Brush with Greatness


Mark's Friggin'... Night of comedy at The Stress Factory - Saturday, November 15, 2003

It was time for some more laughs so luckily there was another great comedy show coming up at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick, New Jersey. This time it was Stuttering John with Otto and George, Pete Correale and Mike Bocchetti. I'd heard nothing but good things about Otto and George so I figured I had to make my way over to check out the act. For those of you who don't know, Otto is a ventriloquist who does some great dirty material. The dummy does all of the dirty jokes whole Otto plays the clean guy.

I brought my girlfriend Jennifer and my friend Chris from the dump where I used to work to the show. We got there early to get some decent seats and hung out and waited for the show to begin. While we were waiting, this guy John who manages Fred the Elephant Boy came over and said hi. We'd met back in August at another show. He brought me back to meet Otto who was back in the dressing room. George wasn't there in the room because it travels in it's own box that was elsewhere. John said some nice words about me to Otto who didn't seem to give a crap. I can't blame him, I'm just another nutty fan. My Brother-in-law's brother Jeff and his girlfriend also showed up the show so it was a pleasant surprise to see them there.

Stuttering John was a little late showing up for the first show on this Saturday night. When he showed up he stopped by my table and told me how much traffic there was coming in from New York City. Meanwhile, club owner Vinnie Brand had started the show doing one of the prank calls the Stress Factory is know for. After making that funny prank call, Vinnie brought up John to start the show.

Stuttering John attempted to start his act but there was this unbelievably annoying woman in the crowd who was yelling at John about being a loser and how she was waiting for him to show up and start the show. John shot back at her with some insults but she was relentless and wouldn't stop yelling at him. Most of the audience turned to look at the woman and attempted to quiet her but it just wasn't working. John had everyone chanting ''ASSHOLE'' to her for a few seconds but that seemed to piss her off even more and she kept yelling. John finally started his act while the woman continued to yell. My girlfriend noticed that she was being kicked out a short time later. Both she and her boyfriend left the club after that and everything quieted down a little bit. Poor John was a little thrown off by the whole thing but recovered nicely.

John did a few minutes of material and then brought up comedian Pete Correale who I'd never seen before. He was very funny even though there were a few annoying people talking up a storm behind me. Pete did a few minutes of material before John came back up and introduced the next guy.

John told me about this guy Mike Bocchetti and how funny he is. He said he was on the NBC/Comedy Central show ''Last Comic Standing'' but I couldn't remember who he was. As soon as I saw him up on stage I remembered how funny he was on that show. He didn't do a lot of material but his stuff was funny. He says that some people think that he looks like that kid who played Corky on ''Life Goes On'' and he's kind of right. He'd tell one line jokes and then pace back and forth across the stage. He'd then say ''Thank you'' to the crowd after each joke whether or not they laughed. His jokes were funny but his behavior on stage was even funnier.

Otto and George After Mike did a couple of very funny minutes of material, John came back up and brought up Otto and George. I'd only heard Otto and George on Howard's show over the past couple of years so I didn't know exactly what to expect. It turned out to be a very funny act where George (the dummy) insults people in the crowd and tells dirty jokes. Otto tries to keep him in line and plays the good guy of the two. It was a great show as usual.

After the show was over, I headed back to the dressing room to talk to John and the guys for a couple of minutes. We hung out for a little while but I didn't want to bother those guys too much so we split after a half hour or so. Stuttering John always manages to get some top quality comedians to do his shows. If they're ever appearing in an area near you, get your ass out to see the show. You won't be let down.

Here are a couple of the web sites where you can find out more information about the comedians and the comedy club.

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