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Comic Kevin Meaney shuts door on his closet life

By MADELEINE MARR, mmarr@miamiherald.com

6060923_embedded_prod_affiliate_56 Kevin Meaney is out and proud, but it wasn't always this way.

The 52-year-old standup comedian -- who got his break on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the '80s -- was married for 10 years. He and ex-wife Mary Ann had a daughter, with whom he currently lives in New York.

It took a stint seven years ago on Broadway's Hairspray to change his life.

``Being on Broadway is like going to gay school,'' said the former SNL regular from a Florida touring stop in Stuart. ``It gave me the courage to come out and be who I am. It's a relief.''

Telling Mary Ann wasn't as hard as he envisioned.

``I just walked in and said, `Honey, I'm homo!' '' cracked Meaney, who came out almost three years ago. ``I think it was definitely tough on her . . . but I always did the cleaning, the cooking, the decorating. I wore aprons!''

Changing teams hasn't hurt his career.

``It's certainly helped my standup,'' he admitted, ``because comedy is based on honesty.''

Meaney will do a gig at 8 p.m. Friday night at Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort's Kitchen 305, 16701 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach. Tickets: 305-749-2110.

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