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Wayne Cotter: Electrical Engineer When He Had A Real Job

WAYNE COTTER
Electrical Engineer When He Had A Real Job


Wayne Cotter is one of the top stand-up comics working the circuit today. Variety magazine has called him "notably original and spectacularly funny... the funniest standup to come along in quite some time, and that's no joke." Wayne is a frequent guest of both David Letterman and Jay Leno, and appears in a recurring role as a roving reporter for The Tonight Show. He hosted the Fox television series Comic Strip Live, and was also seen in the feature film Spy Hard. While continuing to tour nationally doing standup comedy, he is also currently the host of The Learning Channel's series Amazing America, a light-hearted look at weird and wacky subcultures throughout the United States.

Drawn to stand-up comedy at the tender age of 6, Wayne memorized the routines of Alan King, Bob Newhart, Carl Reiner & Mel Brooks and other greats of the era, repeating them incessantly. His parents, not recognizing this obvious cry for help, simply avoided him, causing sufficient feelings of alienation that Wayne's future in show business was virtually assured.

Although Cotter studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and began a career with a New Jersey computer company, before long Wayne started moonlighting as a Philadelphia comedian. He continued this double life for some time, and ultimately decided that the computer industry was going nowhere and left town to pursue show business full time.

Soon after arriving in New York, Wayne Cotter became a favorite of David Letterman and then Johnny Carson. He also appeared on several cable specials, and was nominated for "Best Standup" in the American Comedy Awards. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he became host of the weekly Fox television series Comic Strip Live for over three years. His relationship with Discovery Communications then began with several "image spot" commercials for The Learning Channel, leading him eventually to host his own show there.

Discussing family and the foibles of modern life, Wayne Cotter's humor is drawn from the commonplace, but in a way which is anything but mundane. He especially enjoys poking fun at conventional wisdom: "They say the mule is a stubborn animal. Really? What's a mule typically asked to do? Drag a boulder up a cliff in the desert sun. Well, the mule's a little reluctant, isn't he? I suppose any other species would jump at the chance!" Although he no longer works with technology, Wayne still enjoys criticizing it: "I saw an ad for Nintendo that said their system makes more realistic rocks and trees and grass and sky," he says. "You know, we had something like this when I was a kid. It was called 'Playing Outside'."

Wayne Cotter lives in Los Angeles with his wife, three cats, and new son. He expects fatherhood to be a good source of comedy, but he is cautious: "I love what I do, but I don't want my son to ever memorize those old comedy albums. I'm thankful that we only have a CD player now."