When stand-up comedian Neil Rubenstein of Bethpage takes the stage, he gives the audience a moment.
“Nah, I get it. It’s fine,” he says in a soft voice. His 6-foot frame is hulking and his arms are covered in tattoos. “When you saw me, you said, ‘This guy’s afraid of nothing!’ Then you heard me, and you’re like, ‘Well, maybe the dark.’ ”
Rubenstein, who appears at Governor’s in Levittown Thursday, March 29, and The Paramount in Huntington Friday, March 30, hosting for Pablo Francisco, says he often gets mistaken for a bouncer — and incorporates that into his act.
“I spent Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house,” he tells the crowd at the Broadway Comedy Club. “She made me work the door.”
He’s working to develop a fan base through digital content such as his monthly podcast, “In Traffic With Neil Rubenstein,” where he interviews people while stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway.
“I spend a lot of time on the LIE going back and forth to Manhattan for comedy,” says Rubenstein, who used to appear on Spike TV’s “Casino Cinema.” “I built a show around me talking to my friends on the phone while I’m stuck in traffic.”
The topics vary from discussing weight and body issues with Adam Lazzara from Taking Back Sunday, to talking about sexism and racism with comedian Sonya Vai.
“It’s funny because I’m a clown, a goofball,” Rubenstein says.
He also has a YouTube channel where he performs skits as well as hosting different shows such as “Neil Reviews It!” where he offers his critical analysis of everyday topics.
“I review whatever I happen to be doing,” Rubenstein says. “It could be me reviewing grapes or talking about Van Halen.”
His overall goal is get more stage time honing his craft.
“I’m not happy without stand-up,” he says. “Hopefully all this stuff I do will translate to ticket sales.”