AN ACT TO DYE FOR
L.A's most animated comic, Wendy Liebman juggles stand-up and a hair-rising HBO series.
Wendy Liebman is copping an attitude. Forget the short-haired neurotic comedian on Letterman and Leno. She's listening to Soundgarden. She's growing her hair. "Look," says the 35-year-old Angeleno, showing off the top of her head after a show at L.A's Improv, "I added some highlights for the first time." The comic with the time-release punch line is definitely hair today: This month, HBO airs her first solo comedy special; the network is also developing an animated Liebman series and a live-action sitcom for the Long Island native.
Liebmanesque style is to spring a punch line, then quickly tack on afterthought-the real punch line. Here she is on travel: "I was flying back, and there was this guy sitting next to me, and I could tell he really wanted me... to shut up...because I'm chatting and chatting, and he's busy...flying the plane."
But the style, and the woman, are growing out. After watching a rough cut of her special, she had an epiphany: "I'm not that person anymore," she says. "I no longer want to do traditional standup...I don't think I'm desperate anymore, and that's the character that used to go on stage."
In the animated show Cutting It- inspired by her work as a mouthy patient on Comedy Central's Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist- Liebman plays a hairdresser. While the comic can't really cut hair, she can evidently cut deals: She's been approached to record an album (as The Artist Formerly Known as Princess, she says) and is aiming for the big screen.
"I'd like to do movies. I've done some...home movies," she says, adding "not a wide release."
-Heidi Sigmond Cuda