Stand-up comedian has big plans for a new show, album, and movies

By Heidi Siegmund Cuda
Updated August 09, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

Wendy Liebman is copping an attitude. Forget the short-haired neurotic comedian on Letterman and Leno. She’s listening to Soundgarden. She’s growing her hair.

”Look,” says the 35-year-old Angeleno, showing off the top of her head after a show at L.A.’s Improv, ”I added some highlights for the first time.”

The comic with the time-release punchline is definitely hair today: This month, HBO airs her first solo comedy special; the network is also developing an animated Liebman series and a live-action sitcom for the Long Island native.

Liebmanesque style is to spring the punchline, then quickly tack on an afterthought — the real punchline. Here she is on travel: ”I was flying back, and there was this guy sitting next to me, and I could tell he really wanted me…to shut up…because I’m chatting and chatting, and he’s busy…flying the plane.”

But the style, and the woman, are growing out. After watching a rough cut of her special, she had an epiphany: ”I’m not that person anymore,” she says. ”I no longer want to do traditional stand-up….I don’t think I’m desperate anymore, and that’s the character that used to go on stage.”

In the animated show Cutting It — inspired by her work as a mouthy patient on Comedy Central’s Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist — Liebman plays a hairdresser. While the comic can’t really cut hair, she can evidently cut deals: She’s been approached to record an album (as The Artist Formerly Known as Princess, she says) and is aiming for the big screen.

”I’d like to do movies. I’ve done some…home movies,” she says, adding ”not a wide release.”