Urban comedy, Italian style
Being ranked 79 out of 100 seems a ways off from head of the class. But when that class is Comedy Central's "Top 100 Greatest Standups of All Time," 79 is pretty damn good -- especially when you're still alive. Even more so when you're asked to be a panelist on the very TV show that honors your comedic talent. Dom Irerra -- a quick-lipped, big-mouthed Italian -- recently earned such accolades. "Some of the comics were seriously saying they should be higher on the list," Irerra says, noting the pettiness of their gripes. "Come on -- get off it!" The Philadelphia native and self-described urban comedian initially sought the theater route while attending Barry University in Miami Shores. But the perennial naughty schoolboy ("I was kicked out of some of the best schools in Philly," Irerra says) just couldn't hack the straight-faced dramatic approach. "I was always more funny than a dramatic actor," Irerra admits.
The humor dimension started to work for him. In 1987, Irerra made his first TV appearance on Rodney Dangerfield's HBO comedy special Nothing Goes Right. Since then, he's made numerous TV appearances, from Seinfeld to The View, and he had his own sports show on Comedy Central, Offsides, which lasted two seasons. Despite his ongoing ventures in TV land, Irerra still craves the live experience. Although a big part of his act stems from his Italian upbringing, Irerra brings a mixed bag to each performance. "I sometimes do character stuff, sometimes observational," Irerra says. "I just want to make people laugh."
And he wants them to buy his CD, Greatest Hits, Volume I. But Irerra says that's all he'll be selling, unlike some of the more market-happy comics: "You're not gonna see me standing at the door selling Dom Irerra coolatas." No, comics don't get their own brand of coffee till they're long dead -- and ranked well within Comedy Central's top 50. Bada-bing, bada-boom! -- Jason Budjinski
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