Lynne Koplitz
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Lynne Koplitz

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
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Ever thought about sucking on a lollipop while walking through the streets of New York City? Think again; Lynne Koplitz knows firsthand that this is a horrible choice. Best known for her stand-up special on Comedy Central, Lynne captured the hearts of plenty in her pink prom dress-esque get-up and her hilarious stories about her childhood, relationships and tendencies towards beating her boyfriend with a bat. Lynne has also repeatedly appeared on "Joan Knows Best", the reality series starring Joan and Melissa Rivers. I was ecstatic to interview one of my favorite comedians and she didn't disappoint with her Valentine's Day stories, her creepy tendencies and her affection towards Joan Rivers.
BA: Since your show in Chicago is going to be during Valentine's Day weekend, I have to ask, what is the worst gift you've ever gotten from a significant other?
LK: A mug of carnations. Women always laugh when I say that, but men are always like "What's the matter? You get two gifts in one!" I was in a play one year and everyone was getting flowers so I was thinking, hey, where the hell are my flowers. I had been dating a guy for four years so I was expecting them. I went down to the lobby and there they were, the pyramid of carnations pointing up at me. He called and asked "Did you get your flowers?" First off, don't call them flowers, they are carnations. But then he added "Wait, isn't there a heart on the mug? It's a love mug!" Love never came in a mug.
BA: What's the best Valentine's Day gift you've ever gotten?
LK: I was in college and my boyfriend at the time told me that we were going to eat pizza, so I was thinking "oh shit". But it turns out that he kicked all my roommates out of the apartment, cleaned it, lit candles everywhere and we ate a heart-shaped pizza, which was so thoughtful. He also wore a suit, made me a mixtape and had all my favorite music playing. It was like something from the movie "Ghost". It really shows that it doesn't take a lot of money to be thoughtful.
BA: Who are some of your idols?
LK: I've always admired Joan Rivers and now she is a good friend of mine. Just last week I was out to dinner with Joan, and she took off her necklace and put it in my purse; she said she forgot to bring me a gift so I should take it. She's just one of the most grounded women I've ever met. I also really admire Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby. When you walk away from someone, I like knowing something about them. And all three of them talk about miserably sad things that have happened to them, but they say it so cleverly and so well.
BA: When people recognize you, do they ever say any of your one-liners back to you?
LK: "Suck it!" and "Suck your lolli!" My act has changed a lot since the act I did on Comedy Central, so when people in New York City scream "Suck it!" from across the street, I get offended and forget that it was a part of my act. I don't consider myself a celebrity at all. I'll be on Facebook and people will message me like "Is this really you?" and I'll respond with "Who the hell else would this be?" At best, I'm like a weird half-celebrity. I'm on the road a lot so I don't encourage human contact with me. If people on the street recognize me or say a line from one of my shows, I'll latch on and be like "Hey! How's it going? Wanna go get coffee?" Even now, you probably are going to have a hard time getting me off the phone.
BA: What are some of your favorite current TV shows?
LK: Well, "Joan Knows Best" because I'm on it and you always like to watch yourself on TV. My guilty pleasure is reality television. I love any of the "Real Housewives" shows, they just make you feel so much better about yourself. They're these gorgeous women but they have the stupidest conversations. And although I'm single with no children, I really love "Parenthood". But I also love cop shows, I'm a real old lady watching my mystery stories.
BA: How about movies?
LK: Since I'm on the road a lot I don't get to see many movies but I - Brittany Ashley for the Chicago Flame



Lynne Koplitz is a prominent figure in the NYC stand-up comedy scene. She has her own Comedy Central Presents special, and appears on the hit show Z-Rock. She’s also appeared on CBS’s Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and she has a few projects up her sleeve, including one with Joan Rivers. After playing phone tag and discussing everything from Joan River’s texting habits, to getting hit on by bums, we got down and dirty with some serious (and not so serious) Q & A:

Emily Luft: When you were in school, did you know you wanted to do comedy? I read that you minored in creative writing, was writing your original direction?

Lynne Koplitz: I thought I was going to be an actress, and I’ve always loved writing. I actually want to start putting some of my writing up on my website. For me putting up the writing is harder; it’s more personal. You know, people say “You’re getting up there and doing stand-up comedy where all you’ve got is the lights and the mic, and you get nervous about your writing?” But with stand-up, people have the choice to like or not like you, but with written word, you can actually examine it and find flaws, you know?

E: Do you come from a funny family?

L: My real father was very, very funny. My step dad had a sense of humor, but my real dad was campy. He would put on little shows, and come out in the kitchen with sausages on his head, that kind of stuff. My mother was funny too, but it was subtle, under-your- breath kind of humor.

E: Who are some people who have influenced you? Who are some of your favorite comics these days?

L: Joan Rivers is my inspiration. Without a doubt, Joan Rivers. Also, Carol Burnett, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, and Eddie Murphy. But Joan Rivers is a huge inspiration, and also a friend.

E: You got to work with Joan Rivers on Z-Rock, I bet that was a stunning experience!

L: Oh it was. She is very generous, very kind, and very funny. She makes you feel like you’ve known her for years. You know, I’d get a text from her, or she’d email me back at like, 2 in the morning! One time she called me for my birthday and left me a voicemail and sang me happy birthday. She ended it saying “its Joan Rivers.” I mean it was CLEARLY her, she has such a distinct voice! I really like about her is, she has such an incredible work ethic, that being around her has improved my work ethic! She is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met. She still writes!

E: What is your all time favorite place to perform?

L: You know, that’s a good question. I would say the Comedy Cellar Club in New York City. It’s like comedy graduate school. You see Darrell Hammond down there, and people like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. When you’re performing there, it’s like you’re one of the cool kids. But I also love performing in the Midwest because people in the Midwest seem a lot more straightforward. They work hard and play hard.

E: When you were first breaking into the stand-up comedy scene and doing open mics, did you start in NYC?

L: Yes. I actually started doing open mics in NY later in age; I was 28, almost 30. My mom came with me to my first open mic, it was at Hamburger Harry’s. They had a little room reserved for comedy.

E: I imagine you’ve seen some grisly places on the road. What has been your worst experience?

L: You know, one time in Florida, a lady threw a drink in my face…onstage! She was very drunk. But it was great because I took off my hairpiece and waved it to the audience saying "At least it wasn't my real hair!"

E: I’ve heard that for comedians, getting a laugh is like a natural high. Care to comment?

L: I think it’s a good feeling for anyone, to be able to make someone laugh. One time I went with my friend to her ex’s wedding which was to another woman. They were throwing the rice you know, at the newly weds, and she had tears in her eyes. I grabbed a handful of the stuff and said, “What is this, kibble?” and she laughed and laughed. She said, “This is why I brought - me-infocus.com




When I talked to Comedienne Lynne Koplitz last week, I was in the comfort of my day job cubicle and she was in the comfort of her local grocery store. It’s hard for her to grocery shop since she is on the road a lot and does hate to waste produce, something I can completely relate to—there’s nothing worse than watching an avocado go from perfectly soft to too soft all because of your own hectic lifestyle. At one point—after a good rapport was established—Lynne asked me to hold on for a minute. Then I could hear her say something along the lines of, “Hey, honey! Yeah, just give me a call and I’ll get you free tickets! Yeah… just call me! Okay bye, sweetie.” Lynne still bears a bit of a southern accent, so even without the “sweetie” or the “honey” sprinkled in there, it was a very genuine and friendly sounding exchange. As it turns out, she was talking to the check out lady at the grocery store. If you’re thinking what I was thinking, then allow me to confirm for you—yes, the check out lady at Lynne’s grocery story in Manhattan has Lynne’s phone number. As Lynne and I continued to talk, this became less and less surprising to me.



Lynne made it pretty clear from the get-go that she is a comic’s comic. I never know what people mean when they say that, but I have decided that should not preclude me from using the phrase. So here is what I mean by that. I introduced myself, we chatted briefly, and then I mentioned my particular interest in her since I am also a comedian. To which she replied, “I like you. You sound funny. Do you want to do my show?” But now I’m just bragging. She’s worked hard as a comic, served a lot of time on the front line (as she describes being on the road) and isn’t afraid to show a little love to the people still in the trenches. She does acknowledge however, that things moved much more quickly for her than they do for the average up-and-coming comic. Within a year of her first open mic, Lynne was at the Montreal Comedy Festival and then auditioning for Saturday Night Live. Within a year and a half, she had a casting deal with NBC. These are goals that many comedians consider ten to twenty year goals; Lynne met them in fewer than two.

Lynne was a struggling actress in the South before she moved to New York City and, as she tells it, she realized she was going to die on the streets if she was going to try being an actress up here. She got an editing job, which she admits she didn’t excel at, but where she did start to meet the right people. She and a friend started a local television show. Lynne was the host and she had a sidekick who was pretty and funny. In an effort to make herself stand out on the show, she eventually gave the sidekick no lines. Unfortunately for Lynne’s ego, the woman was still funny, and pretty.

At the suggestion of her friend, Lynne decided to give stand-up comedy a shot. Her first open mic ever was at Gladys’ Comedy Room. Lynne’s mother came up from Virginia for the big event and Lynne had her set list in hand until right before it was time to get on stage, at which point she handed the set to her mother and said, “I don’t like that.” Apparently that was the right move, because when she got off stage, Gladys herself tapped Lynne on the shoulder and asked how long she’d been a comedian. Lynne replied, “Well, I don’t know if I’d call myself a comedian, but I guess about… two hours.” Gladys told Lynne she’d let her have weekend spots in exchange for barking in Times Square. Barking is what a lot of comedians do to get spots on shows—it’s handing out flyers on the street to passersby in order to get an audience at the show. If you’ve been to Times Square, you’ve seen them and probably even interacted with them. You could call that the first, and rather early, break for Lynne’s comedy career.



The next break came when Lynne did a bringer show at Stand Up New York. Bringer shows are run by clubs and aimed at new comics looking for stage time in a real club, as opposed - womanaroundtown.com - Nora Nolan


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Born in New York, but raised in Florida, Lynne Koplitz never lost her Long Island bite. After graduating from Troy University in 1992 with a degree in Theatre Arts and receiving a masters in Education Language Arts, Lynne began following her passion into comedy. Since that day, she has experienced a whirlwind of success on both stage and television. Lynne became the first woman since Roseanne Barr to sign a development deal with legendary producer Tom Werner at Warner Brothers.

On television, Lynne is a regular on Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best. She also starred on the IFC cult favorite Z Rock. Lynne has been featured on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and her special; Comedy Central Presents Lynne Koplitz is currently in rotation. Koplitz can be heard co-hosting the radio show Star Talk with legendary astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and seen as a panelist on the History Channels History of the Joke hosted by Lewis Black.

Lynne has been headlining comedy clubs across the country for over fifteen years. She is a regular at all of the New York clubs including the prestigious Comedy Cellar, which found artists from Jerry Seinfeld to Chris Rock. Currently single, Lynne resides on both coasts with her faithful Yorkie companion, Aldo.