Dom Irrera Admits He Was "the Only Italian Rabbi in South Florida"

Categories: Comedy, Q&A

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Susan Maljan
Dom in deep thought.

On the cusp of 2014, it's easy to think about all the new comics that popped up this year and made your funny bones tickle. But when it comes to the funnies, it's not all about fresh faces and polished Twitter skills. The comics that have made a career out of grabbing a mic are the ones that never disappoint. They have been cracking wise since there was no internet and successfully adjusting to the podcast way of life, all the while passing the true test of what it means to be a comic -- to be 'on' even when you're feeling off.

Take Dom Irrera, for instance. The Philly-born stand up vet has a soft spot for Florida. He's even a die hard Dolphins fan. He's been so funny for so long that it's all he knows. And while you might recognize his voice from repeat appearances on Paul and Young Ron, Dom does his best work in front of a crowd, microphone in hand, and that's why he's being singled out as a Comedy All-Star at his next Florida gig. Before he plays the Seminole Hard Rock with Jake Johannsen and Tammy Pescatelli, we chatted with Dom about his time in Florida, betting on football, and how his favorite show biz experience was as a character on Hey Arnold.


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Tom Cotter Takes a Look Back at 2013, a Look Forward to Arbor Day

Categories: Comedy, Q&A

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Virginia Sherwood
Tom Cotter. He loves trees.

Being a stand up comedian is one thing, but being a stand up comedian on a nationally televised reality competition show is an entirely different level of standup-ness (cause we just made that a thing). Tom Cotter jumped into the spotlight as the runner up during the 2012 season of America's Got Talent and has seen an instant increase in national bookings that have changed his life as a professional comic.

We talked with Tom earlier this year before a show in Fort Lauderdale. Now, gearing up for his first ever West Palm Beach Improv appearance, we circled back with the almost-champion comic to see how the taste of fame has changed his outlook. It's the special December time of year when you have to spend too much energy on your family and eat obscene amounts of food in public. So we figured this was the perfect opportunity to find out what Tom thought of 2013, which holiday is his favorite, and his riveting New Year's resolution, just as we look 2014 directly in the face.

See Also: Tom Cotter: "If a Woman Gets on Stage and Talks About Her Vagina, You Can Hear Sphincters Shut"


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Paula Poundstone Prefers a Republican President for the Sake of Comedy

Categories: Comedy

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When you can be divisive enough to make both Comedy Central's list of 100 greatest stand-ups of all time and simultaneously make Maxim magazine's worst comedians list, you must be doing something right.

Paula Poundstone has had a successful stand-up career for over three decades now, which has included four HBO comedy specials, recurring gigs on The Tonight Show, and her own award winning talk show.

A day before her stand-up gig at Broward Community College's Bailey Concert Hall, Poundstone reminisced with New Times about her days struggling to make it as a comedian while looking forward to a time when there's a Republican president that would be easier for her to make fun of.

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Cheech Marin on Cheech & Chong: "We Couldn't Be Censored"

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Cheech Marin began our telephone conversation with a loud, sustained yawn. At the moment it took me off guard, but as I kept replaying the interview to type up the transcript the yawn became funnier and funnier each time. That shouldn't be a surprise. Cheech is a man who knows how to make people laugh. It's why he was cast as Hurley's Dad in Lost. It's why they use his voice for characters in animated films like the Lion King and Cars. It's why director Robert Rodriguez has him in nearly every movie he shoots.

But Cheech has always been his funniest when paired with Tommy Chong. If Cheech & Chong did not invent the idea of stoner comedy, they clearly perfected it. Combining absurdity with hedonism in their nine classic comedy albums and a series of feature films highlighted by Up In Smoke, they set the blueprint for all other drug humor to follow. Reuniting with Tommy Chong for what's being billed as their first comedy tour in over 25 years that hits Hard Rock Live December 15, to fundraise for Broward House, South Florida's "oldest and largest HIV/AIDS Community Service organization." Cheech Marin took a moment to speak with the New Times about Frank Zappa, singing on stage, and The Ed Sullivan Show.


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Christopher Titus - Fort Lauderdale Improv - September 27

Categories: Comedy

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Christopher Titus has a lot to say. Always has, and always will. The man has had an extremely difficult and interesting life, which he has no problem documenting, discussing, and breaking down into some of the most hilarious, dark, and oddly heartwarming comedy.

Titus has done it all, from his extremely popular eponymous show on FOX that ran for three seasons in the early 2000s, four one-hour comedy central specials, three albums, and in 2011, he started up the Titus podcast. Every one of his sets is concise, the stories ebb and flow perfectly into one main theme, be it love, family, or just the absurdity humanity has come to embrace and accept as normal. Titus has a unique energy that has become synonymous with his name, and on Thursday night at the Fort Lauderdale Improv, he displayed why he truly is one of the best comedians currently in the business.


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Lisa Lampanelli, Always Hilarious: "I'm Obsessed with One Direction!"

Categories: Comedy

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A few years ago, Lisa Lampanelli donated $50,000 to the Gay Men's Health Crisis. She gave the org one grand for each Westboro Baptist Church gay-hating protester that came out to her Topeka, Kansas show. In celebration, she had her crowd chanting: "We're here, we're queer, we take it in the rear."

Lampanelli, known as the Queen of Mean, always comes across as compassionate even as she rips into every group of people you can think of. That's because she always includes herself in the mix. Her jokes sting and delight at the same time. Before her Hard Rock Live show in Hollywood, we spoke with Lampanelli, one of the funniest women in the known universe, about her affection for One Direction, why she doesn't really watch reality TV anymore, and how everyone in Florida is either old or lazy.

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Comedy Central Up Next Talent Search at the Palm Beach Improv Picks a Winner

Categories: Comedy

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Awni Issa
Preliminary winner Dan Decotiis. A man too funny for a funny caption.

Few alliterations get 25 to 34 year olds off quite like "Comedy Central." The majesty of 24/7 comedy occupies a special place in our hearts and flatscreens unless, of course, you were at the Palm Beach Improv last night, because that's where the channel also came to life. It was basically the same thing as Indian in the Cupboard, but funnier. The West Palm comedy club was selected by Comedy Central to participate in the network's answer to Last Comic Standing, the Up Next Talent Search.

The NCAA-style tournament is wrapping up the first round of the competition which started with over 200 participants throwing their hats into the ring at 26 different clubs around the country. Included in these numbers were ten comics each used to performing at the Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale improvs. Rene Harte, owner of both clubs, sees the value this type of exposure can bring to the South Florida comic scene, "to have Comedy Central come to us to participate is an honor for the club. But really, it's the comedians that I am happy for. This is a huge opportunity for them."

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Convince NFL's Greg Aiello That GWAR Is the Best Candidate for the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show

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Ian Witlen

Now more than ever, a true American issue has taken hold of the nation. Already close to 25,000 strong, the movement is proving that there are things of far more importance to Americans than Syria, gun control, and bipartisan bickering. We're talking, of course, of Kentuckian Jeff Cantrell's petition on change.org to have GWAR, the Universe's greatest band, officiate the halftime spectacle during the 2015 Super Bowl.

It is a goddamned shame that we will first have to suffer Bruno Mars during the 2014 show, a man who once asked why the "pucks were so big in football," a man whose entire athletic pedigree revolves around fitting himself into tight clothing without the aid of Vaseline. Or as my more meat-headed football-loving pals would say: one big pussy boy.

But fear not! Because there is strength in numbers! The same way library, firefighters, and pet lovers bound together using the online petition agency this past August to sway the votes of Miami-Dade Commissioners and bring to light the administrative shortcomings of Clown Prince Mayor Carlos Gimenez, we too can make a change!

See also: Happy 44 Billionth Birthday to GWAR's Oderus Urungus!

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Jessica Gross Talks FONFEST and Comedy: "Laughter for a Good Cause!"

Categories: Comedy

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Friends of Nature comedy booker Jessica Gross.

War isn't funny. Neither are Planet Earth's environmental woes.

But this Veteran's Day weekend on November 9 and 10, the Friends of Nature Music Festival (AKA FONFEST) will descend upon Virginia Key Beach Park in the hope of making Miami laugh and dance and be merry.

That's right -- these Friends of Nature aren't satisfied with simply entertaining the masses with music, art, cinema, and cuisine (nor are they content with merely educating the public about sustainability, the well-being of the planet, and how to contribute to saving it), they also want you to bust a gut laughing.

High hopes indeed. But with seventeen stand-up comedians scheduled to perform they're confident polluters will not have the last laugh. To find out what's so hilarious about saving the planet, New Times heckled FONFEST comedy booker Jessica Gross via email.

See also:
-Friends of Nature Festival 2013 Lineup: Matisyahu, Locos Por Juana, and 25 Others


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David Alan Grier Gets Man to Actually Propose to Girlfriend at Fort Lauderdale Improv

Categories: Comedy

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Saturday marked a couple firsts for me. It was the first time I'd seen David Alan Grier live, and it was the first time I've ever attended the Ft. Lauderdale Improv. And neither disappointed in the least.

The Improv is a so intimate and cozy, a perfect environment for comedians to try and make you pee your panties. I'll never get the appeal of choosing an auditorium show over a club. The pure feeling of comedy in a dark, small club can never be duplicated.

I've always liked David Alan Grier, I loved DAG when I was younger, and probably would still watch it if it were easy to find. I just wasn't positive what to expect from his stand-up. I expected to hear tons of laughter, but wedding bells?


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