I had the chance Saturday to interview Nick DiPaolo, the grumpy stand-up comic who makes Archie Bunker look like Dr. Phil’s bald spot.
He was exceedingly nice and answered more questions than I could fit in the story, which will be appearing Friday in the Weekend section of The News-Times.
I asked DiPaolo to compare and contrast O&A and Howard Stern, as a comic who has worked both shows.
He said there’s really no rivalry between the shows (since Sirius and X/M merged). He said that O&A pioneered the concept of making working comics an integral part of the show.
When you’re on O&A, DiPaolo said, you really become part of the show. You sort of parachute in during the Stern show, and rarely get on for more than an hour.
He seemed to indicate doing Stern is tougher, because Stern is a constantly trying to needle the guests. He also said Stern has a way of making you forget you’re on the air.
I asked him about Artie Lange’s drug problems. DiPaolo, who has been friends with Artie for years, said he doesn’t bring it up, other than a general “how you doin?”
He said Artie is a big boy, old enough to make his own decisions. He noted that many of his stand-up comic friends (Colin Quinn, Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton) all struggled with substance abuse problems at one time or another.
DiPaolo gets sort of heated if you ask whether his politics interfere with his career.
(Full disclosure, I asked my “friends” on Facebook to send in questions for DiPaolo. Mike Lane, an actor, sent in that particular question).
DiPaolo said when he was on the old “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn” show on Comedy Central, the cable channel’s execs “called him out” for some of the non-p.c. statements he made on the show.
He said the suits asked Quinn to “leave the racial stuff for (Dave) Chappelle.”
“Let’s just say the people who run everything have a different view than me,” he said.
DiPaolo wrote for the Oscar telecast Chris Rock hosted. He wrote a joke about lefty liberal Tim Robbins that “someone talked Chris out of saying.”
Finally, he said “Beer League” was a blast to work on and that his infamous “cocaine” line in the movie was not improvised, although most people think it is.