Arts & Entertainment

Meet Big Rich From Jersey, Founder of Garden State Comedy

August 18, 2013 at 8:51 PM

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Rich McDonald, a.k.a. "Big Rich From Jersey" is a man on a mission.  Not only is McDonald a seasoned sergeant with the West Orange Police Department, he's also an Improvisational and standup comic who recently launched, a website that provides information for comedy fans to get information on live comedy shows in New Jersey, and provide a place to showcase videos and articles on the best and brightest comedians in the Garden State.

McDonald began working with the WOPD in 2000, and has been a sergeant since 2005.  He is currently assigned as records bureau commander and accreditation manager. In 2009, as part of his yearly "new goals and resolutions" McDonald decided to learn how to do improvisational comedy.  He began honing his craft at The New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts in Bloomfield and has continued to enjoy performing in front of thousands of people.  With close ties to the community, McDonald also performs at fundraisers for organizations like the American Cancer Society and benefits for children with life-threatening illnesses.

As he built his confidence with Improv, McDonald decided to start his own standup comedy routine in 2010. Since then, he has performed in major New York clubs like New York Comedy Club, Greenwich Village Comedy Club, and Broadway Comedy Club. He most recently performed at the Cape May Comedy Festival, being chosen out of hundreds of comedians to compete in a national stand-up contest. He has also opened for acts like Jim Gaffigan, Uncle Floyd, Todd Barry and Rev. Bob Levy.
"Big Rich" prefers keep his stand-up routines clean and relatable for audiences of all ages.  His comedy focuses on life in New Jersey, being divorced and childless amid his married friends with children, and his unhealthy relationship with his best friend - his dog.  He also comments on life as a police officer.
In 2011, McDonald added acting to his resume, performing in several web series and local theater.  He was also cast in an independent film "Eternal Damn Nation," which was recently featured in three film festivals.

Looking to expand the concept of comedy, in 2012, McDonald co-founded the Dumb Kids In The Back Comedy Troupe, which combines both improv stand up comedy in a unique way. The group has been accepted into three different national improv festivals to date.
As if all this was not enough, McDonald launched the website in the spring of 2013 and has begun to produce local comedy shows at places like Egan' in West Orange, SuzyQues, and Starlite Restaurant,bringing headliners from New York to the suburbs of West Orange.

Rich McDonald and Garden State Comedy will be hosting a free event on Wednesday, Aug. 21 at Egan's at 104 Harrison Ave. in West Orange. The Stars Under the Stars outdoor comedy show begins at 8:30 p.m. and will be headlined by Mark Normand, who was most recently seen performing on Conan O’Brien on TBS and was featured as a “Fresh Face” at the world’s most famous comedy festival, the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.   Mark has also been seen on Comedy Central’s John Oliver stand up show and Inside Amy Schumer. He has been named by Time Out NY as one of “The lynch pins of comedy”, by Esquire as one of the Hottest Comics of 2012, and by Comedy Central as a Comic to Watch in 2011.

The other performers on the card include West Orange resident Kevin Garifo, (The Stress Factory), Joe Carney (MTV, TruTV, and ID), and Jerrold Benford (Levity Live).

For Rich McDonald, police sergeant, comedian, and actor, it's all in a day's work.  

Go to  to see what the fuss is all about. You can "like"  the Garden State Comedy Facebook page at‎.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Livingston's Elves Celebrate with Area Residents as Camuso Holiday Display is Lit

December 7, 2016

LIVINGSTON, NJ – Known throughout Livingston as the former editor of the “West Essex Tribune” and a longtime member of the planning board and other committees, Nancy and Richard Dinar, alongside their family, had the honor of officially lighting the Camuso display at the Livingston Memorial Oval on Saturday.

The evening was highlighted by a performance from the Livingston ...

Randolph's Brendan Fletcher Reaches Top 8 on NBC’s “The Voice”

December 4, 2016

LOS ANGELES, CA - “And though the course may change sometimes, rivers always reach the sea,” Led Zepplin, Ten Years Gone

After years of changing his course, living in New Jersey, Boston, Brooklyn, and Charleston, all while singing in small local bars, at open mic nights, and working as a bartender to make ends meet, Randolph’s Brendan Fletcher always ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, December 13, 12:00 PM

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary, Short Hills

Turtle Tots Program Returns to the Cora Hartshorn ...

Education Green


Tue, December 13, 6:00 PM

The Westin Princeton At Forrestal Village, Princeton

ACG NJ Announces Princeton Event December 13th, ...

Arts & Entertainment Business & Finance Food & Drink

Andy’s Family Music Showcases Alex Weiss on Drums

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Andy’s Family Music Center of Livingston is proud to highlight 11-year-old Alex Weiss, a fifth grader at Collins Elementary School with an aptitude for drums.

Alex studies drums at Andy’s under the instruction of Joe Vitello. He says hid favorite band is Fall Out Boy and that his dad is his number one musical influence.

Check him out in the video ...

Q/A With Owners of Meadowbrook Country Day Camp

Recently, the owners of Meadowbrook Country Day Camp, Dan Milman and George Stein, took part in a fun Question and Answer session. Below are the questions and their responses. To learn more about Milman, Stein and Meadowbrook, click here to read a recent article that ran on


George: A six lb.

What's in a Name?

Sign here:   ________________________________


And here and here and here.  Initial these five boxes.  Then sign right here and over here stating that you understand that you are signing something you haven’t read.  And on the last page please sign and date this disclaimer stating that you are fully responsible for signing and dating this document even if you ...

Beckerman’s Theory of Everything

Any armchair theoretical physicist knows that Stephen Hawking has pursued a lifelong quest to come up with a Theory of Everything. This all-encompassing theory would tie together general relativity (large scale and high mass galaxies, stars, etc), quantum theory (quantum mechanics, quarks, atoms, subatomic particles), and Newtonian physics (gravity on small bodies, gas laws, electromagnetism) to ...

‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales' Captures Old-Fashioned Nostalgia at Shakespeare Theatre

MADISON, NJ – It’s clear the Welsh love to sing as the evening moves on with relatives gathering for Christmas dinner at the Thomas home in Wales.

The play opens with three children and then a chorus singing “In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,” a melancholy tune that conjures visions of Swansea, a village in Wales,  with “fallen snow on ...