The Laugh Off Had Them Rolling in the Aisles
Gilda’s Club celebrated its 12th annual Laugh Off! event At Bananas Comedy Club in Hasbrouck Height
Gilda’s Club of North Jersey just crowned the 12th winner of its Annual Laugh Off at Bananas Comedy Club in Hasbrouck Heights Thursday night. New CEO, Dyane McMahon, felt the show was an outstanding success.
“It was a good night, a good night out. Lots of laughs. It’s important for us to do this in Gilda Radner’s memory. It’s important to keep the comedy in place,” she commented after the performance.
Gilda’s Club, which was founded in 1995 in honor of late comedian Gilda Radner, has a mission to be a “premier provider of social and emotional support for anyone touched by cancer,” according to the web site. They accomplish this feat by providing workshops, support groups and social activities to people coping with cancer. Fortunately, the club’s namesake has provided them with the perfect fundraiser.
The Laugh Off began on time with a short introduction from McMahon. She quickly turned the mic over to emcee, Bill Ervolino, humor columnist and author of “Some Kind of Wise Guy: Stories About Parents, Weddings, Modern Living and Growing Up Italian.. He did a set that covered everything from prostate exams to his Italian upbringing (which was easily relatable for a crowd that mostly answered positively when Ervolino asked who was Italian).
Once the crowd was warmed up the first comic/contestant was introduced. Vladimir Caamano took the stage with a very cool deadpan delivery that kept steady chuckles rippling through the audience.
Next, was Katie Hayes with a routine that turned female stereotypes on their heads. Alex Barnett hit on some of the hilarious trials and tribulations of being one half of an interracial couple and Kevin Bartini made amusingly absurdist observations about his encounter with a one-eyed man.
The comics were given about five minutes each for their sets. Once they were done the judges left the room and headliner, Vic Dibitetto, hit the stage. His energy came on like a hurricane and he showed the young comedians what a veteran comic can do. The crowd was practically rolling on the floor over Dibitetto’s comments on lazy children and organizing family vacations.
The show concluded with an announcement of the winner, Barnett, and emcee, Ervolino, thanking the crowd for their contributions and for coming out.
Barnett greatly appreciated the win.
“It’s really exciting. To win and for such a great cause and I really had fun with the whole thing and I’ve met some really nice people and now I’m just going to keep on working hard and performing more.”
This win even had special meaning for the up-and-coming stand-up.
“Actually my girlfriend’s mother passed away and she was a member of Gilda’s Club before she passed so this was very meaningful to be able to participate in this.”
McMahon felt the entire night went wonderfully, saying, “I think it was just spectacular. I think it was one of our better nights.”
On Thursday May 19, Gilda’s Club will have a “Spring Fling” at the Upper Montclair Women’s Club in Upper Montclair, NJ.