Mark Serritella grew up in Albany, NY to blue-collar hard working people. In the fifth year of his existence his parents were divorced so he started the back and forth bags packed life-style of many American kids. One night while up alone and sick at seven-years old, Mark saw Saturday Night Live and knew immediately this would be the career he would pursue. Unfortunately, he was too young to work unless he wanted to jump into the tragic “child star” role. Like many blue-collar kids, education was seen as the way to upward mobility, so he did very well at school. This is also where he began to hone his act using wise-cracks to get thrown out of class and win over new friends. In one sixth grade poll, Mark was voted second most popular, and not because of his grace on the football field, but because of the aforementioned ability to “steal the show” in class.
Sports biographies, history and joke books were his favorite things to read. During his father’s card games with his buddies, Mark would listen to all the jokes they would tell and would frequently show up with his books to read some jokes to his father’s degenerate friends. They would laugh, hand him a dollar and tell him to go fetch a pitcher of beer. Mark’s comedy career had begun. Mark would often day dream about his first time on stage and continued his comedy research by watching comedians like Dave Chapelle, Eddie Murphy, Chris Farley, David Spade, Adam Sandler, Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Maher, and Richard Pryor. Nothing in his house-hold was censored and every topic was fair game, and his father allowed him to watch any comedian he wanted as long as he could watch too.
Mark continued his education and love for comedy and left Albany, NY after high school for the University of North Carolina. There he sharpened his love for social commentary and comedy by majoring in History and taking as many drama classes as possible. During his first acting class, he found it easy to make his fellow students laugh, and he knew as soon as he graduated the History degree would be “shelved”, while he pursued Stand up Comedy.
Mark moved to California with $187.50, no car and one friend. He immediately began to write an act while sitting by the pool. It was a “soul searching” time for Mark and six months later he stepped on stage at The World Famous Comedy Store.
“Coming up, it’s his first time on stage! Welcome Mark Serritello!” (The emcees frequently mispronounced his Italian last name for the first six months.) As luck would have it, Mark had 6 childhood friends from New York visiting and they watched in disbelief as Mark got two laughs, a few applause and a couple of hecklers in three minutes. It felt like the whole world was moving in a “slow fast motion”. Yes somehow both at the same time. The first set ended and a career began.
Mark loves to write and since his first time on stage has written over 3,300 jokes covering every topic known to man. His tales include hilarious “run-ins” with the eccentric people inhabiting the earth today to dating, girls, his current girlfriend, college, classes, odd jobs, traveling, energy drinks, video games, computers, animals, teaching, politics, news, and all the inner thoughts that make him a comedian.
Since his first time on stage, Mark has been made a regular at the Comedy Store, The Improv, the Ice House in Pasadena, and has the graced the stage in almost every major city across the country from New York, Boston, Houston, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Minneapolis.
Mark has performed with or opened for a number of well-known comedians including Dane Cook, Carlos Mencia,, Bobby Lee, Kyle Cease, the Real World’s Theo Von, Drew Carey, Colin Quinn, Tony Rock, Dom Irrera, Carlos Oscar, Al Madrigal, Sebastian, Brett Ernst, John Caparulo and Sam Tripoli just to name a few.
Mark has also released three CDs entitled “Mark Serritella for President 2020", “History of the Future” and “Live Life with Passion”. He has been part of the Boston Comedy Festival four times, the Seattle Comedy Competition, the Laugh is Hope Comedy Festival (which follows the Super Bowl from city-to-city), the Heirs of Lenny Bruce Festival, and can be seen on Sprint’s Comedy Time TV. He was also part of Dat Phan’s 2006 College Tour, which hit major colleges such as the University of Minnesota, Bucknell University, Wayne State University, and UC Irvine. Mark can be also be seen at LA’s top comedy clubs such as the Improv, The Laugh Factory, The Comedy Store.
People love his quirky sense of humor and his uniquely written jokes that always seem to be on the cutting-edge of comedy. His act has things you’ve thought before and things you never thought you would never think before, which must come from the back corner of his brain. His live show is tremendous and young people love the new style he brings to the table. People after a show commonly say he is a mix between Jerry Seinfeld and Dave Chappelle, a statement which he finds flattering and inspires him as he travels to your town.
- Hello NACA South and Mid Atlantic - UNC Chapel Hill Grad! Ok.
- Comedy Central's Open Mic Fight One of 8 Finalists in Southern California
- 2007 NACA West Regional
- SIRIUS Satellite Radio
- XM Radio
- Feature Act on Dat Phan's 2006 College Tour
- Showcase for Late Late Show
- Seattle Comedy Competition
- Boston Comedy Festival 5x's
- Heirs of Lenny Bruce Comedy Festival
- Comedy Time TV
Mark Serritella has three (unrepeated) CDs, (if you would like to buy all 3 - go ahead noone's stopping you, and if they are, forward their info to the authorities). He will be releasing his fourth this year... tentatively entitled "8 Years".
"Live Life With Passion" (2008)
"Mark Serritella For President" (2005)
"History of The Future" (2004)
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"Mark Serritella won over the crowd with his innocent sounding voice and quirky humor. He was hilar..."Mark Serritella won over the crowd with his innocent sounding voice and quirky humor. He was hilarious and undeniably hard to follow." UC Irvine, New University Press
"Mark Serritella did a a great show here at Bucknell and the students really enjoyed his style of humor. The ad hoc elements that which tailored to the school's basketball team and location were a refreshing treat. The students really enjoyed his creative wit and intellectual saracasm. I highly recommend Mark Serritella." Phong Nguyen, Student Leadership Committee, Bucknell University
"Mark was tremendous that night and the students loved his show." Dominique Duong, Student Event Organizer, Wayne State University
Until He's Dead / Comedian Mark Serritella may be on the verge of a breakout
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by Vinnie Oliveri Tonight, Mark Serritella is on edge. Instead of his typical hosting duties at ...by Vinnie Oliveri
Tonight, Mark Serritella is on edge. Instead of his typical hosting duties at Lestat’s West, this evening he’ll be using the venue to tape a 30-minute set for an agent, hoping to get booked as a headliner on the university circuit.
“I don’t usually get like this,” he confesses. “But every once in a while….”
Ironically, Serritella’s demeanor belies little of his anxiety; it’s hard to say a man’s anxious when he’s constantly in motion. In addition to hosting Mark Serritella’s Comedy Night every Tuesday, he books all the talent, including the local musicians who play for the first 30 minutes. He also does two shows a week at The Comedy Palace (where he also bartends), works as a waiter at Petco Park and teaches first grade. How does he do it?
“It’s a lot of caffeine,” he quips, no doubt partially in earnest. “I’ve always been like this, actually. In high school, I worked full-time on top of school, and I played football.” He gives credit to his father for his strong work ethic. “My dad is a butcher—he works 65 hours a week.”
If Serritella’s star is on the rise, credit not only his drive, but also his passion for the business. At 8 years old, he saw Saturday Night Live for the first time, and he knew he would someday perform comedy. The impulse drove him to enroll in an acting class during his final semester of college. His funny sketches went over big with his peers, and that was all the convincing he needed. In August of 1998, only a few months after graduating from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Serritella moved to San Diego and began writing, determined to do fresh material every time he set foot on stage.
Six months later, he performed his very first set. “It was a nerve-wracking experience,” he reflects. “I didn’t sleep the night before, because it was a goal of mine for as long as I could remember.
“I decided when I started doing stand-up that I was going to do this until I was dead,” he explains, stating it like it’s some sort of binding resolution. “Overnight success apparently takes seven years. This is my seventh year. But I’m fully prepared to do this for another 30.”
Serritella’s dedication is paying off. He’s in the middle of a national college tour with Dat Phan, recently auditioned for the upcoming season of Last Comic Standing and will be appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2007. Plus, he’ll record his fourth and fifth CDs (a compilation of his best material, tentatively titled 7 Years) this year.
And he’s using his connections and experience to make the comedy night at Lestat’s one of the coffeehouse’s most popular events. Lou Brazier, who manages Lestat’s and books the majority of the acts featured at Lestat’s West, says the audience for the comedy night has doubled during the past 18 months since Serritella began hosting the show. “Mark brings major players down,” he said. “Dat Phan’s been up there twice, and we’ll get festival winners.”
About the show, Serritella says, “There honestly isn’t any show like it in town, plus it’s free. If it wasn’t a Tuesday we could easily charge $25 a ticket.”
The show is about to begin, so I take a seat off to the side, near the front. I grab a moment to scan the youngish crowd, literally sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in the compact room, faces lit from beneath by the warm glow of tea lights set within stained-glass jars. The size of the venue and the candlelight create a sense of intimacy, as though we’re about to have a conversation. A conversation about politics, breasts and, oh yes, elementary school.
“The great thing is if you ever get mad at the kids, you can just step on their fingers.” We give up some laughter; he presses on with the joke. “And the best part is they don’t even know you did it! They’re 5 years old.” He stands before us, unblinking, face unmoved, dropping it on us like it’s a dare. We laugh and groan simultaneously, partly from shock. And after a joke about seeing a grill in the middle of the highway, he concludes, “I’m sorry, but Mexicans and carne asada go together like retards and fish sticks.” We erupt like coiled springs sprung as one, then more groans float above the laughter in a belated attack of conscience. “It’s true. It’s true.” Another masterful deadpan, another punch line dropped like an explosive.
“I’ll talk about pretty much anything that comes across my plate,” claims the comic. I ask him if he’s ever afraid of being taken for a horrible human being. He admits that it’s a risk you take. “If I don’t, then I’ll lose a really great joke. I feel like the best things are those things that people wouldn’t normally say.”
In fact, it’s in the pocket between the public’s perception of what he should be—as an elementary-school teacher—and the ruthlessness of his comedy where he does his best work. “I bring up the teaching because you have more credit if you come off as educated,” he says, noting that he needs this credibility to be able to transition into his political material. A history major who says he’s always been interested in politics, Serritella has a lot to say about the Iraq War and the Bush Administration.
Most of his material is observational in nature, with Serritella posing as the bewildered outsider trying to make sense of the absurdity, reminiscent of an edgier, more political Seinfeld. But when it comes to talking about the children he teaches, the frustration that percolates beneath his humor really comes out, and he admits that he uses the contrast between his sarcastic observations and his day job. “Yes, [the audience] doesn’t expect it. It’s my favorite part of the show.”
Tonight, Serritella’s on point, sticking every punch line. Whatever nervousness he may have had when the evening started has found its outlet, electrifying the performer. “You definitely want your heart racing before you go up,” he told me earlier. “Otherwise you come off as boring.”
Mark Serritella hosts Comedy Night every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. at Lestat’s, 3343 Adams Ave. You can also catch him Thursday and Friday nights at The Comedy Palace, 8878 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. At 8 p.m. Thurday, June 8, Serritella will be headlining a free show at the Comedy Store, 916 Pearl St. in La Jolla. 858-454-9176. Visit www.myspace.com/markserritella.
Mark to compete in "Uncle Clydes Comedy Contest" Finals at The Icehouse
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Mark has made it to the finals of The Uncle Clyde's Comedy Contest, happening April 5th @ 8pm at the...Mark has made it to the finals of The Uncle Clyde's Comedy Contest, happening April 5th @ 8pm at the Ice House in Pasadena. Details are available on the calendar at his official website www.markscomedy.com. The show is expected to sell out so make sure to reserve your tickets in advance.
Boston Comedy Festival & Tour with Dat Phan
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Mark has been accepted for the 4th time to perform at the Boston Comedy Festival taking place Septem...Mark has been accepted for the 4th time to perform at the Boston Comedy Festival taking place September 10 - 16. Mark will be at The Boston Comedy Connection on September 12th at 7pm.
Mark Serritella to continue College Tour with Dat Phan (winner of the first season of "The Last Comic Standing") this fall. Coming to a campus near you!
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"Mark Serritella - bewildered outsider trying to make sense of the absurdity, reminscent of an edgie..."Mark Serritella - bewildered outsider trying to make sense of the absurdity, reminscent of an edgier Seinfeld." City Beat
"One of the most prolific writers / performers I have seen" DeVeau Dunn, Independent Film Maker
"Mark Serritella has a way of making sarcasm an art form. If you have ever been to one of Mark's shows then you know they tend to sell out...and fast" Black Sheep Comedy
"Mark Serritella is one of the great young comedians and writer's of our time. His sharp wit and skill are unmatched in the world of comedy." Eddie Phanichkul, WI Media
"A unique delivery riddled with sarcasm and wit" LaMont Ferguson, Winner Seattle Comedy Competition
60 Minute Stand up Comedy Show
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There are no upcoming dates at this time.