Laugh Track

Emma Willmann ’08 is a comedian on the rise.

Emma Willmann’s career keeps taking new directions and growing her fan base. Success on the stand-up circuit led to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, roles on The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and HBO’s Crashing, a show on MTV2, and her podcast with Matteo Lane, Inside the Closet.

Her trip from small-town Maine to big-time comedy took a pivotal turn in college. “Simmons really gave me everything, because I started to believe in myself there,” says Willmann, recalling the influence of faculty, friends, and dates (“minus one or two”).

“I really found my footing, and that became key when I started out in entertainment, a field that is impossible, isolating, and brutal,” she says.

A post-Simmons comedy class and open-mic nights set her on a path to leaving day jobs behind.