Thanks to a series of hilarious angry-man rants on YouTube, including the viral “Bread & Milk” video, comedian Vic DiBitetto has hundreds of thousands of internet followers, which has upped his profile considerably from his early days in the comedy ranks.
The self-proclaimed “Working Class Zero,” the Brooklyn-born comic first started doing stand-up in 1981, and 10 years later, took home the $10,000 prize for a home video of a mock ventriloquist act that he did with his son on “America’s Funniest People.”
It was after this infamous YouTube video collected more than 17 million views that his career finally took off. Kevin James was so impressed, that he offered him a part in “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.”
Keith Loria spoke with the comedian about his shows at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2
Keith Loria: What can those heading to the Playhouse look forward to on the night?
Vic DiBitetto: There will be relatable, simple, funny, old-school, in-your-face, spit-flying fun. There’s no political humor; I talk about being married, having kids and I try to make America laugh again, because we need it now more than ever. I’m not clever like Seinfeld but there’s plenty of belly laughs and I give it 110 percent up there.
KL: How did you first get started in this business?
VD: Like most comics, I was the class clown. I grew up in Brooklyn and there was a comedy club near me called Pips, which had an amateur night, and my friends convinced me to give it a show. I followed Andrew Dice Clay and they booed me off the stage. But I was hooked and felt a passion for being on stage.
KL: Why did you decide to start making the YouTube videos?
VD: A lot of people were doing things with social media and I was tired of waiting for the breaks, so I just did a few videos and several went viral, and now I’m selling out theaters all over the states, which has been incredible. That one video got me more recognition than 30 years of stand-up. It’s insane.
KL: What was it like to get the call from Kevin James asking you to take part in his new movie?
VD: We had started together back in the early ’80s, and he became the King of Queens and I went on to drive a school bus, but he remembered me and saw a character I did on a video — Tony Gaga, and gave me a call. I almost hung up because I didn’t believe it was him. He started laughing and told me he had a part for me, and fast forward, I’m in Vegas for six weeks and it was such a good time. He’s a good guy. It’s not who you know, but who knows you.
KL: Tell me about the Vic’s Picks videos that you are doing?
VD: Hearst Digital launched this in November and we taped nine episodes, where I review different products. I’m hoping it does well on Facebook and hopefully if my fans pull through, it could lead to something bigger and maybe it could become something on TV.
KL: What keeps you going year after year?
VD: There’s nothing like it. I always tell people when the butterflies stop, that’s when it’s time to quit. I still get so excited backstage. But it’s a brutal business and a very unfair business. It’s the right place, right time, and the right people, but the big payoff is being on stage and hearing the applause.
KL: What do you love best about what you do?
VD: I say what people are thinking. I get messages every day on social media telling me I get them through dark days and depression. I have soldiers in Afghanistan following me and say I get them through deployment. How great is that?
KL: What’s on tap for you in 2019?
VD: I’m going to be branching out to the rest of the country because the Northeast and Florida, which is New York South, I am a lock. I want to get away from my area and branch out and see how social media impacts the rest of the country.