NY Kings of Comedy set to bring down the house in Asbury Park
Elana Knopp/Staff Writer
Asbury Park, NJ--Watch out, Asbury Park--the NY Kings of Comedy are in the house.
Veteran comedians Capone, Talent Harris, Rob Stapleton, Mark Viera and Drew Fraser will be bringing it next month at the iconic Paramount Theater on the Asbury Park boardwalk, with the comedy royals who plan on bringing down the house.
The Valentine’s Day show, sponsored by Madison Marquette at The Asbury Park Boardwalk in conjunction with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), is a guaranteed crowd pleaser as the original “Five Guys” are ready to take the Jersey Shore by storm.
The group has appeared on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Bad Boys of Comedy, Jamie Fox’s Laffapalooza, Comedy Central, Showtime, BET Comicview and countless movies and television shows, with each comic bringing their own unique brand of comedy to create a show that never lets up.
Capone, also known as “The Gangster of Comedy,” has appeared on “Def Comedy Jam” and “Shaq’s All-Star Comedy” and was told when he was just starting out that his gangster moniker was a bad career move.
“If you believe in your brand, you don't give it up just because some people don't believe it,” Capone has said. “I’ve sold drugs, I’ve sold many different things. Now I’m just selling myself — and I’m not selling myself short.”
Harris, an actor and writer who has hosted his own radio show on WBLS, has co-starred in a variety of films--including “Sunset Park” and “Brotherly Love,”--while Fraser began his career in Boston and later moved to the Big Apple, where he hosted Amateur Night at the world-famous Apollo Theater, opened for Queen Latifah and co-hosted in P. Diddy’s “Bad Boys of Comedy.”
Stapleton, a filmmaker, writer, and producer who was raised in the Bronx, is currently in post-production on his latest feature film, “The Stuff,” while Viera made his network television debut on NBC's Emmy award-winning show “30 Rock,” and later appeared on such comedy shows as “Russell Simmons Presents Stand-Up at the El Rey,” “Gotham Comedy Live” and “Gabriel Iglesias Presents: Stand Up Revolution.”
Harris said the comedic collaboration has been a long time in the making.
“These guys are the five hottest guys to come out of the city,” he said of his partners in comedy crime. “They’ve been funny for so long. This is their second go-around.”
The Kings of Comedy first put their act together in 2002, but their youth—coupled with their not-yet-honed business savvy—compelled the group to put their funny bones on the back burner—until two years ago.
“We revisited and started it again,” Harris said. “We’re so successful because the collaboration and the camaraderie put us over the top.”
The Kings’ ability to connect with audiences can be chalked up to what Harris calls “universal material.”
“No matter the race or creed, it’s something we all go through,” he said, noting topics such as road rage, marriage, and relationships as topics that most folks can connect to. “The only time you lose an audience is when you talk about something people can’t relate to.”
Harris said he’s all about men and women and relationships.
“That’s what I’ve been doing for 27 years,” he said, noting his frequent forays into the audience during performances. “I’m so natural and off the hip. Look to me to talk about anything going on that day—the weather, someone who annoyed me, whatever is happening now.”
As for a sneak peek at the upcoming show?
“Look for Drew to talk about current events—Trump and Weinstein,” Harris said. “And Mark will talk about couples and share his funny take on marriage. Rob is high-energy, so don’t be surprised if Rob flips out into the audience. Rob’s famous slogan is, ‘somebody’s gotta tell you the baby’s ugly, and that’s me.’”
As for Capone, Harris said he’ll start off low-key but then ramp things up big-time.
“He is loud, bodacious,” he said. “Trust me, he’s the perfect anchor for our show.”
Harris has one piece of advice for show-goers.
“This is one of those productions where you bring your funny bone and don’t take it personally,” he said.
The New York Kings of Comedy Valentine’s Day show will be held Wednesday, February 14 at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, 1300 Ocean Avenue.