“For some reason, my parents weren’t bringing home Richard Pryor records,” laughs comic and writer Laurie Kilmartin when asked about how she first became interested in comedy. “My entry into comedy was through Carol Burnett. Now when I look back I realize she was doing crowd work right up top. She’d open the show, take questions, and then go into sketches. It was a very standup opening to the show.” Not surprisingly, she gravitated toward sketch and improv, but switched to standup when she realized she wouldn’t have to depend on others. Currently a writer for Conan, she never had plans for a career as a TV writer. “It never occurred to me,” she says. “It always seemed like a guy’s job and you had to be a certain type of guy to do it, and like in a crony sort of way.” Her first writing job was on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. Quinn insisted on only hiring standups. “I was like, ‘Oh, I do standup. I can do that.’” Once she got into it she fell in love with the stability of it. She still does standup regularly, mostly in Los Angeles. “We write a lot of jokes on Conan, and most of them don’t get used—and for good reason. But I’m never like, ‘I’ll use that in my act,’” she explains. “I just don’t do politics in my act. I save my act for my life and those frustrations that are a little more universal.” In 2017, Kilmartin released her second CD, 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad. 18+.