Corey Allen Kotler’s Journey from a Stand-up Comedian to Hollywood Actor
Corey Allen Kotler is a versatile Hollywood actor. You may recognize him from Taylor Swift’s Wildest Dreams music video, television shows like 2 Broke Girls, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Rizzoli & Isles the Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and the the MTV Movie Awards. We recently got an opportunity to have a conversation with him. Sharing it with our readers here.
Pro Media Mag : First of all tell us about the start of your professional career.
Corey Allen Kotler : I began my showbiz career as a stand-up comedian in New York City. “I had to muster up a lot of courage” . The year was 1989 and I was a senior at Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows, New York. Confidence and a degree of bravery was the key. I took the subway down to Greenwich Village in Manhattan. I figured that if I perform somewhere in a place where nobody knows me and I’m horrible, people wouldn’t say, “there’s the guy that thinks he’s a comedian. I got a slot at the open mic at the legendary, Bitter End located on Bleeker Street. I was actually received fairly well and I was off to the races so to speak. My courage and confidence seemed to developing at a rapid rate and within the next year and a half I successfully performed 8 times at the Amateur Night World Famous Apollo Theater in Harlem New York. I mentioned ‘successfully’ because if the crowd doesn’t like you at the Apollo, they boo you off and a clown rapidly ushers you off of the stage. Luckily that grim fate never happened to me. During that time I also had the privilege of performing for the American and allied armed forces on the USS Intrepid Aircraft Carrier, welcoming them home at the end of Operation Desert Storm. Soon after, with only $100 in my pocket I decided to move from my hometown of Bayside, New York to Chicago to train with the world famous Second City Improvisation conservatory. A young unknown actor by the name of Steve Carell was among the people that I had the privilege of studying with.
While in the Second City conservatory on a whim I was urged to audition for the original company of the play, Tony & Tina’s Wedding. I got cast in the role of Sal Antonucci the wedding photographer. I was told that I had been hired out of 800 other actors that had went out for the role. Tony and Tina’s Wedding had the distinction of being the longest running Off Broadway play in New York City and we were well received to sold out performances six nights a week. After my first year with the company I was moved to the resident company in New York City. During which time I decided to return to school by day where I attended Long Island University’s CW Post Campus. In 1998 graduated CW Post with a Bachelors in Broadcasting. During this period I got my very first on camera job in Michael Jackson’s , They Don’t Really Care About Us video which was on the History album.
Pro Media Mag : What have been some of your on camera career highlights? Tell us about some of your projects.
Corey Allen Kotler : In 1999 I made the move to Hollywood. Over the years to follow I got cast in 22 national television commercials including a 7Up commercial where I played the 7Up Mermaid! Remember kids, comedy ain’t pretty but money is and that spot paid rather handsomely as it ran for about two years and during that time it aired during the Grammy Awards, the Oscars and the Super Bowl. My very first network TV sitcom appearance was as a New York City cop on ABC’s Ugly Betty. Then I went on to appear in quite a number of television sketches including ten appearances on NBC’s The Tonight Show as well as Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC and the opening number of MTV Movie Awards hosted by Rebel Wilson. Most recently, you may have seen me on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Transparent, Rizzoli and Isles and 2 Broke Girls.
Pro Media Mag : Who or what inspired you to become an actor?
Corey Allen Kotler : Well, at a very young age I actually wanted to be Bugs Bunny. Eventually I realized that I couldn’t become a Warner Brothers cartoon character. My early television influences included shows like Sanford and Son, Barney Miller, Lou Grant and The Odd Couple. As a teenager I was heavily influenced by the original cast of Saturday Night Live. That was my inspiration and motivation to study with the Second City as so many of SNL’s cast members came from there. Later in life when I worked on 2 Broke Girls, it was a surreal dream come true getting the opportunity to actually work with Garrett Morris who was one of the original cast members from Saturday Night Live. Soon after, when I got cast in the film, Angels on Tap I once again got to work with another childhood idol, the great Ed Asner.
Pro Media Mag :What has been your most memorable role ?
Corey Allen Kotler : When you love what you do, they’re all memorable in their own way. When I got to work side by side with Taylor Swift in her Wildest Dreams music video and her telling me that she personally selected me, was a great compliment. 2 Broke Girls was memorable not only because I got to spend the week with Garrett Morris but also because it was my first time working in front of a live studio audience. Angels on Tap is going to be my very first starring role and I got to work with a childhood inspiration, Ed Asner. The story is amazing and can’t wait for it to come out. And Sububicon!!!! Not only does it have an important message but just Google it and see the huge stars involved!
Pro Media Mag : What projects do you have coming up?
Corey Allen Kotler : In 2017 I’ll be in six upcoming feature films including Suburbicon, directed by George Clooney and my very first starring role opposite Ed Asner in the feature film, Angels on Tap.
Pro Media Mag : What is your advice to aspiring performers?
Corey Allen Kotler : My advice to anyone just starting out or anyone that wants to achieve their dreams is NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP! To anyone that thinks that they can become an overnight success, I would like to quote Ray Kroc, the creator of McDonalds:
I was an overnight success all right, but 30 years is a long, long night.
Pro Media Mag : What’s the best way to follow you online?
Corey Allen Kotler : The best way to follow me, read fun blogs, watch some of my appearances and check out cool pictures with all sorts of celebs is my official site CoreyAllenKotler.com as well as my blog site.
For social media following you can follow me at :