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Marco Island Entertainment – Rich Vos vows to ‘keep it real’ in Marco visit

Date posted: October 25, 2012

Rich Vos vows to ‘keep it real’ in Marco visit

Comedian looks forward to good food, warm weather, golf.

Written by Don Manley


Comedian Rich Vos / Special to the Sun Times

“Keepin’ it real” is the only way Rich Vos knows to handle his business.

The stand-up comedian’s honest, unpretentious, pull-no-punches approach will be on display this weekend at the Off the Hook Comedy Club, where Vos will perform five shows.

Vos has played Off the Hook several times, last taking the stage here two years ago.

“Good food, warm weather” is how Vos began his memories of Marco.

“When I’m on stage, I’m going to do what I do. When I’m off stage, there’s good seafood, I get to play golf. What else do I need?”

The seafood-laden menu at Off the Hook’s alter ego, Capt. Brien’s Seafood & Raw Bar, is a welcome departure from the norm for the New Jersey-born Vos.

“Most clubs just have fried food,” Vos added. “Who wants to eat fried food all the time? The people that come there – it’s a good clientele. It’s fun. I like going anywhere in Florida.”

Vos holds nothing back when discussing the source of his unvarnished approach.

“I’ve got 26 years sober,” said Vos. “When I put myself in rehab, that’s when I got honest – I’m a drug addict. I’m either going to die, or I’m going to go to jail or I’m going to go to rehab. It’s not only about being honest. I know people. I grew up in a mixed neighborhood.”

Vos starred in the first and third seasons of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and has been a regular on the “Opie and Anthony” radio show for years. He’s also had two Comedy Central Half-Hour Specials, appeared on HBO, Showtime, Starz, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” ABC’s “The View” and other TV shows over the years.

Relationships, divorce, parenthood, daily occurrences and race – he grew up as a Jewish kid in a predominantly black neighborhood in Plainfield, N.J. – come up frequently.

The influence of that background and other life experiences enabled Vos to connect with multi-racial audiences since his career began 30 years ago.

Vos was the first white comedian to perform on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam,” and he’s also made three appearances at Harlem’s Apollo Theater and four appearances on BET’s “ComicView.”


“Black audiences – you can’t fool black audiences,” said Vos. “They can tell if you’re not honest. A black audience will give it up more than a white audience if they like you.”

Diversity is something Vos prefers in his audiences.

“If there’re no blacks in an audience – if you do a racial joke, you don’t want people agreeing, you want them laughing. Black people get it. They want to laugh.”

Like many comedians, Vos enjoys the give and take with live audiences, but hecklers get no mercy.

“You’re not going to beat a comic,” said Vos. “I don’t go into a hospital and try to out-surgery a doctor. Nobody ever yells at an actor during a Broadway show.”

Vos and his wife, fellow comedian Bonnie McFarlane, started a podcast last November titled “My Wife Hates Me.”

The couple also filmed a documentary, “Women Aren’t Funny,” which will have a sneak preview in New York City on Nov. 10.

“Women Aren’t Funny” talks with Lisa Lampanelli, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, Joan Rivers, Joy Behar, Adam Carolla and other comedians on the topic of whether women can generate laughs just like guys.

“Still Empty Inside,” Vos’ third comedy CD, was released in late 2010.


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