"I wasn't a goofy kid or anything," explains Mike Vecchione about his pre-standup days. "I was an intense guy — very motivated — and that's how I approach comedy." At the age of 31, he found himself suddenly single and in a job he didn't like. With a string of open-mic performances under his belt, he headed to New York at the behest of a friend who was doing comedy there. "I didn't have a wife or kids or debt, so I pulled the trigger on it." Now, as an accomplished comedian, he is still driven to be better. "[My act] is more separate jokes," he says. "But that's just one of my styles. I'm trying to evolve by taking those jokes and putting them in story form, or having an organic story from the beginning. I actually like that better." Lately those jokes are more about current events, but also touch on being nearly 40 and fighting weight gain. "I just don't feel as young anymore," he says. He has always felt his appearance might give audiences the wrong idea about him. "I look like a Staten Island cop. I've had people say to me, 'Your style doesn't look like it would come out of your mouth.'" But whether he doing short bits or stories, it's all funny because at the heart of it, Vecchione is simply a skilled humorist. "I'm a joke writer at heart," he says. 18+; 21+ later shows.
April 4-8, 8 p.m.; April 6-7, 10:30 p.m., 2012