For the past 25 years, Stevie GB has been leading a double life — crunching numbers by day and nailing punch lines by night.
As a stand-up favorite in clubs from the long-gone Jukebox Cafe in Hauppauge to theaters such as The Paramount in Huntington, “the world’s funniest accountant,” as the Holbrook comic bills himself, has been starring in and producing comedy shows celebrating his love affair with Long Island and, more recently, his life as a middle-age suburbanite.
To mark his silver anniversary in showbiz — officially July 29, says Stevie GB, whose real name is Steven Gianturco — he’s got several big shows coming up, including an April 3 gig at 89 North in Patchogue; an April 30 engagement at Landmark on Main Street in Port Washington, as the opener for comic Bobby Collins; and a new one-man show, “Never Too Old to Be Immature,” in Port Jefferson on June 25.
Don’t expect any two shows to be the same. “I tend to reinvent myself as often as possible so I can get the same audience to come out and see me,” says Stevie GB, 58, who works by day in the payroll department at Palatial Concrete in Calverton. “I like to create something a little different every time.”
One thing that will be the same is the tone of his comedy, which is never a single shade of blue. “I enjoy writing jokes that are clever. You can be edgy and clean, but you don’t have to be edgy and dirty,” he says. “Edgy and clean works just as well.”
For “Immature,” he says, the focus is on finding the funny in being a 50-something male. “It’s about being married, living in the suburbs, and fixing things around the house and not being particularly good at it. There’s humor in that,” he says. “And I never really grew up. I’m still this kid. You eventually get to a point in your 50s where you embrace your immaturity.”
The Landmark show also is special for Stevie GB — who got that nickname because his favorite hangout in the ’70s was famed New York City rock club CBGB’s — because he’s on the bill with Collins, who impressed him so much after seeing his act 30 years ago at Manhattan’s East Side Comedy Club.
“Watching him onstage, he was the guy who inspired me. I said to myself, ‘I want to be like him. I want to do this,’ ” says Stevie GB of Holbrook.
Since then, Stevie GB has opened for Collins many times and has often turned to him for career advice. “He once asked me to take a look at his act,” Collins says. “After seeing it, I said he was missing an element. I told him your vulnerability is your strength. Open up your heart and show it to the people. He has done that and he still to this day thanks me for it.”
COMEDY IN NUMBERS
As a youngster in Brooklyn, Stevie GB says comedy was always a part of his life, from watching classic comedy teams like the Marx Brothers to cutting-edge jokesters like George Carlin. Not surprisingly, Stevie GB was something of a class clown, even after he moved to East Islip during his high school years.
“When you’re younger and you’re funny, the bullies don’t beat you up and the girls like you better. It works to your advantage both ways,” he says.
Despite the pleasure he found in making people laugh, he embarked on the serious path of accounting as a student at New York Institute of Technology. By the time he was 24, he was married to his wife, Margie, and working in the accounting department at Commack-based Hall Lane Moving and Storage. Though he was good at his job, he was even better at cracking up his colleagues. One day, a co-worker said she had signed him up to perform at a talent show at The Jukebox Cafe, which was owned by WBAB radio personality Bob Buchman. Adding to the pressure: All of his co-workers would be in the audience.
“So not only was it my first time, but I had to do it in front of the entire office,” Stevie GB says of his 1991 debut.
He ended up being just as funny before an audience as he had been in the office lunchroom, and placed third. “It was a ridiculous high,” he says. “I knew once I did it that this was where I belonged. It just felt right.”
Since then Stevie GB has performed at venues large and small, including his favorite spots — Landmark, Theatre Three in Port Jefferson, Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center and The Paramount, which he calls “the Yankee Stadium of comedy” because of its size and seating capacity (1,500).
He’s also produced and starred in several stage shows, notably “Groucho: A Life in Revue (in 3-D),” a serio-comic tale of the Marx Brothers in which he played the title role, and the one-man “Welcome to Lawn Guyland,” about suburbia.
“He’s become a Long Island celebrity because he does so much comedy about living on Long Island,” says Talia Reese of Great Neck, another comedian on the bill of the Landmark show. “His observational humor is hysterical.”
Just as Collins helped Stevie GB fine-tune his act, Reese credits Stevie GB with being a mentor to her.
“He gave me a very good piece of advice. He said if you sit down and write your own life story, without putting jokes in, the jokes will come,” she says.
She also credits Stevie GB for “believing in me” by including her on the bills of comedy shows he’s produced, and for his support. “Today I was on ‘The Wendy Williams Show,’ and he was the first one to congratulate me,” she said.
For Stevie GB, helping rising comics is his way of repaying what Collins did for him. “I enjoyed that a guy like Bobby Collins took the time out to give me advice, and not in a condescending way,” he says. “I like to do that, too, only if a comedian asks for it.”
Even after telling one-liners for 25 years, Stevie GB still feels the same excitement performing on stage that he did that first time at the Jukebox Cafe. “I don’t feel like I’ve ‘made it,’ but I have felt those very big wow moments,” he says, “like being at The Paramount and opening for Dennis Miller and Louie Anderson. Moments like that are as good as it gets.”
Looking for a few laughs? Here’s where you can catch them by catching Stevie GB. For more info, go to steviegb.com
Stevie GB’s Big Variety Show
WHEN | WHERE April 3 at 7 p.m., 89 North, 89 N. Ocean Ave. Patchogue
INFO $10; 631-730-8992; 89northmusic.com
Clean Comedy All-Stars
WHEN | WHERE April 24 at 3 p.m., McGuires Comedy Club, 1627 Smithtown Ave., Bohemia
INFO $12-$42; 631-467-5413, mcguires.govs.com
Bobby Collins Comedy Show
WHEN | WHERE April 30 at 8 p.m., Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main St., Port Washington
INFO $37.92-$43.19; 516-767-6444, landmarkonmainstreet.org
‘Never Too Old to Be Immature’
WHEN | WHERE June 25 at 8 p.m., Performing Arts Studio of New York, 224 E. Main St., Port Jefferson
INFO $15; brownpapertickets.com