines and told to come up with jokes about them for Adam Carolla's syndicated radio show.

Tasked with basing jokes on "Modern Knitting," Key came back with: "Along with knitting an outfit that's going to get Johnny his $&* kicked, why don't you knit him some new self-esteem."

As you might guess, Key's act is rated "R."

"My dad is always telling me, 'Your show would be just as funny without the language,'" Key said, "and I say 'Yeah, but it wouldn't be as much fun for me.'"

A tough-talking, skinny blonde (Key jokes that she looks like Mr. Burns from "The Simpsons" when she gets out of the shower), Key says audiences relate to her because she's not afraid to get on stage and be a dork.

"I never try to tell people what to think," she said. "I just try to make them laugh."


- The Gazette

"Buckle Up Review"

Texas-born stand-up comedian Kristin Key, leaves no stone unturned … To put it plain, Key’s style is not only manlier than her female comedic counterparts but also tougher than a lot of men in the game.

The Last Comic Standing alumnus also thankfully spends a good bit of time talking about her role as a preacher’s daughter to hilarious effect; sneaking a smoke outside during service and cursing inside the halls of God are just some of the confessions she makes.

Key’s brash sense of humor and straightforward style of delivery pair well with the jokes she delivers. Her voice is reminiscent of Kathy Griffin without that slight annoying edge. Combine that with the dry wit of Paula Poundstone and George Carlin’s “I don’t give a shit” attitude and Key has certainly proven she’s a young comedic talent on the rise.

– Alana Grelyak Punchline Magazine

- Punchline Magazine

"Buckle Up - Review"

Kristin Key
Buckle Up!
Stand-up Comedy CD
Uproar! 2007
47 minutes
Kristin Key Buckle Up! is yet another really good stand-up comedy CD from my personal favorite label, Uproar! Kristin Key is a young comic who was on Last Comic Standing aka the modern equivalent of paying your dues playing borscht belt low-rent clubs way back when. Do not hold this against her as Kristin Key is funny and very original.

Key opens Buckle Up! with material on the repercussions of being on Last Comic Standing. This involves going to Target, granted not the most original premise but the pay off is quite decent. She also has good college oriented material with Drinking Buddies

Key really hits her stride with the more autobiographical material on her stand-up comedy CD. She is the daughter of a preacher and really knows how to make that sordid past pay off on the next couple of tracks. These are certainly the highlights of this really good CD.

- THe Serious Comedy Site


"Preacher's Kid Gone Wild" CD
Available at
Streaming video online at
"Buckle Up" - Uproar Records: National Release March 20th. Available online @



Twenty-five-year old Kristin Key seems like any other sweet, sexy, well-behaved preacher's daughter…until she opens her mouth. Kristin Key, one of the youngest headliners working the road today, began at the age of 19 as the house MC for the Amarillo Comedy Club. Frustrated at the limitations for success in a small town and desperate to find another way, she set out to try open mic night at the local comedy club. She was told she was too young to get into the club. The owners eventually softened, let her on stage, and instantly realized her potential. She was offered a standing M.C. position which she took advantage of week after week. Key says, "I was 19, I didn't know any better. I dropped out of college, quit my job and thought that comedy would pay the bills...I guess I had stars in my eyes, but I spent every day up at the comedy club learning from other comics and taking it all in. Looking back, I was really lucky to get that much stage time. I got paid $75 a week, but the experience was priceless."
While others her age were heading off to college and working part time jobs, this preachers kid spent night after night in comedy clubs finding new ways to explain and entertain with her unique life experiences. Her quick wit and natural comic timing turned the heads of club owners in the surrounding areas and soon she took to the road. She played comedy clubs, bars, casinos, and one nighters anywhere that would let her. Small shows in the Texas panhandle turned into 35 states worth of comedy over the next 5 years as she climbed the comedy ladder one rung at a time. Audiences couldn't help but love the rapid fire edgy style of comedy comming from the "Preacher's Kid", and though female comics struggled to find work she was booked not for being a woman, but for simply being funny.
At 25, she moved to Austin, TX to be near a larger comedy scene. The move put her in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. Last Comic Standing was auditioning again, this time in Austin. Like every other Texas comic she stood in line hoping for a chance to be seen and to advance, and, after 7 hours of waiting, she got her chance. She also got the "red envelope" and thus, got her ticket to Hollywood. Of her audition Kristin said, " Goal was to get one joke on TV, just one joke!" She got more than just one joke, advancing to the semi-finals and beyond becomming the youngest person ever to make it into the house. Her years as a road comic payed off, and as the episodes aired, her fan base exploded.
After being seen by millions of comedy fans on NBC's Last Comic Standing, she has continued to utilize oportunities in radio, television, and live performance. Kristin is a favorite on the nationally broadcast Bob and Tom show and has been heard on Sirius and XM Radio for her own specials as well as radio shows including National Lampoon Comedy and The Comedy Channel. She now has two full length comedy Cd's "The Preachers Kid Gone' Wild" and "Buckle Up"- Uproar Records and is still going strong. Much has changed moving from small town in the Texas panhandle to Los Angeles California, but the one thing that hasn't changed is that rapid fire edgy comedy that has kept audiences rolling in the aisles from the beginning, and keeps getting better.