By MIKE CHAIKEN
Weird things happen to Howie Mason.
How do we know? Because he said so.
And those “odd” moments are what drives his style of comedy, said Mason in a recent phone interview.
Mason serves as the stand-up comedy host on Saturday, Nov. 9, in the second annual St. Philip House Comedy Night at Nuchie’s in Forestville.
Most of the “weird” things that happen to Mason happen within the family unit, he explained. Those weird things and the family offer up a “nice mix of material” for his audience.
As for how much of what he says about his family is true, well, Mason said most of it is drawn from true stories. Although, he said there is a little bit of embellishment here and there.
“The focus more on myself,” said Mason. If he brings his family into the comedy bits, he said it’s nothing he would not have told them himself.
As for who the sales representative by day looks up to his comic icons, Mason said he likes the comedy stylings of Robert Klein. He also said Brian Regan is another great example of a comedian who can get laughs without “going down a certain road.” And Bill Burr is another favorite.
Mason said he tries to keep his comedy clean, minus the four-letter words that some acts will dip into. Part of that, said Mason, is due to the fact he’s a family man. If he can say it in from his kids, he said, he will say it in front of an audience.
Mason, although he hawks medical supplies by day, said his comedy career dates back to his college days at Providence College. “I always loved comedy.” And he said a lot of his sense of humor he can attribute to his father. “My dad was the funniest person I’ve ever met.”
“We watched a lot of comedy together,” said Mason of his father. They would sit down and watch the stand-up acts on classic talk shows such as the “Merv Griffin Show,” “The Mike Douglas Show,” and “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. And that drove, Mason to emulate the acts he saw.
Mason said he worked the comedy circuit for about four years. Then he took a break when he got married and started his family. Ten years after the break began, Mason hit the comedy stage once again. He’s been going ever since, playing such local venues as Joker’s Wild in New Haven.
As for whether his co-workers know about his humorous alter-ego, Mason said they soon will. He just started a new job and this will be their first chance to see his stand-up routine.
St. Philip House, the beneficiary of the comedy night, is a Plainville-based organization that describes itself on its website, stphiliphouse.org as “ a multi-faceted program that addresses the housing and social service needs of people whose lives have been touched by HIV/AIDS in the Central Connecticut area.”
Mason said he took on the comedy night at the request of an ex-co-worker who now is involved with St. Philip House.
“It made all the sense in the world to help the cause,” said the Connecticut-based comedian.
Audiences coming to the show, said Mason, should expect a “great time” with three great comedians. Besides himself, the bill also includes Maya Manion of Rhode Island and Rick Roberts of Cheshire.
The second annual St. Philip House Comedy Night will be held Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at Nuchie’s, 164 Central St., Bristol. Tickets are $45 and includes a cocktail hour (beer and wine), an Italian buffet and cheese Bar, and a 50/50 raffle.
For tickets, go to http://www.brownpapertickets.com/ event/424807
By MIKE CHAIKEN