Everyone loves an Italian; am I right? That's what makes The Ethnic Show at Just for Laughs so great. Whenever the festival invites an Italian, it's a party. I've got high hopes for this year’s Italian-American comic hitting the stage; Anthony DeVito. Born in North Jersey, DeVito was raised just a few blocks away from where they shot that infamous final scene in HBO's The Sopranos; but don't hold that against him. He performed his first late-night TV spot on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2017, and ever since then he's been soaring. DeVito has been featured on Comedy Central and was a staff writer for Netflix's The Break with Michelle Wolf. Being Italian myself, some nice people put me and Anthony DeVito in contact, here's what he had to say:
Performing at The Ethnic Show is a big deal. Are you excited about coming to Montreal?
It's an honour for me to do one of the JFL shows that is a staple of the festival. This will be my third time at the fest; I was first showcased at New Faces in 2012. I love Montreal, it's such a great city and you don't have to cross an ocean to go to Europe. Montreal has that European vibe and you don't feel like you're in North America.
What was it like growing up Italian-American?
I didn't realize the whole world wasn't Italian until I went away to college, and thought; "hey, why does nobody have the Virgin Mary on their front lawn?" You don't know until you're exposed to other ethnicities because Italian is so prevalent where I'm from in Jersey, so it becomes the norm.
How did comedy start for you?
I was obsessed with comedy as a kid, but I was also very shy. I always thought I'd be a comedy writer, but I didn't know how the industry worked. No one in my family was in the arts and I actually went to college to become an architect. I eventually graduated in architecture even though I knew I wanted to do comedy. When you're at a job you don't want to be doing and you see the life flash ahead of you, that's all I needed to start doing comedy. I started hitting up open mics in New York City and it grew from there.
What is your creative process?
The goal is to write every day for an hour or so and then go on-stage at least once a night. When I get an idea i'll jot it down in my phone and then continue to write on my computer. I used to carry a notebook, but I just hate carrying things and I already have to carry my phone around.
What kind of comic do you think you are?
I hope I'm a pretty decent one, ha ha. I'd say autobiographical and vulnerable.
What's your favourite movie?
White Men Can't Jump.
Who is your favourite artist or band?
Who is your favourite comic?
George Carlin. My mom took me to see him in Vegas and it was incredible. He was talking about things like abortion which I didn't understand, but then he'd talk about farts. Carlin used to hit everyone in the room.
What is your favourite type of pizza and pasta?
Good question; I love a pizza with Italian sausage. As for pasta, I mean my grandmother's homemade angel hair pasta is incredible, but I love a nice bolognese.
What can we expect from you at The Ethnic Show?
You can expect some stuff about my Italian family, my life, and simply vulnerable material.
What song would you have played at your funeral?
Ha ha, I'll go with "Happy Birthday".
Don't miss the hilarious Anthony DeVito sharing the stage with Donnell Rawlings, Dave Merheje, Robby Hoffman, Rafi Bastos and host Cristela Alonzo at The Ethnic Show. The show runs from July 10th until the 25th at Club Soda and MTELUS. Tickets are selling quickly, so buy them now at hahaha.com.
Gianni Fiasche lives and breathes all that is entertainment. Since a very young age he has been a film and music enthusiast. Gianni watches and reviews over 200 films a year, attends hundreds of concerts, and loves listening to old and new music. When he isn’t doing these activities, you’ll find him spending quality time with family and friends. You can follow him on Instagram as @snobreviews.