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Colin Cosell returns comedy show to Gryphon's in White Plains
Although Colin Cosell's made a name for himself as an Emmy-winning sportscaster, Howard Cosell's grandson has also branched into comedy, producing a regular stand-up show that returns Saturday to Gryphon's in White Plains.
A Purchase College grad who spent much of his life around his famous grandpa while growing up in Stamford, Conn., Colin Cosell is a jack of all trades. The 32-year-old Queens resident has won local Emmys for broadcasting games for MSG Varsity. He's also got nearly a dozen years of his own stand-up experience, performing some nights with the likes of Chris Rock, Jim Norton and Lisa Lampanelli. And he's the founder and host of the Social News Media Network, a satirical Web series that's reminiscent of "The Soup" in the way that it skewers current events and incorporates tweets to enhance the commentary.
After about a decade performing stand-up in his spare time, Cosell said he realized it wasn't his ideal career path. "So I treated it the way I treat it now, which is more of a hobby," he said. "About four or five years ago, my friend asked me to emcee his show for him, and that's where I found my niche."
Hosting seems to come naturally to Cosell, in large part due to the precedent set by his maternal grandfather.
"My parents divorced when I was 9 months old, and basically he was my father figure growing up," Cosell said. "I was the only one in my family who decided, 'Hey, I want to be a sportscaster when I grow up, like my grandfather.'"
He says he remembers being a wide-eyed 5-year-old, watching his grandfather do live ABC radio spots from his bedroom of the family's summer house in the Hamptons.
"He'd grab The New York Times, thumb through it, circle a couple of things, and log it in that insanely genius brain of his, and then do a 60-second [radio spot]," he said. "I would have my grandmother wake me up so I could watch him do it. ... He'd put me on his lap and have me talk to his producer, and I just knew that this was what I wanted to do."
Colin and other family members changed their last names to Cosell in tribute to his grandfather, who died in 1995.
"Howard had two daughters, and he had a brother who had a son, who had two daughters," Colin said. "And we did not want the Cosell name to die off, so we figured we'd take it upon ourselves to carry it on."
Legacy intact, Colin Cosell is looking to forge a career path that's a bit of an off-shoot from his grandfather's. As someone who films his Social News Media Network content from his own apartment, he'd love the opportunity to turn that into a more lucrative gig. When asked about his dream job scenario, he replied, "I would build my own TV studio and just produce myself and my friends' comedy videos."
Comedy's been good to him outside of his apartment, too, especially now that he's back to bringing laughs to downtown White Plains. Cosell started producing comedy shows at Gryphon's about five years ago, but a shift in management led to a one-year hiatus. Saturday's two-hour show will mark the return of Cosell's shows at the venue.
Headlining the Nov. 10 event at Gryphon's is Ted Alexandro, a veteran of the late-night circuit who's performed for North Salem resident David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel and Craig Ferguson. He's also been the star of two Comedy Central stand-up specials and made cameos on “Oz”, “Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist” and “Louie." In addition to Alexandro's set, which is slated to run between 25 and 30 minutes, Yannis Pappas, Reese Waters and Joe Casilio are scheduled to perform for about 15 minutes apiece.
Saturday night's show starts at 7:30 p.m. at Gryphon's (49 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, 914-682-0048, www.gryphonsbar.com). Admission is $15, and "free for anyone whose power is still out," according to Cosell.