Karen Mills has made a career out of making people laugh. She’s been a nationally touring comedian for 25 years and can be heard daily on Sirius / XM comedy channels. Karen has appeared on ABC, GAC and most recently on season 12 of America’s Got Talent.
Karen has a straight-forward approach to the realities of life. Her smart, funny, keen observations will keep you laughing at yourself as you relate to her experiences. Even ovarian cancer couldn’t stop her from turning pain into punchlines. Diagnosed in 2013 after a routine checkup, Karen was determined to take on the disease with hope and humor. Now cancer free, her mission is to inspire people to love, laugh and approach everything life hands you with a positive attitude. In 2016, Karen was chosen to give her talk “Cancer is a Laughing Matter” at TEDxChattanooga.
Karen has faced every challenge with determination. She stands at 5’2″ and was told more than once that she was too short to play basketball. Not only did she play, in 1981 she led the nation in assists and became the first, division 1 first team All-American in UT-Chattanooga’s history. Karen was the first UTC athlete to earn that distinction in any sport, male or female. Her #12 uniform was retired and she became the first female inducted into Chattanooga’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Since surviving cancer, Karen has been hailed for her ability to bring humor and inspiration to difficult topics and is now a sought after keynote speaker. Her positive message, strong stage presence and entertaining style has landed her on numerous stages for a variety of audiences, including survivor events, women’s health conferences, commencement addresses and many more.
Whether you are looking for straight, laugh out loud comedy or comedy with a message, clean comedian Karen Mills can inspire, energize and bring any crowd together through the joy of laughter.
Karen Mills has spent 18 years as a professional comedian. She has performed at theaters, conventions, women’s expos and countless corporate events. “People are always coming up to me after my show and saying, ‘Thank you so much, you don’t know how much I needed to laugh,’ or telling me how long it’s been since they laughed.” This is a health crisis! Laughter reduces stress, diminishes pain, lowers blood pressure, fights depression…who doesn’t need that, especially as we get older! Last time I went to the doctor, I had gained 10 lbs. and shrunk an inch…that’s right, I’m bringing sexy back!
In 1976 during the Tennessee girls’ high school state basketball championship, Karen hit a shot with 3 seconds left on the clock to win the game. She had prepared her entire life for that moment. What she hadn’t prepared for was the eruption of the fans when the ball went through the basket — “Everyone was jumping and hugging and shaking my mother and they knocked her wig right off her head.” Karen received a full basketball scholarship to UT-Chattanooga where she earned All-American honors and was the first female inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.
In May 2013 Karen was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She has spent 20 years on the road as a professional comedian and overnight she went from wanting her own TV show to just wanting to poop. Cancer changes your priorities. What it didn’t change was Karen’s sense of humor. Karen will take you on a hilarious journey through her diagnosis, surgery and chemotherapy and give you cancer tips that she wishes someone had given her, like never order a wig on the internet! Laugh and be inspired as Karen reminds you that your spirit shines through your smile not your hair.
“It all went wonderfully. Her humor and presentation were just what we needed the afternoon of our conference. I received many compliments on choosing her from our attendees and I enjoyed my personal conversations with her as well. It was a great way to bring our day to a close.”
“…Very good follow up. Well organized. Easy to work with.”