Oddball comedy fest comes to Jones Beach on Saturday
On paper, nine comics performing in front of 15,000 people in an outdoor amphitheater doesn’t seem to make sense. But the Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival has become a popular end of the summer tradition at Jones Beach.
Here are four stand-ups you will see onstage Saturday:
Maniscalco is one of the hottest comics on the circuit today. This spring he sold out seven shows at the Beacon Theatre, where he taped his new Showtime special, “Why Would You Do That?” which airs Oct. 1. So why do Oddball?
“I’d rather play to people who don’t know who I am because it’s a new group of fans I can possibly have by the end of the set, which makes it exciting for me,” he says. “The amphitheaters actually suit my comedy style because I’m animated and I tend to use a lot of the stage.”
Maniscalco is known for his sharp but clean observational comedy. He accents his punchlines by physically acting out the joke.
“Growing up in an Italian family, we were always expressive, whether it be our face or our hands,” says Maniscalco. “As I became more comfortable onstage, I started to use the physicality in my act. I noticed people were not only laughing at what I was saying but how I was saying it.”
If you are a male sitting in the orchestra, Everett just might be coming for you. This no-holds-barred, rock-and-roll cabaret comedic singer likes to venture in the crowd when she tells her stories through song.
“My set is like a party where you end up talking to some crazy girl at the end of the night,” says Everett. “You are not sure what’s happening, but you don’t want it to end.”
Stemming from the downtown performance artist scene in Manhattan, Everett was inspired by actors like Lucille Ball and John Belushi.
“I like people who are on the edge and dangerous. It’s something that I’ve embodied,” she says.
As for the outdoor Oddball atmosphere: “It’s a little challenging because of the way the sound travels but it’s also thrilling,” she says. “It’s a glimpse into what it’s like being a rock star, which I always wanted to be.”
Seeing Dunnigan live is a mixed bag of quirk.
“It’s pretty eclectic. I do a mix of music, impressions and some personal stories,” he says. “I grew up watching Dana Carvey and was very influenced by him.”
Dunnigan was drawn to Oddball because he likes performing in a group environment.
“I love the idea of working with other people because stand-up is pretty isolating,” he says. “Whether you have a good show or a bad show, you can always have a drink afterwards and laugh about it.”
He also makes a point of staying away from the dirty stuff.
“I’d rather not do blue material,” Dunnigan says.
Segura grew up watching Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock, so he tends to let it fly when he gets on the mic.
“I’m a sarcastic, observational storyteller,” he says. “I don’t switch my act up to win over the crowd. I’m more like, ‘You came here . . . this is what I do.’ I dig my heels in harder if I feel like they are not on board.”
This uncensored stand-up knows how to approach the challenge of playing an outdoor amphitheater.
“Sometimes subtleties are not going to translate. You have to be open to slowing down your delivery,” says Segura. “In the end, it’s still the same formula — a comic onstage making a crowd laugh.”
But what he enjoys the most is the backstage camaraderie between the comics.
“Most of us are friends,” says Segura. “Everybody wants to have fun. It’s not about blowing each other off the stage.”
ODDBALL COMEDY & CURIOSITY FESTIVAL
WHEN | WHERE 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh
INFO 800-745-3000, livenation.com