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INTERVIEW: Comedian Joseph Vecsey On Bringing Rising Stars To Bay Street, His Dream All Star Comedy Show Guest And More

Nicole Barylski

Joseph Vecsey has hosted the All Star show at Bay Street for the past four years. (Photo: Michael Heller)

Comedian Joseph Vecsey is returning to Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor to host yet another All Star Comedy Show. This hilarious edition that is bound to have you cracking up so hard you'll have tears streaming down your face will feature endless laughs courtesy of Harris Stanton, who has appeared on Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Comics Unleashed, Max May, the Winner of 2016 Winter Laugh's Comedy Competition, Mike Cannon, who has appeared on MTV and Comedy Central's The Nightly Show, as well as Vecsey, who stars in Optimum Cable TV's Unmovers and hosts The Call Back Podcast.

We caught up with Vecsey, who had his first brush with professional stand up six years ago at New York Comedy Club, about opening for some of comedy's biggest stars, comedy in the Hamptons and more.

When did you first know that you wanted to work in the comedy industry?

JV: I knew I wanted to write comedy around my first year in college, but I didn't actually do stand up until about two years later. But, I always knew I wanted to write comedy so I was always working on comedy scripts - starting around 12th grade and the first year of college.

Did any comedians inspire you growing up?

JV: Definitely Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock, Chris Farley, Jim Carrey - those were guys I watched all the time.

And you had the chance to work with a couple of those guys last year.

JV: I did some dates opening up for Adam Sandler, David Spade, Norm MacDonald, Nick Swardson and Rob Schneider - it was everybody on one show.

That must have been pretty surreal.

JV: Yeah, it was. We did shows at places like the Mohegan Sun Arena, where it was 10,000 people, and then we did other theaters that ranged from 5,000 to 7,000 people, but all historical, beautiful theaters. So it was amazing, amazing crowds and the shows were awesome.

Do you have any memories that stand out?

JV: So many, but I think the first arena show I did was in Washington, D.C., and that was last May. Everybody was watching on the side of the stage - Adam and Norm - and Nick Swardson was next, so I was bringing him on. That was also my first arena, so I didn't necessarily know what it was going to sound like and what that was going to be like, so that was pretty unbelievable.

What can the audience at Bay Street expect?

JV: My kind of theme of the show is we're kind of bringing New York City quality comics down here to Bay Street where you might not normally see them or get to see all these comics in one place, in one night. That's really what you're going to see; a variety of different comics, just before they're household names. On this show, we have Harris Stanton, who has toured with Tracy Morgan, he's been on Comics Unleashed on Comedy Central, and he's been in the comedy game for a good while. Another comedian Max May, I've worked with him all around the City - that's the thing about these guys, when you're in the City you're doing ten to 12 shows a week. Sometimes you have four to six shows in a night. So, you're getting to see really people that are sharp and on top of their game.

Do you curate the All Star Comedy Show's roster? If so, how do you choose who to feature?

JV: Yes, I always book the show's comedians. We also have Mike Cannon, he's another hilarious dude - he's on the show. He was on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and he's also done stuff on MTV. But, I always book the comics and I always try to make sure everyone's very different from each other. It's always guys too I like being around. I also want to have this be a fun show for myself, so I'm always booking guys that I like personally as well as I think are funny.

Who would be your dream guest?

JV: My dream guests to bring to Bay Street Theater would be music acts, actually. I'd love to have DMX and Puff Daddy. I'd enjoy not only their performances but seeing all the confused people be forced to be polite and watch. The Bay Street crowd isn't usually a big DMX crowd.

What's your process for coming up with new material?

JV: It kind of ranges. I try to write every day. Usually I write something down, and then I'll go to a small bar show or club and work in the new joke - try to sandwich it in between the old stuff and see what works. You keep plugging away at it - take away what doesn't work, add something that does - until it's getting the big laughs that you want, then it becomes a part of your everyday act.

How did you get involved with Optimum Cable TV's Unmovers?

JV: I was auditioning for another show, a TV show, and a different director was there - a guy named Christian Charles - he liked me. He wasn't casting for the show I was auditioning for, he was just watching, and then he asked me to come audition for this project he was putting together, and it happened to be The Unmovers. Christian's an excellent director who directed the documentary Comedian starring Jerry Seinfeld and developed Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry. He was responsible for putting all the comics together in The Un-Movers. He really did a lot for my career and he's one of the best guys I've ever worked with.

Are you working on any other upcoming project?

JV: I have a couple of different writing projects that are in development. I'm also working on a comedy album.

Tickets to the All Star Comedy Show are $30. Additional All Star Comedy Shows will take place on Saturday, February 25th and Friday, March 24th.

Bay Street Theater is located at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call 631-725-9500 or visit www.baystreet.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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