Comic hopes to leave impression

By John Benson

Stand-up comedian Cal Verduchi admits he’s shameless when it comes to his desire to get on “Saturday Night Live.”

Since he was a kid growing up in the ’90s, the Boston-area native and New Jersey resident has dreamed of being a cast member on the legendary sketch show. So much so, that Verduchi has started a petition at his namesake website (as well as in hopes “Saturday Night Live” impresario Lorne Michaels takes notice.

“That’s been going on for a couple of years right now,” Verduchi said. “It’s a big thing for me. I figured a petition, if nothing else, will get them to notice me. I put an audition video up there of me doing a few different impressions.”

Sadly, so far only 100 folks have signed the petition, but that hasn’t dimmed the impressionist’s hopes. On the road 30 weeks a year, Verduchi keeps honing his impressions, which include everyone from Ozzy Osbourne, Chris Farley and Kermit the Frog to Prince and now President Barack Obama.

“I couldn’t do President Obama forever, and then one day it started working,” Verduchi said. “You really have to study him. There are a lot of pauses, and I think I’ve really gotten down not so much his voice but the way he talks, his mannerisms and all of that kind of stuff. I don’t think I was doing that right before.”

Verduchi said that for his upcoming return to the Youngs-town area for shows Friday and Saturday at the Funny Farm, he’s also bringing a bit that revolves around a popular, if not underrated, Disney character.

“I’ve been doing Eeyore from ‘Winnie the Pooh,’” Verduchi said. “It’s very random. I do a joke about how with the voice on your GPS there’s always one that’s not as enthusiastic as all of the others. And you get that one that sounds like Eeyore, ‘Turn right, if you want to.’”

Apparently, Verduchi has been spending plenty of time with his GPS unit. Not only does he drive a lot to get to comedy gigs, but when he’s not on the road, he works part-time delivering windshields.

Though he wishes he could focus all of his time on his stand-up, the notion of driving around the Garden State has been beneficial in him working up new material. This includes four new comedy songs, one of which is about Justin Bieber.

That’s right comedy fans, get ready to laugh at The Biebster.

“When people come to my shows, the main thing is they know they’re going to have a good time,” Verduchi said. “I can’t stand when comics don’t perform well. I’m known for being a good performer. You’re just going to have a fun time at my show. You’ll laugh; you’ll have a good time; and you won’t have to think too much but at the same time. I won’t make it completely idiotic for you, either.”

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