New comedy with Anne Heche! Series Premiere, Thursday 8/7c. Preview now.
What was your first solo stand-up gig?
The Eighth Grade Talent Show when I was 13 years old. The librarian at my school, Mrs. Henry, told me I should be a comedian. I think she was sick of me laughing in the library. I saved all my jokes for school because I wasn't allowed to tell them at church. I wrote some jokes and banged on a drum I borrowed from my band director, pretending to be the Energizer bunny. I also prepared a skit with my little brother doing a fake Taekwondo stint. But he was sick that day and I was sad he wasn't there.
What is your worst nightmare as a comic while performing on stage? Has it happened?
My worst nightmare is that I'll say something so funny that I'll start laughing at it, collapse on the floor, and won't be able to stop. It has not happened. But I have a feeling it will one day. Laughter is contagious and sometimes when the audience laughs at something I didn't expect them to laugh at it is tempting to take a vacation and laugh with them! It is also my preferred method of dying. I wouldn't want to die any other way but from laughing. And whoever tells the joke that makes me die laughing should be crowned the funniest comedian ever.
At what age did you realize you were funny? Why? Tell us the story.
I was 3 years old. My dad took me out to eat at Wendy's. And the restaurant was closing as we were sitting in a booth. The lady working there started to vacuum around us. When she came near us, I lifted my feet onto the bench even though my feet were nowhere near touching the floor. She started laughing. And it was at that moment I realized that I am funny. I can make strangers laugh and smile. This is powerful.
Who are your comic influences? What are your comedic influences?
My comic influences are the people around me who make me laugh: my mom, my siblings, my teachers, my pastor, etc. My mom has always poked fun at my dad in public, telling all her friends how he used to have hair before we were born. My siblings and I shared everything growing up. We teased each other constantly and incorporated wordplay to outwit each other. I always enjoyed it when my teachers incorporated a sense of humor in class. Whenever the teacher said something funny, I wrote it down in the margins of my notebooks. When I reviewed my notes to study, I could relive the funny moments in order to keep me awake. I also noticed that the pastor at my church was able to crack jokes without cracking a smile. The congregation would laugh but he would not. I thought that was an interesting and confident way of delivery. I wanted to emulate all of the people around me who were being funny. I've been of student of comedy since I was born. Growing up, we didn't have a babysitter. My mom thought the local library was a free day care. The library finally put a sign up that said, "No Children Under 18 Allowed Without Adult Supervision!" They should have just written, "No More Kus," because that sign was totally for us. I would get lost reading books made to entertain children. I read every book in the Amelia Bedelia series several times. I thought her character was funny; she kept getting in trouble for taking everything literally. I wondered, "What would happen if I took everything literally? I bet it will be pretty funny." So I tried it. And now I can't stop! Maybe one day I will. I also enjoyed reading the books in the Harold and the Purple Crayon series. Harold has an amazing imagination that allows him to have crazy adventures. And I enjoy going on adventures, whether in my mind or real ones in life like this show! A good sense of imagination is necessary to me as a comedian. Before I do a show, I imagine in my head how it will go.
What is the worst job you have ever had?
I worked as an usher in a movie theater the summer "The Blair Witch Project" came out. There was always someone in each showing who ran out of the theater barfing. I was the one who had to grab the mop and clean it up. I started warning people, "If you suffer from motion sickness, do not watch this movie!" The other ushers and I also had contests to see who could find the most used candy in the seats. It was pretty gross. I never ate used popcorn, but Sour Patch Kids maybe. But only the ones in the bottom of the box.
What are some of your favorite television shows? Movies?
My favorite TV show is "America's Funniest Home Videos." I can watch reruns of that show and fall off the couch laughing hysterically. My favorite movie is "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." I cry every time. I felt like Charlie when I got the red envelope in New York.
What do you hope to gain by becoming the Last Comic Standing?
I hope that I can convince NBC to do a sitcom about the Kus. We are really funny and goofy. And America is intrigued by Asians.
Most embarrassing moment? Have you recovered?
I was a very shy kid. I remember one day in kindergarten I had to pee. I was too scared to ask the teacher to go to the bathroom so while we were sitting in a circle on the floor, I decided to release my bladder. All the other kids started shifting away. I thought no one would know it was me. But it turns out urine is not like farts. I learned that day in school that farts are invisible but pee is not! I have not yet fully recovered from that day. I do occasionally release farts in public but never my bladder.
Give us your best "knock knock" joke.
Knock, knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Etc. Orange you glad I didn't say banana?
What is the worst question you have ever been asked in an interview?
"Isn't it so difficult being a female in this business? Isn't it? Isn't it so terrible?" Well, fact is that it's a difficult business to break into for everybody, male or female. Being female actually helps me stand out more. So in that sense, it's easier. I just get sick of hearing that question from journalists who already have the angle of their story in mind before they've interviewed us. Don't make me out to be a victim, I'm a victor! Peter Engle said we're all victorious.