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I have always been the funny guy. Class clown, office fool, family joker, village idiot…no wait a minute..I lived in a town, not a village.
It was a dare from Meredith, a co-worker that gave me the guts to try stand-up comedy. It was July 29th, 1991 at The Juke Box Café in Hauppauge, Long Island. Owned by WBAB DJ Bob Buchman. Talent Night was every Wednesday. Musicians, Magicians, Comedians, Jugglers, etc. Bring your talent for 15 minutes and win valuable prizes.
So I did it. I prepared 15 minutes, not knowing how ridiculous that amount of time is for a first time comedian. I had everyone from the office there to “support” me, or watch me crash and burn.
But I didn’t lay an egg. I killed. for 15 minutes. I even won 3rd place. My valuable prizes were a T-Shirt and a Bonnie Raitt cassette. But more importantly, that night I became a stand- up comedian.
I remember the drive home. Screaming in my car. “I am a comedian”. I should be on Letterman by September. I can quit this lousy job by Christmas. Of course it doesn’t work that way.
22 years later, I am still waiting for Dave to call and I am still working the day job.
I quit a bunch of times, but always came back to the stage. Having been at it on a fairly consistent basis since 2004, I am happy with the success I have had. No big famous moments or TV appearances, but I have won a few awards, opened for some high profile people (Louie Anderson, Bobby Collins, Bob Nelson, Uncle Floyd, Ted Alexandro, Joey Kola), accomplished a 90 minute one-man show and gained some respect in this business that is rarely treated with respect.
Looking back, I am happy I took the dare.
I have many people to thank for my comedy career. (I can never say career without chuckling.)
)Hats off to a bunch of folks. Thank you for your support and your belief in me.
Rick Morgan, John Ryerson, Gary Smith, Paul Anthony, Roger Paul, Donna Drake, Vince Dantona and George, Shawn Morrill, Chuck Weber, Keith Richard, Brian Cohen, Samantah Tetro, Mark Maningo, Mike Dillon, Tom Bellezza, Alan Streisfeld, Les Degen, John Santo, John Passadino, Goumba Johnny and all my comedian buddies.
This is starting to sound like a eulogy. I ain’t dead, or retiring.
Even if it doesn’t. I am having a blast.
The only time you fail is when you quit.
Here’s to 22 more years of waiting for that phone to ring.
Hello ? Dave? is that you?
A newbie comedian approached me recently and asked me what the secret was to success in stand-up comedy. The interesting thing is this comic was on the same show as me; at a Moose Club in Suffolk County, Long Island. I would understand this question if I just came outside after being on The Late Show with David Letterman. What kind of advice can I give this person at the makeshift bar, surrounded by 60 somethings out on the town at the local watering hole.
After observing my surroundings, I told her “The secret to success in stand-up comedy is apparently still a secret”. The only advice I could honestly give her is to do three things and do them consistently:
3. Go back to rule one and repeat
Now, I know what you’re saying. “That’s only two things”. Exactly. Write, perform and write and perform some more.
Steve Martin said it best “Get so good they can’t ignore you”. That is the truth. There are no quick roads to success. Real success.
There seem to be plenty of shortcuts. Young kids entering the comedy profession tend to go for the quick fame route. Get on some lame reality show, or fixed contest show and BOOM, fame and fortune are sure to follow. But check back two weeks later and they are history, or if they are lucky end up on a Celebrity rehab show.
Building an act that keeps people paying attention and hopefully entertained for 45 minutes to an hour. That is success in stand-up comedy. That level of success takes only three things:
See what I did there?
Now that the secret is out I bet you are as disappointed as that comedian was that approached me at the Moose club. Sorry, but the truth hurts.
Thank you and good night. I’m here all week. Try the veal
Badump bump !!
A Catholic church in Long Island,is warning parishioners that they were exposed to hepatitis A,during Communion services. One churchgoer shrugged..............exposure is pretty common around here.
The world's oldest dog has died on Long Island.It was 147 years old in Larry King years.