LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Comedian Laura Clery is making millions around the world laugh with her no holds barred comedy. Now, the Chicago suburbs native is inspiring others to commit to sobriety following the death of her cousin.
“We have a video with 200 million views; that feels good but really that’s ego. Get that away. Nope, not about that. It’s about how many people did I spark joy in today because you’re much happier when you look at it like that,” explained Clery. 34.
Long before she became an internet sensation, she had a passion for acting at an early age. At 17, the Illinois native moved to L.A.
She says she never envisioned her worldwide success.
“I think it’s one of those things where I was so creatively frustrated. I knew that I had this gift of making people laugh and when I was auditioning. It was like I couldn’t do it unless I booked the job and then social media came around,” said Clery
Her videos are much more than funny business. From ads, clothing, a vegan skin care line to even a book deal, some estimates put her net worth at nearly $3 million.
But she says this entrepreneurial inspiration only happened after years of professional rejection and frustration.
“When they told me I didn’t get that role, I kind of hit a breaking point. I remember there was this girl I had done a commercial with and she had turned to me and said ‘Hey do you want to write a web series together?’ And I was like, ‘A web series?’ She was like ‘Yeah, for YouTube. We can just write a show and post it on YouTube.’”
On Dec. 12, 2013 “Hungry” premiered online. Produced by Hip Hop mogul Russell Simmons, Ann Carli, her close friend Porsche Thomas and Clery herself.
It’s the first show she wrote, created, cast and starred in.
“Within a month I called my agents and I said stop sending me out. I’m going to live off savings and Stephen! I’m going to create content like a mad woman.”
She says her posts were not a hit right away, but she never gave up.
Then in 2016 her biggest hit was born: a character she named Helen!
“So I am using this square face filter and then I turn to Steven who is like just minding his own. And I say some like gross pick up line to him with a square face filter,” said Clery. ” Now, I am working with CBS Studios and we have developed a kind of female ‘Family Guy’ around Helen and her family.”
More recently her posts are taking on a new tone, sharing the birth of her son Alfie and revealing her second pregnancy to a baby girl.
She’s also sharing about her childhood trauma and the depths of personal loss.
“My cousin who I was very very close to just OD’d last night and she’s dead. She was 38 years old. She has a 9-year-old son who she loved so much,” cried Clery in an online post.
When asked what the hardest part about her grief was, Clery told NewsNation it was frustration that her cousin passed for an addiction they both suffered with in their lives.
“Why did I get [recovery] and not her! It’s frustrating when you know recovery is possible. That is so frustrating because I just know what an amazing woman she was with such an amazing son. She just loved him so much. She was an angel. She just had a disease.”
Clery uses social media not only as her main business venture but also as a platform to promote addiction recovery. The open book star says she struggled with drugs in her early 20’s and she’s been sober for nine years.
“It got to the point where I didn’t care if I woke up in the morning. I would say my bottom, it was more internal. I was not on the streets. I was not on Skid Row. I still had my apartment. I somehow still had my car and I somehow still booked jobs or I would get fired from some of them.”
Clery the comedian is now adding advocate for mental health and women empowerment to her resume in her own unique way.