Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.
This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Greg Fitzsimmons’ comedy career. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comedian Greg Fitzsimmons‘ first-ever one-hour special was released today on CD/DVD combo by New Wave Dynamics, following last weekend’s premiere on Comedy Central. Greg Fitzsimmons: Life on Stage has been a long-awaited release that showcases the veteran comedian’s incisive wit and flawless delivery…and it’s about time. Having been a massive fan of the comedian for many years, this is one special I’ve been waiting a long time to enjoy. Recorded live at the Tarrytown Music Hall in Fitzsimmons’ hometown of Tarrytown, New York, Life on Stage offers up Greg’s views on getting older, fiscal responsibility, and, well, powdering one’s balls.
“I powdered my balls recently,” Fitzsimmons quips. “That’s not a young man’s sport right there, is it?”
While many people might look back at the mistakes they’ve made in life as they grow older, Fitzsimmons instead has some solid advice for younger generations: don’t pay off your debt, do coke at least once, and make mistakes. “Don’t end up like me,” Fitzsimmons advises. “Look at me: monogamous, in shape, sober, no debt….I’m dead inside. I did it all wrong. I blew it.”
Fitzsimmons, who got his start in the vibrant Boston comedy scene while attending college, recently took the time to chat with me about what it was like to record his first special in his hometown and reflected on his experiences starting out in Boston.
“At the time I started, it was me, Joe Rogan and Bill Burr. There were a lot of really good comics that started, and there was a ton of really bad comics that started. It was a time when we were just doing it for the love of the sport,” Fitzsimmons cites. “Nobody thought about getting on television or anything – it was just to do it. I really miss that feeling – we were very competitive with each other but there was also a lot of camaraderie. The stakes were very high, and we all really cared about it a lot.”
With his easy-going and natural stage presence, one might naturally assume the comedian was enjoying the home field advantage of performing to his family and friends, but Fitzsimmons admits that it was, at times, a bit nerve-wracking.
“I was really happy I got to film it in my hometown, Tarrytown, New York, and it’s in a theater that I used to go to when I was a kid. We used to go see movies in this theater,” Fitzsimmons tells me. “It was built in 1885, and my mom was there, all the bone heads that I grew up with and used to get in trouble with, my cousins, aunt and uncle…some teachers I had as a kid showed up. It was like this homecoming that I also got to do a special at. It really, really lived up to everything I hoped it would be, and I got to do two shows, which you usually do and then edit them together. The first show, I think I was nervous – the crowd was kind of tired and at the end of it, I was really, really upset, like, ‘I can’t believe I blew it.’ And then the late show came in – they were wilder, and I had this attitude of like, ‘This is it!’ I knew that the entire special was going to rest on the late show, and so I just let go and had fun and it turned out really well.”
Fitzsimmons is a comedic force to be reckoned with who is a regular performer on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Howard Stern Show,” “Chelsea Lately” and CNN. He is the host of the popular podcast, Fitzdog Radio, and is an Emmy® Award-winning writer/producer who has previously worked on “The Ellen Degeneres Show,” and written for “The Emmy® Awards.” Fitzsimmons’ book Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons was recently published by Simon and Schuster. Most recently, he was a staff writer on “Lucky Louie” for HIP at HBO. “Greg Fitzsimmons: Life on Stage” is executive produced by Fitzsimmons and Brian Volk-Weiss and is available today via New Wave Dynamics.