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Ugly-Duckling Phase Not Over for Lynne Koplitz

July 31, 2008

By William Loeffler, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Jul. 31–It would be convenient to dismiss Lynne Koplitz as a novelty — a blonde female comic who looks like she could play on a beach volleyball team. Onstage, her persona recalls Rita Rudner’s prim, ditzy ingenue — right down to the girlie party dress.

During an interview, she punctuates her speech with a throaty giggle and confesses that she’s doing her nails.

But Koplitz, who plays the Pittsburgh Improv today through Sunday, swam upstream much of her early life. Born on Long Island and raised in Sarasota, Fla., by a single mom, she likens her school experience to the 1995 movie “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” about a dorky seventh-grade girl who is relentlessly bullied.

“I was a really unattractive kid, so really unattractive,” she says. “I got beat up for being ugly. That’s who drives this bus. I think there’s a kindred sprit. Most people get that. I don’t do stand-up like someone who thinks she’s attractive. The girl who’s doing this is borrowing this body and this face for now.”

Like so many misfits, she discovered humor as a way to neutralize the bullies.

“One day, I watched ‘Cyrano De Bergerac.’ I thought, ‘That’s a good idea.’ So one day, while they were slamming me into a locker, I made fun of myself and it got a big laugh.”

The end of her ugly-duckling phase came when she discovered the performing arts program in high school.

“I went to a performing arts high school, and then everything came together and all my oddness made sense,” she says. “Now I get paid for being odd.”

She’s also getting paid for playing a rock ‘n’ roll manager in the new cable comedy “Z ROCK,” which premieres Sept. 7 on the IFC channel. The semi-scripted series follows the struggles of real-life rock trio ZO2, whose members must supplement their career by playing children’s parties as the Z Brothers. Joan Rivers plays Koplitz’s aunt.

“It’s kind of like ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ meets ‘Entourage,’” Koplitz says. “They’re calling it ‘Curb Your Entourage.’”

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Copyright (c) 2008, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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