Comedian-actor Chris Roach, whose popular 2017 video "Ronkokomo" re-imagined the Beach Boys' "Kokomo" as a paean to all things Long Island, is releasing his first comedy album, "Roach Motel."
The title, says Roach, whose surname is of Irish heritage, wrote itself. "Yeah, that's another dumb joke I had when I first started," says the 51-year-old Lake Ronkonkoma native, reciting the bit: "Sometimes I'd walk up to motels and I'm like, 'Hi, we're the Roaches, checking in.' "
The 16 cuts on the 43-minute album, available for preorder at iTunes and Google Play ahead of its Nov. 5 release, cover topics including Weight Watchers, coaching, and the odd combination of almond milk and wine.
"I have a bit about Ancestry DNA," says the longtime comic, who performs throughout the tristate area. "You know, you spit in this tube, you send it away, you find out things about yourself you never knew. Like for instance, I found out that in North Carolina, I'm wanted for questioning."
"Everything I talk about starts with something real," says Roach, who recorded the live album at the comedy club Governor's, in Levittown. "For instance, I did go to Weight Watchers with my wife," Diane, a hairstylist. "And then that's where I'll start twisting it and talking about what we thought was funny or bothered us about it. When you find that place where your world meets their world," he says of audiences, "that's where the gold is."
Roach, who earlier this month came off two weeks of touring with Kevin James as his opening act, next appears Saturday at the Laugh It Up! Comedy Club in Poughkeepsie as part of a fundraiser for Water Without Borders, which helps supply safe drinking water in developing nations. Then Sunday he will be James' opening act at Tarrytown Music Hall in upstate Tarrytown.
Roach and co-host Steve Belanger's podcast "Long Island Explained" recently celebrated its first anniversary with the Halloween-themed episode "Haunted Long Island.” The comedian — whose acting credits include "The Knick," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Limitless," and who played the recurring role of Mott on "Kevin Can Wait" — appeared this year in the Alan Cumming CBS series "Instinct." He plays a fixer in the recently wrapped independent drama feature "The Wrong Path.”
Big and bearded, the comic has a presence. "One of the very first things I was told about acting," he says cheerfully, "was that I could never do background [work as an extra] because I'd be too distracting!"