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After getting advice from her heroes, Lisa Best carved her own comedy path

Best is the headline act this weekend at Wilmington’s Dead Crow Comedy Room
Lisa Best headlines Dead Crow Comedy Room in Wilmington this weekend.
Lisa Best headlines Dead Crow Comedy Room in Wilmington this weekend.((Source: Cathryn Farsworth))
Updated: Oct. 31, 2018 at 4:05 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Lisa Best was only 19 when the owner of her home club in Florida denied her an opportunity Best had earned because he felt she wasn’t using sex appeal in her act.

In 2009, Best was chosen by an audience vote to be a fallout feature, aka, a comic who fills in on a headliner’s show when a feature act has to cancel.

“I won, but the owner didn’t let me do it because he said I wasn’t taking advantage of my sexuality,” said Best, who headlines Dead Crow Comedy Room in Wilmington this week. “He was like, ‘I can’t put you on until you start talking about being a woman and dressing nicer.’

“I just wore jeans and a hoodie and talked about lizards.”

Unsure of what she should do, Best emailed — “at the time, I think they were MySpace messages,” Best said — Maria Bamford and Paula Poundstone, two of her comedy heroes.

Bamford and Poundstone both wrote Best back with advice, including Bamford telling Best to move to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles and pursue a career in comedy on her terms.

“It was like getting a letter from Santa Claus,” Best said of the correspondence with Bamford. “I could not believe she wrote me back.”

Best made the move to LA and in addition to becoming a full-time stand-up and writer for TV shows, she also got to know Bamford well enough to be invited to Bamford’s engagement party a few years ago.

“I just remember looking at (Bamford) and being like, this was my childhood hero and now she’s thinking of me as like a peer,” Best said. “That’s one of my favorite parts of comedy (and) this business. You can grow up admiring someone and the next thing you know, you’re on lineups with them and they think of you as just another comic. It was the coolest thing.”

This will be Best’s first trip to Wilmington and Dead Crow, but the club’s reputation precedes her visit to our neck of the woods.

Comedians share information on comedy rooms and Best said the intel she has gathered on Wilmington’s only full-time comedy club has been positive.

“Comics talk about comedy clubs the way high school boys talk about girls,” she said. “Dead Crow is the hot girl at the party. Everybody talks about that club with their eyes shining at how much fun they had, what a great staff it was, how fun the audiences were. I’m super excited.”

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