Galentines season is coming to the Egyptian Theatre
For more than 25 years, Wendy Liebman has made people laugh.
She has performed all over the world and has been seen on "The Late Show," "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," "The Tonight Show" and "Rosie O’Donnell Show."
She’s been on "America’s Got Talent," HBO’s "Women of the Night," "The Bonnie Hunt Show" and has performed in various programs aired on Comedy Central and Showtime.
Next week, Liebman will appear with Caroline Rhea at the Egyptian Theatre for a night of laughter called Galentines.
Liebman looks forward to performing with Rhea again.
"I’ve co-headlined with Caroline recently in Las Vegas at Lipshtick at the Venetian Hotel," Liebman said during a phone call to The Park Record from Cleveland, Ohio. "We switched off. She went first one night and I went first the next. I’m not sure how it will be with Galentines in Park City. I just like that we did two shows with a really cute name — Lipshtick and Galentines — and I’m assuming we’ll each do the same amount of time."
Although Liebman is known for her two-punch comedic delivery, being a stand-up artist wasn’t her first line of work.
"I thought I was going to be a therapist, but I think I realized soon after I started working at Harvard Medical School doing psych research that I would rather make 100 people laugh than one person cry," Liebman said. "I just knew it felt good and was addictive to get a laugh."
That feeling reaches back into her childhood.
"I remember the first time I heard my dad laugh," Liebman said. "It was when my sister and I were watching a cartoon.
"I loved hearing him laugh, so I would try to always make him laugh," she said. "I don’t know if the early seeds were sown then. I didn’t know I was going to become a comedian."
Throughout her youth, Liebman would watch various comedians on TV. Every now and then, she would learn something new.
"I saw Phyllis Diller on the ‘Mike Douglas Show’ when I was 11 years old and she said, ‘You have to make the audience laugh and when they think they’re done laughing, you have to hit them again,’" Liebman said. "I remember thinking, ‘I know what you mean.’ And that has become my style."
"I would also feel nervous for the comedians I saw on ‘The Tonight Show’ until they got their first laugh," she said. "I thought they were winging it on national television. I didn’t know their act was crafted and produced. So, even though I didn’t know I was going to become a comedian, I identified with it all."
Still, Liebman said there is more to it.
"I love to laugh and that sounds corny, but it’s true," she said. "There have been all sorts of studies that show laughter is good for you physically, emotionally and can even thwart some cancer cells.
"I think it’s healthy to laugh, and when you laugh in a group, the healing power becomes exponential," Liebman said. "It feels good to be on the same wavelength with other people. There is no better feeling than being on stage and feeling like the audience is doing something together."
Liebman approaches her comedy like an author who writes novels.
"I feel like I’m allowed to make stuff up on stage," she confessed. "I try to be honest in my real life and then use my imagination in my art. There is a little truth to every joke, but the facts are distorted.
"[For example,] I have two stepsons whom I helped raised, and to respect their privacy I make stuff up about them," she said. "Maybe I should say they are my stepdaughters."
Throughout her career, Liebman has not only performed with and opened for an array of artists including the late Bob Hope, The Smothers Brothers, Reba McIntyre and the late Ray Charles, she has also written a book, "Swear on Lily," and writes a blog found on her website http://www.wendyliebman.com .
In addition, she named a few more highlights.
"I was No. 23 down in a crossword puzzle for New York Magazine and that made me take pause," Liebman said with a laugh. "I was on ‘America’s Got Talent’ this past season and got eliminated at one point, but Howard Stern brought me back. I felt validated. Whether you like him or not, he still has a good sense for comedy."
Another occupational perk is connecting with her fans.
"After a show in Lake Tahoe, this elderly woman came up to me and said, ‘I felt like you were just talking to me,’" she said. "Then I had a Facebook friend write to me that I saved his life. He told me that he was in a bad place and he reached out to me and I made him laugh. That’s pretty good, right? Remember I told you I was going to be a therapist?"
The Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., will present Galentines with Wendy Liebman and Caroline Rhea Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 12-14, at 8 p.m. Thursday tickets range from $29 to $45 and Friday and Saturday tickets are $35 to $55. Tickets can be purchased by calling 435-649-9371 or by visiting http://www.parkcityshows.com .
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