Dan Frigolette’s work schedule is no joke this Saturday.
The Schenectady-born stand-up comedian will be spending parts of the morning and afternoon at Proctors in Schenectady. His first gig will be a children’s comedy stunt and magic show at 11 a.m. Second and third engagements, two-hour theater and comedy workshops for kids, will begin at 1 and 4 p.m.
Frigolette is also booked for the evening at the theater. He’ll be one of five comics performing in the “Comedy’s Best Kept Secret Tour,” which starts at 8 p.m. All three events will be held in the “Underground at Proctors” performance space, the basement of the former Carl Company.
Frigolette, 30, whose parents John Frigolette and Ann Bucci graduated from Schenectady’s former Linton High School during the early 1970s, is thrilled about all four shows. He’s especially excited about the “Secret Tour,” which also features national touring comedians Michael Cannon, Matt Richards, Matt Pavich and “Wacky Chad,” Chad Deitz.
“It’s an adult comedy show, there’s no censorship, it’s whatever’s on our minds,” Frigolette said in a telephone interview from his home in Hoboken, N.J. “It’s not a dirty show, it’s not a deliberately late-night, X-rated scenario. It’s just an adult comedy show where everybody gets to talk about what they want to talk about. ‘Wacky Chad,’ he’s probably going to be clean, he lives in that world and only does rooms where there will always be children. And then there’s me and Mike, who will talk about relationships and what’s going on. The two Matts have the gamut of experience they’ll talk about as well.”
Inspired by household
Frigolette draws inspiration from his childhood in a “potty-mouthed, loud Italian household.” That household didn’t stay in Schenectady long, moving away from the city shortly after Frigolette’s birth in 1983. The family made stops in Syracuse, Binghamton, Dublin, Ohio, and ended up back in Syracuse. Frigolette graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in advertising and communications-rhetorical studies from the university’s vaunted S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
-- Kids Close Up Comedy Stunt & Magic, 11 a.m. Saturday. $10
-- Theater and Comedy for Kids Workshop, 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday. $40
-- Comedy’s Best Kept Secret Tour, 8 p.m. Saturday. $15
Where: The Underground at Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady
MORE INFO: 346-6204, www.proctors.org
“Now I tell wiener jokes,” Frigolette said. “So it worked out.”
Frigolette got his start in 2005, at the former Viva Debris Comedy and Magic Club in Syracuse. He and a friend were both 20, and underage. They talked their way in, and made friends with owner Joe Delion. “We spent the entire summer there,” Frigolette said. “We saw every show, and at the end of the summer, I went on stage for the first time in front of friends and family. He put me on stage twice, right before I moved to London for six months.”
Frigolette has since made appearances on the FX network’s “Totally Biased” comedy series and the Artie Lange Show on DirectTV. Earlier this year, he was on a coast-to-coast tour that put him on stage in 21 cities.
Frigolette is happy to introduce his expertise and experience to kids. He, Deitz and Richards will perform during the comedy stunt and magic show; when Frigolette brought the same show to Proctors this past spring, it sold out.
“‘Wacky Chad’ will be on a pogo stick, unicycle, skateboard,” Frigolette said. “Anything you can do physically stunt-wise, this kid can do. He’s amazing. And Matt Richards is probably one of the most talented people I’ve ever met in my life. He can do magic, he can do hypnotism, he’s a hilarious comedian. He can work for children, he can work for adults.”
Workshops for children
During the workshop sessions, children age 5 through 12 will participate in comedy warm-up, technique and performance exercises. Kids will learn to think on their feet. Frigolette said he hopes the sessions will build self-confidence and teach young people how to think creatively.
“When you work with adults, they’re worried about being funny, it becomes a whole other thing,” Frigolette said. “With children, as long as you can open up the imagination, the things that come out are tremendous, amazing and memorable.”
Frigolette believes public speaking can be one of the scariest things adults have to do. “If we can eliminate that at an early age, then we’ve succeeded at something big,” he said.
Frigolette also believes theater can be a starting point for an artistic career.
“I want them to have fun,” he said of the boys and girls who will be part of Saturday’s audiences. “I want it to be something they remember. I want it to foster new opportunities. Perhaps instead of looking at sports as an opportunity, they’ll look at other things. They’ll look at music, dance, theater.”
The kids might be inspired to follow “Secret Tour” headliner Cannon, who has appeared on the MTV comedy series “Failosophy” and “Money from Strangers.” Frigolette thinks now is a good time to be a stand-up guy or girl.
A good era for comedy
“Comedy is probably the best it’s been since the late 1980s or early ‘90s,” he said. “This is a time when people are getting television shows, people are on television and you can get an opportunity on a show like a ‘Guy Code’ or ‘Girl Code’ or one of those talking-head shows and automatically end up with 500,000 Twitter followers because you’re on a bunch of times a day and people are looking for that. My friends and people that I’ve been in the business with for the same length of time are really starting to do well right now.”
Frigolette can laugh about the whole scene. He hopes others will, too.
“Right now, my main conversations are pretty much about the fact that I’m 30 now and my life looks a little different than the one I thought I was going to have,” he said. “My only child is a dog, I’m unmarried in Hoboken. I was born in Schenectady. That’s fodder for having two kids and a wife and a house in Scotia or something by now.”