The Boomer Comedy Unlimited tour comes to Guild Hall in East Hampton on Thursday, August 24 featuring comedians Carol Siskind, Dom Irrera and Jake Johannsen. Boomer Comedy Unlimited is the brainchild of Siskind, who, along with Pat Buckles, is the executive producer of the show, which draws on a pool of 20 comedians who belong to the baby boomer generation—born between 1946 and 1964.
The three comedians coming to East Hampton have found individual success with comedy specials on networks like HBO, appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman and various film and television credits.
“We all came up in the clubs together at the same time when we were starting out,” Siskind says of the comedy trio headlining Guild Hall. “These are all people who know each other.”
While Johannsen started his comedy career in San Francisco, Irrera and Siskind began their stand-up careers in the comedy clubs of New York. Siskind, a native New Yorker, then ventured out to Los Angeles and began performing and doing occasional film and television work.
Siskind describes her stand-up act as “neurotic straight-talk.” “I think of it as reflective,” she says. “I’m neurotic in that I’m a worrier and I’m second guessing myself. I just think of it as being as honest as I can about my emotional state.”
She wasn’t always as forthcoming, though, as it took many years and performances to hone her craft. “In the beginning, I would think sharing anything too personal is embarrassing. I was told by a more senior comedian, ‘the more personal is the most universal’ and [now] I share things that I think are pretty common.”
The pinnacle of her career came when she was offered an opportunity in Las Vegas after spending years in the L.A. comedy scene. After making the move, Siskind established herself as a Vegas regular and headlined shows in some of the biggest venues in Sin City. “Working in the major showrooms is a major step up from the clubs—it’s what you work so hard for,” she says. “You get audiences that come to see a real show and it’s on a more professional level.”
When she returned to the East Coast, Siskind decided to forgo the comedy clubs where she got her start. Instead, she began to book shows at performing arts theaters, which she says is when she got the idea for Boomer Comedy Unlimited. “When I came back to New York, I started getting booked at these regional performing arts theaters and I thought ‘this is where I should be working, this is where my peers should be working, there’s an audience for us.’ Not that the clubs aren’t good, but I did that for so many years that I really just want to be working in upscale theaters in a more civilized setting.”
What makes Boomer Comedy Unlimited a unique experience is that it’s a collection of established comedians, “all of whom are headliners in their own right.” The comedians, Siskind says, have “known each other for many years, but we haven’t worked together in many years because each one of us, when we’re booked, closes our own show. Usually there’s an opener, middle and a headliner, but everyone on this show will be headliners, and that hasn’t been done before.”
When mapping the tour, which she is starting in the Northeast with hopes to take it national, Siskind made sure to include the East End—she and other comedians also performed at the Suffolk Theater in Riverhead on July 21. “It was really [about] location, being out on the island in the summer,” she says. “We chose Guild Hall because we wanted to take advantage of the bustling summer scene. We know our show will appeal to the population there because they know and appreciate entertainment.”
Catch Boomer Comedy Unlimited at Guild Hall on Thursday, August 24 at 8 p.m. For tickets visit guildhall.org or call 631-324-0806.