Paul Mecurio spent six years pursuing two professions before finally making the leap to stand-up comedy. A wall street lawyer by day, he once performed a set on stage with his back to the crowd after noticing that two of his partner’s wives were in the crowd to protect his secret profession.
Per the article linked below, after he sold a joke to Jay Leno for $50 and saw it performed on television his obsession exploded. He started bringing two notebooks to each meeting, one for jokes and one for work.
“Finally, in 1994, he quit Wall Street for good. Two years later, he landed a job as one of The Daily Show’s original writers through a producer who had seen him perform. There he met Mr. Colbert, who hired him as a warm-up comedian on ‘The Colbert Report’ and later, ‘The Late Show.'”