Comedian Marty Pollio blends stand-up with physical humor
Stand-up comedian Marty Pollio originally got into show business as a mime.
"It got me started, but that was a long time ago, because back then, mimes were cool," Pollio said during a telephone interview from his home in Louisville, Kentucky. "When comedy clubs started popping up everywhere, mimes became uncool and stand-up became cool."
Pollio made the switch, but still meshed the two concepts together.
"I still sneak in my physical comedy, but I don’t call it mime," he said. "In fact, mimes don’t call themselves mimes any more. The new names are movement theater, physical comedy and there’s something else, but I forgot what it’s called."
Pollio is excited for his performance at the Egyptian Theatre with fellow stand-up artist Gulden on Friday, March 6, and Saturday, March 7.
"I’m looking forward to this and hoping I’ll get a feel of the town and come up with a few things before I do the show," he said. "It sounds like a lot of fun. I hear it’s a pretty cool town."
The reason why Pollio wants to gain an understanding of Park City is because he may write some Park City-centric jokes for opening night.
"I do a lot of corporate events company parties, awards banquets and luncheons and what I do is come up with new jokes for the people I’m performing for like the dental equipment company or the cardboard manufacturing company," said Pollio, who has been seen in recurring TV roles on "Night Court," "Empty Nest" and "Blossom." "So, I’ll come up with a page of stuff for them and a lot of times the most jokes I write are for these groups that I cater the opening part of my show for."
Much of Pollio’s early influences were physical comedians such as Dick Van Dyke and Steve Martin.
His stand-up influences also included Steve Martin, but also "Saturday Night Live" alum Kevin Nealon.
"We’re not talking way back when, but Kevin has been around a while, and I have always thought he was hilarious," Pollio said. "Also, to tell you the truth, of all the comics I’ve hung out with, he’s the funniest guy that I’ve ever been around in my life. He’s a witty guy and kind of always on in a real way and not an obnoxious way.
"He was a big influence in finding my own personality on stage," Pollio explained. "I sort of had the same demeanor. My stand up is kind of dry, and my physical stuff is wildly physical a lot of times."
Pollio recently took his act overseas and entertained the U.S. Troops in the Middle East, which made him feel like he was contributing something to society.
"I mean, as a comedian, I really don’t feel like I’m doing anything for anybody," he said. "Every once in a while, someone will pull me aside and tell me they’ve had a hard week and I made it better. It doesn’t really sink in and then they’ll tell me again and that makes me feel like I really helped somebody.
"When you go over there, you really feel like you’re doing something," Pollio said. "However, it also depends on where you go."
While performing at Diego Garcia, an island military base in the middle of the Indian Ocean, he felt a bit awkward.
"It felt like an island paradise and I felt like I was bothering people to do a show," Pollio said. "Then I went to Bahrain and those people are sort of stuck in the middle of nowhere. Even on the weekends they don’t go anywhere.
"I talked to the soldiers before and after the show and found they were happier," he said. "It made me feel good. I would like to do that all the time, because I’m not used to feeling like I’m helping people."
In the meanwhile, Pollio is planning to move back to Los Angeles.
"I moved back to the Midwest for some family duties, which are winding down," he said. "It’s not that I love L.A. so much, but I miss the opportunities. As for quality of life, I’d rather be out here, but I miss auditions and acting gigs.
Between his comedy shows, Pollio does video production and is working on a cooking show that will be on pastaguy.com .
"So, at some level, I’m trying to create my own destiny," he said. "I hope this interview helps attendance, because nothing I have said was funny."
The Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., will present stand-up comedians Gulden and Marty Pollio on Friday, March 6, and Saturday, March 7. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets range from $19 to $29 and can be purchased by visiting http://www.parkcityshows.com.
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