The return of NBC’s reality show “Last Comic Standing” promises some extra fun for local residents and Penn State alumni in the form of one of its contestants, comedian Joe Machi. Born and raised in State College, Machi graduated from Penn State and tried his hand at a number of jobs before realizing he wanted to pursue a career in standup comedy.
In 2006 Machi moved to New York and soon began booking shows at comedy clubs around Manhattan. His career opportunities only grew after he started competing in high-profile comedy competitions. In recent years, Machi has made several late-night TV appearances and has a recurring segment on the Fox News satirical show, “Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld.” On the show, Machi plays a frightened news correspondent who shares his unusual fears with viewers while giving them advice on how to avoid whatever happens to be scaring him that week.
Now Machi is one of the 100 comedians competing against each other on the latest season of “Last Comic Standing.” Last airing in 2010, the returning competition sees contestants fighting for top spots by performing in front of a panel of judges including comedy icons Roseanne Barr, Russell Peters and Keenen Ivory Wayans. The winner of the competition will take home a cash prize and land a development deal to star in a TV series.
The Centre Daily Times spoke with Machi about his local standup performances, his comedic influences and the most memorable moments of his career so far.