Friday, June 10, 2005

Laura Swisher

After being described by LA Weekly as “cute,” television personality and comedian Laura Swisher realized she had finally broken through an important barrier. “As an artist and as a woman,” says Laura, “It’s deeply fulfilling when a television critic sees past your innate creativity and notices your outside beauty. Too often in this industry women are only seen as 'funny' or 'important,' so it’s refreshing to finally be taken seriously for my looks.”

Raised in Tucson, AZ, Laura moved to Los Angeles soon after graduating from college. She initially tried her hand at selling books in Santa Barbara, but realized Los Angeles was a better fit, and became a publicist. When that career bored her, she quit and started doing stand-up, telling herself she’d only do it for a little while. She lied.

Within a year of quitting PR she landed her first TV appearance on the show “Destination Stardom.” Soon after that she was invited to the Chicago Comedy Festival, where a lot of important people gave her business cards. Other shows followed, including Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend," NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” where she was a semi-finalist in its first season, and Oxygen’s “Girls Behaving Badly.”

But it was a failed “Card Sharks” audition that led her to co-host the national late night talk show “Unscrewed…with Martin Sargent.” “I got a call out of the blue from this producer who remembered how amazing I was at turning cards over,” says Laura. Two weeks later Laura found herself living in San Francisco.

Unscrewed…with Martin Sargent,” a show that explored the often-controversial realms of Internet culture, proved to be a natural fit, giving Laura the opportunity to write and produce segments that reflected her skewed and somewhat-darker comedic sensibilities. “I pitched a hilarious segment that involved reenacting some of the more shocking photos to emerge from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal,” says Laura. “And I was sure the producers would nix the idea, unable to see the potential for humor in gross human rights violations. To my amazement, they let me go ahead with it.” For eighteen months Laura entertained technophiles across the country as a Co-host, writer and segment producer on “Unscrewed.”

As a stand-up comic, Laura has performed all throughout Los Angeles, including The Improv and The Laugh Factory. During her time in San Francisco she performed at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State, The Punchline, San Jose Improv and other venues throughout the Bay Area. She continues to perform stand-up on a regular basis.

Before becoming a huge television star, she taught stand-up comedy at the Boys & Girls Club in Burbank and wrote articles for The WB’s website.

After "Unscrewed", it's possible you may have seen her on "Living with Fran," "E! 50 Steamiest Southerners" and a national commercial. Or you may have bumped into her in Austin for SXSW, where she hosted the Web Awards. There's no doubt you'll be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

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