If you go
Who: Tammy Pescatelli
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Funny Farm Comedy Club at the Radisson, 3377 New Castle Road, West Middlesex
Tickets: $20; call 724-906-6164 or www.funnyfarmcomedyclub.com
3377 New Castle Road, West Middlesex, PA
By John Benson
Tammy Pescatelli is admittedly not a “chick comic.” And what exactly does that mean?
“Well, half of my tickets are sold to men, which is a great compliment,” said Cleveland native Pescatelli, calling from her new home in Meadville, Pa. “I’m clean for the most part; I don’t talk about sex. I’m just a sarcastic broad that you probably went to school with, who sat behind you in class and got you in trouble.”
Getting in trouble — and more importantly, getting paid for it — is something Pescatelli has been doing since the ’90s when after attending an open-mic night at a comedy club in Iowa, she landed a gig as a morning-show host on a Rock Island, Ill., radio station. From there, she spent the next two years honing her act at local comedy clubs and sharpening her comedic wit on the radio.
Eventually she moved back to Cleveland before she finally made the leap and relocated to Los Angeles in 2001. On the West Coast, things happened quickly for Pescatelli, who parlayed appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “An Evening at the Improv” and Comedy Central’s “The World Stands Up” into what was her biggest break as a contestant on NBC reality show “Last Comic Standing 2,” where she was a finalist. Most recently she starred in her own WE TV cable network reality show “A Stand Up Mother.”
While she’s still climbing the rope toward mainstream acceptance, Pescatelli said there are hints of her growing presence. For instance, she won on Comedy Central’s 2010 “Stand-Up Showdown.”
“That was kind of like a little popularity contest,” Pescatelli said. “It didn’t mean I was the funniest, but my Comedy Central half-hour comedy special was the one people voted to see the most. I was pretty honored by that. I have some great loyal fans. The year before, I actually came in fifth and did nothing to advertise it. So this time I thought, ‘What if I really try and push?’ I found out I have some pretty loyal fans and also some people who weren’t working, so they had all day to vote.”
Pescatelli said some of those loyal fans reside in Youngstown. She’s been playing the area for years, including a return engagement Saturday at The Funny Farm Comedy Club in West Middlesex, Pa.
While the comedian said she hasn’t ruled out another season of “A Stand Up Mother,” her focus is on an hourlong special she hopes to record later this year. The show will be based around a new bit of hers that she believes could lead to big things.
“It’s something I’ve been working out for the past couple of years,” Pescatelli said. “It’s kind of like my own Jeff Foxworthy ‘You might be a redneck.’ It’s called ‘What the hell is wrong with you?’ And there’s a ton of material about stupid stuff that happens to you everyday and just finding the funny. For example, the big girls in the half shirts, you just want to walk up to them and say, ‘What the hell is wrong with you? They don’t have mirrors where you live?’ And of course those Hollywood celebrities who mess up. Like Charlie Sheen would be an entire chapter of ‘What the hell is wrong with you?’”
Finally, Pescatelli is also sticking to her bread-and-butter material, which falls right in line with her previous comment about being a “sarcastic broad.”
“I grew up in an everyday family,” Pescatelli said. “You know how they said Kate [Middleton] was a commoner? Well, she’s not a commoner, because true commoners’ families would have freaked out. My father would have made out with the priest if I married a king. So my material is from the same bonds that all regular people have. It’s just I’m a woman, but I’m not a chick comic.”