Two Los Angeles-based comedians are coming home to the Quad-Cities this weekend and hitting the familiar grounds of the stage when they do.
Sherra Lasley, 32, a 2001 Pleasant Valley grad, and Kelly Coughlin, 33, a 2000 graduate of Davenport North, will perform Saturday at the Backroom theater. Lasley will be doing stand-up, while Coughlin will join the home troupe, the Blacklist, for improvisational comedy and Cards Against Humanity. Both comedians have been making waves in the Hollywood area and are stoked about performing in their old stomping grounds.
“It’s going to be fun,” Coughlin said, about performing with the local improv troupe in her first time on stage in the Q-C. “I bring a lot of energy and a lot of big characters to my improv. I like breaking the fourth wall and going into the audience a lot. I think people are really going to like it.”
Coughlin’s L.A. story is an unusual one. After graduating from University of Northern Iowa, she moved to Chicago to work as a teacher, then to Pasadena to attend Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, before trying out improv and sketch comedy. With a style inspired by such comedians as Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling and Amy Poehler, she’s worked at Second City, iO West, The Improv Space and more, and she’s working on a video series at mommysketchcomedy.com.
“Things have been great, comedy has totally taken over my life,” she said. “By day, I’m a music teacher, and by night, I’m doing comedy. I love it because I get to be silly and stupid and funny and make people laugh. I’m pretty happy with it.”
Lasley, who will be performing stand-up at Saturday’s gig, is likewise pretty excited about her move to the coast more than a year ago, which likewise has been fruitful. She has been doing mostly sketch and stand-up, a monthly live show and working on a series called "Midwest Bitties" that’s posting to YouTube and is being shot as a pilot in January.
“The stuff I do is silly, physical, over-the-top cartoony stuff, or it’s very subtle, which sounds totally contrary to each other, but that’s what it is,” she said. “The stand-up show is very raw and vulnerable and sometimes maybe a little too real. I don’t really hold back much, I’m very open.
“I like making people laugh, there are always awful, sad things that happen in the world, but you can always put a funny spin on it, and that’s what I try to do. I just like making people laugh.”
Lasley has gotten the attention of talented collaborators and is working with the company Kids At Play Media, which also works with big names such as Cheryl Hines, Horatio Sanz and Ed Helms.
“We’re shopping around scripts and ideas, creating online content and trying to get the work out there,” she said. “We’re really excited to see where it’s going to go.”