Bay Street Theater is infusing humor into the Sag Harbor winter with the All Star Comedy Show, and comic Joseph Vecsey is returning to host.
Vecsey, who split his time between Manhattan and the East End while growing up, has emceed comedy showcases at Bay Street since 2010. He invites fellow up-and-coming stand-up comedians to the theater to entertain audiences. He conceived of the showcase because he wanted to present non-headliner comedians to Hamptons audiences, and he wanted to do it at a venue he really liked. Vecsey pitched the show to Bay Street Theater managing director Gary Hygom, and Hygom took to the idea. The event’s been through a few names, but has always followed the same format: Vecsey warms up the crowd, introduces the talent, and messes “with the rich uptight people that need to be loosened up and reminded that it’s a comedy show and not a sermon.”
The most recent show was in September, during HarborFest weekend. Vecsey says the audience has grown each time the event is held.
All Star Comedy will take place on the last Saturday of the month in both January and February, and because of their popularity, Vecsey says he aims to get to the point that the comedy shows will happen every month, year-round.
January’s lineup includes Nathan Macintosh, Dino Vigo and Jeffrey Joseph, each of whom has a unique style.
“Usually, I switch the lineup every time, but this time I brought out three guys who have been out before and did really well,” Vecsey says.
It was about five years ago when Vecsey and pal Kenny Garcia decided to try stand-up and went to an open mic night. Vescey was attending film school at Brooklyn College and writing comedy scripts at the time.
“I didn’t really know how to approach comedy back then,” Vecsey admits. It wasn’t until his second year making a go of it that he knew how to pursue stand-up comedy as a line of work.
He started a weekly podcast, The Call Back, in which he discusses the comedy craft and business with comedians, actors and writers at various points in their careers. His very first episode featured Aziz Ansari and other high-profile guests have included Tom Green, Garry Shandling and Chris Rock. His 80th episode was pulled from an archived interview he did with Colin Quinn—who has also performed at Bay Street.
Putting his film school education to use, Vecsey produces skits and short films that he releases to YouTube and submits to festivals. One is a parody of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, a web series in which Jerry Seinfeld takes fellow celebrities for drives in expensive cars. Vecsey and Macintosh’s version is Broke Comedians in Transportation Getting Water. “It was really well received by comedians—which is rare,” Vecsey says. Chris Rock tweeted the video to his three million followers.
Vecsey hopes to screen the sketch during the January 31 show. The following show will be February 28, with a different lineup, and an April show is being planned as well.
The All Star Comedy Show takes place at Bay Street Theater, 1 Bay Street, Sag Harbor on Saturday, January 31, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, February 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 631-725-9500 or visit baystreet.org.