Lori Mae Hernandez: you’re never too young to start!

Lori Mae Hernandez is from Los Angeles, California. She has been writing and performing stand-up since the age of nine. Her unique comedy mixes pop culture and the perspective of a teen. At the age of 13, Lori was the youngest female comedian ever featured on multiple major networks. She was named by Refinery 29 as one of the top ten female comedians to know. She was a semifinalist and the the last comedian standing in season 11 of America’s Got Talent. She’s guest starred on Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark and KC Undercover, and Netflix’s No Good Nick. She was also a cast member on Everything’s Gonna Be Okay on Freeform and Hulu. Hernandez has also won “Best Up and Coming Director” at the Indie Fest USA International Film Festival, and her film was nominated for “Best Short Film” and “Best Overall Feature.” She is studying screenwriting at UCLA, and has three short films that she wrote and directed that are currently in production! She considers herself a comedian, actor, director, writer, artist, ukulele player, and dog mom.

Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

Just run off the stage crying! Just kidding! The best responses happen spontaneously!

Describe your worst gig.

I was hired to do a forty minute set at a teacher’s convention when I was twelve. The teachers did not know that they were getting entertainment because it was a surprise, but when I got introduced they said, “This is Lori and she has something she’d like to say.” So now I had to stand up there and do my long set to a bunch of teachers with their laptops in front of them. It took them a while to figure out I was telling jokes and not a kid from their class, but I survived!!


What were you like as a teen? (Did you have comedy #goals? Were you already funny, or not so much?)

Well…. I honestly haven’t changed a bit considering that I am still a teen! 😁


What’s your first impulse when someone says “women aren’t funny”?

First anger, then sadness for such a narrow-minded, insecure, sexist statement.


When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

For being a shy, quiet girl, I liked the feeling of being able to share my voice, and definitely the support of my friends and family helped.


Best comedy advice you ever got?

I’ve got 3! I was performing on the Harry Connick Jr. Show in New York and Kevin James said to me backstage, “Stay Clean.” Jay Moore after filming a comedy special told me, “Repetition.” And third one! I was reading The New Comedy Bible by Judy Carter and my name appeared in it (which I had no idea about and I was extremely excited) with the words saying, “ You are never to young or old to start!”


Worst comedy advice you ever got? 

“You should do more political humor.” “Maybe you should get a writer.”


How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

When I was little, I was super quiet, but now I am finally confident in my own skin. That all started when I started doing comedy.


Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy”? (If applicable.)

It’s just like doing comedy as a man except I pee sitting down.

Was there one person who inspired you to go into comedy? If so: Who, why, how?

Yes! My Father! When I was about eleven, my dad had Bell’s Palsy, which is when half of someone’s face gets paralyzed. My dad had it really bad and for a long time. He couldn’t smile fully so everyday I started writing stupid jokes to try and make him laugh. After about a year and a half, I told him a silly little joke and he smiled fully! So then, he sat me down and was like okay now let’s take all that material and put you on stage. And the rest is history!


Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

Whatever your comedy pronouns are is fine by me, but personally, I don’t like the word because it is almost like putting women in a separate, lesser-known category. Funny is funny and a comedian is a comedian.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young (female/non-binary) comedian?

First I’d say, “who let you in and can you get me some water?” Then I’d say, “Don’t second guess yourself. Be YOU! There is an audience for everything you just have to find yours. And get out of my room and call my doctor!”


What single word always cracks you up?

“Life” because it’s a joke, and once you realize that, it becomes a whole lot more funny.