Joseph Vecsey Brings His Comedy — And a Video Crew — To Bay Street - 27 East

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Joseph Vecsey Brings His Comedy — And a Video Crew — To Bay Street

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On April 27, comedian Joseph Vecsey will take the stage at Bay Street Theater for a live taping of his act

On April 27, comedian Joseph Vecsey will take the stage at Bay Street Theater for a live taping of his act "Half Hard, Half Soft." COURTESY BAY STREET THEATER

On April 27, comedian Joseph Vecsey will take the stage at Bay Street Theater for a live taping of his act

On April 27, comedian Joseph Vecsey will take the stage at Bay Street Theater for a live taping of his act "Half Hard, Half Soft." COURTESY BAY STREET THEATER

On April 27, comedian Joseph Vecsey will take the stage at Bay Street Theater for a live taping of his act

On April 27, comedian Joseph Vecsey will take the stage at Bay Street Theater for a live taping of his act "Half Hard, Half Soft." COURTESY BAY STREET THEATER

On April 27, comedian Joseph Vecsey will take the stage at Bay Street Theater for a live taping of his act

On April 27, comedian Joseph Vecsey will take the stage at Bay Street Theater for a live taping of his act "Half Hard, Half Soft." COURTESY BAY STREET THEATER

On April 27, comedian Joseph Vecsey will take the stage at Bay Street Theater for a live taping of his act

On April 27, comedian Joseph Vecsey will take the stage at Bay Street Theater for a live taping of his act "Half Hard, Half Soft." COURTESY BAY STREET THEATER

On April 27, comedian Joseph Vecsey will take the stage at Bay Street Theater for a live taping of his act

On April 27, comedian Joseph Vecsey will take the stage at Bay Street Theater for a live taping of his act "Half Hard, Half Soft." MICHAEL HELLER

On April 27, comedian Joseph Vecsey will take the stage at Bay Street Theater for a live taping of his act

On April 27, comedian Joseph Vecsey will take the stage at Bay Street Theater for a live taping of his act "Half Hard, Half Soft." COURTESY BAY STREET THEATER

authorAnnette Hinkle on Apr 20, 2024

Joe Vecsey grew up in New York City. But during his formative years, he spent a good deal of time on the East End — specifically on Shelter Island, where his family has a home.

These days, Vecsey is ensconced on the West Coast where he works as a professional comedian, producer, writer and actor. But he still has strong ties to the East End — not just the family home, but also a stage home.

In 2010, Vecsey created Bay Street Theater’s All Star Comedy Series, a showcase that highlights the work of new and emerging stand-up comedians. After 14 years, All Star Comedy is still going strong at Bay Street, though Vecsey admits he isn’t here much anymore to host the events.

“The show has continued, but I haven’t been back in four years,” said Vecsey in a recent interview from Los Angeles, where he now lives.

That will change this week.

On Saturday, April 27, at 8 p.m., Vecsey returns to Bay Street Theater, his familiar stomping ground, with another All Star Comedy show. But this time, instead of hosting an event with a lineup of several comics, it’s a solo act and Vecsey will be taking the stage to perform his all-new hour-long stand-up show “Half Hard, Half Soft.” His performance at Bay Street will be videotaped by a professional film crew and there are plans to turn it into a special for Netflix or another streaming service.

“I don’t have an official outlet yet,” said Vecsey. “As of right now, it’s all independent.”

To that end, Vecsey is collaborating with the Kinnane Brothers (there are eight of them), an independent film, television and content production company which produces Kevin James’s YouTube channel. In addition to the Bay Street gig, Vecsey’s performance is being videotaped at three other East Coast venues as well and the resulting material from all four shows will be culled and edited together to create the final hourlong special.

“I already taped in Rhode Island and Toronto,” Vecsey said. “Then the last two places will be New York City and Sag Harbor.”

Vecsey has come a long way, both personally and professionally, since creating All Star Comedy in 2010, when he was just six months into his stand up career. So when it came time to select the four venues to record his new comedy special, he decided that one of them should be Bay Street Theater — the place where he got his start in the funny business.

“I think in the beginning, you don’t know necessarily how to make all your stuff work that goes on in life,” Vecsey explained when asked to reflect on his career and how he has matured as a comedian in the last decade. “Early on, you would try anything. You’re doing anything for a laugh and finding your voice. But after five to seven years of doing it, you figure out what works for you and what makes sense, rather than just telling any joke.

“As time evolved, I got more thoughtful and more conscious,” he added. “The show I’ll be doing is stuff I’ve accumulated over the last five or 10 years. A lot of it is stuff that has gone on in my life — personal stories, funny observations. More of who I am.”

Though it’s certainly a skill that has served him well, Vecsey didn’t initially envision a career in comedy. Rather, it was an outlet that he stumbled into, somewhat by accident, while he was still a student at Brooklyn College.

“I went to film school, then I started stand up. I never thought I would do it before that,” Vecsey admitted. “A friend said he was going to do it, brought me along with him and had me do it as well. It wasn’t a plan, they both [film and comedy] collided, and now, to make it work, you have to do a hundred different things — podcasting, film, stand up.”

And Vecsey has pretty much done it all. He made his TV stand-up debut in 2015 on “Gotham Comedy Live” and was named one of Comedy Central’s Top Ten Comics to Watch the following year. Shortly after that, Vecsey opened and toured with comedians Adam Sandler, David Spade, Norm Macdonald, Nick Swardson and Rob Schneider, gaining valuable experience by performing in arenas and theaters around the country.

He teamed up with Adam Sandler, creatively speaking, by serving as a co-producer on Sander’s first stand-up comedy special on Netflix, “100% Fresh.” Since then, Vecsey has gone on to co-produce several of Sandler’s Netflix movies for his Happy Madison Productions, including “Hustle,” “You’re So Not Invited to My Bat-Mitzvah,” “Home Team” and “Murder Mystery 2,” and made cameo appearances in the films. He was also a producer on Kevin James’s “Home Team” and had a role in that film as well.

When asked to expound on what his co-producing duties have entailed, Vecsey explained, “A lot of the time, it’s been writing jokes for Adam Sandler’s movies — punching up scripts and trying out alternate jokes, so there are different things to choose from in editing.

“It’s creative producing, so it can be anything from rehearsing with actors, helping with casting, even writing jokes and helping with the creative process,” he added.

Which leads to an obvious question. Does Vecsey have aspirations to direct his own material at some point in the near future?

“I do have interest in directing my own stuff for sure, and having it come out the way I want it to,” Vecsey admitted. “When I work with the Kinnane brothers, we have the same sensibility, so I know it will come out how I want. It’s nice to have the control.”

Though his career has led him to gain valuable experience in all sorts of entertainment mediums, Vecsey definitely has his favorites.

“I think stand-up and film are both equal for me,” he said. “I like the balance of them. I don’t like to do just one thing. I like being on set and focusing on film and then doing stand-up. I even like to edit, being focused on making that end product.”

And in terms of this upcoming final product, with his return to the Bay Street stage Vecsey is looking forward to getting a good turnout this Saturday for “Half Hard, Half Soft.”

“This show will be different in that it won’t be three or four comedians — it’s just me and an opening act,” said the comedian who hopes to attract a diverse and young audience for his show. “It will be a four or five camera shoot, so not a huge crew, but maybe there will be a little more excitement and energy because people will understand it’s a taping.

“I’m sure a lot of people will be coming out for it.”

Joseph Vecsey’s all-new show “Half Hard, Half Soft” will be performed during a live taping at Bay Street Theater on Saturday, April 27, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $27 and $37 in advance ($37 and $47 on the day of the show) at baystreet.org or 631-725-9500 and include an after party and meet and greet with the artists. Bay Street Theater is on Long Wharf in Sag Harbor.

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