Mick Diflo brings his dark humor to the Egyptian Theatre
Comedy show will also feature Greg Hahn
Stand-up comedian Mick Diflo has heard a lot about Park City or at least enough to spend some time here after he performs at the Egyptian Theatre for two nights with fellow comedian Greg Hahn.
“I’m looking forward to being there,” Diflo said during a phone call to The Park Record from his apartment in New York City. “My wife and I are going to come out and make a little vacation there. I’ve heard a lot about Park City and how beautiful it is. ”
Before Diflo takes to the hiking and gourmet restaurants, he will treat audiences to his brand of dark humor.
“I’ll usually take stuff out of the paper that is just tragic and make a joke out of it,” said Diflo, who was called “Sick Mick” by other comedians during his formative years. “It’s not for everybody, and I realize that, but it’s the kind of humor I grew up with.”
Diflo said his father was his first comedic influence.
“He was really low key and (wouldn’t) strike you as funny right away, but after a while, you’d just laugh and laugh at his dark sense of humor and surprising punch lines,” Diflo said. “He was old school. He fought in World War II and survived The Depression, but was a really funny guy.”
Seeing humor in dark times helped Diflo through some of his own life experiences.
“I had a drug and drinking problem growing up, as did my brothers and a lot of people who lived in my area, which was just outside Philadelphia,” Diflo said. “I always thought I would like to be an actor and star in sitcoms. Then I started getting in trouble, which waylaid those plans.”
To get motivated and back in shape, Diflo started boxing when he was 17. Despite his efforts, drug use still loomed ahead.
“I was only 17, but I felt like I was 80,” he said. “I had hepatitis and stuff like that,” adding that the rush of boxing wasn’t enough to satiate his craving for alcohol and narcotics, even though he won many fights in his glory days as a pro fighter.
“Midway through that career, I started drinking and getting high again,” he said. “One of the jokes I say now is, ‘The compliments I got went from ‘Hey, you can really move’ to ‘Wow, you can really take a punch.’“
When he was 28, Diflo decided to get clean and stay clean, which he has done for the past 33 years.
“I became a counselor and worked at a rehab for four years,” he said.
During that time, he started acting and appeared in a few plays around Philadelphia.
“Soon, a comedy group formed and the people in it knew I did some funny stuff and asked me to be in the group,” Diflo said. “We did skits and shows and stuff and had a little place to perform.”
Diflo moved to New York when he was 48, and he would book times for the comedy group in the city.
“They would drive up and we’d perform up here once in a while,” he said. “We would do a couple of shows at Stand Up New York.”
One year, the group couldn’t make the drive.
“I called the producer and told him the group wasn’t going to perform,” Diflo said. “The producer said, he didn’t really care who was on stage and asked me if I could do a show by myself.”
At first, Diflo said no.
“I told him I really didn’t do anything alone, but as soon as I hung up, I thought that I could put something together and called him back,” he said. “The first time I performed by myself was in front of a full house, and this was before I knew anything about open mics.”
Diflo continued doing his stand-up wherever he could and even took some training classes.
“I developed a pretty good set and kept doing it,” he said.
Diflo found that inspiration came atweird times, so he began carrying a pencil with him.
“I have it with me just in case something hits me while I’m on the bus or something like that,” he said. “The idea doesn’t really need to be funny at the moment, but l usually feel that there’s something in there that would work.”
Over the years, Diflo has become aware that people see comedians differently than they see actors or musicians.
“One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that that we’re all miserable and not happy people,” he said. “That’s just not true. I’m a pretty happy guy, and I know many who are.
“I know there are several comedians who aren’t, and they’re the ones who ruin it for everyone. We’re basically a fun bunch.”
Some of Diflo’s career highlights include becoming a contributing writer to ‘The Idiot’s Guide to Jokes,’ Jest Magazine and The Huffington Post.
He’s also landed guest spots on AXS TV’s “Gotham Comedy Live” and “Inside Amy Schumer”
“The speaking role in ‘Inside Amy Schuler’ was fun,” he said. “She was having a dream about being a princess, and I was one of the villagers and ran into the room with an axe and yelled, ‘Kill her!’ because she was going to get her head chopped off because she wasn’t producing any male children.”
Although Diflo would like to land a recurring role on a sitcom, he’s happy just to be in the game.
“I had a decent career and left it to try this, because I didn’t want to end up being 70 years old and wonder if I couldn’t have done it,” he said.
Stand-up comedians Mick Diflo and Greg Hahn will perform at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 4-5, at the Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St. Advance tickets range from $15 to $29. The price will increase $5 the day of each show. For information and tickets, visit http://www.parkcityshows.com.
Short excerpt from Mick DiFlo set. Warning: salty language
Park City Follies and the Bestminster Dog Show highlight activities in Park city this weekend.