Comedian gives Pittsburgh slant to familiar topics
Pittsburgh funnyman Joe Bartnick released his first major label comedy CD last week.
“Salute!” is 48 minutes of hilarious stand-up from his show at San Francisco's legendary Punchline Comedy Club in August, during which he talks about fatherhood, drugs, dieting, sex, drinking, sports and relationships.
He is in town this week to perform at a benefit for the Mario Lemieux Foundation, and stopped by Mario's on the South Side to talk about the album and being back home.
“It's adult oriented,” Bartnick said. “I have twists on subjects that most people don't have. I have kid jokes and I have marriage jokes, but they're in a different slant than anybody else's. Like most people would think I'm a bad parent.”
Bartnick, 43, was born on the South Side and lived in different parts of the South Hills and Bethel Park. He comes from a large Italian family.
“We always had big family dinners, and whoever's funny gets the most attention,” Bartnick said. “When there's 30 people, whoever's funny gets the floor. Funny's a big thing in our house.”
He got a taste for comedy at a talent show in 1988, his senior year at Seton-La Salle High School.
“We wrote sketches and performed them, and they killed,” Bartnick said. “Once you get the roar of laughter from a crowd, it's a drug. It's the greatest drug in the world.It's kind of like what I know I was good at was making people laugh. It's what I always wanted to do.”
Bartnick left for California in 1997 to pursue his stand-up career, but never forgot where he came from.
“Pittsburgh's just a great place to be from,” Bartnick said. “I think everybody's unique and funny. We have the East Coast hard-ass approach to life, but we're just a step different. Everyone knows I'm from the East Coast, but I'm not quite that New York (expletive).”
Bartnick wrote for Lisa Lampanelli, the “Queen of Mean,” for 10 years and toured with her over the past five years. His television projects, include the ESPYS, and stared in Playboy TV's series “King of Clubs.”
“Salute!” was released through All Things Comedy on Friday and is distributed through CD Baby. It's available on iTunes and through Bartnick's website.
More information about Bartnick is available online at www.joebartnick.com.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.