On August 27, 2007, Andy Erikson got on stage and performed standup for the very first time during Acme Comedy Co.’s open mic. That night, she completely crushed it and her comedy career was born.
However, it turns out that Erikson’s career almost began sooner than that, thanks to the TV show Last Comic Standing.
Earlier that year, the show was hosting auditions at Acme, and hundreds lined up in hopes of being comedy’s next big thing. Despite the fact she had never done standup before, Andy was part of that group.
“I waited in line to audition but I didn’t get picked,” she recalls. “It’s probably good that I didn’t get picked since I had never done comedy before.”
Now, eight years after her failed attempt at reality TV fame, Erikson has successfully reached her initial goal, as she’ll be one of the top 100 comedians from all across the country competing on the new season of Last Comic Standing.
After surviving the first round of auditions in California this past September, followed by a second round in October, and a third in January, she finally got the call she had been waiting for in March. While this was the most exciting news of her career to date, she was forced to keep quiet for three months.
“It was really hard to keep that secret,” she laughs. “It was so exciting and I wanted to tell people so bad. Then I was finally allowed to say something, I posted it on Facebook, and people started calling.”
With the new season of the hit show premiering tonight on NBC, there’s very little Andy is able to reveal in terms of her performance in front of the all-star cast of judges, including the returning Roseanne Barr and Keenen Ivory Wayans, plus new judge Norm Macdonald. What she can share, however, is just how surreal it was for her to perform in front of comedy royalty.
“It was so exciting and just surreal,” she says. “I think I was more nervous to perform than I’ve ever been in my whole life. I just didn’t want to do bad out there. Everyone tells you to just have fun, but I just really wanted to do good.”
Thought she is still a fixture at Acme, along with other clubs in town, Erikson moved out to Los Angeles a little over a year ago to continue pursuing her comedy goals. Since then, she’s performed in legendary venues like The Laugh Factory and Hollywood Improv, and has quickly carved out a name for herself in the insanely deep West Coast comedy talent scene. But no matter how many stages she’s graced or crowds she has performed in front of, Andy says that making it to Last Comic means a lot in terms of her career.
“A lot of people don’t think you’re a real comedian unless they see you on TV,” she laughs. “Now I guess my mom can watch me and decide if I’m a real comedian.”
Andy Erikson will be live tweeting during tonight's Last Comic Standing premiere at 8 p.m. on NBC. You can follow her on Twitter at @AndyErikson.