Wendy Liebman has influenced a generation of comedians by realizing a joke doesn’t have to end…before the next punchline. I met up with Liebman in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it all began for her, and where she was staying to perform in multiple shows for the Boston Comedy Festival. We spoke about her place in the star-making Boston comedy scene of the 1980s, how she found and developed her comedic voice, taking a break from the road to raise a family, and how a brush with death convinced her to get back into the fast lane of stand-up — competing in primetime TV in 2014 on America’s Got Talent, and opening up her own comedy room in Studio City, California.

So let’s get to it!