Comedian Pete Correale, who grew up in Oakdale, will headline...

Comedian Pete Correale, who grew up in Oakdale, will headline the Paramount in Huntington on March 12. Credit: DHOUSE Photography

Pete Correale is ready to come back home. The 51-year-old comedian, who grew up in Oakdale, is making his return to Long Island, but he’s not going on stage at a local comedy club. This time out Correale is headlining The Paramount in Huntington on March 12 for a show he’s calling "Bringing the Funny Home."

Back in 1994, Correale was in the midst of pursuing an acting career when he was bitten by the stand-up bug. In fact, the man was so dedicated to his comedy craft that he spent two years sweeping and mopping the floors of Manhattan's New York Comedy Club in exchange for stage time. Since that time, he has toured around the country, recorded multiple specials and even spent three years working with fellow LI comic Kevin James as a writer on his sitcoms "Kevin Can Wait" and "The Crew." He’s best known for his popular long-running podcast, "The Pete & Sebastian Show," which he records weekly with his buddy, comedian Sebastian Maniscalco.

Newsday spoke to Correale, who now lives in upstate Fredonia, before his homecoming gig about the root of his comedic sensibilities, his special chemistry with Maniscalco and how he relates to Long Islanders.

How does it feel to be headlining a show this size on home turf?

It feels great and this is a big one for me. The place is absolutely stunning and playing there has always been a goal. It means everything. I said to my agent, "How many people need to be there for the owner not to be mad that we made him turn the lights on?"

Have you been doing shows during the pandemic?

Yes! During the heart of the pandemic I did some outdoor tents in Pennsylvania with lawn chairs and coolers. In Providence, Rhode Island, I did a show where everyone was wearing masks but they were just happy to be out and having fun. Every comic went through all sorts of phases at home. At one point I hung a blue sheet, grabbed my daughter’s karaoke machine and started performing for myself.

Do you purposely work clean or do you mix it up?

My content is clean but I do tend to swear. I work what I call "Long Island clean" where we use [expletive] as a comma sometimes.

Where does your conversational style of humor stem from?

A lot came from my dad. He’d come home from working in New York City and tell us stories at the dinner table with his arms flailing everywhere about what happened on the subway, just totally commanding the room. I’m similar because when I played college basketball I’d have the whole team dying because I was telling them stories whenever we’d be on the road. That was just me being me. My goal with stand-up was to bring that on stage.

How would you describe your chemistry with Sebastian Maniscalco?

The first time we met was in Toronto when we were doing four shows together and we really hit it off. When we went to the airport, I was headed to New York and he was going back to L.A. but we had time to kill. He goes, "You want to go get a manicure?" I started laughing and said, "I was just about to walk over to you and ask if you wanted to get a beer!" That’s our friendship. We really enjoy talking and cracking each other up. Both of us have so much in common, but our differences are just enough to make it funny for the podcast. I mean, the man has tanning parties!

Did you enjoy writing for Kevin James?

Absolutely, in fact I was amazed that I could do it. I learned so much from Kevin. He has a great comedic mind. Currently, I’m working on a TV project for Michael Rapaport with another writer from "Kevin Can Wait." We are hoping to film it this summer.

What comedian did you most look up to?

Dave Attell is my hero. I learned so much watching him every night at the Comedy Cellar. He always has new stuff, which is incredible. Back in the day I remember buying Steven Wright’s album, "I Have a Pony" and playing it in my car three times in a row because it was so unbelievable.

Do you have fond memories of growing up on Long Island?

It was 18 years of bliss! In the summertime, we’d swim in the canals that led to the Great South Bay. How I don’t have hepatitis C to this day is beyond me. I remember going to Fire Island, missing the last ferry home and sleeping under somebody’s trailer hitch. Mostly we’d find a parking lot, meet up with our friends, drink some beer and crank Billy Joel.

What do you miss most about LI?

I miss the food — bacon, egg and cheese on a roll, the pizza or even a simple deli cup of coffee is so good on Long Island you don’t need Starbucks. But most of all I miss the sense of humor of everyone around you on line at a deli. When two people argue around where I live in Fredonia, I keep going. When two people argue on Long Island, I pull out my notebook.

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