Karen has spent a lifetime entertaining. First as a point guard, “Little Mills” was always a crowd favorite. She started playing basketball in the 3rd grade and eventually earned a full scholarship to the University of Tennessee @ Chattanooga. In 1981, Karen led the nation in assists and became the first Division 1, first-team All American in UT-Chattanooga’s history, male or female. Her #12 uniform was retired and in 1981 she became the first women inducted into Chattanooga’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
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 her pain into punchlines. Diagnosed in 2013 after a routine checkup, Karen was determined to take on the disease with hope and humor and in 2016 she was chosen to present her talk, "Cancer is a Laughing Matter" at TEDxChattanooga.
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.
- Turn the Radio Down So I Can See...And Other Mid-Life Observations (Stand Up Comedy)
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!
- Preparation Meets Opportunity...The Shot that Knocked by Mama’s Wig Off (Comedy and Motivation)
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.
- Humor for the Tumor (Cancer Survivor Events)
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.