Cranston Native to be Honored in July at The Comedy Park at the RI Comedy Hall of Fame
Al Ducharme is a comedy powerhouse deemed “very funny” by Simon Cowell and “one of my favorite comedians” by Heidi Klum on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. His story telling style is one of a kind and his hilarious, relatable characters will draw you in and leave you wanting more. In fact, one of his stage characters inspired the creators of Bill Burr’s Netflix cult hit “F is For Family” to bring Ducharme on board as a series regular playing the wildly popular character Anthony. Other TV credits include “Gotham Comedy Live”, “Comics Unleashed”, NBC’s “Today Show”, hosting “Mission Organization” on HGTV and a long list of commercials.
“My first departure from the safety of my Rhode Island nest was in the summer of 1986. I moved to The Big Apple (New York City) to further pursue a comedy and acting career. My first bout with NYC lasted 4 years before moving to Boston in 1990 and then back to New York City in 1998 to 2011. I now reside with my lovely and talented comedian wife, Bernadette Pauley on the “wrong” coast (West Coast) Los Angeles, California. We literally have traveled the globe performing stand-up comedy together and separately. Including throughout the Middle East and mainland China and Hong Kong.”
Joe Hebert, Comedian and Founder of the RI Comedy Hall of fame had this to say about the forthcoming iduction:
“Im very excited. I haven’t seen Al in years, and I’m looking forward to his homecoming. His induction is long overdue. Al has an extremely impressive resume and is a full time comedian working in LA. That alone is quite an achievement for a kid from Cranston. It’s going to by be an amazing evening. I encourage everyone, (especially you younger comics,) to attend this show and see exactly what you can achieve with a lot of hard work, and talent.”
Cranston Native, Al Ducharme returns to Rhode Island for his induction into the RI Comedy Hall of Fame at the Comedy Park, 848 Park Avenue Cranston, RI on Saturday, July 23, 2022. Performing with Al, is his wife, Bernadette Pauley and host for the event, Charlie Hall.
The Park Theater is the NEW HOME of the RI Comedy Hall of Fame
(Photo Compliments of RI Monthly)
The RI Comedy Hall of Fame began as an idea I had in August of 2011.
It was one of the hottest stickiest nights I can remember.
I was watching television trying to beat the heat and saw a commercial for an upcoming awards show. That was my Eureka moment.
I’d had been doing stand up comedy for 25 years at that point and suddenly realized there were no honors, or accolades for local comedians. Hey Joe, Why not change that?
After writing down some ideas, I called Frank O’Donnell, (a long time friend and mentor,) and brought it to his attention. We spoke for twenty minutes. At the end of our chat, plans were in place for a comedy roast to take place the following year. The first inductee into the Hall? Charlie Hall, of course. That decision was a no-brainer.
I met Charlie in 1985 at the former Periwinkles Comedy Club, which was located in the Arcade Building in Downtown Providence. He was running Charlie Hall’s Talent Night on Wednesday nights. The cover charge was a dollar.
I stand by my belief, that Charlie Hall was the state’s first, and is still the best comedian in RI. No one was more deserving. Charlie would tell you that, himself.
The First RI Comedy Hall of Fame Event
Over 20 comedians and local celebs and politicians and a sold out audience of 300 showed up to pay homage to Charlie, (Creator of the Ocean State Follies, Aging Disgracefully and the author of the state song, RI-It’s for Me,) with a comedy roast in his honor. It was an amazing and highly successful event.
Other comedians followed through the years, each one having provided RI with significant and meaningful contributions to the art.
More RI Comedy Hall of Fame Inductees
John Perrotta, Frank O’Donnell, Ace Aceto, Doreen Collins, Tom Cotter, Bobby Braciola, The Funny 4 Funds Co., and though not officially announced at the time of this article, Ruth Buzzi, of Laugh In fame, who was born in Westerly RI in 1936. Ruth has graciously accepted the honor.
The Hall Grows
Dana Nathanson consented become an officer in the Hall in early 2013.
Dana, a former manager at the Comedy Connection for 20 years, brought a great deal to the table. She’s now my Senior Director and booking agent. Nathanson had been of major assistance to me during my early career, and once again has become extremely valuable to the local comedy scene.
The Home of the RI Comedy Hall of Fame
Until this week, The RI Comedy Hall of Fame had a digital home on the internet. Now, as Ed Brady and Jeff Quinlan resuscitate the historic Park Theater into an entertainment complex, unlike anything the state has seen before. As Brady said in his official press statement on February 22, 2022, “You’re going to see Hollywood magic happening right here in Rhode Island.”
Five Years ago at his company’s induction into the RI Comedy Hall of Fame, Simas made a promise in front of 400 people in East Greenwich to find a permanent home for the Hall.
Simas kept his word.
Bill was instrumental in getting the Hall of Fame into the Park Theater. Brady and Quinlan saw the merits of having the Hall in their venue, and now future RI standups will have a place to see and pay homage to those who paved the way for them.
Sure, thank me for founding the Hall of Fame, but thank Bill Simas, Ed Brady and Jeff Quinlan for giving it a home.
The RI Comedy Hall of Fame is scheduled to open on April 29, 2022.
Raise Money for your Cause with a RICHOF Comedy Show
Rhode Island has a couple of great choices when it comes to choosing a company for your group’s comedy night fundraiser. One of those options is to hire The RI Comedy Comedy Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame, (in conjunction with John Perrotta’s Comedy Factory), will put together a fantastic comedy show for your fundraiser, using a lineup of hilarious, experienced, professional comedians who will help you achieve your fundraising goals. We’ve been booking comedy fundraisers for over 25 years.
A Professional Comedy Night Fundraiser
Each 90 minute comedy fundraiser show includes 3 pro comedians, and a top of the line Bose sound system. We will also assist you with your raffles at the end of the show.
Trust The RI Comedy Hall of Fame to provide top notch entertainment for your event. Call Dana (401) 261-3120
If learning the business of stand up comedy is your passion, (or even if it’s just an item to cross off of your bucket list), you owe it to yourself to take The Comedy Factory’s $200 Comedy Course.
It’s 6 weeks of fun, (but intensive), workshops chock full of everything you need to kick off your comedy career. (See photo) At the end of the course, you’ll be able to use your new skills by performing in front of a live audience for graduation.
Also, here’s a bonus that NO ONE will offer.
Every student WILL GET a PAID comedy gig at a future Comedy Factory Show. (Your paid show will be booked, within 6 months of graduation.)
Enroll now. All you need is a phone. Call John Perrotta at (401) 639-7726 for payment options.
Makes a great gift for the holidays for yourself or someone you love
It’s easy to hire a stand-up comedian for your event. Comedians are everywhere. They lurk in the shadows waiting for their not yet paid for IPhone 7’s to ring and be offered work. Facebook is full of stand-up comedians, as are entertainment booking sites, such as Gig Salad and the Bash.
Just about every place you look, you’ll be able to find a stand-up comedian. Finding a good stand-up comedian, however, can be a challenge. You’ll need to do some research before handing over your money to just anyone with a cheap suit and a microphone.
Stand-up comedians are not created equal.
There are no requirements necessary before referring to yourself as a stand-up comedian. There are no special licenses or permits. You can perform at one show in front of four people and call yourself a comedian, or you can perform hundreds of shows over many years, perfect your craft, and call yourself a stand-up comedian. That’s where the confusion comes in and that’s why doing some homework before you begin looking for your comedy entertainment will ensure you hire the very best talent for your event.
5 Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Stand Up Comedian
1.) How long have you been performing stand-up comedy?
If the comedian is your main entertainment for the evening, nothing less than 10 years of steady stand-up work is an acceptable answer. (There are exceptions, of course, but 10 years is a good rule of thumb.)
2.) Do you have a video I can look at so I can see if you’re a good fit for my event?
No video? No job.
3.) Can you provide references from people you’ve worked for in the past?
A no answer to this question should signal a red flag. Every comedian should be able to provide at least 5 references from satisfied customers.
4.) Can you work clean?
Depending on the event you are planning this is a crucial question. If you’re looking for someone to perform at your best friend’s bachelor party, you may not care if the comedian you’re considering can work clean. However, if you’re planning an event for your office, your church group, or your Aunt Ethel’s 90th birthday party, you want a comedian who can work 100% clean. No cursing, no sex jokes, and nothing that would embarrass you or your guests. If your comedian cannot work clean, I suggest you keep looking.
5.) Do you have an appropriate sound system?
This is such an important question, I’ve saved it for last. The comedian you hire MUST have a professional sound system, (Speakers, amp, microphones, stands) before you make an agreement. A sound system is usually the last thing a person thinks about before hiring a comedian and it’s one of the most important. A customer simply assumes a stand-up comedian has their own PA system, much in the way you assume a plumber has his own wrench. Pros have their own sound system.
Money is a major consideration when hiring stand-up comedians. Rates for scomedians can be all over the place. I’ve seen comedians ask for as little as $25 to as much as $1500.
What I do suggest, is starting with a budget in mind and working from there. As with most things, (and it’s especially true in stand-up comedy), you get what you pay for. If you’re hiring for an important event, a lower price may sound attractive, but when it comes to showtime, you may wish you had paid extra for a true professional.
Questions About Hiring a Stand-Up Comedian?
If you still have questions, (or are in need of a professional stand up comedian for your upcoming event) call John at the RI Comedy Hall of Fame: 401-639-7726 and mention the RI Comedy Hall of Fame for an extra special price.