Paul Morissey didn’t want to be a standup comedian when he grew up. He wanted to make sports his career. And when, after four years of playing college basketball, he landed a job as a local sports anchorman in California, he thought he’d made it. But it turns out he was too funny for local news—and so a unique career shift was born.
After an appearance at the 2005 HBO Comedy Festival in Las Vegas, Morissey got his break in 2006 with a spot on Craig Ferguson’s Late Late Show—where he subsequently was invited back more times in the space of a single year than any other comedian. And he’s entertained audiences since with slick observational material like receiving a “teeth-whitening kit” as a Christmas present: “What’s the thinking behind that? ‘Yeah, we noticed you have an appearance problem; we’re gonna take care of that with a gift to you … something you can unwrap in front of all your friends.’ ”