A veteran in the world of standup, Maryellen Hooper's comedy has been on The Dennis Miller Show, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and her own half-hour special on Comedy Central. And to think it all started at Land O'Lakes High School. Yep, the charming, rubber-faced comic who tells loopy stories of relationships and modern life grew up here, having attended Brandon High and then Land O'Lakes, "so I learned that being funny was a good way to be accepted." When acting in high school and community theater productions, she always got the funny parts, but it wasn't until 1985, after moving to South Florida, that she truly considered comedy as a career and headed to New York. Her South Florida beauty school training helped her fit in with the other comics. "It really served me well. I was able to cut many a comedian's hair," she said, including Carrot Top, Larry the Cable Guy and Kevin James. She performs this weekend at Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Tickets are $10 advance, $12 day of. (813) 960-1197. sidesplitterscomedy.com. Shows are at 8:30 p.m. today, 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, 6, 8 and 10:15 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.
Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer