Continued from Part 1...

What percent of your audience is gay?

Well, when I perform, I typically work the Comedy Cellar, in New York City, every single night; and it could be six shows a night sometimes. I always survey who in the audience is gay, and maybe a hand or two goes up.  But that's because at the Comedy Celler, the audiences are comedy-fans who're coming to see comedy (even if they don't know which comedians they're going to see).

But I did two shows in Chicago, last month, at the Lincoln Lodge – and they sold out!  And I’m guessing that about 80% of those audiences were gay men (which is huge for me); so that was totally awesome!

What do you think makes the Comedy Cellar such a special place to do stand-up?

Well, number one, the staff. The booker, Estee [Adoram], and the owner, Noam [Dworman], and the whole staff - just because they run a club so professionally, and so wonderfully, that it's one of the few clubs where (as a comedican) you walk in, and you're welcomed, and people know your name.  They treat the comics in a very special way, there. So when you're there, you're excited, because you don't feel like you're gonna be in anybody's way.

The other thing is they do such a great job of maintaining that room, and the comedy. The audiences are fabulous: I mean, they're always amazing!  People are always coming-in; and they know that they're coming to see great comedians.

It's just everything about the Comedy Cellar; but, I would say it all stems from people like Noam and Estee, who make that room wonderful for everybody.

Do you consider yourself a Millennial?

I guess I tick all of boxes of being a Millennial...  I wake up.  I go immediately to my phone.  I do everything with my phone.  I barely watch TV.  So, I think in that sense, yeah, I'm definitely a Millennial. But I don't really know if Millennial's the best word.  I mean, I don't think it's a generational thing – by which I mean that I think “adults” also wake up and check their phones, right away.  So, I think I’m just a technology person.

Tell me about the rubber chicken photoshoot for Out magazine.

Oh, I was selected as one of 2017’s Out100, and they said, "What do you want to do for your photoshoot"? Since I'm naked all over my Instagram, I thought ‘Why not keep it on brand?’  So, I said, "I want to do it naked."  

Of course, they said, "Are you serious?"  And I said, "Yes," because I knew that it was going to be alongside really important, serious people in that issue of the magazine. And since everyone was going to have these nice, beautiful shots, and stuff; I figured I’d just do mine naked, and get some attention.

It worked.

Yeah, it definitely worked...

Is this your first time performing in Las Vegas?

Besides karaoke, yes.

First paid performance in Las Vegas, then?

Yes, first paid performance in Las Vegas…  Yes, it is.  I've been there a bunch, but for some reason my family (I'm Italian; so when I say “family,” I mean, like 50 other people) - we all decided that going to Vegas every summer was a thing. And my Aunt Cindy and Uncle Mike go there so often, they’ve actually got a condo there. So, yes; I've been to Vegas a ton of times.

So, where do you hang out, in Vegas?

Well, we normally stay at The Mirage; and we’ll just go out drinking, and then see where the night takes us.

But, the last time I was in Vegas, I went with Sasheer Zamata and Nicole Byer* (with whom I'm sure you're familiar...).  And we decided to go to all of the male revue shows.  So, we went to Chippendale’s [at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino]; we went to Magic Mike Live [at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino]; and we went to Thunder From Down Under [at Excaliber Hotel & Casino].

That must have been a riotous evening...

Oh, we were laughing, the entire time!  If you get a chance to see Thunder From Down Under, it’s really like a bunch of jacked men got laser hair removal, and then did the worst dancing you could possibly imagine.  Then we saw Cher [inside Park Theater at Park MGM], who was great.  (I got nervous every time she skipped, because I kept thinking, "Oh, I hope she doesn't fall."), but yeah, she was amazing.

So now, the one I want to go see, is Céline Dion [in The Colosseum at Caesars Palace].

I would love to go see Mariah Carey**, because I'm such a Mariah fan; but I think her fans know who I am now, and they’re like, circulating a Wanted poster, with my picture on it.  So, I don't think I should be around any Mariah Carey concerts...

Concluded in Part 3...

Matteo Lane
Comedy Cellar | The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
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[Editor’s Notes:  *Sasheer Zamata was a player on Seasons 39 – 42 of Saturday Night Live, and is a celebrity ambassador for the ACLU; Nicole Byer is the host of the Netflix reality baking-competition, Nailed It!; both comics are alumna of the Upright Citizens Brigade; and together, created the web-series Pusuit of Sexiness (in which they both star) // ** Mariah Carey’s new Las Vegas residency show, The Butterfly Returns, begins July 5th, at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, and is presented by Live Nation Las Vegas]