I go to a fair amount of mics and shows, and one of the things that I enjoy the most are the mainstays. Phrases and seeming non-sequiturs that tend to always be in the air – floating right there in plain site – just waiting for comics to fumble for them and blurt them out in the middle of their sets.
I realize that I need to clarify. When I say that ‘I enjoy them’, I mean that I enjoy them with the sense of nostalgia and inevitability that you may get when you go to the town where you grew up and seeing that someone from high school is still working at Dairy Queen (eternally about to be manager) – or – when you are about to watch some fireworks and you pull the old, smelly blanket out of your trunk. You experience them, they register in your brain in the ‘Oh, this again?’ folder and then you shake your head as if to say ‘Get away from that Blizzard machine, Larry.’ – or – ‘I’m going to wash you with bleach and oxyclean, blanket, because you deserve it.’ So, I enjoy them as comforting things that seemingly never change. Things that eat up minutes. Things that should be shelved.
Vinnie Vitale is a Hoboken-based comedian who has grown up in New Jersey his whole life. He has appeared on stage at Broadway Comedy Club and Gotham Comedy Club, as well as Carolines where he has opened for Andrew Ginsburg. He is a producer for Comedy Party USA, one of NYC’s longest running underground comedy shows. This FREE comedy show happens every Thursday from 8:30-10pm in the back of The Grisly Pear at 107 Macdougal St. and features some of today’s hottest comics. They also run a monthly comedy contest for new talent to showcase their skills with the chance to win $50 and 2 guest spots on regular Comedy Party USA shows. For anyone interested in finding out more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or like Comedy Party USA on Facebook.
When Vinnie is not performing comedy, he has taught comedy writing classes in addition to privately coaching other comedians and helping professional speakers incorporate humor in their presentations. He has a website too, if you ever feel like reading his blog: www.vinnievitale.com.
Although from New Jersey, Johnny Watson has been all over the United States, working clubs, privates, corporate, and televised events in all fifty states. He is the host of the WATSON N WATSON show, has been on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, and GOOD MORNING AMERICA. Watson is a comedian, a teacher, and writer.
When I was able to catch him on the phone for this Question and Answer session about what it means to be Johnny Watson, it was not what you may be expecting. Of course we talked about stand up, screen writing, and the radio show, but when it comes to being Watson, well…