image via joel plotkin
Every comedian has a class they belong to. It’s the year they entered comedy. It’s a defining year, and you never forget the other people who were in your “class.” Comedian Mike Bocchetti was in the class of 1992. Since then he’s gone on to appearances on the Howard Stern Show, the Jim Breuer Show and The Opie and Anthony Show on SiriusXM. He appeared on 2 seasons of NBC’s Last Comic Standing and acted with Robert DeNiro in the feature film “The Family”. Mike was also the announcer for the Artie Lange Show which aired on DirectTV and co-founded Blasted Films with comedian Ken Burmeister. This is his look at the class of 1992.
1992 was a transition time for New York City, after years of neglect and being crime ridden, it was starting to turn into Disney Land, NYC. Instead of gun fights at the OK Corrall, hookers were being replaced by Haagen Daaz franchises, and yuppies with their 12 dollar frapucchinos were everywhere, instead of strung out hippies.
1992 was also the year I made my own transition. I entered the New York City comedy scene along with the likes of Judah Friedlander, Jim Gaffigan, Zack Galifiniakis just to name a few. Those comedians started around the same time I did and all still work super hard to this day. There were countless hell gigs, and there were drunks who would be ready to put you in a head lock so they could tell you some bad shitty joke they had being telling people for the past 20 years, and offering it to you for your act, that you has spent months and years working on.
One of the clubs I started at was Pips comedy club in Brooklyn New York. It’s since closed, nine years ago, but it was legendary. Rodney Dangerfield, Billy Crystal, Andrew Dice Clay, Joan Rivers, had all started there, and it was do or die, there. It was like a scene from Donnie Brasco in that room. I remember one of the first times I went there, some guy was doing comedy– this new comic– he brought up a piano, a small miniature piano, and he said, what should I do next. The bartender in the place screamed “throw that thing in the dumpster!” The bartender mind you! That’s the kind of rooms I worked in.
Comedy has changed in the age of the internet. Comics in 1992 didn’t tweet, or text or go on candy crush. We were out there in the trenches with rowdy drunks waiting to go on at 3:30 am, sometimes with nobody listening but one over-worked bar tender and one super drunk guy from Finland that spoke no english while we tanked it on stage. It wasn’t all like this. We also had the pleasure of watching the headliners like Dave Attell, Louie CK, Dave Chapelle, and Wanda Sykes who were all masters already, and were also great people.
Want to go watch Mike Bocchetti? He’ll be appearing on the Sam and Joe Show at Caroline’s Comedy Club on Broadway on June 8, at 9:30pm. He will also be doing an upcoming project with Dave Hill for “My Damn Channel.” Watch for it on MyDamnChannel.com.