Whether you’ve caught Anthony DeVito on AXS TV’s “Gotham Comedy Live,” seen him perform around New York or watched him on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” the comic’s sarcastic undertone is hard not to laugh out loud at. DeVito released his debut album, Dream Occupation, on Comedy Central Records in August and now, on Oct. 6, at midnight, he is premiering his brand-new Comedy Central half-hour special.
“The special is a product of doing comedy in New York for eight years. Those jokes started at dingy, late night open mics in front of no one. Then, they grew into being told for uninterested people at casinos. And, ended up being performed on television. I hope people like the personal nature of it. They better, or else I'm screwed,” DeVito joked with AXS during a recent interview.
The comedian recounted his first experience doing stand-up in New Jersey at the age of 24. He didn’t hit the stage again until 27, when he performed at an open mic in a bar called Cake Shop, under the pseudonym “Leslie Oliver.” “My thinking was if my name was funny, that'd give me something. I didn't know how to write for myself, so I told long-winded stories that went nowhere. The joke was the tedium. And, because of that, people thought I was avant-garde. Really, I was terrified,” he recalled.
“I'd always wanted to do stand-up. But was too shy to believe I could entertain a group of strangers. I loved the writing aspect; the performance part had to grow on me. And, it still is,” he explained. Eventually, the comic found himself at places such as CBS, performing on-stage for Stephen Colbert.
“The best part of that experience was knowing I could perform on television without throwing up,” he said. “Up until that point, I wasn't sure. Also, the lead singer of the band Train saw the set and reached out. From there, we developed a friendship. I ended up performing on their annual cruise. To this day, he texts every so often to see how I'm doing. That's not something I thought was in the realm of possibilities when I started doing stand-up.”
Now, DeVito says he’s just trying to find a way to balance it all. “This past year has been mainly trying to figure that out. Stand-up takes priority,” he added. “But I've gotten better reconciling it taking a backseat to something more pressing. It's right below family, friends, relationship and applying my eczema cream.”
Currently, DeVito is working as a writer and a panelist on Sam Morril's "People Talking Sports and Other Stuff." He tells AXS that he’s also got a couple of other things cooking. “Ultimately, I need to finish a script about my Grandma's relationship with a guy she met in her nursing home. That's the big one.”
As far as how fans have been reacting to Dream Occupation, DeVito says that he likes the kind words. “Overall, the album has a lot of personal stuff on it. I love when someone halfway across the world tweets at me about my childhood. That hasn't happened yet, but it'd be great if it did.”
Tune in on Oct. 6 at 12 a.m./11 p.m. Central to catch the very funny Anthony DeVito in his new Comedy Central half-hour special. You can check out his website to stay up-to-date and find out about upcoming shows.