Local comedian makes it big

By Julianne Peixoto

July 11, 2014 Updated Jul 11, 2014 at 11:45 PM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Owego native Paul Morrissey appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman Thursday night.

"For me, it was like as much of an icon and idol that Dave is, it's his show and he's having me on so I wanted to do well I wanted to make him laugh," said Paul. "And I did, so that was exciting."

Paul has devoted more than a decade to full-time comedy, but his parents said no one would have predicted his life would take that direction.

"Some of his teachers follow him and go on his website and they're just absolutely amazed," said Paul's dad Tom Morrissey. "He was the last person that you would ever think would turn to the life of comedy."

It all started at an open mic night in California.

"I was just there to watch and somebody asked me if I wanted to go on and I said no," said Paul.

When he did eventually try stand-up, however, he knew he'd found his passion.

"I really like doing this and I don’t know really what I want to do right now besides this," said Paul.

Before stand-up, Paul worked as a sports anchor at a local television station in California, but he said he just couldn't take the job seriously.

"I basically started as a news reporter and I was just getting so ridiculous, they basically promoted me to sports anchor so I wouldn’t do news stories anymore, so I failed upwards," joked Paul.

Paul was discovered at the open mic venue, and left the media industry to pursue comedy.

"The woman who ran the open mic night ended up being the head writer for the Ellen Degeneres show for 10 years," said Paul.

"She told him that he had something and that he was pretty good," said Paul's dad Tom Morrissey.

Since then, Paul has appeared on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson four times, and has worked alongside world-renowned comedians like Jim Gaffigan and Larry Miller.

So what's next for Paul?

"Who knows, maybe (The) Daily Show or you know one of those things, Saturday Night Live Weekend Update, you never know," said Paul.

Paul plans to return home to the Southern Tier to entertain his hometown, but in the meantime you can check out his work
at his website.

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