Comedian Corey O’Brien Finds Wry Humor In His Queer Truth For Upcoming Show

The TikTok sensation will offer a no-holds-barred take on sex, family and his sobriety journey when he takes the stage in Los Angeles.

After entertaining legions of fans with his playful celebrity tributes on TikTok, Corey O’Brien is devoting the latter months of 2023 to honing his stand-up comedy chops.

The Los Angeles-based comedian will premiere his latest show, “Everybody Loves Corey,” on Nov. 2 at the Comedy Chateau in North Hollywood, California. The intensely personal performance will incorporate “different elements of dance, humor and storytelling” and find its star probing the highs and lows of his past while looking to his future with optimism.

“Over the past few years, I’ve become grateful for the moments that once brought so much pain because they’ve shaped who I am today,” O’Brien told HuffPost in an interview. “I’ve been able to flip the script and find the humor in everything and laugh at it because I’m not living in the past anymore. I’m not held down by regret or embarrassment because I own who I am and proud of the man I’ve become.”

Viewers can get a sense of what to expect in “Everybody Loves Corey” with the below video from O’Brien’s most recent performance, in which he zings his parents and his brother. His message, however, remains one of love.

“Behind all the chaos, family is the one thing that always remains constant,” he said.

“Everybody Loves Corey” marks O’Brien’s third stand-up gig this year. He made his Comedy Chateau debut on June 30 with the aptly named “Corey’s First Time.” Two months later, he appeared at North Hollywood’s HaHa Club for “One Night with Corey.”

O’Brien, who recently celebrated 11 years of sobriety, finds inspiration for his shows in his memories of growing up as a young gay man in a conservative Pennsylvania town, as well as his early experiences with addiction. He also shares some amusing anecdotes about love and sex along the way, too.

“It was a challenge to find any sort of happiness or humor in my life for a while, as I spent years feeling shame and spiraling in a feeling of helplessness,” O’Brien said. “In sobriety, I started to rebuild different areas of my life and slowly but surely reframed my way of thinking around the experiences in my life that brought such negative reactions.”

O’Brien first rose to prominence as a model and dancer, appearing alongside superstars like Mariah Carey and P. Diddy as well as on episodes of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” In 2019, he and NFL veteran Ryan “R.K.” Russell confirmed they were in a relationship, around the same time that Russell came out as bisexual.

Corey O'Brien performs in "One Night with Corey" in August.
Corey O'Brien performs in "One Night with Corey" in August.
Victoria Sirakova via Getty Images

During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, O’Brien turned to TikTok as a creative outlet. His detailed re-creations of iconic Dua Lipa and Spice Girls performances went viral, while his tongue-in-cheek, $12 homage to Kim Kardashian’s Marilyn Monroe-inspired 2022 Met Gala look caught the eye of media outlets on both sides of the Atlantic.

Yet even as O’Brien was becoming a social media star, however, he always knew he’d find his way back to the stage. “Making people laugh has been a goal of mine ever since I was a kid and brings me so much joy ... There is no feeling like it, and being able to hold an audience is a high in itself,” he said.

After “Everybody Loves Corey” makes its debut, O’Brien plans to continue working with fellow comedian Jill-Michele Meleán ― whose credits include “MADtv” and “Reno 911!” ― to further refine the show. He’s also hoping to embark on a full-fledged comedy tour next year.

Whether audiences embrace O’Brien’s stand-up comedy with the same enthusiasm as they did with his TikTok videos remains to be seen, but ultimately, he already views his shows as a personal success.

“It feels so liberating to not only laugh at myself, but to be my authentic self in front of strangers,” he said. “Letting go of any negative self-talk and loving myself completely is what have made these shows so successful, because I’m able to be me.”

"I’m not held down by regret or embarrassment because I own who I am and proud of the man I’ve become," O'Brien said.
"I’m not held down by regret or embarrassment because I own who I am and proud of the man I’ve become," O'Brien said.
Victoria Sirakova via Getty Images

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