Comedy Spotlight: Geno Bisconte
When you first look at Geno Bisconte you might think, quiet, standoffish, blazer-wearing Brooklynite. If you think that, you’re absolutely wrong. Well, he does live in Brooklyn, and he does wear blazers when he perform, but hell-to-the-naw he’s not quiet. I met Geno Bisconte a few weeks ago when we shared satellite radio airwaves together. I assumed I was going to be the funniest person on the mic that evening, because I have really high self-esteem, and that’s what the f*** I’m supposed to think…I digress. However, there was Geno Bisconte being very quick and witty. I thought, “Who the hell is this guy?”
I would soon learn that I was trading barbs with Mr. “Slash and Burn” a nickname given to Geno by the New York Post for his intense style of comedy. At that very moment I wanted us to be friends, as my edgy, racy, no holds barred comedy appetite was awakened. As soon as we broke for commercial, I was pretty much interviewing Geno on the spot, where I learned that he and I were going to be at the same event the next day. We both planned on attending the Dennis Rodman roast in NYC, except I was going to be apart of the audience, and Geno was among the list of comedians to roast The Worm.
A week after the Dennis Rodman roast I was able to sit down with Geno to ask the question that was burning in this Chicago Bulls fan:
Chalaire: Geno, how the hell did you land the gig to roast Dennis Rodman?
Geno Bisconte: I can give you the f***** up version that will get me in a lot of trouble, or I can give you the nice version.
Chalaire: I’m going to be respectful to the readers and ask for the f***** up version that will get you in a lot of trouble.
Geno Bisconte: (laughs) it was a contest called “So You Think You Can Roast.” I didn’t win the original contest due to bulls***, but I eventually booked a couple of roasts after that. It was a great opportunity, and I thank the Friars Club. That’s the f***ing nice version.
Chalaire: Please explain how the NY Post came to label you as the “Slash and Burn” comedian?
Geno Bisconte: I was hosting a show at Carolines and Kanye West was in the audience so I said, “you don’t hit women, and you don’t hit them hard, because if you hit them too hard they lose the lesson.” The crowd started booing, and I said calm down, it’s Kanye West , not Chris Brown. The next day the NY Post wrote about the event, calling me “Slash and Burn” comedian, and I love that story.
Chalaire: You’re pretty edgy. Do you find yourself catching a lot of flack because of your comedy style?
Geno Bisconte: I hate people who try to take laughter from someone else. I wrote a joke for Steve-O during the Charlie Sheen Comedy Central Roast. It was about the Whitesnake concertgoers who died in that fire years ago. The father of one of the dead concert goers tried to get my joke banned, and later bragged that he got my joke banned.
Chalaire: Is there a trophy for getting jokes banned?
Geno Bisconte: Here’s the thing, I’m glad he got the joke banned because it brought his kid back to life (laughs). It didn’t, his kid is f***ing dead. I checked and his kid is still dead, and he took laughter and joy from people who are still alive. When you write jokes, especially roast jokes it’s not to be taken personal. It’s about rocking the deaus.
Geno Bisconte: (grabs phone) Hold on, my girl is asking me where I am…I’m like with a hot black chick.
Chalaire: Yeah, take that girlfriend. So how did you get on The Artie Lange Show?
Geno Bisconte: Artie & Bob Levy used to tour together, and I’m good friends with Bob Levy. When Bob would tour he would put me on a few of his shows.
Chalaire: You have to make that a permanent gig, because Artie will be around. He can’t beat showbiz off with a stick.
Geno Bisconte: (laughs) Great line. Some of the best press I ever got was when Artie Lange first recovered and came back to comedy, and he popped up at The Comedy Celler. I bumped into him and Craig Gast, and a picture went up on a Artie fan page. The caption read: Artie Lange, Craig Gast, and some other guy. Isn’t that great? The comments said “That other guy is Geno Bisconte, and he’s funnier than both of them.”
Chalaire: You had such great stuff going on now that I didn’t get a chance to ask you, how did you get started in comedy?
Geno Bisconte: I never thought I could be funny on purpose, but a girl whose body they will never find, signed me up for an open mic night, and I’ve been at it ever since.
Chalaire: Where are you from, and how’s the comedy scene in your home town?
Geno Bisconte: I grew up outside of Philly. I was a good comedian in Philly, which shows you how much the comedy scene sucks there.
Chalaire: You’re from Philly, and your name is Geno, let’s solve the debate here and now…Best cheesesteaks, Pat’s or Geno’s?
Geno Bisconte: My name is Geno and I don’t give a f***. Any cheesesteak place in Philly is better than NYC. Do you want to know how I know that?…I’ve eaten cheesesteak from a gas station in Philly
Chalaire: Who influenced you?
Geno Bisconte: My parents are older, so I grew up watching Don Rickles, as you can probably see in my act. However, my main influences didn’t start until I started performing. I was never that kid that wanted to be a comedian. Someone talked me into it when I was older, so my influences are people I now travel with, like Jim Norton, Bob Levy, and Dave Attell. I do like Nikki Glaser and Amy Schumer. Amy writes her own s**t and she gets it.
Chalaire: What would be your idea gig?
Geno Bisconte: I’m great on the radio. I have never been a person who wanted to be Letterman. I’m great on the radio and that’s what I want, my own radio show. So, maybe I can come back here and hang out with you until I get a radio show (laughs).
A regular on The Artie Lange Show, Geno recently roasted Ricky Schroder Dennis Rodman, and you can catch him at the upcoming roast of Jack Black! He hates Twitter because his thing is radio, but here you go @genobisconte. Don’t forget to check out Geno’s website.
Chalaire Miller has contributed to Us Weekly, E! Fashion Police, and is an improv artist, stand-up comedian, writer, comedy blogger.and s***-talker to the stars! You can provoke her s***-talking on Twitter @laire or check out That’s What She Said.