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April 27, 2018

Lisa Kudrow Receives Oakie Master of Comedy Award

By Sabrina Malekzadah, Photos By Roberto A. Gomez

On April 6th USC Comedy presented the annual Oakie Masters of Comedy Lecture Series on behalf of the Jack and Victoria Horne Oakie Foundation. Emmy Award winning actor Lisa Kudrow (left) was honored and received an Oakie Master of Comedy Award and took some time to discuss her career in comedy. In a conversation with Sex and the City director, Michael Patrick King (right), Kudrow shared some insight and advice on her career as an actor and writer/producer.

With such a prominent voice in the comedy world, it is hard to believe that Kudrow ever struggled. Starting from the Groundlings and then being cast as a guest star on Frasier, Kudrow believed her big break in comedy would come from becoming a series regular on the show. Shortly after landing the role, she was fired from Frasier. She explained she felt discouraged and that she missed her big break. A couple of months later, during pilot season, she got cast as Phoebe Buffay in Friends. “I really do trust that everything happens for a reason” she reiterated, “If I didn’t get fired from Frasier I would have never gotten Friends.


 

After Friends, Kudrow partnered with Dan Bucatinsky to form her own production company, Is or Isn’t Entertainment. Kudrow used her original sense of comedic timing in her writing for the HBO series she co-created with Michael Patrick King, The Comeback. Although it is a scripted series, her process in writing starts with what she knows best, improvisation. Using her training from the Groundlings, Kudrow trusts her instincts when it comes to her writing. Whether she is acting or writing she continues to “just stay with it and keep working.”

From left to right: Jack Epps, Barnet Kellman, Lisa Kudrow, Michael Patrick King, David Sonne, Charles Collier