You know when you’re browsing Netflix and you see something new and you think, “Hmm, I wonder if that’s okay?” Well, when you come across Paul Virzi: Night admissions, I have the answer for you: yes. Is very good.
Night admissions is the second one-hour special from comedian Paul Virzi, which mixes his hilarious thoughts about the not-so-hilarious state of the world we live in, along with stories about his father, wife, and children, and the general insanity we all owe face daily. It was directed by Pete Davidson and produced by a lineup of great comedians including Bill Burrwith which Virzi co-hosts the podcast Something better.
I had the pleasure of speaking to the very funny man (and Sicilian companion!) For an upcoming episode of the Entrepreneur’s Get a Real podcast. We discussed the valuable lessons he learned from having doors slammed in his face while working as a door-to-door salesman, the disconcerting lack of Italian Jedi in the Star Wars universe and the importance of having an authentic voice in comedy (or whatever you do). Here are some excerpts from that conversation, which have been edited for length and clarity. (To hear Paul’s episode when he goes out, subscribe to Get a real job On Apple, Spotifyor your favorite podcast platform.)
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The last point of the play
“If I raise anything, whether it’s Trump or Biden or the COVID vaccines, I’m just trying to make everyone laugh and make fun of the madness of it all. I’m not trying to educate anyone about anything. I’m not trying to tell anyone what. he’s thinking it’s wrong. I always want my play to make you laugh. I make fun of everything and everyone. “
The near-death of a salesman
“When I was 21, I used to knock on doors selling telephone cables over the Internet. Thinking back, in a nutshell, knocking on doors was like standing in front of members of the public. Sometimes people would come and say, ‘Sure, come in. Would you like a cup of tea? ‘ And then you’d have people saying, “Get out of here. Don’t ask me again. I’ll go out and hit you.” I think that’s why they gave us helmets to wear. But I learned a lot from doing this, literally having the doors open or closed in your face. It gives you the thickest skin and makes you realize that sometimes you knock on a door and end up selling a pack of gold. And in comedy, you care and one day a door opens and you get the Montreal Comedy Festival. “
Support through the struggle
“My wife has been very supportive from the start. You know, we lived in little flats in Westchester. I lived with my brother in Manhattan for a year. I basically did everything I could. I was running contests. I was not earning money, I didn’t have a manager, but I kept moving on. And then, you know, somebody sees you and they say, “You’re kind of funny. Why don’t you come to my show here? “And I built on that, I was able to send material. I had my first manager when I was about six and things went back and forth from there.”
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Success is the best revenge
“There were bookers and club owners who didn’t believe in me, who put me in a box like a ‘New York boy’. But then I toured the country, touring Europe, and I remember a guy who he refused he said to me: “Oh, I’d love to have you.” Now I always thought that I would be the guy, because I’m Sicilian, to go around with people like that, but then you don’t want to. It’s much better to let them understand quietly they were wrong. Like the goal is to simply get out of a Maserati and shake their hand and say, ‘How are you?’ “
Authenticity is king
“The best advice I have received and the advice I would give to young comics is to be honest with yourself from the start. Because then your real voice on stage will come faster. It can take about ten years to really find your voice. When I started, I had this fake anger on stage, and my roommate was like, “Paul, you’re a good guy. That’s not you. “And once you realize things, that’s where you find the things really funny. I think it makes sense to try and emulate someone you admire in whatever you’re doing, but in the end you have to be yourself or there is nothing “.
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Italian iron man?
“Comedy will always be a first for me, but I have some parts in the upcoming movies that I’m excited about. You know, we need more Italians doing things. There are no Italians in Harry Potter – no Italian magician! There are no Italians inside Star Wars. So who knows? Maybe, God willing, people see the special and I’m the new Italian superhero. “