Comedian Nick Di Paolo is not interested in winning over 100 percent of the room. His raw, unfiltered style of stand-up makes him a maverick in a world filled with politically correct comedy.
“You are supposed to present a point of view and not everybody is going to dig you,” says Di Paolo, 56, who is headlining Governor’s in Levittown Nov. 2-3. “When I come on stage they know what’s coming. Half the room is laughing, and the other half has their arms folded.”
However, don’t get the wrong impression. His material is not dirty, but he takes on controversial subjects like Bill Cosby, #MeToo and religion with a straight-up approach.
“I got pigeonholed as a conservative comic, but I’m not,” says Di Paolo. “I’m just a guy who’s always been brutally honest, on or off stage. It’s not really an act. I don’t know how to do it any other way.”
Although he leans right in his politics on his popular podcast, “The Nick Di Paolo Show,” Di Paolo doesn’t consider himself a political comic.
“I don’t want to be the right-wing Bill Maher because I’m not,” says Di Paolo. “You can’t talk about how the Senate broke down the last vote on the floor when people are drinking and eating chicken fingers.”
Growing up in the Boston suburbs, Di Paolo was spicy even as a kid, which he says came from hanging out with his older sister’s friends at a young age.
“Some teacher once said I had an acid tongue. She’d yell, ‘Mr. Di Paolo, that kind of language belongs on a ballfield!’ ” he says. “I talked like a pirate by the time I was in the fourth grade.”
Transparent comedians like Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison and Robert Klein inspired him to get behind the mic.
“I was always drawn to the comics who would spill their guts on stage,” says Di Paolo. “When they came off, you knew what they were all about.”
But being edgy does have its downfalls. After sending out a controversial joke via Twitter, Di Paolo was let go from his gig at Sirius satellite radio last spring.
“They are very liberal people who run the station. I think the show was too rough for them,” he says. “My contract was going to be up in three weeks, so I think they used the tweet as an excuse to fire me. I didn’t even get in trouble on Twitter.”
Di Paolo has a strong respect for the art form of stand-up and cherishes the creative freedom he has on stage.
“I never take it for granted. Where else can you talk honestly like that?” says Di Paolo. “I love being able to let it rip.”
NICK DI PAOLO
WHEN/WHERE 8 p.m. Nov. 2, 7 and 10 p.m. Nov. 3, Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Avenue in Levittown
INFO 516-731-3358, govs.com
ADMISSION $25 (plus two-item minimum)