Longings from LA

Comedian Julia Wolov reflects on her upbringing in Tulsa and her successful writing and acting career in California.

One of Julia Wolov’s first childhood dreams was to become an Oral Roberts University cheerleader. By junior high, that dream was over.

“I was too busy taking break-dancing lessons at the Jewish Community Center,” she says.

What she has grown up to be is a successful comedy writer in Los Angeles for the past 19 years. As a kid, she had no idea that entertainment was an option.

Around her senior year of college, Wolov thought about comedy as a real job but didn’t know how to get there. She figured she would start by taking a class at The Second City in Chicago, the legendary, 60-year-old organization with a comedy club, improvisation courses and a live theater.

Like Joan Rivers, John Belushi and Gilda Radner before her, Wolov fell in love with improv and joined Second City’s touring troupe. During her time there, she met Dana Min Goodman, and the comedy duo was born.

“It just snowballed from there. I’ve been working heterosexually with Dana for 24 years,” Wolov says with a laugh. “It’s the most successful relationship I’ve ever had.”

Most recently, the pair wrote scripts for – and appeared in – a newly acclaimed comedy series, American Princess, airing on Lifetime.

“It’s a really funny, raunchy, wild show about the Renaissance faire,” she says. “This is definitely not your mother’s Lifetime show.”

Wolov and Goodman signed with Glass Literary Management in New York to write a book about their comedy experiences over the years. The scripts also keep coming non-stop.

The roots of Wolov’s humor come from her own family, a logical extension of her upbringing in Tulsa.

“They might not admit this, but my parents are really funny,” she says. “They’re East Coast Jews, so it was always a kind of fish-out-of-water scenario.”

Wolov, who attended Edison High School, says she was rarely able to skip class undetected.

“For me, Tulsa always had a small-town feel to it. I remember you couldn’t go anywhere without running into someone you knew or who knew your parents,” she says. “So, if you were supposed to be in school, you better hide. It was hard to get away with anything.”

Wolov enjoys returning home and is pleasantly surprised each time.

“The city has grown so much. Downtown is, dare I say, cool. So much has changed,” she says. “My parents now live within walking distance to the Gathering Place, which is awesome. You can’t really even explain it. You just have to see it.”

Life in LA fits her, but Wolov says she misses a couple of Tulsa staples: QuikTrip and grilled cheese sandwiches from Queenie’s.

“Oklahoma is such an easy-going place to live,” she says. “Of course, everyone is friendly. What do they have to be mad about? Well, I guess tornadoes.

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