Jill Shargaa was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and began her career in comedy in 1979 when she sold her first one-liner to Joan Rivers for $9. She’s been writing or performing comedy ever since.
• In 1981 she and her performing partner, Mike Brennan, joined The Funny Farm, Orlando’s only sketch comedy group. They were the “The Farm” 3 years, then parted as a team.
• In 1985, Jill began her solo comedy career and decided to use her music and songwriting abilities to get laughs. Since then, she has sold song parodies to The American Comedy Network, a comedy radio syndicate servicing over 180 stations in the United States, and has had her songs played on Orlando WDIZ and Y-106 radio stations. Her songs speak directly to the baby boomer generation.
• In 1991, she was a winner of ABC-TV’s America’s Funniest People, coming in third place. She “lost to a chimpanzee that had a black belt in karate…“ She goes on by saying, “still, it was more money than I have ever made in one weekend – and everyone’s clothes stayed on.”
• On August 19, 1995, Jill Shargaa was one of 2 local comics that was asked to perform with Lily Tomlin and Paula Poundstone in Laughter Positive, Orlando ‘s most successful AIDS benefit. Held at the Tupperware Auditorium, the event raised over $125,000 due to two sold-out shows in front of a total of 4,000+ people! She was asked back and Laughter Positive 2 was held on Saturday, August 31, 1996, and was hosted by Paula Poundstone. Also on the bill were Saturday Night Live’s Ellen Cleghorne, Suzanne Westenhoefer, radio talk show host Mother Love, Susan Norfleet, Steve Moore and headlining the evening was Louie Anderson.
• Jill produced and starred in one of the most successful comedy shows at the 1996 Orlando International Fringe Festival. Entitled: One Night Only, Held Over!, it was the only show that year to sell out on opening night. The all-female standup comedy show was a huge hit out of the 55+ acts that were performing at the 10-day festival held from April 12-21, in downtown Orlando.
• In early 1996, she performed twice at The Disney Institute Performing Arts Center at Walt Disney World. Jill opened for the rock bands, War and Kansas, performing in front of a crowd of over 5,000 at the WMMO-SavoirFaire concert held in Lake Mary, Florida in May. Rounding out that year, Jill performed her show entitled, An Evening of Estrogen, held at The Off Center Theatre at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Nov. 21-23. Both Friday and Saturday shows were sold out.
• She returned in 1997, this time calling the show, An Evening of Estrogen, Part D’uh. Four out of six shows sold out. On April 18, 1998, Laughter Positive 3, starring Louie Anderson, happened at the Orange County Convention Center. Again, Jill Shargaa was asked to perform for the third time!
• April 20-28, 2001, An Evening of Estrogen, starring Jill Shargaa and Jen Kober was performed at the 10th Annual Orlando International Fringe Festival. The show was nominated for a Lillie Stoates’ Umbrella Award, in addition to being one of the Top 12 Critics’ Picks for the Fringe Festival. (there were 66 other shows in the festival!)
• January 3-5, 2002, An Evening of Estrogen, starring Jill Shargaa and René Bray was performed at the Impacte Theater in Winter Park, Florida to packed houses. In February, 2002, the same show was performed at the Sak Theater’s FoolFest 2002, in downtown Orlando, Florida. A near sell-out audience attended.
• January, 2003 Jill performed at the New York Comedy Club, now called Bocanuts in Boca Raton, Florida. She returned to the Orlando International Fringe Festival in May to headline her show An Evening of Estrogen, Part D’uh, followed by a 1-night show at the Orlando Improv in downtown Orlando with Brian Bradley called Out-Rage-Us. Jill has since headlined more Estrogen shows with the Tampa and Orlando Improv Comedy Clubs, and at the Comedy Club at the Gypsy Bar & Grill in St. Augustine, Florida.
• Over the years, she has performed with Rosie O’Donnell, Paula Poundstone, Carol Leifer, Lea DeLaria and others. She’s most recently opened for Janis Ian at the Community Building in Mount Dora, Florida. She’s played such diverse venues as The Miami Comedy Fest, Comedy Central’s Florida Comedy Festival in Jacksonville, Florida, as well as FunnyEola in downtown Orlando, and comedy clubs all across the South.
• “I have a very gay-friendly, rock ‘n’ roll, high-energy, Baby Boomer act. I enjoy a mixed crowd and a politically incorrect audience. I’m comfortable in front of men, women and some barnyard animals… I perform song parodies and adult humor. I like to run with scissors.”