Leanne Morgan: Family First

December 25, 2018

Photo Credit



Valerie Lopez


Lara Smith


How do you describe Leanne Mor­gan? She sounds like a coun­try music leg­end. Per­haps Loret­ta Lynn or Dol­ly Par­ton, but she occa­sion­al­ly slips into the per­sona of Gre­go­ry House M.D. Her crowd work often con­sists of show­er­ing audi­ence mem­bers with com­pli­ments and diag­no­sis of a healthy thy­roid.” Mor­gan shares her own per­son­al med­ical chal­lenges that come with age and per­i­menopause. After almost two decades in the com­e­dy busi­ness, she’s shared the ups and downs of each stage of her life. For Valerie and myself, it has been a year-long goal to sit down and talk with the straight-talk­ing Queen of Yum­my” herself.

Born and raised in a small Ten­nessee farm­ing com­mu­ni­ty, Leanne Mor­gan had a tight-knit fam­i­ly. They worked the farms of this small rur­al com­mu­ni­ty, with her grad­u­at­ing class of only 42. Born to a father who was a great sto­ry­teller and a moth­er who was a daz­zler,“ Mor­gan described her child­hood as sweet.” It’s obvi­ous Mor­gan inher­it­ed those traits which com­bined to make her amaz­ing stage pres­ence and sto­ry­telling come to life.

Mor­gan went to UT (no, not that one), The Uni­ver­si­ty of Ten­nessee, but left the school at age 21 and mar­ried her first hus­band. Small town life had not yet pre­pared her for col­lege. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, her great fam­i­ly life had not pre­pared her for what would become an abu­sive mar­riage. By 23, she left the rela­tion­ship, and with the sup­port of that won­der­ful fam­i­ly, returned to The Uni­ver­si­ty of Ten­nessee. The expe­ri­ence left her with a sense of fail­ure, that in time would turn to triumph.

Morgan’s com­e­dy begin­nings did not hap­pen in a con­ven­tion­al way. She had remar­ried after meet­ing her hus­band dur­ing her return to col­lege. Her first open mics” were Tup­per­ware-style jew­el­ry par­ties in liv­ing rooms. After work­ing an event for the Kiwa­nis club, a man approached her and asked her to do her own com­e­dy show at his club. It was an hour. You read that cor­rect­ly. Her first show was an hour. Her com­e­dy begin­nings were so organ­ic and she’s got such a nat­ur­al gift. In all my inter­views I’ve asked when a per­son real­ized that com­e­dy was some­thing they could do. Mor­gan’s was the most orig­i­nal yet. One night a woman [at a jew­el­ry par­ty] peed on a couch and I was like, Okay, I’ve got it. I thought I had it, but I’ve got it.’”

And got it she did. Mor­gan and her hus­band relo­cat­ed for a few years to San Anto­nio. In that time, she began play­ing Cap City Com­e­dy Club and her skills earned her the dis­tinc­tion of skip­ping direct­ly from open­er to head­lin­er, a rare feat. She worked pan­els on The Dr. Phil Show (he’s a per­son­al fan), The View, toured with South­ern Fried Chicks, toured with Paula Deen, and this year has seen her Dry Bar Com­e­dy spe­cial So Yum­my go viral with over 26 mil­lion views.

In addi­tion, she can be heard each week on Sir­ius XM and she also has a pod­cast, Sweaty and Pissed, with her nurse prac­ti­tion­er Karen Nick­ell. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Ten­nessee rec­og­nized her with their 2012 Accom­plished Alum­ni Award and reg­u­lar­ly invites her to address their stu­dent body, serv­ing as an inspi­ra­tion and role model.

Leanne’s strength lies in her abil­i­ty to con­nect with her fans as an audi­ence and also on a very per­son­al lev­el. She says, I don’t want to go through this life and not make con­nec­tions with peo­ple. I am a peo­ple per­son.” The line of peo­ple wait­ing to talk with her and hold her hand can get pret­ty long. She spends care­ful atten­tion with each per­son that is there to see her.

I don't want to go through this life and not make connections with people. I am a people person.
Leanne Morgan

In talk­ing with Mor­gan, it was quick­ly obvi­ous that her sweet close fam­i­ly upbring­ing impact­ed the way she han­dles her own fam­i­ly at home. She has put her chil­dren and hus­band first, before every deci­sion in her career. She counts career rejec­tions as bless­ings in dis­guise for her fam­i­ly. This fam­i­ly first” mantra is what makes her so lov­able to ador­ing fans. She’s the wife, moth­er, sis­ter, best friend we all wish we had or want to be. The daz­zler sto­ry­teller from Tennessee.

Leanne Morgan