Standup Pete Correale on His New Sitcom

Although he's happily living in western New York, comedian Pete Correale is nonetheless knee-deep in developing a sitcom in Hollywood. It's at the very beginning stages, meaning the idea has been sold. Now a script needs to be written and a pilot shot. Then CBS has to decide whether to pick it up.

While it's still early in the process, things have already proven to be interesting. "The other day, we had to do a call with the people at CBS," Correale says. The conference call involved network executives, Correale's management, the show's producer, and his writing partner Marsh McCall (Just Shoot Me, Last Man Standing). Correale, sitting in his office in his house, was caught off-guard when he and McCall were asked to redo their pitch.

[jump] "I did this pitch for ABC, FOX, TV Land -- I'm done pitching. But Marsh does his bit and says, 'Why don't you tell them a little bit about your wife, Pete?'" To which he replied: "I thought this call was going to be to discuss the size of my trailer. I hung up my pitching uniform."

Afterward Marsh called him back, and complimented the comic on his handling of that unexpected situation. "Dude, I thought you were a pro before, but you are a pro's pro."

McCall, it turns out, was just as taken aback as Correale. "He told me that these meetings are just for the network to introduce themselves and say, 'Hey, we're looking forward to working with you and we're really excited.'"

Quite exciting indeed for a guy who has more than paid his dues as a standup. He was born and raised on Long Island, and there was always humor in Correale's household growing up.

"My father would come home from working in Manhattan, and he'd always have a couple of stories ready. He'd sit at the dinner table with his hands moving. That's what he does when he talks."

This reminds Correale of a more recent dinner with his family. "We were out to dinner a few weeks ago at a restaurant, and the waitress came over because she thought he wanted a drink." Correale's mom explained that that was just how her husband talked.

Of course, when he did want a drink and tried signaling the waitress she hesitated. "She said, 'I'm sorry, I thought you were just talking.'"

That's not an unusual dinner for the family, even now. "My dad would have these stories, and we would all just make fun of each other -- but with love and encouragement," Correale notes. "One time, though, my mother broke down at the table and said, 'Can't we have just one dinner where no one makes fun of anybody?' And there was this two-second pause, and we all started cracking up. That's just how we were."


Pete Correale

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