I'm a 28 y/o stand-up comic who's been on Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing and the Tonight Show. I've toured almost 300 colleges and I was recently named one of LA Weekly's "Top 10 Comedy Acts to Watch in 2012" and one of Funny or Die's "30 Comedians to Watch Under 30."
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Rob O’Reilly Needs Your Help [- Hide]
Tue Jan 23, 2007
Tue Jan 23, 2007
Cleveland comic Rob O’Reilly desperately needs your vote. Too bad the folks at The Tonight Show are giving you a tough time casting it.
On Friday night’s show, Leno rolled clips of 10 contestants in contention to become a “Tonight Show Correspondent.” The winner scores an on-camera job as the show’s freelance interviewer at events like the Republican National Convention, Olympic Games, and the Academy Awards.
Check out O’Reilly and his nine competitors, and see if you can pick out what’s wrong:
For starters, the 30-second clip that identifies O’Reilly isn’t really O’Reilly at all. Even he doesn’t know who the dude from New York is. Scroll down two rows, and there’s Brad “Woody” Wollack from L.A. Only that’s not Woody. That’s O’Reilly. And up until this morning, there wasn’t even a function to vote for him. “Literally, I was the only one who didn’t have a little thing to vote below me,” says O’Reilly, who’s in New York this week to make the comedy-club rounds. “So everyone has gotten a head start over me.”
Well, we’re here to help.
O’Reilly’s 30-second audition tape is an edited version of a five-minute series of street interviews he conducted in September on the Boston University campus, where he graduated last year with a degree in television comedy-writing. In each interview, he poses a multiple-choice question, like “When was the Chinese Exclusion Act enacted?” He then gives his targets three choices: the 19th century, the 1800s, or the Gilded Age. Of course, everyone gets it right, because all three answers mean the same thing. The interviews can be seen in their entirety on O’Reilly’s website.
O’Reilly is now counting on you to vote for him since he thinks the odds are stacked against him. In addition to being misidentified on the Tonight Show website, he managed to miss Friday night’s airing of his tape. Standing outside a New York bar with his girlfriend to watch the show, a bouncer told them that the club was too packed to let them in. They raced back to his apartment, only to arrive one minute after the closing credits. “I have heard it over a speaker phone, though,” says O’Reilly. “On the positive side, I was one of 10 people chosen over thousands to compete. If I win, it would be life-changing, to say the least.” — Cris Glaser
A Comic on the Rise Leads this Week’s Picks [- Hide]
The Funny thing abo…
The Funny thing about Rob O’Reilly is that he’s funny now. Rob’s Spanish teacher was so amused by his classroom gags and pranks that the prof persuaded him to enter Bay High School’s annual talent show four years ago. Once onstage and armed with plenty of jokes, O’Reilly proceeded to bomb in front of the 800 people in attendance. “It was like losing my sexual virginity,” he says. “It was awkward and there was one person laughing.”
Today, after a little reconfiguring of material, the 20-year-old O’Reilly makes the comedy-club rounds near Boston University, where he’ll graduate in May with a degree in comedy writing before spending the winter in Los Angeles as an intern in Warner Brothers’ comedy development department. Just three months ago, O’Reilly placed 5th out of 95 comics at the Boston International Comedy and Movie Festival. Talent scouts from Letterman and Comedy Centrals Premium Blend even asked him to send videotapes of his act, which is “kinda like Candid Camera, online not filmed,” he explains. “It’s about the weird shit I do to people to catch everybody offguard. I like messing with people.”
O’Reilly performs at 8 p.m. tonight and 8 and 10:15 p.m. tomorrow at the Improv, 2000 Sycamore Street. Tickets are $10, available by calling 216-696-4677.
Local Comedian to Perform at National Comedy Festival [- Hide]
Want to hear something funny? Rob O’…
Want to hear something funny? Rob O’Reilly. Really-O’Reilly.
O’Reilly, 20, Bay High graduate has already won several comedy competitions and was named 2004’s funniest amateur comedian at a competition held recently in Lakwood-out-laughing some 40 other jokemeisters. Rob currently attends Boston University, where he is studying television writing.
He also will be appearing at the prestigious Boston International Comedy & Movie Festival, which will feature 96 young comedians from around the continent.
He recently opened for comedian Dane Cook in front of more than 1,400 students. When not at BU, he opens for other national headliners as a feature act across America. He has been published in Judy Brown joke books, the Daily Free Press and Boink Magazine.
And he’s come a long way from his first gig: performing for a bunch of friends in his basement. (He was voted class clown in eight grade.)
Rob’s humor style has been described as “an intellectual blend of observational humor and self-deprecating jokes about being Irish and nerdy.”
For example: “I have a black friend who refused to go in the sunlight. She told me that it’s cooler within the black community to remain a light skin tone. I didn’t understand since white people tan. It’s like white people want to be darker skinned, but black people want to remain lighter skinned, so we’re all meeting in the middle. It’s as if we all want to be Mexican,” he said.
O’Reilly has a girlfriend, but he keeps her out of his act. “She’s like the worst possible thing for my act because she’s the best thing that ever happened to me. But see me a couple of months after we break up because then I’ll be hilarious.”
O’Reilly’s favorite comedians include Mitch Hedberg, David Cross, Brian Regan and Jim Gaffigan.
And his goal ten years out: Standup. He’s going to ride the standup bus to the punchline.
‘Goofball’ O’Reilly Headlining at 20 [- Hide]
June 3, 2005
Rob O’Reilly coming to Casey’s Pub…
June 3, 2005
Rob O’Reilly coming to Casey’s Pub in Lorain Monday, is a goofball. In the comedy world, that’s a serious compliment. But what sets him apart from other comedians who follow the intellectual formula that says “silly equals laughs,” is that he happens to also be an intellectual. That’s the prerequisite when you’re both a headlining comedian and student at Boston University.
O’Reilly has been successfully juggling both the comedy and academic worlds in Boston and throughout the East Coast. His silly brand of thoughtful humor has caught the attention of talent scouts from “The Late Show with David Letterman,” who actually saw him at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, rather than during one of his regular performances in Boston. Since his comedy is similar to the same style favored by Letterman and his writers, it should only be a matter of time before he earns a diploma and makes his late night debut on the show. From a comedy intellectual point of view, that’s a no-brainer.
Red hot since performing in front of 1,400 people with Dane Cook and winning comedy contests from Cleveland to Pittsburgh to Boston, O’Reilly is taking advantage of his summer vacation by shifting his career to the stages of New York City. But first, he’s scheduled shows near his hometown of Bay Village. Later this month he’ll be performing at the Cleveland Improv with Pablo Francisco. And as a prerequisite (for lack of a more intellectual term), he’ll headline at Casey’s Pub in Lorain.
Show time is at 8:30 PM. $10 Admission. 440-986-2000.
Class Act [- Hide]
Student turns stand-ups at local club…
Student turns stand-ups at local clubs
The best thing about college is that no matter who you were in high school, you can reinvent yourself. Take Rob O’Reilly. A few years ago, the BU junior was a nerd stuck in Bay Village, Ohio. Now… well, he’s a nerd. But he’s using that nerdiness to be funny. And popular. O’Reilly is a stand-up comic, one of many college-age performers storming local clubs such as The Comedy Studio.
When choosing a college, O’Reilly was looking into engineering programs but then switched to communications because he loved comedy.
“My first real performance was in front of a large group of my friends in my basement,” remembers the comic, “and that was horribly not funny at all. Losing my stand-up virginity was like losing my actual virginity – very awkward, and there was one person laughing.”
But he continued to write, coming up with lines about white homeboys and college roommates. “Most of my jokes were about how big of a nerd I am, which isn’t all that far from what it’s like now,” O’Reilly says.
Comedians Provide Free (Not Cheap) Laughs in New York
June 30, 2008
Comedians are helping an overheated city relax with free summer comedy shows in the Lower East Side’s Thompson Square Park. NY1’s Arts Reporter Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
They say laughter is the best medicine and with cost of prescription drugs going up, it’s all the more reason to check out some free comedy in the Lower East Side’s Thompson Square Park.
The summer’s full schedule of free shows, called “Laughter In The Park,” is courtesy of comedian Suzette Simon, and the non-profit organization she founded — N.Y. Laughs.
“They call me ‘the subway comic,’ and the thing is, I did it to make New Yorkers laugh,” said Simon in a comedy routine. “I am the scariest thing in the city with a mic and a perm… after Al Sharpton.”
Many comedians talk about the quirks of city living.
“I was talking to this girl who had a tattoo on her arm. And I asked her, ‘What does that mean?’ and she said, ‘It was personal.’ I was like, ‘Really? That’s a good place for it,’” joked comedian Rob O’Reilly.
For more information on N.Y. Laughs’s comedy events, visit www.nylaughs.org.
- Stephanie Simon
Ryan Dalton, Rob O’Reilly debut on Comedy Central tonight Laugh Track
Friday, June 27, 2008
Plain Dealer Columnist
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the host of Laugh Track, a man who’s busting his buttons with hometown pride … Mike McIntyre.
Thank you, Cleveland! Actually, the busted buttons have more to do with the homemade poundcake. Still, I’m so proud of two local comics who take a huge stand-up step tonight.
National TV debuts: Kent native Ryan Dalton and Bay Village native Rob O’Reilly are performing on “Live at Gotham,” the stand-up comedy show that airs at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central. Dalton, 32, will watch with friends (join him) at a viewing party where he got his start, at Pickwick & Frolic. He’ll dash over after performing the early show at the Improv with this weekend’s headliner, Steve Byrne. The 23-year-old O’Reilly, a 2003 Bay High grad based in New York City, will watch the show with friends at a party in New York.
“If I was terminally ill, this would be my make-a-wish,” said O’Reilly, a graduate of Boston University whose credits include a “Tonight Show” correspondent gig.
It wasn’t too long ago that O’Reilly won the “So You Think You’re Funny” contest at the old Bassa Vita Lounge in Lakewood. He was so excited he jumped into the arms of the host that night, Dalton.
It was coincidence that both tried out for this season of “Live at Gotham” and both were chosen for the same episode in which six comics perform at the Gotham comedy club in New York City.
Dalton, a 1998 Kent grad and former car salesman who committed himself full time to comedy four years ago, says the TV spot is validation: “As a comedian, it means all these past efforts, from playing bars in the middle of Monday Night Football’ to gas stations to church picnics, all that hard work and all those humiliating gigs have paid off.”
Both hope the national exposure will launch their stand-up careers to the next level. Dalton, who lives in Lakewood, is seeking a spot on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” or “The Late Late Show” with Craig Ferguson. O’Reilly is finding it easier to open doors with bookers by simply saying Comedy Central thought he was funny enough to put on the air. Both are hoping everyone back home watches.
“I definitely think everyone in Cleveland, especially my hometown of Bay Village, should watch this (or at least TiVo it),” said O’Reilly. “I’ve spent seven years of my life going to thousands of comedy clubs and spending thousands of hours writing the funniest possible things I could say in seven minutes. So seven minutes of someone’s time is worth seven years of my life.”
“Live at Gotham” airs on Comedy Central at 10 tonight. The viewing party with Dalton begins at 9 p.m. at Kevin’s Martini Bar inside Pickwick & Frolic, 2035 East Fourth St., Cleveland (where “He’s Just Not That Into You” author and talk-show host Greg Behrendt performs on the comedy stage at Hilarities this weekend.)
Well, folks, that’s my time. Please remember to tip your carrier.
To reach this Michael McIntyre:
Previous columns online:
By Jill Carey
The Layfayette 10/17/08
Stand-up comedian Rob O’Reilly, “The Campus Comic,” will be performing tonight in the Farinon Snackbar at 10 p.m. Currently living in Brooklyn, NY, this 23-year-old comic is a recent Boston University grad who was a finalist in the 2005 Boston Comedy Festival. He has performed on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, The Tonight Show on NBC, MTV’s TRL, and college campuses across the country. I spoke with O’Reilly before his Lafayette debut to find out more about his success in comedy.
Jill: How did you get started in stand-up?
Rob: My first time doing stand-up was like my first time having sex. It was awkward and there was one person laughing. I was 16 and it was in front of my peers at a high school talent show. I had written all my jokes on my hand, and they were all sweating off of it because I was so nervous. Then I started doing open mics in Cleveland Ohio, where I realized the hard way that my jokes about being a suburban white kid didn’t translate to inner-city crowds. In the beginning I bombed a lot. Becoming a stand-up comic is probably one of the hardest things to start, besides maybe flossing.
Jill: What have been your best and worst experiences in comedy?
Rob: The best show I ever did was opening for Dane Cook. There were 1,900 students and every one of my jokes got an applause break. It’s impossible to not do well in that kind of a setting. The worst show I’ve ever done was hosting a Battle of the Bands. I was supposed to do stand-up while the bands set up, but everyone was just there to see their friend’s band, so they all ignored me. Afterwards, I got one Facebook friend request, whereas usually I get like ten or so. And I was pretty excited, thinking “at least one person liked me!” Then I read the person’s message and it said, “You’re awful at comedy, give up.”
Jill: Where has been your favorite place (or college) to perform at and why?
Rob: I owe a lot of my development to this great alternative club in Boston called the Comedy Studio. While attending BU, I used to perform at the Studio a lot, and it always has a very smart, hip crowd. I’d say the things I most desire in any audience are youth and intelligence.
Jill: What have you found to be your best material for stand-up?
Rob: A lot of my jokes are about how I’m awkward and have miscommunications with people. Like when my roommate told me he was LGBT friendly and I thought that meant he liked sandwiches with lettuce, bacon, and tomato. So I said, “Tasty!”
Jill: Who is your favorite comedian?
Rob: I’m not sure I have one favorite comic, but my top five would be David Cross, Mitch Hedberg, Brian Regan, Patton Oswalt and Woody Allen.
Jill: If you hadn’t been successful in comedy, what would you be doing now?
Rob: Who says I’m successful? Well, my mom. I started college as a chemical engineering major and then switched it to economics, before settling on psychology and television. If I wasn’t in love with comedy, I probably would have become an economist and hated my life.
Jill: What’s one thing you’d like your audience to know about you?
Rob: I’m going to let you in on a secret. Comedians don’t ever care that the audience knows anything about them. Deep down we’re all a little too emotionally messed up to reveal our true selves. Humor is our defense mechanism. So it’s not what we want them to know, it’s what we want them to think. And we want them to think that we’re funny. But, I want them to know I sell t-shirts afterwards for $15.
January 29, 2009
Inside With: Rob O’Reilly
By: Andrew Singer
Standup comic Rob O’Reilly has steadily been winning the hearts and minds of comedy fans around the world. A regular performer on the college circuit, O’Reilly has also been featured on Jay Leno and Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham. We recently chatted with Rob about life on the road, becoming a man and baring all.
How are you making the transition from a youthful comic to a grown-up comic?
I’ve only recently started to realize that my hook or gimmick is no longer there. I used to be the young kid who could get away with anything because I was adorable. But now I’m just old enough to not get away with it, yet still too young to tell a dirty joke without making an old person uncomfortable. They look at me and they see their son, and they don’t want to hear their son talking about vaginas. Nowadays there are some much younger comics, such as Billy the Kid, who is like 15. Billy makes me seem like John McCain.
Photo: Aemiessence Fine Arts
Did you ever get caught using a fake ID when you first started performing standup?
No, but I started when I was 16. And once I was supposed to emcee a club and the bouncer wouldn’t let me in. I told him I was the comic and he didn’t believe me. Probably because I looked like I was about 10 years old.
What’s it like to perform at NACA expos (National Association for Campus Activities, one of the main ways performers get booked for college shows)? How do you get the most out of college kids?
A NACA is a college showcase, for anyone who doesn’t know. They are very strange. They’re not like normal comedy shows. They have huge crowds of young college kids who don’t really laugh so much as cheer. So it’s more like being a cheerleader. You have to be like, “Remember this thing from your childhood?” And they go, “Yeah!” They like you if you’re clean and full of energy. Neither of which really describes my normal act. But I do well because I’m about their age, so I can talk about stuff we’d all remember, like the Skip-It, Tamagotchis, or Nintendo. The whole thing is really insane. I mean we’re talking about an 18-year-old kid who’s put in charge of the school’s $100K budget to bring entertainment to campus. So some pimple-faced kid decides whether I get to pay rent next month.
Tell us about your group The StraightMen.
The StraightMen is a group of three stand-up comics: Barry Rothbart, Mike Ennis and myself. As a stand-up, a lot of times you have an idea that would only work as a sketch but not a video. So we all had a lot of great ideas and then started making sketches, both video and live. Because we started performing them at stand-up shows, a lot of our live sketches come out of a staged interruption. Like someone starts heckling and the whole audience usually thinks it’s real at first.
We love that guerilla-style of comedy. And our video sketches are great because Barry and Mike own a video production company called WolfAngle Films. So they have nice equipment and are great at editing. We just released a new video that I think is our best yet. It’s called “Show It, Joey.”
Is there any truth to the rumor that you sometimes perform naked?
Yes, it’s true. I co-founded the Naked Comedy Show at The PIT with Andy O’Fiesh. Andy started the show at the Improv Boston, and I helped him bring it to New York. The show is very popular and generally sells out. We do it the first Saturday of the month at 8pm. All the comedians perform completely nude. And yes, the comics are all completely naked. And yes, I’m not kidding. And yes, we have female comics. And yes, I usually have a good set and sometimes I go long.
You’ve gone on tours that have lasted more than two solid months. What do you do when you’re not traveling or on stage during that time?
I stay busy by writing. It’s my goal to break into TV or screenplay writing, so I’ve been writing spec scripts. Plus, there’s always masturbation.
• Catch Rob O’Reilly’s “If You Build It” @ Karma (#51 1st Ave.), SAT, FEB. 7 @ 8PM.
Vying for a Chance to Own Carolines, Even for a Weekend
VINCENT M. MALLOZZI
Bryan Kennedy trotted out of a dressing room at Carolines comedy club in Times Square on a recent night wearing a black-and-white striped shirt and a whistle around his neck.
Earl Wilson/The New York Times
Liz Miele worked the stage at Carolines during March Comedy Madness. The contest “can open up a lot of doors,” she said.
“I’ll be your host this evening,” Mr. Kennedy told them, “and your referee.”
For the past three years, Mr. Kennedy has presided over March Comedy Madness, an annual laugh-fest patterned after the basketball tournament staged by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
At Carolines, 64 comedians from the New York area are placed in brackets, with top seeds going to those who have turned in strong performances in previous tournaments. Each hopes to advance, round by round, to the finals, where the winner will be rewarded with the opportunity to headline at Carolines for an entire weekend.
“My strategy during the shorter sets is to try and come off as very likable, very clean, and to try and get the crowd on my side,” said Rob O’Reilly, 24, a Brooklynite who has been to the finals twice in the past two years. “As a comedian, you want to reach the later rounds so that you have more time to mess with the audience, and more time to be funny.”
“For lesser-known comedians, getting a chance to headline here can open up a lot of doors,” said Liz Miele, 23, a comic from Pennington, N.J., who reached the Final Four last year. “Everyone knows what’s at stake.”
Before calling to the stage the comics whose names were bracketed on a large board behind him, Mr. Kennedy loosened up the crowd with some of his own material. “NASA launched its Kepler spacecraft to search our corner of the galaxy for other Earth-like planets,” he said. “Aboard the spacecraft were 2.9 million people looking for jobs.”
Soon after, Tracie Jayne was lamenting that many of her relationships had come to an abrupt end. “I’ve been left at the altar,” she said, “and given up for Lent.”
Josh Spear tried to impress women with his academic credentials: “I’m single, ladies,” he said, “two and a half college credits, come and get it.”
And Kevin McCaffrey took aim at those who consider hunting to be a sport: “It’s not a sport,” he said, “if both teams don’t know they’re playing.”
Two at a time, the comedians walked on stage and delivered what they hoped was their best material. Mr. Kennedy, who blew his whistle when the two-minute limit had elapsed, stood between contestants after their routines and asked the crowd to cheer loudly for the one they would like to see advance to the next round. The decibel meter did the rest.
Calise Hawkins, 29, of Jersey City, used her 2-year-old daughter as source material. “I still can’t believe I’m somebody’s mom,” she said. “I’m very excited about it, especially tonight — just to be away from her.”
Ryan Reiss, 29, of Manhattan, used his bed: “My girlfriend said she would like to sleep away from the door because if the boogeyman comes, he’ll get me first. I said that’s not realistic at all. I’ll sleep by the door, that way, if there’s a fire, I’ll be the first one out.”
With each passing round, the comedians get more time to tell jokes. In the first round, the field of 64 had one minute each. By the second round, a field of 32 had two minutes. Those who advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, on Wednesday, had four minutes. At the Final Four on Tuesday, semifinalists — Ms. Hawkins among them — will get seven minutes each, and the remaining two comedians 10 minutes to decide the championship.
UW La Crosse “Racquet”
Issue date: 10/15/09
What’s the biggest difference between High School and College? In College, weekends start on Thursdays. So start your weekend out right and heave your stomach down to the Cellar for some great laughs.
With Andy Grammer a serious success last week, CAB is on a roll and they are ready to double up and present Rob O’Reilly, (pun intended).
O’Reilly, an up-and-coming comedian and recent graduate of Boston University, has quickly built an impressive résumé with appearances on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, and NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Reviewed by the New York Times as “A piece of … talent,” and by People Magazine as “Not Horrible,” O’Reilly is one comedian you’ll want to catch.
At just 24, this Sagittarius, Irish-American, and self-christened “Love Child of Harry Potter and John Lennon,” has amusingly, and often awkwardly, employed his youthful point-of-view to yield himself as a fan-favorite at colleges around the country. Although winner of numerous accolades and awards, his MySpace reflects that this 8th Grade reigning Class-Clown is just as similar as many of us; an aficionado of amusing television, (The Office, 30 Rock, Entourage, and Family Guy to name a few), mirthful music, (Ben Folds, Weezer), and participant of the quieter athletics of tennis, skiing, and strip-solitaire? Ok, wait, maybe the last one is a demarcation of similarities.
While most Wisconsinites wouldn’t happily welcome a native Buckeye to town after last weekend’s trounce, O’Reilly is more likely to badger us with familiar circumstances and turnovers that don’t involve the pigskin. No matter, O’Reilly is sure to perform and bring out your best laugh … He did after all open for Dane Cook … So giggle, guffaw, chuckle, chortle, or hell, snort on down to the Cellar this Thursday at 7pm. Hear you there!