Having helped Jack Bauer save the world again on “24: Live Another Day,” Chloe O’Brian, Jack’s quirky, faithful friend and computer whiz, is somewhere awaiting her next adventure.
Meanwhile, Mary Lynn Rajskub, the actress who created Chloe on Fox’s riveting action series “24,” is on the road showing a completely different personality as a stand-up comic.
“My background was comedy before ‘24” — it was the first drama that I had done, and now some people only know me from that,” Rajskub said in a telephone interview. “So it’s always fun to see what people expect and how they react to my stories about my life and my husband and son.”
“My stories are goofy, a little risqué and a little sexual,” she adds. “Some people are blown away and can’t get over the fact that I am so not like Chloe.”
She has been married to actor Matthew Rolph since 2009, and they have one child, Valentine Anthony Rolph.
Currently on a nationwide summer tour, the 43-year-old actress takes the stage at Side Splitters Comedy Club in Carrollwood for six performances (Thursday through Aug. 3).
Best known as the offbeat, no-nonsense computer tech with a persistent scowl who can hack into any system in the world, Rajskub says that in real life she knows little about computers. And anyone who has seen her frequent appearances on late-night talk shows has seen her without the scowl.
The original “24” series ended in 2010 after eight seasons and 194 episodes. Each episode covered 24 action-packed hours in the life of Counter Terrorist Unit agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland).
The recent “24: Live Another Day,” filmed in London, had Chloe going rogue (with a new punk/Goth look) and Jack recruiting her for a new adventure. The finale had Jack in the custody of nasty Russians after he sent Chloe off to look out for his family.
With the door open for another run, Rajskub says she would come back, and jokes that it all depends on which country it is filmed in because she has to convince her husband to go there. “Live Another Day” was filmed in London.
Raised in Trenton, Mich., Rajskub (pronounced “Rice-cub”) is of Czech descent. She studied art, music and acting at the San Francisco Art Institute.
She started performing in comedy clubs, which lead to being cast on the cable comedy “Mr. Show with Bob and David” in 1995. More comedy roles followed, including 15 episodes of “Veronica’s Closet” in 1999.
A skilled guitar player, Rajskub has been part of the comic duo Girls Guitar Club. She’s also appeared in films, including “Firewall” (opposite Harrison Ford), “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde,” “Julie & Julia,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Punch Drunk Love” and “Little Miss Sunshine.”
She says she tried to audition for serious roles but came off as odd to the casting folks. She almost didn’t go to the “24” audition until her agent convinced her. It turns out “24” producer Joel Surnow had seen her performance in “Punch Drunk Love.”
Even while playing Chloe during the eight-season run and afterward, she had guest roles on “Arrested Development,” “Californication,” “2 Broke Girls” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
She did a podcast (“Kickin’ It Mary Lynn Style”) and the Web series “Dicki” (with her husband). She is featured in the 2014 comedy film “Play Nice,” on Hulu (about parents who will do anything to get their kids in a prestigious school). She also filmed “All Stars,” a 2014 comedy about a girls softball team. And she says she is looking for a new hour-long drama role.
She wants to keep doing stand-up. “After ‘24,’ anything I do is relaxed, and it’s great to be in front of a live audience, having fun and being silly and having a few laughs with people,” she says.