Award-winning comedian Mike Bova is spreading holiday ha ha’s with the release of his debut DVD, “Mike Bova: Live at The Capitol Theatre Rome, NY.” The DVD’s release date is Friday, Dec. 15, and will be available for purchase on Etsy.com.
Bova hails from Watertown and has roots in the Utica area, where he’s lived with his family for almost 20 years. He recorded the DVD on Oct. 27 as part of his recent 17-day “Awkward Adult Years” tour across New York.
He teamed with comedian and actor Marc Price, who played “Skippy” on the 1980’s show “Family Ties.” Proceeds from the concert helped support Rome Catholic School.
“I love to make people laugh,” Bova said. “Being a comedian is the best job in the world, because I get to make people laugh—and I get paid for it. Bonus.”
Bova will perform Sunday, Dec. 17 with two other comedians at Ramada Watertown, 6300 Arsenal St., Watertown. The “Three Wise Guys Christmas Comedy Show” starts at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and may be purchased at watertown.eventbee.com. Visit MikeBova.com for other upcoming events.
A natural born funny kid, Bova grew up entertaining family and friends at home. It wasn’t until well into adulthood that Bova put his talent to work for a broader audience.
After a career as a newspaper publisher, in 2012 Bova traded in the printing press for telling jokes.
He was given his first opportunity after responding to a Facebook post. The producer of a comedy show in Watertown had posted that he needed someone to open for a semi-finalist from the TV talent show “Last Comic Standing.”
“I never told the guy that I wasn’t a stand-up comedian. It never came up,” Bova said. “My first set was 45 minutes, and I didn’t sink. I didn’t swim. I kind of treaded water. Barely.”
Bova later won the Upper State Independent Award for Top Comedian two years in a row. The on-stage experience complemented other gigs, including “Funny Business Radio,” a popular national satellite radio show.
Bova interviewed comedians and celebrities including Ed Asner, Nicole Arbour and Zack Peter. He went on to own Benny Ha Ha’s Comedy Club in New Hartford, where he met Price. They soon worked together to plan their recent tour.
Bova specializes in observational comedy: a woman addicted to eating cat food, people of Wal-Mart, and bizarre baby names, among other topics. He also jokes about his own addiction to Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and growing up Italian.
Bova credits big name comedians George Carlin and Richard Pryor for influencing his comedic style, but fans like to compare him to Jerry Seinfeld.
“It’s a great compliment. He’s one of the best comedians ever,” Bova said. “I’ll take it.”
The DVD is family friendly. Bova considers himself a clean comedian with material suitable for all ages. “I don’t ever cross a line, I don’t believe. But I am certainly edgy. I’ll tell a few jokes that will go over kids’ heads.”
Fans can expect some edgy jokes in this DVD, especially as he delivers the big finish. Bova is also an accomplished motivational speaker.
“I do a lot of conventions and conferences, and they want comic relief, especially if they’re in the human services industry. So I’ll either do a funny motivational presentation, or I’ll do a combination of funny and motivation,” he said.
Bova overcame a stuttering problem that plagued him most of his life, along with a fear of public speaking. His comedy has helped him overcome both issues. “Now, I have no fear whatsoever,” said Bova. “I’ll get in front of a full stadium and speak.”