By Rych McCain, twitter@rychmccain and Facebook
Some people spend an entire life time trying figure out what their purpose in life is and yet never find the answer. Then there are those like ten-year-old Leroya Sanford, who seemed to arrive on the planet knowing exactly why she’s here. From the first time she told her first joke her swim team awards banquet at age four, little Ms. Sanford has been on a mission. Her parents initially thought that this comedy was a passing phase. But by age five she started to bug them to let her go to other places to tell jokes. Eventually they gave in, and thought that if they placated by letting her tell jokes at gatherings, she would see how much work was involved and would lose interest in it. Well, that didn’t happen and soon the Leroya’s dad Lee, was making the event rounds with his daughter in tow. But performing at these early gigs only whet her appetite for comedy even more.
By age eight Sanford was making serious event rounds throughout the metro Los Angeles area. Her professional stand-up comedy routine allowed appearances at local festivals, including the famed Leimert Park area events, the annual KJLH-FM festival, the L.Am Sentinel Newspaper’s “Taste of Soul” Street Festival and a host of others. This led to her getting into the door and working the major rooms in Hollywood i.e., “The Comedy Store,” “The Laugh Factory,” “The Ice House,” The Ha Ha Comedy Club” and “The Improv.” Stanford recently caught the eye of the producers of ABC-TV’s “The View” and was flown to New York to perform on the show. Needless to say she was a hit and the TV critic/reviews were very positive. Some critics called her the next young Whoopie Goldberg. You can see her segment on YouTube under Leroya Sanford on The View. While she was in the big apple Sanford also managed to sneak in appearances at “The Broadway Comedy Club” and the famed “Comic Strip.” When asked about her experience in on “The View” and New York, Sanford lights up saying, “It was phenomenal. They were the classiest ladies I’ve ever met and I love New York, except for the cement but I love it, I love it! I shared the stage with great comedians and if they’re on there, I know I’m going to make it too.”
As a note of interest, Sanford is from the bloodline of John Elroy Sanford (PKA Redd Foxx). She is part of the Sanford family from Chicago where Redd grew up. In short, Sanford is actually comedic royalty with the DNA and lineage of Redd Foxx.
Sanford is now being referred to by the press as “The Crown Princess of Comedy” and will be the youngest stand-up comic ever to headline the main room stage at the world-famous “Comedy Store” in Hollywood on Friday, May 3, 2013.
Comments from the pros include: Katt Williams—”Leroya is on the fast track;” Arsenio Hall—”So funny and original;” Paul Rodriguez–”She’s a pint size Lucille Ball;” Tom Arnold–”Amazingly Hilarious;” Dane Cook–”She’s the real deal;” Joe Medina–”Wow! Check her out;” Tom Dreesen—”She’s soooo funny.” and Jay Leno–”A superstar in the making.”