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Leanne knew at the age of 5 that she wanted to be a comedian, but being born and raised in Middle Tennessee in a farming community of 500 people, she didn’t know how in the world it was going to happen. She grew up loving comedy and her very funny and encouraging mother, Lucille, allowed her to skip kindergarten to stay home and watch Hollywood Squares and Match Game. At age 10, after “killing” in the 4-H talent show, she was bitten by the performance bug.
After graduating from high school, Leanne was feeling the lure of Hollywood, but the idea of moving was unheard of and too daunting for a country girl who had never been away from home, so she enrolled in college at The University of Tennessee, where she graduated (by the skin of her teeth) with a degree in Child and Family Studies. Her greatest desire in life was to be a mother. She married her husband Chuck and they moved to Bean Station, TN in the beautiful foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Chuck owned a mobile home refurbishing business and Leanne worked with him…for a very short time. Chuck liked to boss and Leanne wasn’t one to be bossed, so she decided to get pregnant instead!
After having her first baby, she was in absolute heaven, but she still had a tug in her heart to do stand-up. To make a little spending money, Leanne started selling jewelry at home parties. She was supposed to talk about the jewelry but instead talked about breastfeeding, hemorrhoids and being a mama. Women thought she was funny, somebody peed on a couch and before she knew it she was booked out a year in advance. The company saw what was happening and asked her to speak at their sales rallies. It was there that women started saying, “you need to do stand up!” That gave Leanne the courage to really go for it!
Her husband sold his business and went to work for a large company that took them to San Antonio. Leanne finally had access to comedy clubs and things quickly started to happen. She appeared on The View’s “Hilarious Housewives” segment, Nick at Nite’s Funniest Mom and has toured with the Southern Fried Chicks. Leanne continued to work theaters, clubs and corporate events while raising three children with her husband back in Tennessee, which she still calls home.
Leanne’s storied career has landed her on stage at the Montreal Comedy Festival and has brought her development deals for her own sitcom with ABC and Warner Brothers, writer/producer Matt Williams (“Rosanne” and “Home Improvement”),TV Land and currently with Sony Television. I guess you could say she’s the Mrs. Maisel of Appalachia!
Clips from Leanne’s Dry Bar Comedy Special “So Yummy” garnered over 50 million views and opened her up to a whole new audience. Her fan base continued to grow when she shared heartfelt messages and Jell-O salad recipes from her back porch during the pandemic, and assured people that “everything’s gonna be alright.” Her relatability makes everyone feel as if she’s talking directly to them!
Now after 22 years in comedy, Leanne is embarking on her 100-city Big Panty Tour across the U.S. with Outback Presents. Now that her children are grown, Leanne is so grateful to have this opportunity at this time in her life. And to top it all off, she’s got a new grandbaby….SO YUMMY!