Anyone from New Jersey knows that if you are going to have a comedy competition in our state, then somebody from the Garden State better win it. We can be friendly and nice when we want to be, but when it finally comes down to who is going to walk out of a comedy competition with a $5,000 cash prize…well, then the gloves come off. And there are few working comedians in the business right now who deserve that win more than the New Jersey’s own, Jeff Norris.
The first annual Cape May Comedy Festival was held on July 26-28, 2013 and the competition had 96 comedians vying for the top prize. The festival received submissions from hundreds of comedians from all over the country before choosing the top 96 comedians to compete. There were competitors from states such as Florida, Georgia and Massachusetts; however, the grand prize belonged to a comedian who only had to jump on Parkway south to claim it.
For those who have been following the local comedy scene, the name of Jeff Norris should definitely ring a bell. Jeff began his comedy career by jumping on stage for an open mic night at the legendary Rascals in West Orange in 1994. The rest, as they say, is history. Jeff immediately loved the rush of making an audience laugh and knew that he wanted to pursue it full time.
Over his career, Jeff has performed at every major comedy club in the area including the Borgata in Atlantic City, Pips in Sheepshead Bay, Caroline’s, and Dangerfield’s. When not on stage making audiences crack up, Jeff can be heard as a regular contributor on the Opie and Anthony show where Jeff‘s legendary impressions are heard. If you have not heard Jeff do the cast of All In The Family, then you are missing a treat!
Norris has also jumped into the acting world head first and made a splash in television and movies. Jeff has been seen on the television shows Saturday Night Live, Oz, Law & Order, and most recently in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. On the big screen, he was cast in the movies Anger Management and My Super Ex-Girlfriend.
However, Jeff is just as well known for giving of his time and fame to benefit as many causes and charities in the area. He has helped to raise funds for dozens of organizations such as food banks, children’s hospitals, and the USO.
As a muscled up guy who was a former college football player and judo champion, Jeff’s on-stage persona is that of a regular, blue collar guy and his reputation as someone who gives back to the community shows that it is not just an act. So although Jeff absolutely deserved to win the competition in Cape May, it also goes to show that sometimes good things happen to good people.
For those interested in seeing Jeff perform, he will be performing at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park on August 29th at 8:00pm. He will also be returning to his hometown of Garwood to perform at Crossroads on Thursday October 3rd at 8:00pm. Both shows will be featured on the Garden State Comedy’s show calendar.