Monday, June 30, 2003

Funny how your luck can change


Local comedian wins contest

By Jeremy W. Steele
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Lisa Gopman is going to need a new shtick for her stand-up routine.

For the past three years, the Cincinnati native has relied on the family motto - "Nothing comes easy for a Gopman" - for a nearly endless supply for comedic gold.

Like how it took her sister seven tries to get her driver's license. Or how Gopman once fell into a pile of vomit while shopping.

But the Gopman family luck has changed - at least for Lisa, the eldest of three siblings.

Earlier this year, she won $6,000 and a trip to Hawaii on a game show.

Then on Saturday, she used her 26 years of life experiences to win a nationwide Comedy Central stand-up competition.

The win comes complete with a $10,000 prize, an appearance on an upcoming Comedy Central special, and a spot performing at the Montreal Comedy Festival in two weeks.

"I almost had a heart attack," Gopman said from her Hollywood home. "I was really shocked. I almost started crying."

Gopman rose ahead of 80 other contestants on Comedy Central's Laugh Riots, which held its final round Saturday in a Los Angeles club.

The finalists will appear on a future episode of Premium Blend.

It's the break she hopes will some day help her achieve the dream of a TV sitcom.

The show, she says, would have to feature her dad, Montgomery resident Arnie Gopman.

"He's too much of a character to be left out," she said. "He came home from Domino's Pizza one time with a crate full of Kool-Aid. We had Kool-Aid for like 10 years."

Lisa Gopman

Age: 26

Personal: Single

Occupation: Nonprofit fund-raiser

Education: Sycamore High School, 1995; University of Southern California, 1999

Web site: www.lisagopman.com

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E-mail jsteele@enquirer.com




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