Mike Vecchione
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Mike Vecchione

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
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The best kept secret in music

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What do they say about New York City: There are eight million stories, and sometimes it seems as though eight million of the people telling them think they're comedians? No, that's not it. It is a fact, though, that America's biggest city is also its biggest comedy mecca. Hollywood may be Hollywood, but New York City is where comedians are born funny, become funny or arrive to thrust their funny upon us. I think we should meet some of these people. This is a new recurring feature, a mini-profile of newcomers, up-and-comers and overcomers of New York's vibrant comedy scene. It's called Meet Me In New York.

Mike Vecchione has appeared on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham and has come tantalizingly close to winning New York's Funniest Stand-Up contest the past two years, this year taking home the "People's Choice" award, which (fun fact?) did not include cash or an actual award. He looks like a Staten Island police officer and isn't afraid to joke about that, or anything really, as his act sounds as though he is a chosen disciple of the Comedy Church of Dave Attell, Latter-Day Sinners. In a good way, obviously. In fact, Vecchione also has served our nation as a teacher! Now it's time for you to learn something about him.

Vecchione Name: Michael Vecchione
Arrival date: December 2003
Arrived from: Philadelphia
When and where did you start performing comedy? Philadelphia, October 2000
What was your best credit before moving here? My best credit before moving was a local TV clip on the Comcast network.

Why did you pick NYC over LA or anywhere else? I picked NYC over LA because it was closer to Philly and there are more rooms, more opportunities for stage time and more of a focus on actual stand-up.

How long did it take to get your first paid gig in NYC after moving here? My first paid gig in NYC came through my friend Marina Franklin, who ran a weekend room in the Bronx (it was an Italian restaurant) and booked me and four other comics for a Saturday.

How is this scene better/same/worse than the scene you moved from? The scene is very similiar to when I moved here at the end of 2003. I worked as hard as I could writing and performing in rooms until I gradually broke into the clubs. I am thankful to work the clubs and I try to use each spot to improve in some way.

Do you already have an "only in New York City" moment yet? My "only in NYC" moment happens whenever I cannot find parking...

What tip would you give to any comedian who moves here? I would tell any comedian moving here that geography will not make you a better comic. You have to immerse yourself in the scene, get on stage as much as possible, use the stage time to improve, write as much as possible.

Where do you see yourself five years from now? In five years I hope to be writing, performing comedy, doing something meaningful on television, like maybe -- on that MTV show Jersey Shore.

These days, you can see Vecchione perform regularly in clubs around New York City, including Carolines and the Comedy Cellar. He'll also be headlining the Catch a Rising Star in Providence, RI, on Dec. 18-19, 2009.

Here's a clip of Vecchione from Live at Gotham, talking about how far we've come from yesterday's problems, and offering solutions for today's problems. Roll it! - Comic' Comic - Sean L. McCarthy


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Born in Youngstown, Ohio and raised Italian American and Catholic. My father was involved in a family business and my mother was/is an elementary school teacher. As a family, we moved back and forth between northeast Ohio and South Florida throughout my childhood.

Started playing contact football at age 9 in Florida and wrestling at age 13 in Ohio. My senior year of high school I placed second in the Florida AAA State Tournament and went on to college at Pennsylvania State University where I wrestled in 1991-1992 and tutored student athletes. Moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1995 with my bachelors degree in criminal justice. Began work counseling adjudicated teens and children with mental health issues. Started teaching special education in the Philadelphia School District in 1998. Received my masters in Special Education in 2001 from Cabrini College and continued to teach in both public school and residential school settings. I've performed on Comedy Central's "Live at Gotham" and you've seen me on IFC's hit show "Z-Rock." In 2009 I won the "People's Choice Award" for favorite comedian at the New York Comedy Festival.

Started stand up comedy in 2000 and moved to New York City in 2003. I've performed on Comedy Central's "Live at Gotham" and you've seen me on IFC's hit show "Z-Rock." In 2009 I won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Comic at the NY Comedy Festival. Was the 1983 and 1984 Spelling Bee runner up at Pine Grove Elementary School. I failed to advance to the national bee in Washington D.C. because of the complexity of the word roothless, which I still spell with two o's.