Tom Cotter’s got talent
The Providence native is bringing the laughs to Boston.
New England’s Tom Cotter is back at his old stomping grounds for a pair of nights in the Seaport. The “America’s Got Talent” alum is ready to get rowdy with local comedy fans, and can’t wait to be back in Patriots nation.
“I love coming back to where it all began for me. It’s still home and it makes my heart go pitter-pat,” says the 53-year-old Rhode Island native. “Just talking to people and hearing the accent, it feels like I’m home. I’m still a New Englander, and I’ve been in New York for 20 years, but I’m still a Bruins, Red Sox, Patriots guy. Living in New York, it’s like a Palestinian living in an Israeli village, so it’s good to be home.“
We caught up with Cotter ahead of his return to Boston this weekend.
Local crowds can be pretty tough at times. Do you have any horror stories from your early days in the city’s comedy scene?
I had a guy staring at me through an entire show one night in the front row, just kind of staring straight ahead. Finally, I snapped and said, “Dude, what are you looking at?” As soon as the words were coming out of my mouth, I saw the blind cane next to his seat. There was no way to recover from that one.
How do you deal with a rowdy Boston crowd?
I invite interaction. I don’t think it should be a monologue. I really believe it should be a dialogue to some degree, a dialogue that you control. I go into the audience, and I don’t pick on people or smash watermelons, but I definitely engage them and I encourage it. Sometimes club owners will get a little nervous because I’m engaging them so much, they think I’m inviting heckling, but that’s the way I like it. I like a rowdy crowd. I’d rather have someone scream “You suck!” than fall asleep in the front row.
Your wife, “Last Comic Standing” finalist Kerri Louise, is also in the laugh business. Does that dynamic make parenting easier at all?
It’s almost a certainty that our children will be in therapy later. It is what it is. We kind of have a normal family. Kerri and I defuse some of our disputes and arguments with humor, which I think is helpful. And we’ve been married for 15 years and together for 20, so whatever we’re doing seems to be working.
As a diehard Patriots fan, do you think you could make the always stone-faced Bill Belichick laugh?
I don’t want to be cocky and think I can make him laugh, but on his worst day, I could probably get a chuckle out of him.
Get rowdy with the “America’s Got Talent” alum.