Janesville-born comedian to appear on televised special

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Ann Fiore
Thursday, July 11, 2013

If you haven't seen Andria "Andi" Smith wise-cracking in our area recently, there's a reason for that.

"I sort of dropped off the face of the Earth the minute I got pregnant," the Janesville-born comedian says by phone from St. Louis, where she now lives. "I was not expecting to have a child. Turns out, surprise!"

Since her daughter, Goldie, was born, Smith has made frequent visits to see her parents, Donald and Nancy Smith of Janesville, but she hasn't performed any local gigs.

However, fans of Smith's dry humor can check her out Saturday, July 13, when she appears on the comedy special "Wanda Sykes Presents HERLARIOUS" on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

This is not Smith's first time on TV.

In 2008, she was a semifinalist on the NBC reality series "Last Comic Standing," and she also has performed on Comedy Central's "Live At Gotham."

Smith said a producer from "Last Comic Standing" submitted her name to Sykes, an award-winning writer and comedian, and Sykes then hand picked her from a list of names.

Saturday's one-hour special features a group of up-and-coming comedians doing stand-up, sketches and talking about why they hate being called "female comedians."

In a video clip from the show, Smith notes that no one uses the word "doctress" to describe a woman doctor. She also recalls a time when she arrived for a comedy gig and was mistaken for a waitress.

"I think the worst case I ever had was going into a club, and they're like, 'Oh, good, you're here,'" Smith says on the show. "And I was like, oh, these people really must like me. And then they started showing me the kitchen, and they started showing me where the menus were."

"This is just like any other comedy special you'll see," Smith told The Gazette. "We just happen to be women."

She said taping the show at Winfrey's famous Harpo Studios in Chicago was "a lot of fun."

"I was technically on 'The 'Oprah Winfrey Show'-that's what my mother has been telling everyone," Smith says.

Raising 14-month-old Goldie has given Smith a new source of comedy material. But the young audience is a tough crowd.

"She's not a laughy baby. She's a stoic baby," Smith says. Even when other parents' babies are giggling and carrying on, "here's Goldie staring a hole in everyone's head."

Last updated: 9:12 am Thursday, July 25, 2013

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