Dom DiTolla co-hosts an open mic at the Music Box Lounge (6951 E 22nd Street) with fellow comics Roy Lee Reynolds and Tony Bruhn. If you’d like to see him perform, call up Laffs (32 Funny) and ask when he’s hosting. Trust Jeremy Segal, it’ll be a good time.
by Jeremy Segal
What made you get into comedy?
I went to a booked show with friends and said “I could do that!” And my friends stayed on my ass until I went to an open mic at Laffs and I fell in love with it.
What is your favorite joke you’ve ever written?
A joke I really dig is the one where I talk about the Rudy sequel, where he gets CTE, ’cause my dad is a Notre Dame alum and hates Rudy, and the joke makes fun of Rudy. It’s kind of a joke for my dad and me.
Many comics talk about stand up as being like therapy- what is your take on it?
Not necessarily therapy, but creativity from my normal job.
What is the craziest show you’ve ever been on?
A show I was on my second or third month in. I was doing a Mr. Heads show. I’m kind of in the middle, towards the end, and there’s a heckler in the audience. And one guy in the audience didn’t like the heckler, and they started fighting each other during my set. And I had no idea what to do, as I was new. All I could do was break it up and make comments in my really britty set. The heckler guy starts yelling not at me but at the guy who was fighting him, and they start fighting through the fence.
What do you look for in an open mic?
Honestly, I look for an opportunity where everyone can work out zit. Obviously a good stage is nice, but it’s about showrunners that want the comics to be there, giving them the time and latitude to work their stuff out.
Which comedians inspired and influenced you the most?
The tough crowd crew- Nick Di Paolo, Greg Giraldo, Patrice, Colin Quinn – they didn’t get me through stand-up, they’d just talk about the news.
How do you think you could improve?
Working on using less words in jokes, not less smart, but also less is more. The ability to cut down jokes a bit to get to the joke quicker. It’s one of the big things not that I struggle with, but look to improve on all the time. The best advice I can give is to always stay motivated to write. That’s the biggest piece of advice I can give.
How would you like to see Tucson comedy develop in years to come?
I’m really excited. When I started it was really click-y. Other than Laffs, Mr. Heads was the only one everyone would go to…now there’s the mic at the Wench that Roxy [Merrari] really took over and made her own. And younger guys, you guys take over some zits and run some shows.
Have you ever experimented with any other forms of comedy?
I was in Tucson Improv Movement for two years. I was in the house short form improv. Then I realized it was taking time away from stand-up so I quit. But it was cool, it was fun. Met some solid people. But I’m so much more comfortable doing stand-up.
Did it help you with stand-up?
Yeah. Got your mind working a different way. You work more as a team. I like writing by myself. It helps writing and word association. One thing I’ve learned is I’ll go to a random word generator online and just click through until something strikes me. Then I’ll write it down.
Thank you for your time.
Thank you, man.