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Hamptons Life

Feb 14, 2017 12:24 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

All-Star Comedy Returns To Bay Street With Richie Redding, Marie Faustin And Dave Sirus

Feb 14, 2017 12:43 PM

Joseph Vecsey’s All-Star Comedy Show returns to Bay Street Theater on Saturday, February 25, when three rising stand-up comics will make their Sag Harbor debuts.This month’s performers, Richie Redding, Marie Faustin and Dave Sirus, have all accomplished big things already, and have even bigger things on the horizon.

Mr. Redding is a New York-based comedian, but last week he spoke from California, where he is spending a few months pitching television shows and auditioning for sitcoms during the industry’s “pilot season.”

“I’m the only one who seems to think it’s a problem that I can’t act,” Mr. Redding quipped. “My agents all think that I’m a good actor. I disagree. So we’ll find out in a couple months.”

He admitted he believes that between the sitcom he’s pitching and all the ideas for reality shows he has, the one most likely to make it to air is actually his girlfriend’s potential reality show: She’s a house-call veterinarian who takes care of rich people’s pets and has previously gone viral. Her name is Dr. Lisa Lippman, and the show is already in development.

He and Dr. Lippman co-host a podcast, “Pets n’ Punchlines,” which Mr. Redding said, confidently, is the only comedy and veterinary podcast in the world. He described it as “comics with pets talking with vets.”

He has another podcast as well, “War Stories with Richie Redding,” which he said demonstrates the kind of stories that he tells on stage.

He’s originally from southern New Jersey, near Atlantic City, “which is what makes for good comics, because you got to be a good ball-breaker if you’re from there,” he said.

Before becoming a comic, Mr. Redding worked in the corporate world—and hated it. He was managing a mortgage company that was an arm of an investment company. “I was a horrible employee,” he said. “My boss was trying to get me to quit. I forced him to fire me. And the next day I went on stage for the first time.”

That was 15 years ago. He got his start in Philadelphia in urban rooms—playing to predominantly black audiences—and at burlesque shows.

“Basically, the reason that I wound up doing and then I got really good at entertaining black people was that I didn’t have a car when I lived in Philly. And there were two comedy clubs: a black one and a white one. And the white one was way out in the suburbs, and the black one was down the street from me. So that’s how it happened.”

He said he never even tried to fit it—and the audiences appreciated that. “I was, like, the preppy white kid that was just totally honest about where he was, and it was the same thing for the burlesque shows. It was absolutely ridiculous from the jump.”

He was eventually noticed by Katt Williams, and went on to be an opener for Mr. Williams for three years. “It’s the most exciting thing you can imagine,” he said of opening for Mr. Williams 150 times. “His crowd is bigger than anything most comics will ever see in their life. A small crowd for him is 5,000. A big crowd is 20,000. And you have got to bring it on those shows. It’s kill or be killed. Killing a Katt Williams audience is probably the most explosive comedy experience you can have.”

Ms. Faustin, a Huntington native turned Brooklynite, is also a podcaster with television ambitions, in addition to being a successful stand-up. Walking in Williamsburg last week on the way to a table reading for her friend and fellow comic Molly Austin’s upcoming TruTV show featuring comedic music videos, she said that she finally tried going on stage after years of people telling her she should be a comic, and she found out she liked it.

“People just kept telling me I was funny,” she said. “I would go out, and people would be, like, ‘Oh my God, you’re so funny! You should be a comedian.’ And I was always, like, ‘I’m smart too. Maybe I should be a doctor.’ And they’re, like, ‘No, that’s not what you should do.’”

“Comedic storyteller” is still how she describes her style of stand-up. Her guidance counselor at Walt Whitman High School would pull her out of class and have her retell all her stories about all her random weekends to the principal and the school’s secretaries, she recalled. “And I didn’t realize at that time that it was, basically, stand-up. I thought I was just lying to them by telling them these exaggerated stories about my super-basic weekends.”

Ms. Faustin’s podcast is “The Unofficial Expert,” in which she interviews people “who think they are experts at something that nobody really cares about,” and she hosts a weekly radio show on 99.5 FM named “Tall Tales in the Big City.”

Mr. Sirus, a stand-up comic since he was a high school student in New Jersey, is also known as Brick Stone, a pseudonym he used in a series of web videos in which he posed as a reporter and interviewed members of the Westboro Baptist Church, which is known for anti-LGBT rhetoric and protesting at military funerals—to hilarious effect.

He’s also the writing partner of “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson. They worked together on Comedy Central celebrity roasts, including the roasts of Justin Bieber and Rob Lowe, and Mr. Sirus joined Mr. Davidson at “SNL” in 2015 as a writer for the 41st season. He co-wrote Mr. Davidson’s “Weekend Update” features and contributed jokes to a number of sketches.

After “SNL,” he went to the Triumph the Insult Comic Dog election special for Hulu, and he continues to perform stand-up frequently.

“The thread of my stand-up is that I want people to have ‘a-ha’ moments,” Mr. Sirus said. “My stand-up is mostly about trying to get people to hear a point that maybe they haven’t thought about before, but once they hear it, they agree. It’s just sort of pushing whatever propaganda is in my head.”

Not that it’s political, he clarified: “It’s just the idea of me trying to make you think the way I do—for some reason.”

Mr. Vecsey will serve as the evening’s host on Saturday, February 25, at 8 p.m. The All-Star Comedy Show will also take place at Bay Street on Friday, March 24, when Jamie Roberts will take over hosting duties and Ms. Vecsey will perform with Anthony Devito and Jay Nog.

For $30 tickets to either show, call the Bay Street box office at 631-725-9500 or visit baystreet.org.

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