BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - National headline comedian Michael Somerville came home to Berkeley Heights and delivered to a sold out crowd at Pete's Place Family Restaurant during their monthly Pete's Killin' Em Comedy Show last Friday night. Along with Somerville, the show was emceed by Candice Eisenberger of Berkeley Heights featuring John Clark and Andrew Hayward.
Somerville had the crowd in stitches with his natural approach to comedy, talking about everyday life -- largely on relationships while touching upon life on the road and dieting.
"I grew up loving comedy watching Rascals Comedy Hour," said Somerville. "Loved it -- watched it with my buddies from Berkeley Heights on Friday nights."
His start in stand-up came as a dare while attending the University of Notre Dame. He found himself emceeing Fighting Irish pep rallies.
Post college, Somerville gave advertising the "Fighting Irish" try -- however, it wasn't for him.
"I started trying the open mic nights," said Somerville. "It went well enough that I quit the [advertising] job five years out and gave comedy a try."
"I figured why not try it while I'm young. I could always move home -- I did a few times," joked Somerville.
Fifteen years later with four Letterman appearances and 300 stand-up shows a year -- Somerville has made it. He has shared stages with Ray Romano, Kevin James, Tom Arnold and Arsenio Hall, as well as performs in Vegas in Brad Garrett's Comedy Show.
There wasn't one "big break" that brought on Somerville's success. -- "I had a series of little things that went well." To point to one thing -- Somerville would credit his appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman. "I just did my fourth Letterman Show last month -- all four were great," said Somerville. "The first one -- when you hear your name announced and then when you are on stage, you can hear him [Letterman] laughing at your jokes. Some of the jokes I wrote in my childhood bedroom in Berkeley Heights -- all of a sudden, Letterman is laughing at them. That's a crazy feeling -- wow."
Somerville, now lives in Manhattan, NY, knows that you are only as good as your last show. -- "But, that was certainly a bench mark," said Somerville of his Letterman experience.
Pete's Killin' Em Comedy Show, a monthly event at Pete's Place Family Restaurant in Berkeley Heights, features "Jersey's funniest comics" produced by Rocco Romano of Jersey Night Live.