Susan Norfleet's ability to cleverly capture Americana with dead-eye accuracy is undeniably evi9dent as millions of television viewers observed by her numerous Tonight Show appearances with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, and on the concert circuit where she's worked with noted musical talents as The Judds and k.d. Lang. Recent TV appearances include Cybill and Mike and Maty as well as Jonathan Winter's and Elayne Boosier's two Showtime specials. And she is featured in the comedy feature film Jerry Maguire, starring Tom Cruise, directed by Cameron Crowe.
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Whether she's Enid the stoic cafeteria lady, or fisherwoman Francine McNitt, Susan totes a gamut of characters with such ease and wit that many of her alter-egos have become perennial favorites. Born in North Carolina, Susan gained great insight into the rural mystique through friends, neighbors and family. The inspiration for her many characters was etched in her personality through osmosis rather than study. Her eventual move to Nashville at age 15 broadened her insight of the homespun inhabitants.
After a stint at the University of Jacksonville in Florida, where she studied theatre, she went to New York in 1978. For four years she appeared and wrote for several Off-Broadway productions. Her wacky real life experiences also led her to develop as science fiction spoof with her sister, Elaine Lee entitled Starstruck which has been serialized and published by Marvel Comics. Susan's next move was north to Minnesota which she called home "for the next six winters…there are no years in Minnesota."
Realizing "the best way to get stage time is to do stand-up," Susan honed her skills as a comedienne and was soon charming comedy club audiences with her many characterizations, including Vicki Cicrette, her own favorite, and one that has found a permanent home in her heart. Now a staple of her act, Vicki is a country-western singer who's latest single "Make Love To Me Like A TV Preacher" is a chart-buster. Vicki's inspiration remarks on her own insurmountable problems are priceless, "I'm in a bit of a pissy mood…I'm not happy with my hair" referring to her bouffant that has as much body and bounce as a tumbleweed.
Luck seemed to follow Susan when her mother bumped into Nashville legend the late Minnie Pearl at a boutique and told her of her daughter's ambitions. Shortly thereafter, Minnie helped bring Susan to national attention on The Nashville Network. Ms. Pearl has been vocally encouraging of Susan's comedic abilities, solidifying her reputation as a most promising rising talent.
After rave reviews and unending support from Ms. Pearl and another inspiration, Lily Tomlin, Susan made the transition from the comedy club circuit to the convention circuit in addition to appearing on numerous television shows such as: Comic Strip Live, Attitudes, VH1 and The Tonight Show.
Throughout her travels, Susan has added a wide array of personalities to her repertoire which today includes Vicki, author Betty Pierpon (a socially conscious woman who expounds the virtues of her party snackbooks); Enid (a stern, hair-netted grade school cafeteria worker); Francine (a fisherwoman with as much pizzazz as a week-old car); and a mountain woman who subsists on robust coffee. When asked to list those comedy heroines who have motivated her, she readily points to the likes of Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, and Lily Tomlin.
Susan Norfleet is a comic gem who, with her unique brand of humor, transcends every level of social comedy. Laughter, after all, is a universal language -- so look out -- Susan Norfleet has a lot of talking to do.
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