Comedian and actor Nick Di Paolo (“Louie,” “Horace and Pete”) returns to CRT Downtown on Friday, Nov. 15 for another stand-up show. His live streaming show every morning at 11 a.m. has attracted 100,000 Youtube subscribers since January, and “Breath of Fresh Air,” his latest stand-up special, came out in May and will hit a million views by the end of November. Di Paolo talked to the Ithaca Times about his politics and why the Comedy Central show “Tough Crowd” is ripe for a comeback.
IT: You last came to CRT Downtown on “The Nick Is Right” tour. I’m assuming you’re still right?
ND: Oh yeah. F**k yeah. More right than ever. It’s very simple: I hate f**kin’ modern day progressives.
IT: Do you think your political stance has hurt your career?
ND: No. Well, I’m sure there’s gigs I don’t get now here and there. My manager doesn’t always tell me. As far as Hollywood goes, we don’t really need that anymore. I’m sure it’s cost me stuff, but also in the age of Trump, and the more the left try to silence us, I love it. We’re the counter-culture now. I know there’s venues that won’t have me. The f**ckin’ left has a real problem with their intolerance. And even people on the left are gettin’ sick of it. When you hear Bill Maher complaining, and people of his high profile, then you know there’s a problem. But then I say to Bill Maher, “You helped create it, with the way you vote, and the f**ckin’ dogs**t you’ve been spewing on HBO for the last 20 years.” It’s not coming from the right. Dave Chapelle, his politics are 180 degrees from mine too, but he just put out a whole special saying what I’ve been saying for years. Adam Carolla is doing this documentary and I direct-messaged him – he didn’t get back to me yesterday – saying, “Don’t forget to mention me when you’re bringing up this stuff, because I was saying this stuff in the late ’90s and the early 2000s on “Tough Crowd.” I’m the one who got punched in the face after a show a year ago. I’m the one who’s been in contact with the FBI twice in the last month because I’m getting death threats.
IT: “Tough Crowd.” That takes me back.
ND: Yeah. Well, that show’s needed now more than ever. I have a ton of young fans who come up to me after the show – these are people in their 20s who go, “We found that show ‘Tough Crowd’ on the Internet. Why don’t you guys do that again?” And it really is needed now more than ever, because that was unfiltered, and people ate it up. [laughs] I think it would be hugely popular, you know?
IT: Can you talk about doing the traditional stand-up special for Comedy Central back in the day versus doing your streaming show and releasing your own specials now?
ND: It’s much better this way. That’s the beauty of the Internet: People are doing their own thing. You sort of cultivate your own audience, and you find ‘em, without the corporate bulls**t. [At] Comedy Central, you go to a meeting, there’d be eight people in there, and if one of them didn’t like you, depending on how much pull they had, you wouldn’t get the gig or whatever. This way, you get to be unfiltered, no TV baloney, no censorship. You get to be yourself. Don’t get me wrong, Comedy Central was great for me at the time when I was a young comic, and they had me on there all the time. It served its purpose, but like everything else, it evolves, and I’m enjoying this much more than I did that.