Even during a quick phone conversation with comedian Carmen Lynch, the jokes flow naturally.
The Brooklyn resident, who grew up in Spain and Virginia, simply couldn‚??t help herself when talking about how her college career spanned everything from pre-med to chemistry before settling on psychology, a profession where she probably could have garnered great comedic material.
‚??I mean, I did do an internship at a mental institute, and it was pretty crazy ‚?? no pun intended.‚?Ě
She strayed from that path and moved to New York to become an actress, but after attending a comedy show, she realized she could write for stand-up acts. She unexpectedly took the stage herself and the rest has fallen into place since, including stints on Comedy Central‚??s ‚??Last Comic Standing‚?Ě and, most recently, a gig that had the audience rolling on the ‚??Late Show with David Letterman.‚?Ě
Lynch will be a part of Main Street Bistro Comedy Night in Dickson City on March 2.
THE WEEKENDER: You‚??ve come a long way since taking the stage for the first time. What was that gig like?
CARMEN LYNCH: It was back in 2001; I took a three-day course from a little magazine they pass out here called The Learning Annex, and the graduation was a gig in a comedy club on a Sunday afternoon, when like 12 people were there. They said I could do five to seven minutes, and I did two and a half, but I loved it. I mean, looking back, I‚??m like, ‚??If I loved it so much, why didn‚??t I stay on stage?‚?Ě but I think it‚??s just because I ran out of material. Two-and-a-half minutes and that was that, my first show.
W: A big contrast to ‚??Last Comic Standing,‚?Ě of course. What was doing the show like?
CL: I did season one (in 2003) and then the last season, and they were completely different. Season one you got to live in the house, and the last season it was all about stand-up and there was no house. The last season, I had been doing it about eight years, so I was more relaxed and I knew a lot of the people there. The first time around? I was intimidated by the show. You don‚??t know what it‚??s going to be like. You‚??re like the guinea pig, and I was definitely the guinea pig of the show because I was the youngest and the one who had done it the least. Everyone else had an appointment and I was the one who stood in line for eight hours outside waiting for an audition.
W: You were a hit on Letterman this past November. What was that experience like? Has it helped with your career at all?
CL: It was incredible. It definitely makes you legitimate as a comic. It gives you national exposure and really gets you out there. And besides all that work stuff, I mean, it‚??s Letterman. He‚??s a giant; I love him.
W: Was he a nice guy?
CL: He‚??s so cool. It was quick, I was in and out, but it was amazing. Surreal.
W: It‚??s probably safe to say this has been the favorite moment of your career so far.
CL: Oh, absolutely. It was crazy. I‚??m doing comedy and I‚??m done and I turn my head slightly to the left and David‚??s standing, literally, right next to me.
W: That was the good, now the bad ‚?? what‚??s your most embarrassing moment on stage?
CL: When I was a year or two in, I forgot my jokes on stage. I just kind of stood there and stared at the audience for a good 20 seconds and said, ‚??I‚??m sorry, I forgot my jokes,‚?Ě which actually made them laugh really hard. Their laughing loosened my brain up and I started remembering again, thankfully. When you‚??re new and your mind goes blank, it‚??s scary. It‚??s like, ‚??What am I going to do up here, tap dance? I have nothing for you guys.‚?Ě