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The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Joe Gatto’s Night of Comedy coming to Utica

Comedian Joe Gatto during live performance. Photo courtesy of Joe Cohen

UTICA, NY- That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the world famous comedian Joe Gatto will perform at the Stanley Center for the Arts in Utica. Gatto, most known for his work in television with the award winning show Impractical Jokers, will come through the Handshake City and take the stage on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. The show is part “Joe Gatto’s Night of Comedy” tour, a stand-up show he has performed since 2022. 

“It’s been a really interesting ride,” Gatto said. “The first part of it, when I was trying to figure out how to be on stage by myself, was the biggest challenge. I’ve always performed live with the [Impractical Jokers], so that wasn’t new to me. But I’ve never been on stage by myself. You’re one hundred percent responsible for the funny. So if you have a good show, it’s on you. If you have a bad show, it’s your fault.” 

Although stepping out on stage as a solo act is a new experience for Gatto, he said he’s always excited to come to college towns like Utica, where much of the audience is made up of fans who grew up watching the comedy antics of him and his Staten Island buddies on Impractical Jokers

“A lot of the kids in the audience started watching me when they were young, in their teens or even younger, and now they get to see me,” Gatto said. “It’s great to see someone that you got to make laugh on TV. I remember seeing people like that live when I was that age, and it was really impactful. So it’s not something that’s lost on me.” 

For a superstar who has played places like Madison Square Garden and the O2 Arena, the Stanley is a different type of venue, but one that Gatto says is particularly exciting for him. 

“There’s a different dynamic,” he says of smaller, more intimate theaters. “A different energy in the room. But I’ve played smaller rooms that have as much energy as MSG, because everyone is laughing hard and having a good time. I feed off the energy of people. So, no matter what the size of the room is, I try to put on that same kind of show.”  

Traveling around the country on this tour has afforded Gatto the chance to perform in a variety of different spaces, each one more interesting than the last. 

“I’m playing in all these cool theaters and they all have a history, which is really great,” he said. “The other night I performed in this theater in Poughkeepsie that was basically a castle. And that’s a really cool added bonus, being able to take the stage in these historic places that have been around for 50 or 100 years.” 

The Stanley Theatre has been an important community pillar for 95 years. The people here have worked hard to maintain an event space that invites people in,” said Hollie David, the Stanley’s marketing and event coordinator. “The very first time I walked into the theater there was something special in the air. I never imagined I would one day get to work here. My favorite part of Stanley is her beauty, the architecture of the interior is something to be amazed by.”

For Gatto, as someone who found his way through television, the chance to perform and interact with a live audience is always a welcome one. 

“You get to see the impact in real time,” he said. “You get to see the people and talk to the people. In fact, I think my favorite part of being on the road is the meet and greets. Right after my show, I have meet and greets where I get to talk to people and hear their stories. It’s always great to hear how I’ve been there for people when their life has been tough and been able to make them smile. And you can’t get those kinds of interactions on TV.” 

In addition to connecting with his fans, one of the things Gatto said is rewarding about live performance is seeing that he has become something of a generational superstar, with people who may have watched him in their twenties coming back to see him in their thirties with their kids in tow. 

“It’s great to see parents coming out with their kids,” he said. “I grew up watching live comedy with my dad and so it’s great to see families sharing laughs together. And I also love to see people making friends in the theater. I’ve seen people come to my shows by themselves, but they have something in common with everyone else there because they like to laugh at me. And I’ve had people reach out to me on social media or come up to me after the show and say, ‘I came by myself and I’ve made some friends.’ And I’ve seen friendships develop over the years all because they came to see me. That’s really cool.” 

However, friendships and families aside, there is one particular demographic that Gatto said he always gets a kick out of watching at his shows. 

“Date nights,” he said with a laugh. “It’s really funny to see the date nights and see what level they’re at. Some people are a little bit more comfortable than others. Some people aren’t even aware that they’re on a date, which is funny.” 

At the end of the day, though, Gatto is thrilled with all his fans, saying without reservation that they are the best fans in the world. 

“They’ve stuck with me,” he said of his fans. “As I’ve been doing different things with comedy or figuring out different ways to entertain, they’ve always been with me and I take that seriously. I make it my mission to keep them smiling and entertained. Because I know how hard life can be and I know the role I play, being an escape from reality when life is hard.” 

For diehard fans or casual supporters, Gatto encourages everyone to come out to the Stanley Theater on January 25 for some guaranteed laughs. 

“Come on out,” he said. “Let’s have some fun, laugh and leave your problems at the door. Because Joe is there to have a good time with everybody. I’m excited for everyone to come out, have some fun, warm up inside that theater, feel the laughs and feel the love.” 

Tickets can be bought online through Ticketmaster and or at the Stanley Box Office.

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