My name is John DiResta. I am funny.
When somebody asks me, “Oh, you think you’re funny?” I say, “No, I know I’m funny.”
I have been a stand-up comedian for 20 years, officially. I think I’ve actually been a comedian for all of my 48 years on earth. I think comedians, like musicians, are born. Placed on this earth by the creator to entertain the rest of the human race.
To date I have done 3,648 live stand-up shows. I’ve been to 45 U.S. states, Hong Kong, Mexico, Canada and even Jackson, New Jersey.
At the ripe old age of 27, I was at a crossroads. I was a flat broke New York City Transit cop with two toddlers, a wife and a rabbit.
Living check to check like you can not imagine. Broke. I was working nine at night to six in the morning in the Homeless Outreach Unit. My partner, Mike Venkus, and I would hunt in the subway tunnels of New York, armed with only a flashlight and a Ruger Service Six .38 revolver, looking for the lowest outcasts of our society: CHUD. CHUD stands for cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers. We called them clients.
When Mike and I would bag fresh clients, we would walk them through the most dangerous place on earth, live subway tracks, up to the street and place them on the HOU bus. On the bus they got free knit hats, free clothes, free warmth, free no name cigarettes and free food. We called the food ‘bum bait’ or, if we were near Rockaway Beach, we called it ‘bum chum.’ They also got free laughs.
One five degree night in the winter of 1992, I made a life-changing decision. After a really fun night on the HOU bus (I killed!) where Mike and I escorted fifty two clients to the shelter, I drove fifty miles upstate to where I lived in Harriman, New York. I woke up my wife Frances and said, “I want to be a comedian.” She took a long, hard look in my eyes and said, “I want another baby.” Deal. I did my first open mic the next night at the White Horse Tavern in Chelsea (I did not kill). Nine months later our third child was born, Shannon Mary DiResta.
Since that moment, I have had my own one man show off Broadway that the New York Times called “UPROARIOUS!” I have had my own sitcom. I’ve been in over a dozen big films with such stars as Robert De Niro, Sandra Bullock and Charlize Theron, but I don’t like to drop names. Michael Caine told me it was rude.
I like making people laugh. I like studying the technique of getting harder, stronger, deeper laughs. I am the funniest guy you will ever meet, I promise. I don’t think I’m funny, I know I’m funny.
My name is John DiResta — I am funny.
John DiResta will be joined by Vicki Barbolak and Risky Betts on Saturday, Sept. 29, 7 p.m. for Stand-up Comedy Night at Bel Vino Winery. For tickets and information, visit www.onecrazybroadproductions.com.