Tammy Pescatelli still finding the funny
By John Benson
Dirty, sexy and funny may have been comedian Tammy Pescatelli’s calling card for decades, but the Cleveland-born comic, a Meadville, Pa., native, is making good on the adjectives.
Specifically, she has been a part of Jenny McCarthy’s “Dirty Sexy Funny Comedy Tour,” along with April Macie, Lynne Koplitz and Paula Bel, for the last year. Now the comediennes are upping the ante with their upcoming reality show that airs March 11 on A&E.
“It’s a pilot that’s airing, and I’m one of the stars,” said Pescatelli, calling from Tampa, Fla. “I’m pretty excited. We did a special called ‘Jenny McCarthy’s Dirty Sexy Funny’ on Netflix, but this television show is different. It’s the behind the scenes of the tour.”
She added that McCarthy has been after her for years to join the tour, but originally Pescatelli was tied up with her own WE TV cable network reality show “A Stand Up Mother.” When that ended, she jumped aboard and hasn’t looked back.
As for getting to know McCarthy, who recently married New Kid on the Block and Hollywood actor Donnie Wahlberg, Pescatelli said the television host is special and not what people expect.
“Well, she didn’t start the [anti-]vaccination movement,” Pescatelli said. “Perhaps all of the Amish people at Walmart standing next to me in the sporting goods section might be giving us the measles.”
Odds are the Amish folks won’t be coming out to Pescatelli’s upcoming return to the area when she performs Friday and Saturday at the Comedy Cellar at Mojo’s.
The comic has been pushing buttons and telling it like it is for nearly 20 years. She got her start in comedy after attending an open-mic night at a comedy club in Iowa.
From there, the quick- witted Pescatelli landed a gig as a morning show host on a Rock Island, Ill., radio station. She later moved back to Cleveland before relocating in 2001 to Los Angeles, where Pescatelli eventually appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “An Evening at the Improv” and Comedy Central’s “The World Stands Up.”
From there, she was a contestant on NBC-TV reality show “Last Comic Standing 2,” where she was a finalist.
In addition to a busy schedule touring comedy clubs, Pescatelli found time in 2014 to release her debut one-hour special, “Finding the Funny.”
Now she’s in the process of working up material for its follow-up, which is currently titled “3 A.M. Friends” and could be out by the end of the year.
“The topics for me don’t change because my life stays the same,” Pescatelli said. “It’s just a situation. I’m not a joke teller. I’ve always said I’m a narrator of life. Because things happen to me all around that are funny. That’s what I do, I find the funny in situations.
“I’m always sarcastic. I’m always telling true stories of what happened to me. I lived with my crazy family in the first half of my life and then I married into a crazier family for the second half. And then I probably gave birth to crazy. So that’s where we go.”
What’s impressive regarding Pescatelli’s career is the fact she has two major specials seemingly back to back.
While she downplays the accomplishment, the truth is her real comedy is reaching a larger audience.
“I think you get to a certain point where I have my voice and I already found my audience,” Pescatelli said. “I want to make sure everybody has a good time, but I’m not trying to get everybody to like me. I just want the people who like me to love me because they get it.
“We’re living parallel lives, it’s just I get to say funny things about it.”