Laugh lately?

Sarah Colonna, a writer for the late-night talk show Chelsea Lately, will per­form at the Keswick Theatre next week.

It could have been writ­ten in the stars. But it was prob­ably just something passed through the genes, said Sarah Colonna, great-niece of the pop-eyed comedi­an Jerry Colonna, best known for his work in sev­er­al movies and shows with Bob Hope.

“I grew up in Arkan­sas and he was liv­ing in Cali­for­nia, so I nev­er met him per­son­ally al­though my sis­ter did. But I do think that com­edy may be something in my genes, something I just can’t es­cape,” said Colonna, 37, cur­rently a writer and roundtable reg­u­lar on the late-night talk show Chelsea Lately, and also a pro­du­cer and star on E!’s After Lately. She’ll join three oth­er comedi­ans/pan­el­ists from Chelsea Lately on stage at the Keswick Theatre in Glen­side on Oct. 7.

For any­one who doesn’t know, Chelsea Lately is a late-night com­edy talk show pro­duced by comedi­an Chelsea Hand­ler. And After Lately is a real­ity show that pur­ports to show be­hind-the-scenes go­ings-on at Chelsea Lately.

“I think wo­men like Chelsea and El­len and Lucy were all ground-break­ers who helped open the field for oth­er wo­men,” Colonna said. “And I think the reas­on Chelsea and her show have been around for the past four sea­sons is be­cause Chelsea is fear­less. She has the abil­ity to say any­thing and go after every­body, without really of­fend­ing any­body. She’s a true per­former.”

The first ink­ling that Colonna her­self might be a true per­former and ser­i­ously in­ter­ested in act­ing and com­edy was when she was about 6 years old and did some scenes from One Life to Live for her moth­er in the fam­ily home.

“After I gradu­ated from the Uni­versity of Arkan­sas, I real­ized I had to be in Cali­for­nia to make some of my dreams come true,” Colonna said. “It took me quite a while to ‘make it,’ and with so many people out here want­ing to be an act­or, I was al­ways glad that I could do stand-up too. be­cause I think it’s the one thing that got me fur­thest and helped me stand out in the crowd.”

Prob­ably so. Her first tele­vised ap­pear­ance was do­ing stand-up on Com­edy Cent­ral’s Premi­um Blend in 2006. She was one of five fi­nal­ists in TBS and Myspace’s Stand Up or Sit Down Com­edy Chal­lenge. She also ap­peared on BBC’s The World Stands Up, taped in Lon­don and fea­tur­ing pop­u­lar comedi­ans from around the world. Later that year, she was a semi­final­ist on NBC’s Last Com­ic Stand­ing.

Colonna also has ap­peared as a co-star on vari­ous tele­vi­sion shows, in­clud­ing The United States of Tara, Monk, Strong Medi­cine, In­va­sion, and Days of Our Lives. She was also a reg­u­lar on the hit hid­den-cam­era Sci­Fi show Scare Tac­tics

“It took me twelve years of bar­tend­ing and wait­ress­ing to ‘make it,’” Colonna ac­know­ledged. “But now that I’m here and work­ing hard at my craft, I think the best thing about what I do is mak­ing people laugh. It feels so good to be able to do that. It may sound a bit self-in­dul­gent, but there’s noth­ing bet­ter, es­pe­cially when people come up to me after a show and tell me how much I took their mind off their troubles and made them laugh.”

She’s also writ­ten a book she’s titled Life As I Blow It, “fea­tur­ing stor­ies about my grow­ing-up years, mov­ing out to Los Angeles, re­la­tion­ships and stum­bling like most of us do. There’s a chance NBC will pick it up as a sit­com, and I really hope it hits the air, but nobody ever knows for sure.” ••

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