Lizzie Sivitz is a musical comedian that is currently based out of Boston, MA. Her comedic videos on TikTok (@tickytockybb) and YouTube have racked up over 20 million views. She got her start performing in the comedy clubs of Los Angeles.
Do you have a go-to response to a heckler or troll?
“There’s a reason I’m up here and not you.”
Can you tell us about your worst gig?
My worst gig was probably in college with my sketch group, Bloomers. We had a paying gig for a conference and we performed in a gigantic lofty ballroom at a hotel that could seat approximately 1,000 people for the 4 people attending. Not a great sign when there are more people on stage than in the audience.
Did you have an un-sexy starter job?
For my first job out of college, I was a producer for a celebrity news TV show so I’d go to red carpets and hold out the microphone and ask celebrities questions (only my hand was visible in the footage). I was fresh to LA, an awkward 21-year-old in my one blazer, and I’d drive my orange Honda fit to a movie premiere, and ask huge celebrities questions about movies I had never seen. It was a sexy job and I was very much not sexy at it. But seeing the celebrities slog through these premieres, sometimes totally miserable, helped me realize this is a JOB, and entertainment is not all glitz and glamour.
What were you like as a teen?
It would be hard to grow up as a queer Jew in the 90s on an island near Seattle without being at least a little bit funny. I won “class clown” in high school, but only because my best friend who was “best laugh” campaigned HARD for me.
On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?
You have just as much of a right to be there as anyone else.
When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?
I didn’t! I quit comedy for a few years. I was too scared of bombing so I’d just do the same material that worked over and over again, which limited me creatively and caused me to plateau. After taking some time off to grow and mature, I came roaring back with much more perspective and determination. What helps me stick with it now is thinking about comedy for the sake of comedy. And honestly validation from strangers on the internet.
Best comedy advice you ever got?
Bombing is part of the process.
Worst comedy advice you ever got?
I don’t know if this counts as comedy advice, but when I first moved to LA, I was young and naive, and I got headshots and they did up my make-up and hair and they were the least authentic photos of me ever taken. Changing yourself to fit into what you think the industry wants from you is never going to work. People can tell when you’re faking it. Authenticity is crucial.
How has being funny helped you in your offstage life?
I’m 90% sure I still have my day job because I make good jokes at the all-hands meeting.
What is your go-to show or movie to watch when you have had a bad day?
If I need a laugh, Broad City is a reliable option. Specifically, the episode when Amy Sedaris is showing them apartments.
What specific things can a young comic/comedian do to shape their voice?
Many people can write great jokes, but only you can write jokes about your life. Journal about your life, what are the stories you find yourself retelling and getting big laughs with friends. You’re the only one that has your voice and can tell your story.
Was there one person who inspired you to go into comedy?
When I was in Bloomers in college (the first women’s comedy troupe in the country which is now open to all gender identities underrepresented in comedy), a former troupe member, Vanessa Bayer, was cast on SNL. She had graduated before I was in the group, but seeing someone reach that level, who had been in the same troupe as me, inspired me that maybe something like that could be possible for me someday.
Do you have a writing routine?
When specific jokes, or ideas for songs, come to me, I’ll make a note in my phone about them. Then when I sit down to write, I’ll look at my notes and find patterns in the jokes, or write on a topic. Then I’ll edit down to the funniest pieces, and come up with a chord progression that matches the energy of the joke. Making everything rhyme is the hardest part.
What single word always cracks you up?