So You Think You’re Funny

Stand Up Comedy Open Mic Nights

After celebrating my 43rd birthday at a comedy club, my friends didn’t want to go home after the show so we went to the bar for a few cocktails. The comedians that evening, Paul Bond and Leighann Lord, were at the bar when I approached them and said, “Being a comedian doesn’t seem that hard to do.” Paul replied, “Oh, you think so. Would you like to try it?” I shook my head and he mentioned that some of the clubs have comedy classes or, if I wanted, there were a few open mics I could try. The following week, I called and registered with Stand Up University. (StandUpUniversity.com) and for the next eight Monday nights, the class met with instructors Peter Bales, Rich Walker and Steve Lazarus where I learned the art of stand up comedy. On May 3rd 1999, at the class graduation, I gave my first stand up performance.

I never thought I would be still performing ten years later until I found out that I could use comedy in a way to help other people in need. In 2000, after performing only three times, I convinced former NYPD star John DiResta to headline a comedy benefit show for the Thomas Elsasser fund for widows and children of FDNY members that die outside the line of duty. That first show raised over $7,500 for the fund and I have been doing it every year since. In the past ten years, I have performed hundreds of shows for such notable charities as The Make a Wish Foundation, The Elijia School for Autism, Gilda’s House and even perform for the cancer patients at Sloan Kettering a few times a year. For me that’s what comedy is all about; for you it might be different. The only way to know is to get off the couch and give it a try. Here are a few ongoing open mics around the Island. If you have any questions feel free to email me at nycbillybingo@nullaol.com and I’ll be glad to help. Keep ‘em laughing

Fin’s Pub
Oakdale
Mondays, 7:30pm
comedyatfins.com, (631) 645-5152

Oysterman’s Restaurant
Sayville
Every other Tuesday
(631) 645-5152

Smoke Stax
Hicksville
Second and Fourth Tuesday of every month, 8pm
Sign up at 7:30pm, show starts at 8pm
harrismediagroup@nullyahoo.com
Cost: $5 (one-third of all money collected will be raffled off to one of the performing comics.

Callahan’s
East Meadow
Last Thursday of every month, 7pm
(516) 542-0723

No Limits Bar
Hicksville
First Saturday of every month
(516) 305-7072

Chesterfields
Huntington
Thursdays, 8:30pm
(631) 425-1457

Martha Clara Vineyards
Riverhead
Tuesdays, 7pm
(631) 298-0075
marthaclaravineyards.com