Comedian John Caparulo comes to Funny Bone May 3-5Written by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Comedian John Caparulo’s last gig in Toledo, when he appeared at an Open Mic Night at Connextions in 1999, was not exactly glamorous.
“I drove about four hours to do five minutes. So I hope this trip is more worth the gas money,” Caparulo said in an interview with Toledo Free Press Star.
“My sister lived in Toledo for a couple years before I moved to LA. Her oldest son was only about 2 at the time, and he used to say he lived in ‘Aweedo.’”
Now, after making a name for himself through his standup specials and appearances on “Chelsea Lately,” Caparulo returns to “Aweedo” for a three-day stint at the Funny Bone at Fat Fish Blue, beginning May 3.
“Standup is my adrenaline rush, kind of like rock-climbing or bungee jumping for people who are in shape. There’s nothing more frightening or satisfying than opening yourself up to hundreds of new people and having them laugh along with you about it,” he said.
Indeed, viewers are used to laughing along with him, as opposed to just laughing at him. Caparulo’s brand of observational comedy encourages his viewers to identify with his life experiences. He said that he has never viewed comedy as a me versus them environment — like many comics who see themselves in direct opposition to their audience.
“No, I’ve never seen myself in competition with the audience so much as everyone else outside the walls of that particular comedy club. I like to think we’re all joined together in a fight against the stupidity of our common life experiences. Once we’ve established that bond, it’s easier to open up about my own specific experiences with things like family, childhood, and marriage.”
The 37-year-old comic has been plying his trade for more than 15 years now, ever since he decided that the “real world” was no place for him and that he would follow his childhood dream.
“My goal has always been to try to get closer to my own reality every time I walk on stage. So I think I’ve grown from a young, scared kid to a fat, neurotic adult,” he said.
There have been big changes for Caparulo in recent years, both in and outside of his career — none more important than his recent marriage.
“Most comedians are neurotic and afraid of change. The prospect of being married was a scary change for me in regard to my standup. For years, I had written jokes based on being a loser who couldn’t get a girl, but now I’m married and figured I couldn’t play that card anymore.
“But it’s actually had a very liberating effect. Now I feel a lot more free to make fun of myself because I know there’s someone at home who loves me. So it doesn’t feel quite so pathetic or depressing to talk about who I really am.”
He’s also been busy making a name for himself as a panel member on E!’s hit talk show “Chelsea Lately,” a gig which Caparulo says he’s loved from the very start.
“I love the opportunity to be funny on the fly. The atmosphere is very relaxed and totally unrehearsed, which is why I think it’s been such a hit. It’s really as genuinely spontaneous as it seems,” he said.
“And I think I’ve been able to do well on there simply because I don’t know a damn thing about celebrity gossip. I never want to take cheap shots at people based on the Hollywood rumor mill, so I always try to personalize my comments according to what that celebrity was involved with, rather than that particular celebrity and his/her reputation. ”
Cap also said that he hopes to garner his own vehicle someday.
“My goal from the start was to be a great comedian, but I really want the opportunity to make my own TV show. So hopefully that happens someday. Really I’m doing everything I ever set out to do in the first place, but I can always find something to complain about.”
Caparulo will appear at the Funny Bone at Levis Commons on May 3-5.