I didn’t see Dave Russo’s stand up comedy act from the beginning. (He took the stage at 9 p.m.; I got off work at 9 p.m.) No matter when I walked in, he gave me (and the audience, to their delight) a brief recap of the show up to that point via an improvised whirlwind of activity that told me two things. First, he had made some joke regarding either a bicycle or a scooter. And second, Russo knows how to entertain a crowd.
Russo hails from Boston, where he has won an impressive amount of recognition as a professional comic, including being named Best New Comic at the Boston Comedy Festival of 2002 and performing at Boston?s ESPN Sports Awards. He found his city-style, Italian-Catholic, home-schooled upbringing to be quite the fertile ground for comic material. Russo maintains that his jokes, though altered slightly to accommodate different demographics and settings, are generally suited for all audiences. He has proved his wide appeal with appearances on Comedy Central’s “Laugh Riot” (as a semi-finalist), UPN’s two-hour Comedy Special and, most recently, a pilot episode of “L.O.L.,” a new comedy set to air on Nickelodeon.
In his stand up act, Russo seems to thrive when interacting directly with his audience. He rags mercilessly on crowd members all in good fun, of course from a guy with an odd nickname to someone giving the response, “I’m from New Hampshire!” when he asks if anyone in the audience is from Boston. By the time the evening was over, he had established enough inside jokes with his viewers to make for a personal, unique, and unforgettable performance. Russo also showed comic strength in his variety of delivery styles: storytelling, rants about modern society, and a health dose of one liners about homeschooling (“My mom sent herself the report card in the mail and pretended to be surprised to see my grades.”) Oh, and he does a killer impression of Robert De Niro! This was one comedian who certainly did not disappoint.
Russo, who has also been featured in commercials and as a spokesperson
on a regional basis, is currently engaging in college tours nationwide and is
the number one booked comedian at post-secondary venues. For more information about his upcoming activities, he encourages students to check out his website at daverusso.net.