Aren’t stand up comedians just born funny?


That’s what conventional wisdom tells us but we are plain wrong. Our guest Sierra Katow says it best,

“Comedy is like a muscle.”

You have to practice every day to become “funnier” and that is exactly what Sierra does even to this day. A current student at Harvard studying Computer Science, Sierra Katow found her passion for stand up comedy when she was 16 years old.

Not old enough to hang in the bars, Sierra would often wait outside the building for someone to grab her in, let her take the stage for 5 minutes, and immediately be escorted out.

Sierra would try and find stage time anywhere she went despite the long drives and little to no pay. Throughout her teenage years, she was hungry to improve her craft and do something that most kids would be deathly afraid to try (including myself).

Today, she’s 21 years old and is a rising star in the comedy world. We talk about how to be funnier, the journey on becoming a “professional” comedian, and what it was like performing for NBC’s Last Comic Standing.

You’ll learn not just about comedy, but about persistence, fearlessness, and passion.

Listen in (Laughter is encouraged!)


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Cheat Sheet:

  • If you didn’t grow up as the class clown, how can you be more “funnier”?
  • How inspired you to get into stand up at 16?
  • What material did you even talk about at such a young age?
  • If there was one thing you had to do to succeed as a comedian, what would that be?
  • What was it like performing for NBC’s Last Comic Standing?
  • Why don’t you drop out of Harvard and do stand up full time?
  • What are some things that stuck out to you that we can learn from throughout your 4-year journey?

and much much more…

If you enjoyed this episode with Outside Of The Classroom, send Sierra a shout out on her Twitter 🙂



Sierra Katow’s Website

Laugh Factory: Asian American Problems 

Sierra’s Performance on Last Comic Standing (9 minute mark) 

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