SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Affectionately known to millions of his fans worldwide as New Jersey’s Bad Boy of Comedy, Mike Marino is one of the country’s most successful comedians. He has performed in just about every major comedy club from New York to Los Angeles and around the world.
Born in Jersey City, Marino grew up in Scotch Plains and is a graduate of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. At an early age, he began to appear in TV commercials nationally – more than 200 of them. He has received a Best Actor Clio Award Nomination and has acted in many TV shows, including As the World Turns, One Life to Live, Frasier and Party of Five. He also has many film credits.
His web series, Make America Italian Again, about his attempt to become the first Italian-American President of the United States has expanded his fan base substantially. (Story continues after video.)
Marino is known for his sharp tongue and heart of gold. He has the ability to perform in any venue, including renowned comedy clubs, local theaters, cruise ships, and large corporate events. For instance, he recently sold out the Meisner Center in Boca Raton, which had an older crowd that got dressed up. At comedy clubs, people are out for a few drinks and some entertainment. Corporate events can be a challenge because the attendees have been eating and drinking for hours before he takes the stage.
“By 9:30 p.m., they’re tired. They’ve had lots of cocktails and a big, fat steak and potato dinner and are lethargic. I can rip that room a new ass just because of the situation,” Marino quipped in a phone interview with TAPinto. “You can tell by laughter when you are hitting.”
Depending on the audience and the situation, he does different types of jokes.
“I sold out five shows in Port Charlotte. They said, ‘Hey man, you didn’t do ‘Vinnie get the bat’ or the Osama bin Laden joke,” he explained “Other guys will say, ‘You did the same routine as last time.’ I just smile and say, ‘I hope you had a good time, I hope to see you again’.”
In the beginning, Marino said he had some nights when he didn’t think things were working, but after honing his craft, those occurrences are almost non-existent.
“It’s not until you do it for 5-7 years. You become so good at it,” Marino said. “You get laughs because people want to be entertained.”
The comedian explained that some nights, it’s easy “like cutting butter with a hot steel knife.” Meanwhile, on other nights, "the first show js great and the second show, isn’t as good – even with the same material,” he said.
Marino likes to poke fun at trends such as self-serving at supermarkets and airports and, of course, political and topical humor. His comedic inspirations include Rodney Dangerfield. George Carlin, and Andrew Dice Clay, with whom he toured in the 1990s. Among his contemporaries, he enjoys Vic Debitteto and Joey Kohler.
Marino has a home in California, where he worked for many years, and also bought his parents’ house in Scotch Plains. He has been working on a movie called Pizza and Whine, with Nick Tuturro, which will be out at Christmas time. He frequently performs at the famous Laugh Factory and Catch a Rising Star.
His fandom has grown substantially because of social media. He has 13 million followers, including fans in Canada, Italy and the Middle East. Marino has been featured in the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, Canada, seven years in a row. One day, he hopes to do sitcom about Scotch Plains.
Meanwhile, he is excited for two local New Jersey events: On May 25, Marino will perform locally at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank with Jon Bramnick (“America’s Funniest Lawyer”).
“We have already sold 500 tickets. The best of the best play there. Now it’s my shot,” said Marino, who will announce the special guest emcee for the evening in the next couple of weeks.
Next weekend, he will show his film, “Make America Italian Again” in Asbury Park on March 31 at Garden State Film Festival. The screenings are open to the public.
Fat Black Pussycat (NYC)
March 29 and 30
Governor's Comedy Club (Levittown, NY)
Garden State Film Festival
Berkeley Ocean Front Hotel (Asbury Park)
April and May: California Tour and Cruises
Count Basie Center (Red Bank, NJ)
*featuring Jon Bramnick
East Coast Music Hall of Fame Gala
Wildwood Convention Center (Wildwood, NJ)
Follow Mike Marino on:
YouTube “Mike Marino Live”: