Nick DiPaolo: "It just so happens what I believe goes against the status quo."
It's no secret that Nick DiPaolo tends towards more of a conservative mindset, but he thinks he's been inaccurately painted as a political comic over the years. "Bill Maher is political comedian," he explains. "I've always been a little opinionated, but I'm still not really a political guy."
He traces the misperception back to his days on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. "Patrice O'Neal and me used to bang heads all the time, because nobody would call him on the double-standard but me. But I'm not a political guy. Once I did that show though, people right away wanted to throw me in a category of right winger. But I'm not that political even if you listen to my previous work. I take my shots here and there, but it's hard to talk about that stuff in a comedy club when you have a bachelorette party staring you in the face wearing dick hats. It's not the place to discuss policy."
DiPaolo was drawn to comedy, in part, by watching fellow Bostonian Jay Leno. "He sounded like me, because he grew up about 15 minutes from where I did." The concept of standup captivated DiPaolo early on. "The fact that a guy could come out and make people laugh just by talking; it really fascinated me. I remember I would record comedians off the TV with a little Radio Shack tape recorder." He had several office jobs, but standup kept beckoning. "Basically my roommate dared me to finally do it."
Unlike most comics, DiPaolo found his comedy voice fairly quickly. "You never find it completely," he explains. "You're always looking for it. But I remember someone saying to me at an open mic, 'You're really politically incorrect. That's good. That's where everything is headed.' Even then I thought, 'That's bullshit.'" As for the material itself, "I was just doing what I thought was funny," DiPaolo says.
Opinionated people are often asked if they really feel the way they do, or if they just like to argue. Famously conservative-minded comic Tim Slagle told City Pages a few months back that he was more of a contrarian. DiPaolo says he doesn't fall into that category. "It just so happens what I believe goes against the status quo. It's not a choice." He concedes that his parents might feel differently. "They would tell you I'm difficult and always looking for an argument," he laughs. "Maybe there is a bit of that in there."
His shows Monday and Tuesday at Acme Comedy Co. will be taped for a DVD, tentatively to be released in the spring of 2014. "This new hour is really apolitical," he adds. "lt's hard man. I live in New York City, and I literally developed my act on the campus of NYU. That's where the Comedy Cellar is. And I have different politics than them and it can wear the hell out of you," he says with a laugh. "Every night someone's getting their nose bent out of shape about something."
IF YOU GO:
Acme Comedy Co.
708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393
8 p.m. Monday-Tuesday
For more info, visit www.acmecomedycompany.com
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Minneapolis & St. Paul and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.