We’re bringing in the laughs today with writer/standup comedian/actress Sarah Colonna. A writer and roundtable regular on Chelsea Lately, Colonna is as hilarious in person as she is onscreen; what’s more, she basically self-directed this very adventurous photo-shoot. Seriously, this may be one of our favorites.
With an NY Times bestselling book under her belt, as well as a film – Back in the Day – recently released in January 2014, it seems Colonna is laughing her way up through the biz. She let us in on her most memorable moments on Chelsea Lately, most embarrassing standup performance when starting out, and her drink of choice upon unwinding; is it too early for one of those?
What would be your ideal food day?
Eggs Benedict for breakfast, a hamburger for lunch and spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. But obviously, we can’t eat like that very often. So in reality, it’s usually a smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch and some sort of chicken or steak dish for dinner.
What’s your drink after a stand-up performance, or an appearance on Chelsea Lately?
Vodka (Belvedere, Grey Goose or my new favorite, Tito’s) and soda with lemon. No lime! I always ask for lemon but I always get lime. More proof that nobody ever listens to me.
How do you always start your day?
When I’m home, usually with spin class followed by a trip to the Coffee Bean. Except on Tuesdays; Tuesdays always start with me putting twenty pillows over my head because it’s leaf blower day in my neighborhood and it starts early. When I’m on the road, I tend to wander around the city I’m in for a bit in the morning, grab a coffee, then try to get in a work out before I head to the comedy club.
Where does your material come from? What inspires you?
For the most part, my material comes from my life. Family, friends, relationships – all stuff that I think people can relate to but still remains original to me. There are only so many subjects out there, so in order to feel like my material is fresh and unique, I am always working on true stories and translating them into something I can tell on stage. Of course, the occasional topical stories come up as well, but I do so much of that on Chelsea Lately that I like to make sure my stand-up is separate.
Any quirky writing traditions you have to share with us?
Before I go on stage I always write a couple of words from each story I want to tell, sort of reminding myself what the topic is with key words. I don’t bring any notes on stage or anything so I’m not sure what the point is. I guess now it’s just a neurotic or superstitious thing I will always do.
Best memory while performing at a comedy club…
The first time I sold out on my own. It was in New York and it was the first weekend of my book tour and it was just really, really exciting.
Worst memory while performing at a comedy club…
Many years ago when I barely knew what I was doing, I was auditioning for a festival and I had to go up right before Drew Carey. I totally bombed and walked off stage before my time was even up, leaving it empty and the poor host running to the stage to cover. I wish I knew who hosted that night, I still feel like I owe him an apology. I was brand new to it and when I bombed I just panicked. I went in the bathroom and cried for half an hour. It was terrible.